Cottonwood County, MN

County in Southern MN

Cottonwood County was organized July 29, 1870. It was named for the Cottonwood River, which touches the northeast corner of Germantown Township in Cottonwood County. The river was named for the abundance of cottonwood trees on its banks.

At the time of the organization, Minnesota Governor Austin appointed three county commissioners. Their first meeting was held at a private home located about six miles northwest of Windom on the Des Moines River at Big Bend. 

At this meeting, the commissioner districts were designated and various county officers were changed. The first general election was held in the fall of 1870 so some of these officials changed at that time. 

The first deed on record was filed January 10, 1870 and the first land assessments were made in 1871. The first taxes were paid in 1872. 

In 1872, Windom was declared the county seat in the general election and a proclamation was signed by the governor. A small wooden building located at 355 9th Street was rented by the commissioners for offices. Later, the county moved to a rented two-story wooden building at 862 4th Avenue.

A permanent wooden structure was built in 1883. It was two stories high and measured 36 feet by 50 feet. The building was north of the present jail. The cost was $2,916.62. 

On August 21, 1903, $50,000 was appropriated for courthouse construction. The commissioners traded Block 23, except for the jail, for Block 13. Block 13 contained a park with a bandstand in the center. The grounds were quite low and at times it became a virtual duck pond. Workmen filled the pond with 362 loads of dirt at a cost of $120.66. 

Architects were asked to submit plans and the commissioners spent two days looking over the plans. O'Meyer and Thori, who had been the architects for the Hutton and Quevli buildings in Windom, were engaged. In Nordimedendene i Amerika (Norwegians in America) by Martin Ulvestad, Thori was described as "master of the saw". 

The architects were paid $1,175.: when the plans and specifications were delivered, they were paid $500; when the walls were plastered, they were paid $250; and, when the building was finished, they were paid $425. 

J.B. Nelson of North Mankato was hired as contractor on March 22, 1904 at a bid price of $59,949. The actual cost was $35,000 plus $5,200 for filling and grading the grounds. In 1905, $35,000 was borrowed from the State of Minnesota on a 20 year repayment schedule to pay for the remaining courthouse debt. 

Sponsors of Cottonwood County, MN

Since the founding of our communities, organizations, businesses and citizens have stepped forward to build and serve their community. Click on any of the logos below to learn about those who made this website possible! If you would like to learn about becoming a sponsor CLICK HERE!

Towns of Cottonwood County, MN

The small towns of the Midwest are rich in history and a great way of life! Below you can visit and learn about the small towns we call home! Towns that have their name highlighted have become FEATURED TOWNS. Businesses/organizations from these towns have stepped forward as SPONSORS enabling us to include (or will include as acquired) stories and website links to ALL their community organizations (chambers, groups and departments, etc.), stories and website links to ALL their points of interest, annual festivals/events and stories done about their citizens, veterans and faith community. To learn how to become a featured town CLICK HERE!

Events of Cottonwood County, MN

The small towns of the Midwest have long shared pride in their communities through festivals and events! Citizens from each community, working together, continue to offer entertainment options that not only appeal to their citizens, but visitors to their community! Below you will find festivals and events you are sure to want to attend! If you would like to have (DST) include an annual festival or event on your town and county page CLICK HERE!

Points of Interest of Cottonwood County, MN

The communities of the Midwest have a lifestyle unique to their region — rich in history and points of interest like no other! Below you will find points of interest you are sure to want to visit! To nominate a landmark, historic location, museum, etc. as a point of interest on your county and region page CLICK HERE!

Veterans of Cottonwood County, MN

Veterans come from many walks of life and whether a veteran has severed two decades ago or two days ago, they have made our freedoms possible. Below you will find stories about many who have served. If you would like to nominate a veteran to be included on your town and county page CLICK HERE!