Watonwan County

US States / M / Minnesota / Watonwan County
Watonwan

Watonwan County is named for the Watonwan River which name comes from the Dakota word “watanwan” meaning “where fish bait abounds”.

 

Surrounding Courthouses: 

N – Brown County

E – Blue Earth County

S – Martin County

W – Cottonwood County 

 

Created:  February 25,1860                   Map of Minnesota highlighting Watonwan County

County Seat:

Madelia     1860 – 1878

St. James  1878 – present

 

County Courthouse – St. James

 

Location:  710 2nd Avenue South / 7th Street South

Built:  1895 – 1896

Style:  Richardsonian Romanesque Revival

Architect:  H C Gerlach

Contractor:  Otto Kleinschmidt of Mankato

 

Description:  The building faces north and is a two story red colored brick and Indiana limestone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of St. James. The building has asymmetric features, towers and pavilions. Marble pillars at the front support three arches of limestone. The roof is hipped. The interior has fireplaces in some offices, tile floors in the corridors, and red colored oak wainscoting, trim, stairways, counters, and furniture. The second floor courtroom has a recessed dome with large chandelier. The hallways are of rust and white polished tile. The building was remodeled in 1950. Additions were added in 1972 and 1981.On the northeast side is the Courthouse Annex.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Watonwan County Courthouse

 

Old County Courthouse – Madelia

 

Location:  30 West Main Street / Abbott Avenue SW

Built:  1872 – 1873

Style:  Commercial

Architect:  Joseph Flanders

Contractor:  Joseph Flanders

 

Description:  The building faces north and is a two story buff colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Madelia. The north front has large arched windows on the first story and smaller arched windows on the second story. The roof line is flat. The building served as the second county courthouse from 1872 to 1874.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Flanders Block – Madelia

 

History:  The county was created in 1860 and Madelia was designated as the county seat. The first courthouse was a frame structure built in 1861. The courthouse burned in 1872 and the county leased the Flanders Block built in 1872 as the second courthouse, which building is still standing. The county seat was moved to St. James in 1874 and the third courthouse, a wood frame structure, was erected on land donated by the railway. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1895 to 1896 at a cost of $33,000.

 

                                

0116i08

County Courthouse – St. James

 

 

457i12

 

 

454i12

 

 

455i12

 

 

456i12

 

 

425m17

 

 

427m17

 

 

429m17

 

 

430m17

 

 

431m17

 

 

433m17

 

 

434m17

 

 

435m17

 

 

436m17

 

 

437m17

 

 

458i12

 

 

439m17

County Courthouse Annex – St. James

 

 

440m17

Photos taken 2008, 2012 and 2017