The first homestead claim in Howard County was filed on March 11, 1871. St. Paul was appointed the county seat in May, and retained that title over Dannebrog in a close 1874 election. A wooden courthouse was built in St. Paul in 1877. By June 1912, residents favored replacing the “wooden shack that has been a leftover from the sod house and grasshopper period.” Voters approved a $75,000 stone courthouse for the same site. The new building was designed by Lincoln architect George Berlinghof, a German immigrant. The cornerstone was laid on June 5, 1913. Financial difficulties resulted in sporadic construction, and the courthouse was $28,000 over budget when it opened in November 1914. Though predominantly brick, the Classical Revival style building has a foundation and columns of Indiana limestone, stairs of pale pink marble, railings of solid white marble, and floors of terrazzo. The Grand Army of the Republic monument to Civil War veterans was dedicated on July 4, 1919. The Howard County Courthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.