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Steele County

Steele County is named for Franklin Steele, who was a prominent Minneapolis pioneer and businessman and member of the first board of regents of the University of Minnesota.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Rice County

E – Dodge County

S – Freeborn County

W – Waseca County


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

County Seat:

Owatonna  1855 – present


County Courthouse – Owatonna


Location:  111 East Main Street / South Cedar Avenue

Built:  1890 – 1891

Style:  Romanesque Revival

Architect:  Truman Dudley Allen of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Contractor:  Leck and McLeod


Description:  The building faces north and is a three story red colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Owatonna . Built of Austin red colored brick set with red colored mortar, and trimmed with Lake Superior brown stone, the 115 foot by 86 foot building rises above a full basement. Coupled arches supported by polished granite columns protect the north and south entrances. A large sculpture representing Mercy, Law and Justice is set in a niche above the north entrance. On the northwest corner, the main tower rises five stories to its pyramidal cap with a clock on each side, as well as minarets and gables. A low circular tower is on the northeast corner and on the southwest corner is a minor square tower and roof ridges emphasized with title crowns. The interior has an ornate oak staircase, wainscoting and woodwork. The County District Court courtroom is located on the second story. The building houses the County District Court of the 3rd Judicial District.  A two story brick addition was added at the rear in 1975 to 1976.


Note:  The building was damaged by a water leak in January 2017 and was repaired. The contractor was Rocon Inc.


See:  The architect Truman Dudley Allen of Minneapolis, Minnesota also designed courthouses in Franklin County and Hardin CountyIowa. Blue Earth County and Rock CountyMinnesota, Medina County, Ohio and Richland CountyWisconsin.


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


History:  The county was created in 1855 and Owatonna was selected as the county seat. The court first met in a store as the first courthouse in 1856. In 1874, a one story brick structure was completed as the second courthouse and office at a cost of $5000. The building stood at 139 East Main Street. The court was held at that time on the second story of a building on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Vine Street. The present and third courthouse was constructed in 1890 to 1891 at a cost of $30,000.


County Administration Center – Owatonna



Location:  630 Florence Avenue / Ronglein Lane

Built:  1994 – 1996

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Station Nineteen Architects Inc. of Minneapolis

Contractor:  A J Lysne Contracting Corporation



Description:  The building faces east and is a three story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds to the north of the center of .Owatonna.sloping down on the west side. On the southeast and northeast corners are entrances on the second story. The entrances are recessed. The windows are horizontal and the roof line is flat. 



County Courthouse – Owatonna  














County District Court courtroom











County Administration Center – Owatonna  













Photos taken 2008, 2017 and 2019