Allamakee County Courthouse
In Allamakee County, the towns of
Lansing and Waukon had a prolonged and bitter fight over which would be the
county seat. Originally, the Iowa legislature selected Jefferson Township as
the county seat. At an 1851 election this place and others were rejected by the
county voters and Columbus became the seat of justice. In 1853, the legislature
granted a petition to seek a county seat closer to the geographic center of the
county. Waukon was approved in a two-thirds vote. The battle continued into
early 1859, when Lansing offered to build an $8,000 courthouse if the county
seat was moved there. Waukon countered with their own offer and won the issue
by 420 votes.
A courthouse was
completed in Waukon in 1861 for a cost of $13,635. In 1861, Columbus and
Lansing teamed up to fight for the county seat. They beat out Waukon by 22
votes in an 1862 election. Waukon was unsuccessful in getting the county seat
back in an 1864 election. In June of 1866, the county sheriff, also a resident
of Waukon, led a posse to the courthouse site in Lancing and removed the county
records. On their way back to Waukon, the posse was intercepted by Lancing
horsemen who subdued the men and returned the records to Lancing.
The Supreme Court ruled
in 1867 that Waukon was indeed the county seat and the present county
courthouse was erected there in 1939. A Civil War monument also stands on the
courthouse grounds. The statue dates back to the 1920's.