Sioux City was named as the county seat of Woodbury County in 1856. The foundation for the first courthouse was laid in 1857. In 1878 a fabulous new courthouse that was designed by a Des Moines architect was completed for around $75,000. This courthouse was made of Kasota stone and had elaborate ornamental detail on its exterior.
The third and present courthouse took three years to construct. The huge brick building was completed in 1918. A large multi-storied tower emerges from its center. Sculptured figures representing the Spirit of the Law decorate the main entrance. The inside is decorated with murals by John W. Norton. The courthouse was put in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 because of the architectural uniqueness and sculptured details.