Watonwan County is named for the Watonwan River which name comes from the Dakota word “watanwan” meaning “where fish bait abounds”.
Created: February 25,1860
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 and has asymmetric features, towers and pavilions. Marble pillars at the front support three arches of limestone. The second floor courtroom has a recessed dome with large chandelier. The hallways are of rust and white colored polished tile. The building was remodeled in 1950. Additions were added in 1972 and 1981. On the northeast side is the Courthouse Annex.
N – Brown County
S – Martin County
Photos taken 2008, 2012 and 2017