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This courthouse and its grounds host monuments created from stones and concrete. Embedded are copper engraved plates, turned aqua in color from the elements of nature. On the plates are President Abraham Lincoln’s complete Gettysburg Address and General John Logan’s Memorial Day Order of 1868, both in memory of Samuel Kirkwood. Kirkwood was the Governor of Iowa during most of the Civil War from 1860-1864. During the war, he managed the state during wartime and recruited troops, including African-American soldiers. He also suppressed much of the unrest from the pro-confederates coming into the area.

One white pillar is dedicated to all men and women of Johnson County who served in all wars. The monument displays the phrase: “Let none forget they gave their all and faltered not when came the call.” Another monument is dedicated in memory of those who served during Vietnam War from 1961-1975.

This majestic courthouse is one of three built here throughout the years. The first, built out of logs in the middle 1800s, was very quaint and could only hold a table and a few chairs inside. The second courthouse, built in 1835, was also made out of logs and larger than the original spanning 24 square feet in size. The current courthouse was dedicated in 1901 and was designed with Romanesque Revival design with stone carvings out of Berea Grit sandstone - a rather rare form of architecture in Iowa. Then, the unique building cost $111,000 which is equivalent to $5.2 million in 2022.


Stone Group Architects (SGA) is a proud supporter of our Veterans and Military Memorials. While we are strong supporters, SGA is independent from the memorials and does not claim responsibility of building or funding these memorials. SGA is a verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small business (SDVOSB) architectural firm, providing planning and design services to a variety of government clients.

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