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Monona County


Monona County is named for the Native American word meaning “beautiful valley”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Woodbury County

E – Crawford County

S – Harrison County

W – Burt County, Nebraska and Thurston County, Nebraska


Created:  January 15, 1851                    Map of Iowa highlighting Monona County

County Seat:

Ashton  1851 – 1858

Onawa   1858 – present


County Courthouse – Onawa


Location:  610 Iowa Avenue / 7th Street

Built:  1891 – 1892

Style:  Romanesque Revival and Victorian

Architect:  S E Maxon

Contractor:  P H Wind


Description: The building faces south and is a two story red colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Onawa. At the south center of the building is a square brick tower with pyramid roof. The tower extends from the building and at the base is a wide arch with stone trim. Above the entrance is a large arched window with three windows on the third story. Decorative metal panels are located in the gable ends and wall dormers. On the hipped roof is a high square red colored brick tower with pyramid roof. Single-story additions were built onto three sides of the building. The interior features a Murton tile floor and an ornate wood staircase. The County District Court courtroom is located on the north side of the first story of the addition and has brick walls and the original railings from the old courtroom. Also on the first story of the addition is a small courtroom. The building houses the County District Court of the 3B Judicial District. The addition was constructed in 1981. The architect was Duffy, Mannes and Brygger and the contractor was Peteren Construction Company. On the north side of the building is the County Public Safety Center.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Monona County Courthouse


See:  The 3B Judicial District includes Crawford County, Ida CountyPlymouth CountySioux County and Wodbury County.


History:  The county was created in 1851 and Ashton was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse after 1851 was the Mechanics Hall. The county seat was moved to Onawa in 1858. The second courthouse was a frame structure built by the Monona Land Company at a cost of $7,000. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1891 to 1892.



County Courthouse – Onawa



















County District Court courtroom















Small courtroom









County Public Safety Center – Onawa

Photos taken 2008 and 2023