Clay County was named for Lieutenant Colonel Henry Clay Jr. who died during the Mexican War
Clay County’s first courthouse was a single-story structure built in Peterson in 1860.
In 1871, the county seat returned to Spencer, The citizens of Spencer built the first courthouse in Spencer, and sold it to the city. The two-story frame structure not only served as the courthouse, but also for public meetings. The growing county quickly outgrew the small courthouse.
In 1884, a simple two-story brick courthouse was constructed in Spencer.
Clay County’s current courthouse, a Beaux Arts Classical design by Kinney and Detweiler, was completed in 1901. The red brick and sandstone structure features two-story Corinthian columns and a domed square tower. The Clay County courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
Visit the Clay County web site for more information.
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