(Previous Courthouse in Whitehall, WI)
The City of Whitehall has been the Trempealeau County seat since 1883.
The first Trempealeau County Courthouse was built in Galesville and was ready for occupancy in 1856. But Galesville lost its status when county residents voted November 7, 1876, to move the county seat to Arcadia. Just one year later, voters moved the county seat to Whitehall.
In 1878, voters rejected a proposition to move the county seat yet again - this time to Blair. In 1882, Arcadia was also rejected. The last futile effort was to move the courthouse to Independence, but the petition for a vote had too few signatures.
In 1883, construction on the courthouse began in Whitehall. It was completed in 1884 at a cost of $20,000. The jail was built in 1886 for approximately $8,000. In 1911, the jail was rebuilt and an addition to the courthouse doubled its size at a cost of approximately $30,000.
Another courthouse addition was authorized in 1953 at a cost of approximately $185,000. In 1966, the courthouse got a second courtroom, a county board room and a social services office. Ten years later, the nurse's office and addition for what is now the land conservation office were constructed and annexed to the existing structure to the west.
In 1981 the present jail was constructed. At that time the 1911 structure was demolished.
Finally in 1995, work commenced to preserve the existing structure and to improve the efficiency of the building. A new heating system was installed and all windows were replaced. The building also needed to be brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To enhance accessibility, the circuit courtrooms were restructured and jury rooms were provided for each courtroom.
The circuit court has a proud history in our county. Recent noteworthy judges include Honorable Richard Galstad and Honorable Albert Twesme.
Click on the following links for listings of those who have served as Judges:
Portraits of this century's judges are displayed in the courtroom.