The Richland County Courthouse is located at 418 2nd Avenue North, Wahpeton ND 58075; phone: 701-642-7700.
Richland County is distinguished for its location at the head of the world renowned valley of the Red River of the North. In area it is about 1,440 square miles and is the most southern county of the valley. All settlers from the east and south passed through this county on coming to the northwest. The county was truly one of the few gateways through which civilization forced itself into the wilderness of Dakota territory, and to the lands farther west. The county contains some of the oldest settlements in North Dakota. The first settlers were a small number in 1867, but there was practically no agriculture until 1873, when the county was first organized, with J. W. Blanding, D. Wilmot Smith and Morgan T. Rich as its first board of commissioners. The first settler in the county was M. T. Rich, who located at Wahpeton, at first called Richville, but changed to Wahpeton when the county was later named for him. Other early settlers were William Root, Folsom Dow, and M. P. Propper.