Emmet County Courthouse
Emmet County offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each Monday through Friday except for legal holidays. (Driver's License hours are from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Holidays observed by county employees are: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, closed at noon on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and closed at 2:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve.
Emmet County was organized on February 7, 1859. It is situated in the northern tier of Iowa counties and is bounded on the north by the state of Minnesota; on the east by Kossuth County; on the south by Palo Alto County; and on the west by Dickinson County. It includes congressional townships 98, 99, and 100 North of Ranges 31, 32, 33 and 34 West. The townships along the northern border are fractional, so that the extent from north to south is only seventeen miles. From east to west it is twenty-four miles and the total area of this county is 408 square miles. The west fork of the Des Moines River flows through the county along the west side. The east fork has its source in Tuttle (Okamanpadu) Lake in the northeast part of the county and flows southerly along the east side of the county. The county has several lakes that afford good fishing. There are a total of six incorporated towns in Emmet County they include: Armstrong, Dolliver, Estherville, Gruver, Ringsted and Wallingford.
Estherville is the county seat. The first courthouse for Emmet County was in the town's first school building located where the post office now stands. An election in 1879 moved the county seat from Estherville to Swan Lake. A couple years later, it was moved back. The first courthouse was built in 1883 and was located between the present library and courthouse. That first courthouse was torn down in 1958 when the present courthouse was constructed.
The Estherville Meteorite is world famous. The largest meteor fall on record landed two miles north of Estherville in May of 1879. It created interest world wide and parts of it are in international museums with a large piece being located in the Estherville Library.
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