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Jefferson County Courthouse

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1891–1893, H. C. Koch and Company. Briggs St. between Main and Court streets
  • Jefferson County Courthouse (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

A courthouse was built in 1839, at the time Fairfield was established as the county seat. By tradition this structure has been considered to be the first wood-frame building in the state. This first courthouse was replaced by a stone-and-brick building that was finished in 1851. The Milwaukee architect H. C. Koch, who designed a number of courthouses in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Kansas, provided an up-to-date version of the Richardsonian Romanesque. The architect countered the verticality of his design by providing a light-colored sandstone base that is carried through the first floor of the building; above this the walls are sheathed in dark red Saint Louis pressed brick. The design originally centered on a corner clock tower which was 142 feet high, but the top of the tower was removed in 1948.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Jefferson County Courthouse", [Fairfield, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Iowa, David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 324-324.

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