Polk County, named in honor of President James Polk, was established in 1846, and the centrally located Fort Des Moines (now Des Moines) was selected as the county seat.
Polk County’s first courthouse was a temporary structure, was built in 1848 on a site south of the current courthouse square. Construction began on the second courthouse in 1858, and took several years to complete. The needs of the county outgrew the courthouse, which was only used for 40 years. The current courthouse was designed using Beaux Arts/Federalist architectural style by Proudfoot & Bird, with construction beginning in 1900. Built with grey limestone, the interior contains many elaborate features including marble and wrought iron fixtures, carved woodwork and stained glass. The fourth floor features beautiful murals. The Polk County courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Visit the Polk County web site for more information.
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