Davis County Courthouse
Built in 1877 at a cost of $45,201, the Davis County courthouse is an outstanding example of Second Empire architecture with its distinctive mansard roof and dormer windows. The structure measures approximately 97 by 87 feet with walls made of red brick covered by a sandstone veneer. Surmounted by a statue of the "Lady of Justice", the belfry tower raises the total height to over 123 feet. The tower houses the original 1876 Seth Thomas clock and an immense 1878 Kimberley bell that was also rung in the early days as a fire alarm.
The design was the work of architect T.J. Tolan of Indiana, considered at the time to be the most successful in this style of courthouse. In continuous use since its construction, the large courtroom seats nearly 300 people on the original walnut chairs and benches. The basement still contains the cells that were the county and city jails until 1973. A fence was originally constructed around the courtyard square of the same type that still surrounds the jailhouse windows. One of the most unusual visitors to view the building was a human fly who succeeded in scaling the outside walls in the early 1930's. The
Erected by Davis County and Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Government & Politics. A significant historical year for this entry is 1877.
Location. 40° 45.058′ N, 92° 24.84′ W. Marker is in Bloomfield, Iowa, in Davis County. Marker is on Washington Street (U.S. 63) south of Jefferson Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Courthouse Square, Bloomfield IA 52537, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Confederate Invasion of Iowa Monument (approx. 0.7 miles away); J P Strother (approx. 15.2 miles away); Gerald W. Fackler (approx. 15.3 miles away); Doodlebug (approx. 15.3 miles away); Charles M. Martin (approx. 15.3 miles away); a different marker also named Veterans Memorial (approx. 15.3 miles away); McHaffey Opera House (approx. 15.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bloomfield.
Also see . . . Fourth of July 1876 Address at the Davis County Courthouse Square. Davis County Courthouse Preservation Fund (Submitted on November 6, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 6, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 349 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 6, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 3. submitted on October 11, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. 4. submitted on November 6, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.