The Nemaha county seat was established at Brownville in March 1855 by the first territorial legislature. Brownville retained the county seat until an 1883 election approved its removal to Auburn, a town formed in 1882 by the merger of the adjacent villages of Sheridan and Calvert. The first courthouse in Auburn was a frame structure at this site. Which soon proved inadequate. A series of elections culminated in 1899 with approval of $40,000 in bonds to build a new courthouse.
That same year the county commissioners accepted a design by Nebraska architect George A. Berlinghof and construction began. Stone was quarried about five miles west of Auburn and brick was produced by a local brickyard. The cornerstone was laid on May 25, 1900, in a ceremony featuring former Nebraska Governer Robert W. Furnas. County offices moved into the new courthouse in December 1900. The symmetrical building with two main entrances, executed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, features corner towers, permanent materials, elaborate ornamentation, and reflects permanence and stability. In 1990 the Nemeha County Courthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.