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The New Renville County Court House published in a Minnesota Newspaper circa July 1901

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The original architectural design of the courthouse in 1901 by Fremont D. Orff, of Minneapolis. Donated by Luther Gilbert in 1974 from a Minneapolis newspaper in September 1902.

Editor’s Note: While organizing in the Research Library I located this newspaper clipping. See below for the letter submitted by Mr. Gilbert in 1974. The letter shows how much pride we can have in our hometowns and counties.

Caption from clipping: Plans are now being drawn by Architect Fremont D. Orff for a new courthouse to be erected in Renville County, at Olivia. The structure will cost $75,000 at the present building but will be so constructed that subsequent additions may be built at any time. The interior finishings will be of hardwood, except the lobbies and public halls, which will be finished up in marble and tile. The building will be classic in exterior design and will resemble architecturally a great deal a courthouse recently built by Mr. Orff in Iowa. The plans call for the completion of the building by September 1902. Work will commence this summer.

The completed Renville County Courthouse in 1902 at a cost of $88,000.
The Renville County Courthouse in 2016 in Olivia, Minnesota. It received a facelift in 2002.

Luther B. Gilbert
3225 Ewing Ave North
Minneapolis, MN 55422
Nov. 14, 1974
Chairman Board of County Commissions
Olivia, Minnesota 56277
Dear Sir:
Enclosed is a clipping from a Minneapolis about September 1902. It shows the Court House for Renville County about to be built, I thought it would be of interest to your Board or to a local historical society.
I am the third generation of Gilberts that lived in Glencoe, my grandfather Gideon K. Gilbert came to Glencoe in 1857. My father L.W. Gilbert was born there in 1859 and I in 1890. My grandfather owned several sections of land north of Hector which he sold at a good price for that date of $6.00 an acre. He also started a bank at Hector in early times. My father and I owned 330 acres just west of the City of Hector.
I have seen many changes in your county, all for the good.
Very truly,
Luther Gilbert