Murray County Courthouse History

Murray County's first courthouse was a frame building bought for $73 in 1872 and located in Currie, the county seat at that time.  The building served citizens for seven years, until the county built a courthouse at a cost of $1,155.

In an 1887 election, Slayton became the county seat and county records were moved.  The Minnesota Supreme Court disallowed the election, but the records stayed in Slayton.  In 1889, the county seat change became official and the following year, Murray County began construction of the brick courthouse that stand more than 90 years.

The Romanesque Revival courthouse was completed in 1892 at a cost of $22,300.  Yellow brick veneer and buff Kasota limestone trim made up the two stories and attic of the 60 by 94 foot building.  Its tower featured an unusual classical style, with a segmented dome above a central bay and an arched entry.  Frank Thayer of Mankato designed the building, and Leck and McLeod of Minneapolis built it.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Place in 1977.

A modern county building designed by Stegner, Hendrickson, McNutt and Sullivan of Marshall, costing $370,600, was built south of the courthouse in 1974.  The courtroom from the old building's second floor was dismantled and reconstructed in the new addition.

In 1981, another 12,000 square feet was built of steel, concrete, and brick veneer designed by the Delpro Corporation of Sioux Falls at a cost of $1 million.  County commissioners, not entirely satisfied with the design, asked for a "more monumental appearance" and settled for a triangular canopy above the roof.  The 1892 courthouse was demolished later that year.

Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."

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