The modern settlement of Clay County began in 1859 when the land was opened for legal occupation. In 1862 the county organization was effected and commissioners and officers were named. The city of Vermillion was founded in 1859 and incorporated in 1873. It was named for either the old Fort Vermillion or for the nearby Vermillion River. In 1862 the territorial legislature located the State University in Vermillion, but nothing was done until 1882 when Clay County voted $10,000 in bonds to construct a building on the campus. The current Clay County Courthouse was built in 1912 and houses some of the following offices at 211 West Main Street.
DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, THE CLAY COUNTY COURTHOUSE/OFFICES AND HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. PLEASE USE THE "CONTACT US" LINK IN THE UPPER RIGHT CORNER OF THIS PAGE THAT LISTS CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE OFFICES, AND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO CONDUCT BUSINESS WITH YOU VIA PHONE, E-MAIL, OR MAIL. IF YOUR BUSINESS REQUIRES AN IN-PERSON VISIT, THE OFFICE WILL MAKE ARRANGEMENTS WITH YOU, AND HEALTH SCREENING QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED IN ADVANCE. THERE IS A DROP BOX AT THE NORTH ENTRANCE THAT THE OFFICE MAY INSTRUCT YOU TO USE IF NECESSARY, BUT PLEASE VERIFY WITH THE OFFICE YOU ARE CONDUCTING BUSINESS WITH BEFORE YOU USE IT. IF YOU HAVE COURT-RELATED BUSINESS, PLEASE CONTACT THE CLERK OF COURTS, STATE'S ATTORNEY, OR COURT SERVICES AS APPROPRIATE FOR ASSISTANCE. THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF OUR STAFF AND CITIZENS IS OF UTMOST CONCERN DURING THIS PANDEMIC.