Jasper County Courthouse
The first court in Jasper County
was held in 1846 in the hickory log cabin home of Matthew D. Springer. In 1847
a public courthouse was built of native green lumber for $87.50. This
courthouse was sold and a second one was constructed in Newton for $26,600. The
building was faced with white limestone and the walls were built of brick.
Other architectural accents included impressive columns and a cupola that
stretched 83 feet above the ground.
The third and present
courthouse is made of Indiana limestone and was dedicated on April 6, 1911. The
original cost was just over $200,000. Viewers of the building's Neo-Classic
design with modified Georgian Colonial detail have called the courthouse "the
most beautiful county capitol in Iowa". It is approximately 121 feet by 80
feet, with a 140-foot tower. The clock has four dials, which are each 8 feet
high. The clock was provided through private donations. At Christmas time the
exterior is fancifully decorated.
During 1986, the interior
was renovated. The boardrooms and courtrooms were restored and refurbished. The
dome, which had been boarded up for years, was uncovered and repaired.
Additionally, the magnificent paintings around the dome were restored.