Cherokee was chosen as the town seat of Cherokee County in northwest Iowa in 1861. By 1864, the county’s first courthouse was erected in Cherokee, a square, frame building constructed from local black walnut logs. As the building aged and more space was needed, the initial proposal to construct a new courthouse failed on the ballot in 1881. The vote was favorable 10 years later and the second courthouse, constructed with brick, limestone, granite, and slate, was completed in 1892. This Romanesque-style building was torn down in early 1965 to allow construction of a modern, split-level courthouse for Cherokee County. Construction on the $500,000 facility was complete in October 1966.