Official Website for Harrison County, Iowa

About the General History

General History


Courthouse Murals


Magnolia Courthouse

First Courthouse in Logan

Horn of Plenty

Lady Justice

“Four mural painting adorning the stairway walls at the courthouse were part of an over all interior redecorating program which the county supervisors authorized in 1920. 

 

The name of Frank Enders, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is lettered into the corner of one scene, so it is believed that he was the artist.

 

Old timers recall that the paintings, all

done on canvas, were accomplished on the wall rather than being painted and then put up. One painting is of the first courthouse at Magnolia, one is the first courthouse at Logan, one had a horn of plenty theme and one has “Lady Justice” with her scales, using

a Grecian motif.” (Logan Centennial Book, p. 44)

About the General History


Harrison County was at one time a part of Keokuk County.  It was established in 1851 and became an organized county, March 7, 1853, by an act of the Fourth General Assembly, which enactment also appointed Abram Fletcher, Charles Wolcott and A. D. Jones, respectively from Fremont, Mills and Pottawattamie counties, as Commissioners to locate the county seat, the name of which was to be Magnolia, and who were to meet early in March for such purpose. The county derived its name in honor of the Ninth President of the United States - William Henry Harrison. 

 

The Commissioners selected the southeast corner of T80, R43, section 32 and then gave to the 160 acres thus selected the name of “Magnolia” and the Organizing Sheriff called an election on the first Monday of April, the same year - 1853, at which time a full corps of county officers was elected. There were other locations claiming the county seat Daniel Brown wanted it at what he platted and called Calhoun, while another faction wanted it located where Logan now stands, or on the opposite side of the Boyer River.

 

Properly speaking, Magnolia and Jefferson were the two voting precincts of the county, upon its first being organized, however, some of the persons living in the county prior to March 14, 1853 - time of organization, had exercised the right of franchise by going to Council Bluffs to cast their votes

Organization of Townships
Early Government
Moving the County Seat
County Jail
General History

The following text is taken from History of Harrison County, Iowa, written by the people of Harrison County Iowa and published in 1891 by the National Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois.

In 1854, the county commenced building a courthouse at Magnolia, from funds derived from the sale of town lots.  This was a small frame structure, but met the requirements of the day in which it was fashioned; however as the years rolled on, the elements caused this pioneer landmark of public work to decay and in 1873, it was considered as unsafe by the Board of Supervisors, and they, that year, caused the erection of a frame office building, in which the records and county business matters were kept until Logan was made the seat of justice, in 1876.


The courthouse at Logan was erected in 1876. It was situated within a level block of land given by the city. The structure was of brick and is 55 x 70 feet and two stories high. 

The first floor was divided into six offices - Auditor, Treasurer, Clerk, Recorder, Sheriff and School Superintendent.  All but the last named was provided with a good fire-proof vault. 

The second floor of the building was used for court room purposes and jury rooms.

The building was erected by contractors Yeisley & Stowell during the Centennial year. 

It was built by an appropriation of $5,000 on the part of the tax payers of the county and $9,000 donated by the people of Logan.

 


The first Logan courthouse was replaced in 1910 by the current courthouse, a 68 by 96 ft., three-story steel and concrete block building faced with Bedford limestone at a cost of $103,205.15. It was dedicated November 3, 1911 and included offices for all the County Officers plus a District Courtroom and the County Supervisors meeting room. The

cornerstone notes that the supervisors at the time of its construction were: J. Holeton, Chairman, T. Chatburn, and F. Zahner.