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.