“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
LaMoure in LaMoure County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

LaMoure County Courthouse

LaMoure Count Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, May 2, 2017
1. LaMoure Count Courthouse Marker
The brick walls of the LaMoaure County Courthouse have withstood the elements since 1910, and the building has become a cornerstone of the community's vitality. However, 15 years before the first brick was laid, two communities fought over its location.

At one time, Grand Rapids was the only town in Lamoure County and was the county seat. Yet once the town of LaMoure was platted it quickly grew larger than Grand Rapids. During the summer of 1884, LaMoure residents initiated a petition requiring the county commissioners to decide the location of the county seat. Although LaMoure had a railroad, the people of Grand Rapids claimed that most of the county's population was closer to them, and they had already built a courthouse.

Not enough signatures were gathered to support the petition, but in 1885 a law was passed enabling LaMoure County residents to vote for the official county seat in 1886. Lamoure won the election by 86 votes. Four days after the election, The county commissioners ordered county officials to move all the county records from Grand Rapids to the town hall in LaMoure, which was leased for use as
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the courthouse.

Struggling to maintain Grand Rapids as the county seat, several residents of Grand Rapids went before a judge in Jamestown, ND, trying to get an injunction to prevent the removal of the county records from the Grand Rapids Courthouse. As soon as it was issued Al Franks, a resident of Grand Rapids, headed home with his team of horses and the important papers to serve upon the committee.

When the people of LaMoure heard what was happening, they took action. During the middle of the night, 18 men from LaMoure headed into Grand Rapids with two drays, two lumber wagons, and a few buggies to retrieve the county records. It was midnight when the men reached the Grand Rapids courthouse and found it lit and guarded by approximately 20 men armed with guns. The men demanded to be let inside, but were refused, so they used a scantling as a battering ram to break the door down.

Meanwhile, Al Franks who carried the important document injunction, had become lost on the trail in the darkness. Tired of waiting, the Grand Rapids men began to leave one by one. By morning everything was loaded onto the wagons and the men headed back to LaMoure. They were enjoying breakfast at the hotel in Lamoure, when Al Franks arrived to serve the injunction to stop the removal of the records from Grand Rapids - all too late. After the records were removed from
LaMoure County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk
2. LaMoure County Courthouse Marker
Grand Rapids the first official courthouse for LaMoure County was in the LaMoure City Hall, and later moved to an old bank building. That building and the entire business district of LaMoure were destroyed by fire in 1894. The LaMoure County Courthouse then leased space at the Lloyd Bank building for its offices.

In 1907, LaMoure County put aside funds to erect a new courthouse. E.P. Wells donated the site for the courthouse and the county advertised for bids. The contract was awarded to a company in Aberdeen, South Dakota for $100,000, The county offices were moved into the new LaMoure County Courthouse in 1910 and have remained there ever since.

Picture Captions

Business flourished after the new courthouse was built.

Workers gathered in front of the finished courthouse, which has been a prominent landmark since 1910.
Erected by North Dakota Department of Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Political Subdivisions. A significant historical year for this entry is 1910.
Location. 46° 21.718′ N, 98° 17.495′ W. Marker is in LaMoure, North Dakota, in LaMoure County. Marker is at the intersection of 4th Avenue Northeast and 2nd St. NE, on the right when traveling west on 4th Avenue Northeast. Touch for map. Marker
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is at or near this postal address: 202 4th Ave NE, Lamoure ND 58458, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Steamboats on the River (approx. 0.6 miles away); Honorable Milton R. Young (approx. 0.6 miles away); Symbol of Freedom (approx. 0.6 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps Project (approx. 0.9 miles away); Carroll House (approx. 15.3 miles away); Stagecoach Relay Station (approx. 15˝ miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 13, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 153 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 13, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 9, 2023