The first courthouse of Jefferson County was completed in 1840 at Fairfield. This building was a two-story wood rectangular box, with a gabled roof. A new courthouse was constructed of brick in 1851. The 40 by 70 foot structure was built at a cost of $7,500. The former courthouse burned down in 1916.
By 1875, the county judge refused to hold court in the brick courthouse because of its dilapidated condition. However, it was not until 1880 that the courthouse was abandoned. For more than ten years, court was then held in the Harmony Church. Because hard times had fallen on most of the county, citizens would not agree to spend the money for a new courthouse. Finally in 1890, the present courthouse began construction. It was finished in 1893 at a cost of $73,630.87. The exterior is made of Cleveland gray sandstone and red brick and the interior is adorned with native oak woodwork. The building appears today as it did in 1893, except for the modifications to the clock tower which took place in 1948.