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Allamakee County

Allamakee County is named for Allan Makee, who was a trapper and trader.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Houston County, Minnesota

E – Vernon County, Wisconsin and Crawford County, Wisconsin 

S – Clayton County

W – Winneshiek County


Created:  February 20, 1847                  Map of Iowa highlighting Allamakee County

County Seat:

Rossville     1849 – 1851

Columbus   1851 – 1853

Waukon      1853 – 1862

Lansing      1862 – 1864

Waukon      1864 – present


County Courthouse – Waukon


Location:  110 Allamakee Street / 1st Avenue NW

Built:  1939 – 1940

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Charles Altfillisch of Decorah

Contractor:  Rye & Henkel Construction Company of Mason City


Description: The building faces east and is a three story buff colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The building is located on a rise of land on the landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Waukon. The east front has stone trim around the central entrance. The windows are vertical in length with panels between them. The roofline is high in the center section and drops lower on the north and south and drops to one story on the north and south wings. The roof line is flat. In the interior there is a central hall plan. The central staircase is located at the front entrance. The steps are made of black colored terrazzo with gray colored marble along the walls. The County District Court courtroom is located on the west side of the second story. The original swinging gates in the bar are finished in a diamond pattern of matching walnut veneer. The ceiling extends into the third story and the walls are covered in walnut paneling. Black colored marble is used in the baseboards. There is a small courtroom located at the southeast corner of the second story. The building houses the County District Court of the 1A Judicial District. This was a Public Works Administration project. 


Old County Courthouse – Waukon 



Location:  109 Allamakee Street / 1st Avenue NW

Built:  1859 – 1861

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  Charles W Jenkins and John W Pratt of Hale, Jenkins & Pratt

Contractor:  Charles W Jenkins and John W Pratt of Hale, Jenkins & Pratt


Description: The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick structure.  The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Waukon to the east of the courthouse. The west front has a central arched entrance on the first story with wide fan light. In the interior, a symmetrical, divided-flight stairway with two outside ascending flights still retains large wooden newel posts and slender spindles. The ceiling of the first story between the flights is covered in decorative pressed tin. Most of the original woodwork is still intact, the majority being of a simple Greek Revival style. The courtroom on the second story bears paired scrollwork brackets below the window cornices. The architect and contractor were  The building now houses a museum.


Note:  The stylistic character of the courthouse is reminiscent of civic architecture in the Western Reserve of Ohio. Since early settlement in this area of Iowa was at first largely drawn from the Western Reserve, it is highly likely that the architecture for this courthouse came from Ohio and is repeated in Waukon architecture.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Old Allamakee County Courthouse


See:  The 1A Judicial District includes Clayton CountyDelaware County  Dubuque County and Winneshiek County.


History:  The county was created in 1847 and Rossville was selected as the county seat in 1849. The county seat was moved to Columbus in 1851. The first courthouse was a log structure built near Waukon in 1852. In 1853, the county seat was moved to Waukon and the second courthouse, a small frame structure, was built in 1853 at a cost of $325. In 1857 another frame structure was built and both buildings were used by the county and demolished in 1913. The third courthouse was built in 1859 to 1861 at a cost of $13,635 and is still standing. In 1862. The county seat was moved to The Point in Lansing where a stone fourth courthouse had been built in 1860 to 1861 at a cost of $5,000 paid by the citizens of Lansing. The courthouse is still standing. In 1867, the county seat was moved back to Waukon and third courthouse was used. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1939 to 1941 at a cost of $202,000.


Old County Courthouse – Lansing



Location:  650 South 2nd Street / Walnut Street

Built:  1860 – 1861

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown


Description: The building faces east and is a two story bluff colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds to the south of the center of Lansing. The east front has a recessed center section with two thin white colored columns rising to a header at the top of the second story. The east and west ends are a pediment at the hipped roof. The building is now an apartment building. 


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Old Allamakee County ( Lansing ) Courthouse



County Courthouse – Waukon




















County District Court courtroom











County District Court small courtroom









Old County Courthouse – Waukon











Old County Courthouse – Lansing









Photos taken 2007 and 2023