Exerpts from "From Buncombe to Twenty-Two" (c) 1975 Lyon County Reporter
The big issue as to the location of the county seat came to a head in February of 1873. District Judge Ford named three commissioners, who were to consider the matter and make the decision, as to where the new county seat would be located.
Here is the report of the final consideration of the matter and the reaching of a decision which ultimately made Rock Rapids the "big" town in the county and meant the gradual demise of Beloit.
"D. L. Riley, B. F. McCormick, and Mark Burket, the commissioners appointed by Judge Ford for locating the County Seat of Lyon County, came forth last Tuesday and took dinner at the Hotel. The importance of their meeting was surrounded by no little curiosity, while local interest, party strife, and other hindrances caused some profound thinking, developed many faces to a prodigious length, and others into a still bold expression of doubt. The bar-room became packed to its utmost capacity with the anxious waiters.
The legal custodions then retired to a private room for the purpose of examining the county map. Meanwhile an occasional smile, elongated countenances, terrible scowls, with hats occasionally pointing upward from the effect of the hair on their heads standing upon ends, then an unpleasant rush toward the door, all served to make up a marvelous show, or a grand picture of mental derangement. They came to a definite conclusion in regard to its location, after having compared distances, determined all natural advantages, discussed points respecting future development of the county, considered the extent of every settlement in certain portions thereof, and regarded what they believed to be the best interests of all concerned."
"We are of the opinion that it would be a hard matter to select three disinterested persons from other counties, that would have decided differently; no three unbiased or unprejudiced persons could pass over the natural advantages of this place in the selection of a county seat. There has been no formidable opposition in regard to the matter, except a determination of some men to beat Rock Rapids at all hazards, but the judgement of the Commission was expressed without the interposition of any selfish motives, or the swerving influences of men who are willing to ruin others if they cannot profit themselves."
Easily the major news of 1915 was work towards a new courthouse. Joseph Schwartz submitted preliminary plans for the courthouse at the May 1915 meeting of the board of supervisors. They called for a building 68' x 108'. There would be three stories above the ground and only sufficient basement to house the heating plant and provide storage for coal. The winning bid for constructing the new courthouse was provided by A. M. Wold Construction Co. of Brookings, SD at $107,300.00.
July 6, 1917 the new courthouse was dedicated. There was a huge crowd on hand for the occasions. Patriotic societies had part in the program and Supreme Court Judge Gaynor was speaker of the day. S. D. Riniker was chairman for the day -- and throughout his remarks he stressed that we were now at war, that is was time for ending all division between our people -- and that we march forward as a united people to victory.