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Fayette County

Fayette County is named for Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, who was a French general and politician and who fought in the American Revolutionary War.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Winneshiek County

E – Clayton County 

S – Buchanan County

W – Bremer County and Chichasaw County


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

County Seat:

West Union  1837 – present


County Courthouse – West Union


Location:  114 North Vine Street / East Elm Street

Built:  1923 – 1924

Style:  Classical Revival

Architect:  J G Ralston of Waterloo

Contractor:  Tapager Construction Company of Albert Lea, Minnesota


Description: The building faces west and is a three story gray colored Bedford limestone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on spacious grounds in the center of West Union. The central entrance has a projecting overhang. The main entrance is constructed of solid bronze. Six large columns rise from the second to third story and divide the windows. A wide band follows the roof line with clock in the center. In the interior is a central rotunda, marble, plaster cornices, brass railings and ceramic tile flooring. The County District Court courtroom is located on the north side of the third story and has strips of wood applied to walls in angular patterns. There is a smaller courtroom along the south side of the third story. The building houses the County District Court of the 1B Judicial District. 


See :  The architect J G Ralston of Waterloo and the contractor Tapager Construction Company of Albert Lea, Minnesota also designed and constructed the courthouse in Chichasaw County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Fayette County Courthouse


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


History:  The county was created in 1837 and West Union was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a two story brick structure built in 1857 at a cost of $8,000. The second courthouse was designed by Winrott & Houck and built in 1874 and additions were constructed in 1894 to 1896. The architect was Kiple & Watkins and the contractor was William H Houck. An addition was designed by Kiple & Watkins and built in 1905. The building burned on February 5, 1922. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1923 to 1924 at a cost of $299,000.



County Courthouse – West Union































County District Court courtroom













County District Court small courtroom













Photos taken 2008 and 2023