Pottawattamie County was organized in 1848. At that time, a two-story log house was used as a courthouse. Later this structure was abandoned and rooms were rented for county business. The board of supervisors purchased a site in Council Bluffs for $3,500 and in 1868, a courthouse was completed on this land for a cost of $42,000.
After only 16 years, the second courthouse was declared unsafe and a new $141,800 building was constructed. The courthouse was completed in 1888 and served Pottawattamie County for many years.
The present courthouse was built in 1977 on the same piece of land as the former courthouse.