Guthrie County's first seat of justice was in Panora. However, there was no courthouse and the county records were kept in the cabin of the county clerk. Unfortunately, the clerk also sold whiskey and gunpowder from his cabin. In 1857, he set off a keg of gunpowder, blowing all the county records to pieces.
A number of county seat battles later took place between Panora and Guthrie Center. The first courthouse was built in Guthrie Center in 1859. Native lumber was used to build this $2,400 building. In 1877, a new courthouse was built for a cost of $22,500. This beautiful domed structure burned to the ground on March 3, 1882. A heroic clerk saved most of the court records.
The insurance proceeds were used to build another courthouse made of brick.
The present courthouse was finished in November of 1964 at a cost of $417,000.