Webster County Courthouse

The Webster County Courthouse is a historic building in Fort Dodge, Iowa, United States. Built in 1902, it primarily houses local government offices for Webster County. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1981.


The current courthouse is Webster County's third courthouse. After the county was organized in 1852, the community of Homer was designated the county seat, and a courthouse was built there. When a controversial election resulted in the county seat being moved from Homer to Fort Dodge in 1856, local officials decided to construct a courthouse in the new county seat. Construction began in 1859 with the laying of the cornerstone, and the two-story courthouse was finished two years later; however, this courthouse soon became insufficient for the county's needs. Accordingly, the old building was destroyed and a new four-story courthouse built on the same site. This stone building represented a significant expansion of its predecessor, and it included elements such as a clock tower and more ornate. This final version of the courthouse was not completed until 1902, at which point approximately $39,450 had been expended in constructing the building. By 1980, the courthouse required extensive renovations, including a new roof, exterior repairs, restorations to the clock tower, and a refurbished interior; the entire process took several million dollars and over twenty years to complete.

Present status

Today, the courthouse is the site of much local and regional government business, including the office of the county assessor, the meeting area for the Webster County Board of Health, service offices for the hearing impaired, and offices for the state courts of the Second Judicial District. Its architectural status led to it being listed, along with several other Iowa courthouses, on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com