Richland County is named for Morgan T Rich of Wahpeton (1832-1898), who settled on the site of the future city of Wahpeton in 1869.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Cass County
S – Roberts County, South Dakota
Created: January 4, 1873
Wahpeton 1873 – present
County Courthouse – Wahpeton
Location: 418 2nd Avenue North / 4th Street North
Built: 1912 – 1914
Style: Beaux Arts
Architect: Buechner & Orth of St. Paul, Minnesota
Contractor: Ingemann – Company
Description: The building faces south and is a three story Bedford limestone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds on the north side of the center of Wahpeton. The raised basement is rusticated Kettle River sandstone. There as a paired fluted Corinthian columns supporting a limestone entablature and pediment on the front façade. The building has an octagonal dome in the center with silver colored roof. The metal-covered dome has bull’s-eye windows at the four cardinal directions and is capped with a belvedere and ball finial. Original ornate lamp posts remain on the arms of the front entry stair. The interior features well-preserved murals, and illuminated skylight in the rotunda. Floors on all three levels and stairs are white marble and terrazzo. The County District Court courtroom on the third story has a richly decorated coffered ceiling with acoustical tile in the recesses, and fine stencil work in a band below the ceiling on each wall. Hall entrances on the second floor have large ancones, and the ceiling above the third floor landing has decorative plaster work. The building houses the County District Court of the Southeast Judicial District. An addition was added in 1997.
See: The architect Buechiner & Orth of St. Paul, Minnesota designed many courthouses.
See: National: Register of Historic Places – Richland County Courthouse
See: The Southeast Judicial District includes Barnes County, Dickey County, Eddy County, Foster County, Griggs County, Kidder County, LaMoure County, Logan County, McIntosh County, Ransom County, Sargent County, Stutsman County and Wells County.
History: The county was created in 1873 and Wahpeton was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a small frame structure erected by Morgan T Rich and John Q Burbank on Dakota Avenue in 1874. The second courthouse was built in 1882 but burned on March 23, 1883. The third courthouse was a three story structure built in 1883 to 1884. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1912 to 1914.
County Courthouse – Whapeton
County District Court courtroom
Photos taken 2007, 2008 and 2018