Charles Mix County
Welcome to Charles Mix County Clerk of Court's Office.
Charles Mix County Clerk of Courts
Our contact information is:
P.O. Box 640
400 Main St.
Lake Andes, SD 57356-0640
Phone Number: 605-487-7511
Fax Number: 605-487-7547
Office Hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm M-F.
Clerk of Court
For more information and directions to the courthouse, Please visit SDJurors
Then select Your E-Courthouse and choose Charles Mix county.
Constructed in 1917-1918 (the cornerstone was laid on August 24, 1917).
William L. Steele, of Sioux City, Iowa
The Charles Mix County Courthouse is a three-story building of concrete clad with an unusual
11 1/2 by 1 3/4 inch brick. It is the only courthouse in South Dakota constructed in the Prairie School style. The
facade is symmetrical with three projecting bays on the front. The center bay on the front projects forward and extends
to the roof line, while the two flanking bays project forward to a lesser extent and do not reach the roof line. This
creates the appearance of irregular massed blocks grouped around a massive core block. The rear and sides are flat and
there is a concrete foundation which extends to just above the sill height of the first floor windows. The thin pilasters,
which separate the windows, rise from this foundation and are topped with terra cotta capitals. Above the third floor
windows on the front and back is a band of light colored stone or concrete. On the sides and center bay on the front, the
third floor windows are higher. Each of the third floor window bays is topped with projecting terra cotta cornices with a
floral design. The center bay on the front facade has a projecting vestibule which enters the courthouse midway between the
first and second floors. The vestibule is surrounded by decorative terra cotta panels. Each of the roof levels is hidden
behind parapets which are topped with a light-colored coping below which is a course of alternating recessed soldier bricks.
The interior has low ceilings and exotic woodwork, stained glass windows, including a stained glass dome, and elegant panels
and friezes.[i] William Steele, the architect who designed it, had worked for Louis Sullivan. He was also one of the
architects for the Woodbury County, Iowa courthouse which is similar in appearance. The courthouse was built by the A.M.
Wold Construction Co. of Brookings at a cost of $119,000.
The 1862 territorial legislature established Charles Mix County, which was named after Charles Mix,
who has been variously described as an Army Captain who was killed on active duty, or an early Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
who assisted in negotiating the Treaty of 1858 which established the Yankton Sioux Reservation.[ii] However, the present
boundaries were not established until 1873. The first county seat was established at Papineau, a trading post on the Missouri
River which was run by Cuthbert DuCharme, who was also known as Papineau.[iii] In 1869 the county was reorganized and Platte
Creek was selected as the county seat, but in 1875, President Grant withdrew this entire area from public settlement. In 1879
the area was reopened for settlement, and in the election of November, 1879, Wheeler was selected as the county seat. A
two-story, wood-frame courthouse with an open bell tower or cupola was built there in 1881 at a cost of $2,000, which served
the county as its courthouse for thirty-seven years.[iv] The town of Wheeler now lies underneath the waters of Lake Francis
Case approximately 4 miles south of Platte. Geddes attempted to obtain the county seat in elections in 1900, 1904 and 1908.
Later Lake Andes and Wagner also attempted to obtain the county seat, with Lake Andes finally prevailing at an election in 1916.
In December of 1916, a bond issue was passed for the construction of the present courthouse in Lake Andes.
[i] United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form -
Charles Mix County Courthouse (September 1, 1992) and Carolyn Torma, Building Diversity: A Photographic Survey of South Dakota
Architecture, 1913-1940, South Dakota Historical Journal 19, (1989), page 186-188.
[ii] SL 1862, ch 18.
[iii] Gnirk, Epic of the Great Exodus, (1985) page 5.
[iv] Id. at page 6.