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Lee County


Lee County is named for Robert E Lee, who was a Confederate general in the Civil War, or for Lee, a family prominent in the New York Land Company who owned an interest in Half-Breed Tract in 1830.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Henry County and Des Moines County

E – Henderson County, Illinois and Hancock County, Illinois

S – Clark County, Missouri 

W – Clark County, Missouri and Van Buren County


Created:  December 6, 1837                  Map of Iowa highlighting Lee County

County Seat:

Fort Madison   1840 – 1843

West Point       1843 – 1845

Fort Madison   1845 – present ( north )

Keokuk            1847 – present ( south )


County Courthouse – Fort Madison


Location:  701 Avenue F / 7th Street

Built:  1841 – 1842

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  Father Samuel Mazzuchelli

Contractor:  Morrison, Ladd & Atlee


Description:  The building faces south and is a two story red colored  brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Fort Madison. The foundation is stone. On the south front are four large white colored columns supporting the extended roof with pediment. In the interior, the first story is bisected by a wide central hall. Ay the north end of the hall, divided stairs ascend to the second story which has a central corridor with the courtroom located on the south end. The building houses the County District Court of 8B Judicial District. A two story addition was constructed on the north side with a one story addition extending west. On the west side is the Old County Jail.


See:  The 8B Judicial District includes Des Moines CountyHenry CountyLee County and Louisa County.


History:  The county was create in 1837 and Fort Madison was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was built in 1841. The cost of construction of the 1842 courthouse in Fort Madison was $12,000. The county seat was moved to West Point in 1843 and the courthouse was rented until the county seat was returned to Fort Madison in 1845. In 1876, the courthouse was completely overhauled and reconstructed. In 1911, fire damaged the courthouse, but insurance money was used to rebuild it that same year.


Note:  The lowest point in Iowa is the Mississippi at 480 feet ( 146 meters ) which is located in the county.



County Courthouse – Fort Madison











Old County Jail – Fort Madison




County Courthouse – Keokuk



Location:  25 7th Street / Blondeau Street

Built:  1889 – 1890

Style:  Victorian

Architect:  Mifflin Emien Bell

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story red colored brick round arch structure. The building is located in the center of Keokuk. On the northeast corner is a high square brick clock tower with peaked roof. The west section has a third story with small arched windows. The foundation is course white stone. The building was constructed as the United States Post Office and was converted to the County Courthouse in 1992. The architect was The Design Partnership. The building houses the County District Court of the 8B Judicial District.


History:  The first courthouse was the Sanford Medical College designed by W A Rice erected in 1856. The building was sold to the county in 1859. In 1976, the old YMCA Building designed by Harry E Ratcliff became the second courthouse until 1992 and is still standing. The third and present courthouse is the former Post Office constructed in 1889 to 1890.



County Courthouse – Keokuk









Photos taken 2008