Buchanan County

US States / H-L / Iowa / Buchanan County

Buchanan County is named for James Buchanan, who was the fifteenth President of the United States.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Fayette County

E – Delaware County

S – Linn County and Benton County

W – Black Hawk County


Created:  December 21, 1837                Map of Iowa highlighting Buchanan County

County Seat:

Independence  1837 – present


County Courthouse – Independence


Location:  210 5th Avenue NE / 2nd Street NE

Built:  1938 – 1939

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:   Dougher, Rich & Woodburn of Des Moines

Contractor:   C C Larsen & Sons Company of Council Bluffs


Description: The building faces west and is a three story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Independence. The building is rectangular shaped and has five large windows on the second and third stories of the west front. Low wings extend on the south and north sides of the building. In the interior, the front entrance vestibule has two levels with the floor and steps covered in a pinkish gray colored marble. The walls are covered from floor to ceiling in polished Anamosa limestone squares. Fluted polished stone pilasters are located to either side of the front entrance doors. The central staircase is located midway along the east wall of the central corridor opposite the front entrance. The courtroom is located on the west side of the second story. The benches and all other wood elements in the courtroom are likely American walnut. A 5-foot tall wood paneled wainscoting set on a dark marble baseboard extends around the perimeter of the room. Above the wainscoting along the west side, the walls are finished with wide vertical strips of textured plaster painted dark red alternating with acoustic tile laid in wide vertical panels. The building houses the County District Court of the 1B Judicial District. 


See:  The architect Dougher, Rich & Woodburn of Des Moines also designed courthouse in Cass CountyHumboldt County, Jones CountyKossuth County and Scott County.


See:  The contractor C C Larsen & Sons Company of Council Bluffs also constructed courthouse in Cass County and Jones County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Buchanan County Courthouse


See:  The 1B Judicial District includes Black Hawk County, Chichasaw CountyFayette CountyGrundy County and Howard County.


History:  The county was created in 1837 and Independence was selected as the county seat in 1847. The first courthouse was a small wood structure built in 1847. The second courthouse was a brick structure built in 1857 at a cost of $10,000. The third courthouse was a two story structure built in 1888 at a cost of $7,500. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1938 to 1939 at a cost of $254,000.




County Courthous – Independence



















Photos taken 2008