Grant County was established on March 6, 1868, by the legislature. The first lawyer arrived in the early 1870s; more arrived in the 1880s; but like many other lawyers in rural areas in this state in this period, they practiced only briefly in the county before moving elsewhere.
In 1883, the first session of the district court was held in Elbow Lake, Judge Loren W. Collins, presiding. In a letter written in 1906, and quoted in this article, Judge Collins, who served as a district court judge from 1883 to 1887, when he was appointed to the state supreme court, recalled how the community accommodated lawyers, litigants, witnesses and jurors at that initial term.
This history of the bench and bar of Grant County appeared as a chapter in a joint history of Douglas and Grant Counties published in 1916, and edited by Constant Larson, a lawyer residing and practicing in Douglas County.