The first Poweshiek County courthouse was completed in 1850. Built on the northeast corner of the square, it was a two-story frame building that served not only as the courthouse but also as a school, church, meeting place. Eventually it was made into a house.
In 1856, plans for the present courthouse began. It was completed in 1859 at a cost of $1928.15. Although it is well over 100 years old the landmark continues to serve as the county courthouse. It looks much the same as it did over 130 years ago, except for the addition that was built in 1890 and the major repairs done in 1933.