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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.

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