Buchanan County was named for President James Buchanan, who was a key senator in acquiring the Wisconsin Territory, which included all of Iowa.
Buchanan County’s first courthouse was a small frame structure built in Independence, which also served as a school.
The second courthouse was a brick structure built in 1857. In 1864, the county treasurer’s safe was blown open, and $26,000 in public and private funds stolen.
The third courthouse, a fireproof building, was completed in 1881.
The current courthouse, a PWA Moderne building designed by Dougher, Rich, and Woodburn, was built beginning in 1938. County lore tells that the ghost of Officer Harold Pearce, shot by a prisoner in 1956, haunts the building. The Buchanan County courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
Visit the Buchanan County web site for more information.
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