Pershing County was carved out of Humboldt County's southern region after arguments over public funds necessitated a division of the territory. The state legislature created Nevada's seventeenth county in 1919 and designated Lovelock as the county seat. The county was named after General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing.
A long standing rivalry with Humboldt County inspired Pershing County commissioners to build a monumental courthouse that would surpass any government symbol their northern neighbor could erect. In 1920, officials hired Frederick J. DeLongchamps, an esteemed architect responsible for several Nevada courthouse designs. They selected Howard S. Williams of San Francisco for the construction, and Jacob C. Meyer of Reno to supply the heating and plumbing.
Finished on June 20, 1921, the 16,000 square foot, single-story structure cost $99,138.68. It occupies two acres of land at the end of Lovelock's central commercial district. The circle-hexagon contour of the building takes its inspiration from Thomas Jefferson's library at the University of Virginia, itself referring to the Roman Pantheon. Designed in a popular neoclassical style, its shape is unique among the nation's historic county courthouses.
Six Ionic columns in terra cotta support a full pedimented portico over the entrance. The interior contains an unusual layout of a central circular courtroom surrounded by offices for county officials and employees. A cartouche with ornamental pilasters on either side decorates the wall behind the judge's bench.
In 1947, the county contacted DeLongchamps for design of an additional wing to the courthouse, but officials did not pursue construction. The courthouse remains in its original design.