On July 1, 1883 the county seat of Esmeralda County moved from Aurora to Hawthorne. A court house was needed, so a contract to build it for $29125 was awarded. On August 16, 1883 construction began. Corruption and collusion between the contractor George W. Babcock, and political officials are revealed by a grand jury. Despite the wrong doings, in February of 1884 the building was opened and continued as a county entity until May 1907, when the county seat moved to Goldfield. On February 11, 1911 Esmeralda County was split and Mineral County was created. Again, it became the center of county business until 1973, when a modern facility replaced it.