Placeography:Featured place/2014-01

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Lincoln County Courthouse, 319 North Rebecca Street, Ivanhoe, Minnesota

Lincoln County began its history without a courthouse building to house the local government. The first meeting of the County Commissioners was held at the home of M. S. Phillips in Marshfield. County officials had their offices in various homes and stores in Marshfield until 1881, when they moved their official headquarters to Lake Benton. The railroad donated a courthouse site and the citizens of Lake Benton provided a courthouse building, which was later enlarged and improved. Then began the "Battle for the County Seat." In 1901, after the voters approved moving the county seat to Ivanhoe, the county accepted a donation of a courthouse site from landowners in that community. The legal challenges to the location of the county seat delayed construction of a courthouse building until 1903, when a contract was let for building a combined jail and sheriff's residence in Ivanhoe, to be financed by an appropriation of $17,000 from accumulated tax levies. Later that year the Minnesota Supreme Court declared that Lake Benton, not Ivanhoe, was the county seat. Switching gears, the county decided that the old courthouse in Lake Benton should be repaired. The election of 1904 changed the county seat to Ivanhoe and, with that decision made, plans moved forward for the construction of a new Lincoln county courthouse. The construction contract was awarded in 1919 for $143,200. Subsequent contracts were awarded for heating , ventilating, plumbing, electric lighting, interior marble finishing, furniture, and interior oil murals. The three-story courthouse is 108 feet x 75 feet, built of Bedford granite. Construction was completed in 1920.

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