McLean County

US States / N / North Dakota / McLean County

McLean County is named for John A McLean of Bismarck (1849–1916), a pominent merchant and the first mayor of Bismarck. 


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Mountrail CountyWard County and McHenry County

E – Sheridan County and Burleigh County

S – Burleigh County, Oliver County and Mercer County

W – Mercer CountyDunn County and Mountrail County


Created:  March 8, 1883                         Map of North Dakota highlighting McLean County

County Seat:  

Washburn  1883 – present


Former County Courthouse – Washburn


Location:  712 5th Avenue / 7th Street

Built:  1907 – 1908

Style:   Romanesque / Federal

Architect:  Hancock Brothers

Contractor:  T F Powers


Description:  The building faced south and was a two story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building was located on landscaped grounds on the north side of the center of Washburn. The south front had a high central square brick tower rising from the entrance to the gabled roof. The second part of the building was constructed in 1917. The architect was Hancock Brothers and the contractor was Andrew Person. In 1963, a modern addition was built on the west side. The jail was constructed by Pauley Jail Construction Company. The building was razed in 2013.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Former McLean County Courthouse


County Courthouse – Washburn




Location:  712 5th Avenue / 7th Street

Built:  2011 – 2013

Style:   Modern

Architect:  Al Fitterer of Mandan

Contractor:  Capital City Construction Inc. of Bismarck


Description:  The building faces south and is a four story buff colored brick, concrete and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds on a slight slope on the north side of the center of Washburn. The south front has a large central glass section. On the west side is a four story section. The windows are small with surrounding trim. The roof line is flat. The courtroom is located on the third story. The building houses the County District Court of the South Central Judicial District. On the west side of the building is the County Law Enforsement Center.


Old County Courthouse – Washburn




Location:  612 Main Street / 7th Street

Built:  1905 – 1906

Style:   Georgian Revival

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces south and is a two story wood frame  structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Washburn to the southwest of the courthouse. The building has green colored clapboard siding. The windows are one-over-one double hung with wooden frames. The roof is pitched. The building was used as a courthouse from 1905 to 1915. The building was torn down in 2021.


See:  The South Central Judicial District includes Burleigh CountyEmmonds County, Grant County, Mercer County, Morton CountyOliver CountySheridan County and Sioux County.


History:  The county was created in 1883 and Washburn was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a two story structure built in 1889. The courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1895. The second courthouse was built in 1905 and is still standing. The third courthouse was constructed in 1907 to 1908, expanded in 1917 and was razed in 2013. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 2011 to 2013 at a cost of $4,500,000.




Former County Courthouse – Washburn
















Former County Courthouse and new County Courthouse – Washburn




























County Courthouses in 2013




County Courthouse in 2015 with former County Courthouse demolished




County Law Enforsement Center – Washburn




Old County Courthouse – Washburn













Photos taken 2006, 2013 and 2015