The first county seat was called Shelbyville. However, after a few years the county seat was moved to Harlan. A simple two-story frame building was set up in Harlan in 1860 to serve as a courthouse.
A second courthouse was built for $4,250, but little is known about this building. When this courthouse deteriorated, the present courthouse was constructed. This building, which still serves the county, was built in 1892 and 1893 for a total cost of $62,733.90.