In 1860, a log courthouse was built on a farm for about $2,000 in O'Brien County. For some reason, it was later moved and reassembled in a different rural setting. There it would be used as a school, blacksmith shop, and a stable.
The second courthouse was finished in April of 1874 at a cost of $2,000. This was built in the new county seat of Primghar. This building was replaced in 1887 by a 50 by 54 foot courthouse built for $6,000. An addition was added in 1902 to satisfy the county's growing needs. This courthouse was sold for just over $400 and became a residence.
The present courthouse was built in 1915 for $159,000. It is a large structure of classic design, faces with buff Bedford limestone. The inside hallways are made of Italian marble and the handrails are finished in bronze.