Clay County Courthouse
Although an appointed commission
chose Spencer Township to be the county seat, the citizens rejected that choice
and elected Peterson to be the site. The voters also authorized $6,000 for
construction of public buildings. Although the contractor's bill for the
courthouse totaled $7,500, the county only paid him $6,900.
Clay County grew rapidly
and in 1871, the county moved to Spencer. A courthouse was built for $1,333 but
became too small so a new brick courthouse was constructed for $4,435. The old
courthouse in Spencer was then used for a barn, a cement block factory, and
finally remade into two houses.
Members of the public did
not want a plain, unpretentious courthouse, so in 1900 the present courthouse,
a beautiful red stone structure was built. This courthouse, with its pillars
and a bronze dome cost $60,000.