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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.

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