After much controversy, a two-story courthouse was constructed in the now-non-existent hamlet of Butler Center in 1860 at a cost of $2,000. Though the Courthouse operated in Butler Center for twenty years, the village contained few businesses and was described in an 1875 atlas a place without “commercial or other importance.” Several communities, including Clarksville, Bristow and Shell Rock, sought to obtain county seat status, but it was ultimately awarded to the town of Allison and a new courthouse was in place in January 1881.
Several additions were made to the courthouse to keep up with the county’s growing needs, but by the late 1950s the building developed inadequacies and structural cracks. The board of supervisors state the building was beyond repair and finally, after three failed bond elections, in May 1973, a proposal to construct a new $940,000 courthouse passed with 72% approval. Construction began on April 14, 1974, and the new Butler County Courthouse was formally dedicated on December 14, 1975.