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Cottonwood County

Cottonwood County is named for the Cottonwood River which is a translation of “waraju”, the Dakota name for “river”, reflecting the abundance of the trees on its banks.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Redwood County and Brown County

E – Brown County and Watonwan County

S – Jackson County

W – Murray County


Created:  May 23, 1857                          Map of Minnesota highlighting Cottonwood County

County Seat:

Windom  1870 – present


County Courthouse – Windom


Location:  900   3rd Avenue / 10th Street

Built:  1903 – 1904

Style:  Classical Renaissance Revival

Architect:  O’Meyer and Thori of Saint Paul

Contractor:  Jacob B Nelsen of North Mankato


Description:  The building faces south and is a two story brick, stone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Windom. The basement is red colored sandstone and the upper stories are buff colored brick. Identical grand pedimented porticoes on the north and south are supported by two pairs of Corinthian columns with spread eagles in their capitals. The building is crowned with an octagonal drum, which supports a segmented dome two stories above the roof level. A figure of Justice stands on top. Shallow segmented domes painted silver, top the four large corner pavilions. Inside is a two story rotunda with murals. The interior face of the dome is divided into four tympani each bearing individual allegorical subjects; i.e. “government”, “justice”, “freedom of the press”, and “freedom of religion”. The short legs of the octagon bear emblems relating to history, art, government, and science. These are the work of the artist L.A. Thiel. The entire interior decoration was undertaken under the supervision of Odin J. Oyen of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, who personally executed the gold-leaf embellished mural of “Justice” above the bench in the second story County District Court courtroom. This mural is patterned after the painting “Justice” in the Palace of Justice in Paris. The building houses the County District Court of the 7th Judicial District.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Cottonwood County Courthouse


See:  The 5th Judicial District includes Blue Earth County, Brown County, Faribault County, Jackson County, Lincoln County, Lyon CountyMartin County, Murray CountyNicolett CountyNobles CountyPipestone County, Redwood CountyRock County and Watonwan County.


History:  The county was created in 1857 and Windom was selected as the county seat in 1870. The first courthouse was built in 1872 at a cost of $2,916.62. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1903 to 1904 at a cost of $60,000.



County Courthouse – Windom

















County District Court courtroom









Photos taken 2007 and 2017