The first Muscatine County Courthouse was constructed of brick in 1840, three years after the county was established but six years before Iowa became a state. The courthouse was replaced by a two-story brick building in 1867, constructed at a cost of $29,000. The present building was completed in 1910 and features a limestone exterior, Corinthian columns, and an iconic clock tower. The courthouse was one of two Beaux-Arts buildings in Muscatine designed by Joseph E. Mills and Sons of Detroit.
The first seat of Chickasaw County was the unincorporated community of Bradford, with a log courthouse constructed to hold early county records. Three years later, in 1857, the city of New Hampton was platted; its location in the geographic center of the county led to the designation of county seat within a decade. The first small frame courthouse was finished in 1865, but destroyed by fire fifteen years later.
The second courthouse in New Hampton was built with stone and brick and opened in 1881. It served residents until 1929, when the current courthouse opened. The three-story building features a Bedford limestone exterior.
In 1872, construction began on the second Kossuth County Courthouse, which featured a 72-foot high tower constructed at a cost of $40,000. By the 1930s, though, the building was labeled a fire hazard by numerous grand jury inspections. The building was structurally sound, but constantly-oiled wood floors, piles of paper records in the basement, and general deterioration made the building vulnerable to fire.
Following the second World War, the board of supervisors called for an election to issue $500,000 worth of bonds to construct a new courthouse. A vote was taken September 9, 1947, and carried with a 2-to-1 margin. High material costs prevented immediate construction, giving the county time to carefully consider plans for the new building. An architect was hired in 1952 after the board determined further use of the 1872 building was out of question.
Plans were drawn, and a construction bids were accepted in early 1953. By spring, county offices were moved to a temporary quarters and the old courthouse was torn down. Construction on the new Kossuth County Courthouse began in August 1953, and the facility was ready to be occupied by March 1955. The building’s exterior consists of light brick with steel-enforced concrete and accenting stone.
The old courthouse and hand-carved “Court House 1872″ stone were preserved from the old building. They are mounted on the east part of the square.
The cornerstone of the present Adair County Courthouse was laid in downtown Greenfield on July 4, 1891. The cornerstone features historical items including a bible; bottles of wine, corn, and oil; the history of Greenfield; and a letter to be opened by the oldest man present when removed. The $27,000 courthouse was designed by S.E. Maxon of Council Bluffs, the firm which also designed the Fremont County Courthouse in Sidney.
Delaware County was established in 1837 when Dubuque County was divided into a number of smaller counties. Shortly after, Delhi was chosen as the county seat with the first log courthouse constructed in the winter of 1843. After two larger courthouse buildings, and several elections, a vote on November 2, 1880, named Manchester the county seat. Following this election, Manchester citizens quickly constructed a two-story frame courthouse. The temporary structure served the county for a decade before the current facility was constructed in 1894. A clock tower was added the following year, thanks to contributions from 700 county residents.