Clayton County, created in 1837,was named for Delaware Senator John M. Clayton, who also served as United States Secretary of State.
Clayton County had several changes in the county seat during its early years. The first courthouse was built in Prairie La Porte in 1840, now known as Guttenburg.
The second courthouse was built in 1844 in Jacksonville, later renamed to Garnavillo. This building was later sold to help fund a courthouse to be built in the new county seat of Elkader.
The present courthouse, designed with Italianate architectural style by O.F. Davis, was begun in the summer of 1867. A large addition to the original building was added in 1877. The red brick structure used limestone quarried nearby for the foundation. A clocktower was added to the original cupola in 1896.
The Clayton County courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Visit the Clayton County web site for more information.
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