Kiel's Hotel in Lynd is called Lyon County's first courthouse because, starting in 1873, county business was conducted there for nearly a year.
Marshall became the county seat in 1873 and the first county commissioners meeting was held there the following January. A small frame courthouse was built in 1876 for $450. A brick building, similar to the one that stands today, burned the week before it was to be dedicated in 1891. Apparently well-insured, the county built the courthouse that makes up the central section of the present complex as a replacement in 1892. The above photograph of the courthouse was taken in 1910.
The courthouse was built in the Victorian Romanesque style. While the original square romantic tower and its clock have been removed from the east end, the early courtroom remains on the second floor as part of the county museum. The gabled hip roof of the early building rises well above the flat roofs of additions added on the west and east in 1939 and 1975. The bulge of the roof's remaining cropped-off tower on the center front is repeated on the east as silo-like projections.
Light limestone frames the windows and marks the coping or water table of the building. The courtrooms are designed and furnished to reflect the curves that are prominent on the outside of the building.
Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."
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