Steele County is named for Franklin Steele, who was a prominent Minneapolis pioneer and businessman and member of the first board of regents of the University of Minnesota.
Created: February 20, 1855
Owatonna 1855 – present
County Courthouse – Owatonna
Location: 111 East Main Street / South Cedar Avenue
Built: 1890 – 1891
Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: T D Allen of Minneapolis
Contractor: Leck and McLeod
Description: The building faces north and is a three story red colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the city. Built of Austin red colored brick set with red mortar, and trimmed with Lake Superior brown stone, the 115 foot by 86 foot building rises above a full basement. Coupled arches supported by polished granite columns protect the north and south entrances. A large sculpture representing Mercy, Law and Justice is set in a niche above the north entrance. On the northwest corner, the main tower rises five stories to its pyramidal cap with a clock on each side, as well as minarets and gables. A low circular tower is on the northeast corner and on the southwest corner is a minor square tower and roof ridges emphasized with title crowns. The interior has an ornate oak staircase, wainscoting and woodwork. A two story brick addition was added at the rear in 1975 to 1976.
Note: The building was damaged by a water leak in January 2017 and is undergoing repair. The contractor is Rocon Inc.
County Administration Center – Owatonna
Location: 630 Florence Avenue / Ronglein Lane
Built: 1994 – 1996
Architect: Station Nineteen Architects Inc. of Minneapolis
Contractor: A J Lysne Contracting Corporation
Description: The building faces east and is a three story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds to the north of the center of the city..sloping down on the west side. On the southeast and northeast corners are entrances on the second story. The entrances are recessed. The windows are horizontal and the roof line is flat.
N – Rice County
E – Dodge County
S – Freeborn County
W – Waseca County
Photos taken 2008, 2017 and 2019