In 1863, Preston businessmen and other citizens developed a courthouse building association and that same year, construction of a courthouse began. Thanks to materials and labor donations from local residents, the courthouse was built at little expense to Fillmore County.
The 51-foot square, brick, hip-roofed, two-story building was completed in 1864. The courtroom occupied the entire second floor. The building was built in the then-popular Italian villa with modillioned and bracketed cornices and lacy iron cresting at the roof line. In 1885, two compatible wings were added and changes were made in the main building.
A few years later, a wide balconied porch was added at the front and a narrow domed tower replaced the small belvedere. The stylistic effect became classic Georgian. Original local red brick was painted in a checkerboard pattern in 1938. The courthouse is pictured above in 1949.
The current Fillmore County Courthouse was built in 1958 and the old courthouse was razed.
An extensive remodeling of the 1958 structure was completed in 2004. Included in the 2004 update was an annex providing the courts with new space. The courtroom was also renovated and now provides state-of-the-art video and audio presentation systems for courtroom participants.
This photograph shows the Fillmore County Courthouse in 1920.
The courthouse as it originally looked. This photo was taken in 1865.
Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."
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