Madison County

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

Madison County is named for James Madison, who was the fourth President of the United States of America.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Dallas County

E – Warren County

S – Clarke County and Union County

W – Adair County

 

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

County Seat:

Winterset  1849 – present

 

County Courthouse – Winterset

 

Location:  112 North John Wayne Avenue / Jefferson Street

Built:  1876 – 1878

Style:  Italianate-Revival-Classical

Architect:  Alfred H Piquenard and John C Cochrane

Contractor:  Jacob Reichard

 

Description: The building faces north and is a two story native limestone structure. The building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Winterset. The building has four wings which join to form a Greek cross. The north front has a one story portico supported by eight thin columns with three arched windows on the second story. There is a portico on each wing. On the center of the roof is a silver colored dome with bell, clock and small cupola at the top. The interior has a cross hall plan on the first story and has solid walnut woodwork, wood stairs and tile floors. The County District Court courtroom is located at the center of the second story. The courtroom has wood paneled walls and light colored wood furnishings. The building was restored in 2021 to 2023. The architect was OPN Architects of Des Moines and the contractor was Breiholz Construction Company of Des Moines.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Madison County Courthouse

 

See:  The 5A Judicial District includes Dallas County, Guthrie County, Jasper County, Marion County and Warren County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1846 and Winterset was named as the county seat in 1849. The first courts were held in different stores and taverns. The first courthouse was a double log cabin built in 1849 at a cost of $150. The second courthouse was a gray limestone structure designed by Gurdon Paine Randall of Chicago built in 1868. A fire on October 2, 1875 destroyed the courthouse.  The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1876 to 1877 at a cost of $120,000. The stone was quarried and cut by local laborers.

 

 

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County Courthouse – Winterset

 

 

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County District Court courtroom

 

 

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County Courthouse bell 1876

Photos taken 2008 and 2024