Dawson County

US States / N / Nebraska / Dawson County

Dawson County is named for Jacob Dawson, the first postmaster in present-day Lincoln, the state capitol.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Custer County

E – Buffalo County

S – Phelps CountyGosper County and Frontier County

W – Lincoln County


Created:  February 17, 1877                  Map of Nebraska highlighting Dawson County

County Seat:

Lexington  1877 – present


County Courthouse – Lexington 


Location:  200 North Washington Street / West 7th Street

Built:  1913 – 1914

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  William F Gernandt of Omaha

Contractor:  Falls City Construction Company of Louisville, Kentucky


Description:  The building faces west and is a three story brownish colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Lexington. The basement of the rectangular shaped building is rusticated Bedford limestone. The west front has horizontal stonework on the first story with brownish colored brick on the upper stories. The center section projects with four columns rising from the second story to the top of the third story where there is a decorative cornice rising to decorative parapets with statues and a stone balustrade. An important feature are the elaborate pavilions centered on the north, south, and west facades. The primary or west facade is by far the most embellished and features paired smooth stone engaged columns resting on very high rusticated stone pedestals. The columns support a unique and heavy cornice that undulates between the pairs of columns. The windows are framed with stone. The roof line is flat. In the interior at the entry foyer, steps lead down to the ground story or up to the first story corridor. County offices are ranged off three sides of this narrow lobby, and vaults of varying size are located in the four corners of the building. Interior features are relatively simple and include Georgia marble wainscoting and mopboards, terrazzo flooring, metal banisters and simple newels for the stairs, large single pane transoms over doors, and two attractive large round columns in the second story hall. On the second story, the district courtroom occupies much of the east end of the building. The large courtroom has twelve rows of wood and metal opera seats. The golden oak bar between spectators and the court curves attractively and consists of many small spindles and paneled newels with patterned courses. The wood screen behind the judge’s bench has simple vertical panels and triglyphs and guttae at the corners. The building houses the District Court and County Court of the 11th Judicial District.  A two story addition was constructed in 1955 to 1956. The architect was McNett, Stanage & Company of Grand Island. This addition was further extended in 1980. The architect was Gardner-Young of North Platte. Attached on the west side is the Dawson County Administration Building constructed in 1980.


See:  The courthouse is similar to the courthouse in Webster County.


See:  The architect, William F Gernandt of Omaha, designed courthouses in Clay County, Merrick County, Pawnee County, Phelps County, Polk County, Richardson County, Sarpy CountyValley County and Webster County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Dawson County Courthouse


See:  The 11th Judicial District includes Arthur CountyChase County, Dundy County, Frontier County, Furnas County, Gosper County, Hayes CountyHitchcock County, Hooker CountyKeith CountyLincoln County, Logan CountyMcPherson CountyPerkins County, Red Willow County and Thomas County.


History:  The county was created in 1860 and Lexington ( Plum Creek ) was selected as the county seat in 1871 when the county was organized. The first courthouse was a two story brick structure built by Otto Hanson in 1873 to 1874. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1913 to 1914 at a cost of $90,140.


County Administration Building – Lexington 




Location:  200 North Washington Street / West 7th Street

Built:  1979 – 1980

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Gardner / Young Architects  Inc.

Contractor:  Weaver Construction


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds along the east side of the courthouse in the center of Lexington. There are vertical windows with red colored panels between. The courthouse is connected on the west side. The roof line is flat.




County Courthouse - Lexington 

























County Administration Building – Lexington







Photos taken 2010