Friday, January 2, 2009

Pottawattamie County Courthouse in Council Bluffs

The county seat for Pottawattamie County had several names – Hart’s Bluff, Miller’s Hollow, Kanesville, and finally in 1853 renamed Council Bluffs. It was an important gateway to the west for Mormon pioneers, gold prospectors, and others.

The current courthouse is Council Bluff’s third courthouse, designed by Hollis and Miller with construction beginning in 1975 by A. Borchman Sons. The statue of Lady Justice from the previous courthouse is displayed in the lobby.

Next to the courthouse is the historic Squirrel Cage Jail, built in 1885. It is only one of three remaining jails with a rotating cell area, a special design to minimize the amount of contact with each prisoner. No longer housing prisoners, the jail serves as a museum.

Pottawattamie County has a second courthouse in Avoca to serve the eastern portion of the county.

Visit the Pottawattamie County web site for more information.

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