There are not many records in existence from the early days of Winnebago County, but it is known that the first courthouse, which was petitioned by the voters, was planned to cost $20,000. Little work was done on the building and eventually the board of supervisors disapproved of the courthouse plans for being too extravagant. The contractor built a smaller and cheaper courthouse.
Construction began on the present courthouse in 1894 and was completed in 1896. The building is made of brick and has a tall clock tower. The courthouse cost approximately $25,000 to erect.