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Buffalo County

Buffalo County is named for the Buffalo River which was named in 1680 by Father Hennepin as the French voyagers called it “Riviere des Boeuf” meaning  “Buffalo”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Pepin County and Eau Claire County

E – Trempealeau County

S – Winona County 

W – Wabasha County, Minnesota and Pepin County


Created:  July 8, 1853                            Map of Wisconsin highlighting Buffalo County

County Seat: 

Fountain City  1853 – 1859

Alma               1859 – present


County Courthouse – Alma


Location:  407 2nd Street / Swift Street

Built:  1961 – 1962

Style:  Modern

Architect:  The Cerny Associates, Inc of St. Paul, Minnesota

Contractor:  Alvin Benike of Rochester, Minnesota


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story brown colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Alma. The first story along the west side and north side are recessed with square concrete pillars forming a long porch. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the County Circuit Court courtroom is located on the west side of the second story and the hearing room is located on the east side of the second story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 7th Judicial District. At the south end, the building is dark red colored brick and is three stories. This addition was added in 1988. The architect was W F Smith Architectural & Engineering Services Inc. of Winona and the contractor was Hoeppner Building Corporation of Eau Claire.


Former County Courthouse – Alma



Location:  105 North Main Street / Cedar Street

Built:  1855

Style:  Federal

Architect:  W H Gates

Contractor:  AW H Gates


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building is located in the center of Alma to the north of the courthouse. The east front has an iron balcony on the second story. The building was originally constructed as a storefront building in 1855 and was used as a temporary courthouse starting in 1859 when the seat of Buffalo County was relocated from Fountain City to Alma. Eventually, a newer courthouse was built in 1888, and this building was expanded as the Val Mueller Store in 1897 and remains one of the oldest buildings in Alma.


Old County Courthouse – Fountain City



Location:  125 South Hill Street / Eagle Street

Built:  1853

Style:  Federal

Architect:  Henry Goerke

Contractor:  Henry Goerke


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story red colored brick and wood structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in Fountain City on the slope of a hill overlooking the Mississippi River. The east front has a central entrance with a one story addition on the south side.  The roof is hipped. The west side has a white colored wood porch on the first story of the house and the addition. The building is named as the Henry Goerke House and is privately owned.


See:  The 7th Judicial District includes Adams County, Clark County, Crawford CountyGrant CountyIowa County, Jackson CountyJuneau CountyLa Crosse County, Monroe County, Pepin CountyPierce CountyRichland County, Trempealeau County and Vernon County.


History:  The county was created in 1853 and Fountain City was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse in 1854 was the Henry Goerke house built in 1853 and is still standing. The court moved to the Eagle Hotel which served as the second courthouse. When the county seat was moved to Alma in 1859, the third courthouse in 1861 was a temporary building built in 1855. The fourth courthouse was constructed by Roettiger & Company in 1888. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1961 to 1962.



County Courthouse – Alma


















County Circuit Court courtroom









Hearing Room









Former County Courthouse – Alma









Old County Courthouse – Fountain City





Photos taken 2007 and 2019