Additional History of the
Deuel County Court House

    Gary being the first town in the county had the first Court House.  It was the County Seat from 1878 to November 1890.

In 1886 a petition for moving the Court House was denied due to insufficient signatures.  They had more than enough signers for a petition in 1888 and an election was ordered.  Gary won by large majority.  Two years later it was a different story and Clear Lake won with 888 votes to Gary's 274.  Altamont received one vote.

    The books and records were hauled over hills and prairies in wagons, many ton in all.

    As to the move, William Stone, in the Gary Gate City to the Dakotas, states, "I think down through the years it will be hard to find a person who is unhappy with Clear Lake as County Seat.  How many County's in our state have the County Seat located in the center of the County like we have here in Deuel?  There is still a few die-hards who would like to keep the old dispute of the late 80's alive and make one think today the grudge is still here, but believe me, the numbers are few and for the good of our County, we are thankful."

    The old school house served as the first Court House in Clear Lake.  Late in 1890 the commissioners voted to accept a donation previously deposited for the purpose of building a courthouse.  The condition of this deposit was that the vote must be favorable to Clear Lake.  It was made by the Western Land Company.  The contract was let to Gates and Walthers to build a new Courthouse in Clear Lake.  In 1891, when completed, the Courthouse was moved from the school house.  In July 1916, Brandt put in a bid for the Courthouse but failed to get enough signatures on petition.

    In April 1916 a special election was ordered on the question of building a new Court House in Clear Lake.  The election was set for May 23 and passed.  Plans and specifications by Buchner and Orth of St. Paul, Minnesota were submitted and accepted.  In October, the construction was awarded to the World Construction Company of Brookings for $82,426.00 and construction began that fall.  The Corner stone was dedicated in 1917.


The above article was found in a file at the courthouse.  If anyone would happen to have information as to who the author is, or where and when it was published, please contact us so we can give proper credit.  Thank you.

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