McKenzie County

US States / N / North Dakota / McKenzie County

McKenzie County is named for Alexander McKenzie of  Bismarck,  North Dakota ( 1851-1922 ), credited with helping to engineer the removal of the capital of the Dakota Territory from Yankton, South Dakota to Bismarck, and a political leader.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Williams County

E – Mountrail County and Dunn County

S – Dunn County Billings County and Golden Valley County

W – Wibaux County, Montana and Richland County, Montana


Created:  May 24, 1901                          Map of North Dakota highlighting McKenzie County

County Seat: 

Alexander     1905 – 1907

Schafer         1907 – 1941

Watford City  1941 – present


County Courthouse – Watford City


Location:  201 5th Street Northwest / 2nd Avenue Southeast

Built:  1973 – 1974

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Kielhack & Fougner of Minot

Contractor:  F & J Construction of Dickenson


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story red-brown colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Watford City. Along the east front are white colored vertical dividers. The east front has a small portico of red colored brick. The roof line is flat. The building was enlarged in 2015. The architect was ICON and the contractor was Construction Engineers.


History:  The county was created in 1883 and Alexander became the county seat in 1905. The county seat was moved to Schafer in 1907. The first courthouse was a wood frame structure built in Schafer in 1907 and was enlarged. The county seat was moved to Watford City in 1940, In 1941, an old hospital was converted to serve as the courthouse. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1973 to 1974.




County Courthouse – Watford City




Photos taken 2007