Emmet County, named for the Irish patriot Robert Emmet, planned to build its first courthouse in 1859. A construction company was contracted to build both a school and courthouse, but due to funding squabbles, the courthouse was not completed. Consequently, the school served as both school and courthouse until 1872, when the split-log building was moved to a different location to serve as the courthouse until it was destroyed by fire in 1872.
In 1879 the county seat was moved to Swan Lake, but due to litigation, no courthouse was built there. Eventually the county seat was returned to Estherville. Emmet County’s second courthouse was built in 1884.
The third courthouse, designed in Georgian style by architect James A. Dougher, was completed in 1958. The exterior is faced with light colored brick and stone trim.
Visit the Emmet County web site for more information.
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