Decatur County

US States / H-L / Iowa / Decatur County
Decatur

Decatur County is named for Stephen Decatur, Jr., who was a hero in the War of 1812.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Clarke County

E – Wayne County

S – Mercer County, Missouri and Harrison County, Missouri 

W – Ringgold County

 

Created:  January 13, 1846                    Map of Iowa highlighting Decatur County

County Seat:

Leon  1846 – present

 

County Courthouse – Leon

 

Location:  207 North Main Street / Northeast 2nd Street

Built:  1907 – 1908

Style:  Italianate

Architect:  Smith, Wetherell & Gage

Contractor:  Lauritzen Bros

 

Description:  The building faces west and is a three story red colored brick, iron, steel, stone, tile, marble and granite structure. The  building is located on the landscaped grounded of the Courthouse Square in the center of Leon. The foundation of the building is horizontal white colored stone with the entrance trimmed with stone on the first story. Above the entrance is a large window trimmed with stone. The east and west sections at the front project from the main building and wings extend east and west at the building center. Atop the roof is a high brick clock tower with open arched windows and topped by a silver colored dome. The clock has four faces. The roof is hipped.  In the interior, the corridors form a cruciform plan with the center located under the dome. Dual staircases ascend from the first story to the third story where a round ceiling is below the clock tower. The County Magistrate Court courtroom is located on the north side of the second story. The County District Court courtroom is located on the northeast side of the third story. The courtroom has wood paneled walls. The building houses the County District Court of the 5A Judicial District. The superintendent during construction was J A Wilson.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Decatur County Courthouse

 

See:  The 5B Judicial District includes Adair County. Clarke CountyLucas County, Ringold County, Taylor CountyUnion County and Wayne County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1846 and Leon was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was log structure built in 1851 at a cost of $375. The second courthouse was a small frame structure destroyed by a windstorm and the third courthouse was destroyed by fire on March 31, 1874. The fourth courthouse was constructed in 1875 at a cost of $20,000. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1907 to 1908.

 

 

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County Courthouse – Leon

 

 

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County District Court courtroom

 

 

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Photos taken 2008 and 2024