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Freeborn County

Freeborn County is named for William Freeborn, who was a member of the council in the territorial legislature from 1854 to 1857 and the second Mayor of Red Wing in 1858.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Waseca County and Steele County

E – Mower County

S – Worth County, Iowa and Winnebago County, Iowa

W – Faribault County


Created:  February 20, 1855                  Map of Minnesota highlighting Freeborn County

County Seat:

Albert Lea  1855 – present


County Courthouse – Albert Lea


Location:  411 South Broadway Avenue / East College Street

Built:  1887 – 1888

Style:  Richardsonian Romanesque

Architect:  C A Dunham of Burlington, Iowa

Contractor:  Alexander McNeill of Albert Lea


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Albert Lea. The building is an adaptation of the popular monumental style with a great tower and sculptured “dogs” that seem to leap from the building. The building is 74 feet by 104 feet constructed of red brick, red sandstone and Kasota limestone. The interior has quarter-sawed oak woodwork and fireplaces. The first story has a wide hallway and wide wood stairs ascending to the second story. At the north end is the large Commissioner’s Meeting Room which was formerly the courtroom. In 1953 the chimneys and four steeples were eliminated. An addition was added in 1955 and the bell tower was removed. The architect was Bernard Hein and the contractor was John F Hanson. A second addition was added in 1975. The architect was Foss, Englestad and Foss of Fargo, North Dakota and the contractor was Adolphson & Peterson, Inc. of Minneapolis. In 2002 t0 2005, the exterior was renovated to restore the original appearance of the old courthouse. The architect was Boarman Kroos Vogel Group and the contractor was Adolphson & Peterson, Inc. of Minneapolis. The modern south addition was also constructed. The hallway runs north-south with three County District Court courtrooms along the east side. The building houses the County District Court of the 3rd Judicial District.


See:  The 3rd Judicial District includes Dodge CountyFillmore CountyHouston County, Mower County, Olmsted County, Rice County, Steele CountyWabasha County, Waseca County and Winona County.


History:  The county was created in 1855 and Albert Lea was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a two story brick structure built in 1866 at a cost of $4,300. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1887 to 1888 at a cost of $75,000.



County Courthouse – Albert Lea

































Commissioner’s Meeting Room – former courtroom

















County District Court courtroom













County District Court courtroom







County District Court courtroom









Photos taken 2007, 2008 2017 and 2023