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Houston County

Houston County is named for Sam Houston, who was a Texas politician.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Winona County

E – La Crosse County, Wisconsin and Vernon County, Wisconsin

S – Allamakee County, Iowa and Winneshiek County, Iowa

W – Fillmore County

 

Created:  February 23, 1854                  Map of Minnesota highlighting Houston County

County Seat:

Caledonia  1855 – present

 

County Courthouse – Caledonia

 

Location:  304  South Marshall Street / Washington Street

Built:  1883 – 1885

Style:  Romanesque

Architect:  Maybury and Sons of Winona

Contractor:  Noonan and Stellwager

 

Description:  The building faces east and is a two story brown colored rough limestone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Caledonia. The east front has a recessed entrance trimmed with stone on the first story. Above rises a high square stone tower with peaked roof. The building extends outwards on the north and south sides. In the interior, the building contains five chandeliers and ornamental woodwork. The former courtroom, now the Commissioner’s Meeting Room,  is located on the west side of the second story. In 1965 and 1966, an annex was added. The contractor was Nelson Construction Company of Caledonia. In 1977, another larger addition was added on the north side. The contractor was Kratt, Meyer and Lachecki of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

 

Note:  The cost of the 1965 and 1966 annex was $41,140. In 1977, the cost of the addition was $514,548. The existing courthouse was remodeled at a cost of $274,992. The courtroom was moved to the opposite side of the building along with the original oak rail, judge’s bench, clerk’s desk, and jury box. Unused chimneys were also removed.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Houston County Courthouse and Jail

 

County Justice Center – Caledonia

 

 

Location:  304  South Marshall Street / Washington Street

Built:  2017 – 2018

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Klein McCarthy Group

Contractor:  Knutson Construction Services

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a one story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Caledonia on the east side of the courthouse. The building has a projecting square concrete tower at the south side with the main entrance. The windows are narrow and vertical. The roof line is flat. The courtrooms are located along the east side of the second story. The building houses the County District Court of the 3rd Judicial District. On the second story are two murals from the old courthouse. The building contains the jail with the old 1875 Jail on the northwest. 

 

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

 

History:  The county was created in 1854 and Caledonia was selected as the county seat in 1855. The first courthouse was built in 1857 and the second courthouse was built in 1868 at a cost of $2,000. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1883 to 1885 at a cost of $60,000. The County Justice Center was constructed in 2017 to 2018 at a cost of $17,360,000 including the new jail.

 

 

County Courthouse – Caledonia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissioner’s Meeting Room ( former courtroom )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Justice Center – Caledonia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County District Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County District Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old County Jail – Caledonia

 

 

Photos taken 2008 and 2019