Moody County was organized in 1873 and was formed by Legislative action of eight Townships from Minnehaha County and eight Townships from Brookings County giving an area of 517 square miles. Moody County was named in honor of Gideon Curtis Moody who was the first U.S. Senator from South Dakota.
The corner stone for the new Courthouse was laid on Saturday afternoon July 18, 1914. In the cornerstone were placed various documents and copies of special publications of each edition and the last regular publication of each newspaper of the county.
The Courthouse is a three story fireproof cement and steel building with Bedford Stone exterior. The inside walls are cement and faced with white marble four feet up from the floor with black marble baseboards. All stairs are white marble with wrought iron grill work and oak banisters. The lobby floors on each story are Terrazzo. The office floors were oak (now carpeted) with oak woodwork to match.
The first floor houses the offices for the Treasurer, Emergency Management and Veterans Service Officer. It also houses the Rest Rooms and a meeting room called the Farmer’s Room.
On the walls of the main entrance stairway one sees large murals on either side depicting early settlers and Indians living along the Sioux river. The original paintings were deteriorating so were repainted in 1970 by George Fergen a local artist.
The second floor houses the offices for the Auditor, Director of Equalization, Clerk of Courts, Register of Deeds and the Commissioners meeting room. The ceiling of the second floor Lobby is open with a wrought iron and oak railing. Looking up one sees a stain glass dome rising from the third floor ceiling.
The third floor houses a large Courtroom, Judges chambers and Jury rooms. It also houses Rest Rooms and an office for the SD Game, Fish and Parks Department. The walls of the third floor are elaborately decorated with gold leaf and four large paintings depicting Justice in different forms.