Clayton County Courthouse
Clayton County moved its county
seat many times between 1840 and 1876. The original county seat was in Prairie
La Porte, but in 1843 the people voted to have the seat changed to
Jacksonville. Later, the county seat moved to Garnavillo and then to Elkader.
As soon as Elkader was declared the county seat, the city of Guttenberg
petitioned to consider an election between Elkader and Guttenberg. Guttenberg
won the election by 1,007 votes. Just as the county records were arriving in Guttenberg,
Garnavillo moved to have the county seat relocated. Several other contests
between these cities followed, but eventually Elkader was victorious in
securing the county seat.
A courthouse had been
erected at Garnavillo. It was sold in 1866 to raise money for the building of a
courthouse in Elkader. The County Board of Supervisors could only spend $2,000
a year on construction of the Elkader courthouse. However, by 1876, with
another county seat contest pressing, the citizens of Elkader and the county
came up with the $10,000 needed for the courthouse. This red brick building is
the one in use today. Spacious additions and a clock tower have been added. A
Civil War monument was erected in 1919.