The construction of courthouse buildings in Ottumwa followed the usual course within the state: the initial use of a log cabin, then construction of a two-story frame building, next the building of a brick courthouse (in 1855, in this case), and eventually the erection of the present building (1892–1893). In plan the building is basically a square, with pavilions projecting slightly on each side. A square corner tower originally dominated the building, but with the removal of this tower and its clock faces in 1950 the statue of Chief Wapello on the apex of the front gable became the most eye-catching feature of the structure. The building is sheathed in roughcut sandstone blocks, the heaviness of its masonry enhanced by the apron treatment of stone at its base.
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Wapello County Courthouse
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