In 1855, the Black Hawk County Board of Commissioners decided to move the county seat from Cedar Falls to Waterloo. From there, Judge John Randall took over the plans for construction of a county courthouse. Although the public wanted a voice in picking the site, the Judge rejected their assistance and contracted to build the courthouse for $12,747.61. Because of a number of changes in the plans, the final project cost reached $27,000! This building, with its $2,200 fence, six massive two-story pillars, and cupola was demolished in 1907.
With the voters' approval, money was raised to buy a construction site for the second courthouse and jail. This building was completed and dedicated in 1902.
The present red and black polished stone courthouse was completed in 1964 at a cost of $2,850,000.