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.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Rice County
E – Dodge County
S – Freeborn County
W – Waseca County
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: Truman Dudley Allen of Minneapolis, Minnesota
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 Owatonna . Built of Austin red colored brick set with red colored 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. The courtroom is located on the second story. 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 was Rocon Inc.
See: The architect Truman Dudley Allen of Minneapolis, Minnesota also designed courthouses in Franklin County and Hardin County, Iowa. Blue Earth County and Rock County, Minnesota, Medina County, Ohio and Richland County. Wisconsin.
History: The county was created in 1855 and Owatonna was selected as the county seat. The court first met in a store as the first courthouse in 1856. In 1874, a one story brick structure was completed as the second courthouse and office at a cost of $5000. The building stood at 139 East Main Street. The court was held at that time on the second story of a building on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Vine Street. The present and third courthouse was constructed in 1890 to 1891 at a cost of $30,000.
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 .Owatonna.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.
County Courthouse - Owatonna
County Administration - Owatonna
Photos taken 2008, 2017 and 2019