Dakota City was chosen as the county seat of Humboldt County in 1857. However, a formal courthouse was not constructed until 1873. The structure cost $5,000 and it overlooked the twin valleys of the Des Moines River. This courthouse was two-story building with six chimneys. It was situated in the midst of a prairie-like setting, where carriages and horse carts blended in quite well.
The present courthouse was begun in 1939 and cost $170,000. It is a modest three-story building of substantial proportions, which was constructed from gray brick and trimmed with Bedford stone.