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The Madison County Courthouse is an elegant yet simple example of French Renaissance Revival architecture. Built in 1878 and located exactly in the center of the county, it is in the shape of a Greek cross and features a stone exterior, four identical porches with paired Tuscan columns, and a large dome with arched windows, four clocks, and a cupola. The courthouse, which is situated in a town square, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The Madison County Courthouse was built in 1878 and has served as the seat of county government ever since.

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The first courthouse was built in 1849 (or 1850). Before it was completed, county officials met in stores and taverns. It was built of logs and was also used as a school, church, and a place to rest for travelers. The second courthouse was built in the late 1860s and resembled the present courthouse. It too was in the shape of a Greek cross and had a dome. A fire destroyed it in 1875 and the some of the stone was used to build current courthouse. The dome reaches a height of 136 feet and houses a 1,500 bell. Inside, the courthouse features woodwork made of walnut.

"Madison County Courthouse." Iowa Judicial Branch. Accessed January 4, 2022.

Miller, Henry C. "Madison County Courthouse." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. August 13, 1976.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Tedi Yaeger, via Wikimedia Commons: