Brown County

US States / M / Minnesota / Brown County

Brown County is named for Joseph Renshaw Brown, who was a prominent pioneer, publisher of the Minnesota Pioneer and member of the territorial legislature in 1854 to 1855 and 1857.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Redwood County, Renville County and Nicolett County

E – Nicolett County and Blue Earth County

S – Watonwan County and Cottonwood County

W – Cottonwood County and Redwood County


Created:  February 20, 1855                  Map of Minnesota highlighting Brown County

County Seat:

New Ulm  1856 – present


County Courthouse – New Ulm


Location:  12   South State Street / Center Street

Built:  1889 – 1891

Style:  German Renaissance Revival

Architect:  Carl Struck of Minneapolis and Henry Hanchen

Contractor:  A C Ochs and Schapekahn Brothers Construction Company


Description:  The building faces east and is a three story dark red colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of New Ulm. The tall round topped windows with hoods and triple arcade at the entrance reflect an Italianate influence, but corner piers and other parts of the building suggest an English Regency period. The statue of Justice is installed in the gable. In the interior are eight oil paintings by Alex Schwendinger of New Ulm. The County District Court courtroom is located at the center of the second story. The building houses the County District Court of the 5th Judicial District. In 1918 to 1919, a one story addition was added to the front of the building. The architect was Herman Koop & Sons of New Ulm and the contractor was Puhlmta Brothers. In 1930, Puhlman Brothers built the second story over the addition, In 1965, the building was modernized. The architect was Edward Wirtz. In 1994, an addition was constructed on the west side to house the Law Enforcement Center. The architect was Klein McCarthy & Company Ltd. and the contractor was E & V, Incorporated.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Brown County Courthouse


See:  The 5th Judicial District includes Blue Earth County, Cottonwood CountyFaribault County, Jackson County, Lincoln County, Lyon CountyMartin County, Murray CountyNicolett CountyNobles CountyPipestone County, Redwood CountyRock County and Watonwan County.


History:  The county was created in 1856 and New Ulm was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was built by Julius Berndt in 1865 at a cost of $2,964. The second courthouse was built in 1873 at a cost of 10,000. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1889 to 1891 at a cost of $12,855. Henry Hanschen did the excavation for $6,740 and C A Ochs constructed the basement for $6,565.




County Courthouse – New Ulm


























County District Court courtroom

























Photos taken 2007 and 2019