Buffalo County

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Buffalo County is named for the Buffalo River which was named in 1680 by Father Hennepin as the French voyagers called it “Riviere des Boeuf” meaning  “Buffalo”.


Created:  July 8, 1853

County Seat: 

Alma  1853 – present


County Courthouse – Alma


Location:  407 2nd Street / Swift Street

Built:  1961 – 1962

Style:  Modern

Architect:  The Cerny Associates, Inc of St. Paul, Minnesota

Contractor:  Alvin Benike of Rochester, Minnesota


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story brown colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the city. The first story along the west side and north side are recessed with square concrete pillars forming a long porch. The courtroom is located on the west side of the second story and the hearing room is located on the east side of the second story. At the south end, the building is dark red colored brick and is three stories. This addition was added in 1988. The architect was W F Smith Architectural & Engineering Services Inc. of Winona and the contractor was Hoeppner Building Corporation of Eau Claire.


Note:  The first courthouse in 1854 was the Goerke House built in Fountain City in 1853. The court moved to the Eagle Hotel. The county seat was moved to Alma in 1859 and the Val Mueller Store served as temporary courthouse until 1888 when the previous courthouse was constructed by Roettiger & Company in 1888.


Former County Courthouse – Alma




Location:  105 North Main Street / Cedar Street

Built:  1855

Style:  Federal

Architect:  W H Gates

Contractor:  AW H Gates


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building is located in the center of the city. The east front has an iron balcony on the second story. The building  was originally constructed as a storefront building in 1855 and was used as a temporary courthouse starting in 1859 when the seat of Buffalo County was relocated from Fountain City to Alma. Eventually, a newer courthouse was built in 1888, and this building was expanded as the Val Mueller Store in 1897 and remains one of the oldest buildings in Alma.



Old County Courthouse – Fountain City




Location:  125 South Hill Street / Eagle Street

Built:  1853

Style:  Federal

Architect:  Henry Goerke

Contractor:  Henry Goerke


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story red colored brick and wood Federal style structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the city on the slope of a hill overlooking the Mississippi River on the west side. The east front has a central entrance with a one story addition on the south side.  The roof is hipped. The west side has a white colored wood porch on the first story of the house and the addition. The building is named as the Henry Goerke House and is privately owned.


Note:  The house served as the first courthouse in 1854. The court moved to the Eagle Hotel until the county seat was moved to Alma in 1859.



N – Pepin County and Eau Claire County

E – Trempealeau County

S – Winona County 

W – Wabasha County, Minnesota and Pepin County





County Courthouse


















































Former County Courthouse – Alma













Old County Courthouse – Fountain City







Photos taken 2007 and 2019