Lawrence County Courthouse

After Deadwood was selected as the county seat, a county building was set up and officers selected. The first county courthouse was destroyed in the great fire of 1879, along with all the records. The courts were held in a rented building until 1889, when a two-story brick structure was completed on the corner of Sherman and Pine streets. It was demolished in 1906 and replaced with the present Lawrence County Courthouse.

In Need of a New Building

An article which appeared in a local newspaper on January 1, 1908, stated: "For many years it was realized that this county was in need of a new county building, the old ramshackle structure in which the court offices were held, had gotten to be an eyesore to the community, but there were a few timid ones who dreaded that any move toward a new building by the people would be a signal for an attempt to move the county seat to some other town in the county. 

The movement in favor of a new building gathered headway slowly, and it was finally brought forcibly home to the people when the district court was one day obligated to adjourn in an important case on account of the rain dripping through the roof on the stenographer's notes while the rain formed pools on the floor in front of the judges bench". At a special election, the people of Deadwood voted that $10,000 be spent on a new structure. The county election then followed, and the proposition carried by a large majority, 2,347 yeas to 543 nays.

Bonds & Architectural Plans

The county commissioners at once arranged for the issuance of the necessary bonds. The architectural plans of Belle and Detweiler, Minneapolis, were accepted on September 6, 1905, and the county offices were temporarily relocated. Mullen and Munn began tearing down the rear half of the old building at once. The offices of the county auditor, treasurer, and superintendent of schools were moved to the building formerly occupied by the old American National Bank.


Contracts were given to the following:

  • Heating and plumbing contract was awarded to Geo. V. Ayres of Deadwood
  • Light fixtures to the WC. Vosburg Company
  • Painting and decorations contract to O.J. Oyen Company of Wisconsin
  • Steel furniture bid to the Art Metal Con. Company
  • Wood furniture to A. H. Andrews Company
  • General contractor for the new structure was Mullen and Munn of Deadwood

Move In & Costs

The construction of the three story courthouse transpired during 1906 and 1907 at a cost of $109,579.26. The Lawrence County offices moved into the new structure on January 1, 1908.

On February 8, 1908, the present courthouse was dedicated.

Lawrence County Courthouse drawing by Julie Stone