Swift County built its first courthouse in 1876 at a cost of $2,600. A.G. DesParois & Co. of St. Paul built the building, though its work was criticized by the local newspaper at the time. The courthouse was a simple, hip-roofed, clapboard, two-story rectangle that stood five bays wide and two deep. An addition on one end put the double doorway off-center.
The current courthouse replaced it in 1898. Buechner and Jacobson of St. Paul designed the brick Richardsonian Romanesque building and Deeks & Co. built it. Its two stories and basement are topped with a steep gabled attic and two towers. The major tower rises to double the height of the building. The towers, gables, dormers, cornice, and triple-arched entrance are embellished with Kasota stone above the high, rusticated limestone foundation. Swift County spent $60,000 on the building, that also features Syrian polished granite columns and carved capitals.
Inside, the building is finished with golden oak woodwork, parquet floors, oak wainscoting, and marble mopboards.
At its 1976 bicentennial, the commnity installed a clock and carillon chimes in the tower. The building was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."
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