Winnebago County was named to honor the Winnebago Indian tribe that resided in the area.

The county was established in the year 1851. The earliest white settler of Winnebago County was George W. Thomas in 1855. In the fall of 1857 Robert Clark was appointed as county judge, C.H. Day as recorder and treasurer, B.F. Denslow as the clerk of court, John S. Blowers as sheriff, and C.W. Scott as the superintendent of schools and surveyor.

The first and only county seat of Winnebago County is Forest City. Forest City was platted in 1856 by Robert Clark. It was named because of the plentiful amount of timber found in the area.

The first courthouse was located on the courthouse square. It was a log cabin that consisted of two rooms. A petition was circulated in 1860 for a larger, more appropriate structure. Shortly after, $20,000 in bonds was sold for the construction of a new building. Conservative members of the board opposed such an expensive building. Consequently, a less expensive building was built.

This courthouse was replaced in 1896 with a Romanesque style building made of red brick and trimmed with stone constructed by Kinney & Orth and contractor F.A. Gross. At a cost of $20,496 the construction of this building was completed on January 6, 1897.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Winnebago County has a total area of 402 square miles of which 400 square miles are land and 1 square mile is water, and the population of the county was 10,602 in the year 2009.


Buffalo Center

Buffalo Center City Hall
314 1st Ave NW
PO Box 430
Buffalo Center, Ia 50424
(641) 562-2505

North Iowa Community School
111 3rd Ave NW
Buffalo Center, Ia 50424
(641) 562-2525

Forest City, City Hall
305 N Clark St.
Forest City, Ia 50436
(641) 585-3574

Forest City Community Schools

Elementary School
1405 W I St
Forest City, Ia 50436
(641) 585-2670

Middle School
216 W School St
Forest City, Ia 50436
(641) 585-4772

High School
206 W School St
Forest City, Ia 50436
(641) 585-2324

Forest City Christian School
305 Walnut St
Forest City, Ia 50436
(641) 585-3233
[email protected]

Lake Mills, City Hall
105 W Main
Lake Mills, Ia 50450
(641) 592-3251
[email protected]

Lake Mills Community Schools
Elementary School
102 S 4th Ave E
Lake Mills, Ia 50450
(641) 592-1882

Middle School
102 S 4th Ave E
Lake Mills, Ia 50450
(641) 592-0894

High School
102 S 4 th Ave E
Lake Mills, Ia 50450
(641) 592-0893

Leland City Hall
316 Walnut St
Leland, Ia 50453
(641) 567-3330

Rake Town Hall
101 E Grace St
Rake, Ia 50465
(641) 566-3735

Scarville City Clerk

Thompson City Hall
167 2nd Ave W
Thompson, Ia 50478
(641) 584-2785