The Indian name, Nodaway, means "Placid River". In 1845 Nodaway County began self-government. Nodaway County is the 5th largest county in the state of Missouri covering 878 square miles with 1,119 miles of roadway. In 1847 the first courthouse in Nodaway County was completed and stood on the south end of Maryville. The first courthouse lasted until 1853, when it was apparent that a larger and better building was needed. In July of that year the county court ordered a building built. The brick two-story building was put in town square with the jail beside it. By 1880, the jail was condemned and the small courthouse was not the proper structure for the fast growing county. A jail was built on East Fourth Street and work began on the present courthouse in 1881.