The first courthouse in the Webster County was constructed in the hamlet of Homer, at the time home to around 600 residents. In the mid 1850s a vote was held which reassigned the county seat title to Fort Dodge. Though accusations of illegal voting and ballot-box stuffing were widespread, the vote held and construction of a new courthouse facility began in Fort Dodge in 1859. The current Courthouse was dedicated in September 1902. In 2001, a two-decade long construction project was completed which included refurbishing of the limestone exterior, indoor restoration and accessibility updates.
The interior of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Duncombe is partially torn apart, with complete demolition scheduled for completion this spring. The decision to demolish the 101-year-old yellow brick church comes after two years on the market without a buyer. The church was one of three Webster County Catholic churches to close in November 2008 due to a lack of priests to serve the area; final mass was held November 16, 2008.
The Fort Dodge Messenger News reports the church congregation was made up of around 70 people at time of closure. The predicted shortage of priests has resulted in a long-term plan to close several additional Webster County churches by 2019, including those in Clare, Dayton, and Moorland.
Constructed in 1959, the Federal Building in Fort Dodge was once home to a multitude of government services ranging from the Social Security Administration to the Mine Safety and Health Administration to the local U.S. Post Office. As chronicled in a 2009 article in the Fort Dodge Messenger, by the late 1990s the fourth floor was empty and third floor courtroom was rarely used.
The Post Office moved from the location in February 2007, rendering the former Federal Building empty. The building has changed hands twice in the last seven years, with each buyer hoping to revive the once-bustling buildings. The most recent plan to lease a first-floor coffee shop and multiple small business offices has fizzled.