Skip to content
Home » US States » H-L » Iowa » Humboldt County

Humboldt County


Humboldt County is named for Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, who was a famous German scientist, explorer and statesman.


Surrounding County Courthouses:

N – Kossuth County 

E – Wright County

S – Webster County

W – Pocahontas County


Created:  August 31, 1857                     Map of Iowa highlighting Humboldt County

County Seat:

Dakota City  1857 – present


County Courthouse – Dakota City


Location:  203 Main Street / 3rd Street North

Built:  1938 – 1939

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Dougher, Rich & Woodburn of Des Moines

Contractor:  Holtze Construction Company of Sioux City


Description: The building faces south and  is a three story brick and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Dakota City. The building has a reinforced poured concrete structure with a brick and stone facing. The foundation and wails are faced in gray-colored brick set in a light gray-colored mortar. Bedford limestone with a rubbed finish is used for most of the decorative cut stonework with Mankato Stone reserved for the entrance surround. The south entrance is flanked by large Art Deco lamps. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the front entrance vestibule is divided into two levels with a set of double doors opening onto the public corridor as depicted in the original plan. The floor has a terrazzo finish with dark colored green borders and with polished Winona stone used for the steps. The County Magistrate Court courtroom is located on the south side of the basement level. The County District Court courtroom is located on the south side of the second story and has a two-story ceiling height that extends into the third story with original floor dimensions of 50 feet by 30 feet. The wainscoting has three horizontal bands separated by a concave molding strip and a more elaborate finish molding along the top edge that features convex vertical pieces. The finish of the walls above the wainscoting is a combination of smooth plaster, textured plaster, and acoustic panels. Fluted plaster pilasters separate the acoustic panels. The “Celotex” acoustic tile has the original Art Deco design stenciled in a rust-red color. The building houses the County District Court of the 2B Judicial District.


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


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Humboldt County Courthouse


See:  The 2B Judicial District includes Boone County, Calhoun CountyGreene CountyHamilton CountyHardin County, Humboldt CountyMarshall County, Pocahontas CountyStory County, Webster County and Wright County.


History:  The county was created in 1857 and Dakota City was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a two story brick structure built in 1872 to 1873 at a cost of $5,000. The courthouse was enlarged in 1885. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1938 to 1939 at a cost of  $185,000.



County Courthouse – Dakota City














County Magistrate Court courtroom











Photos taken 2008 and 2024