O'Brien County Courthouse

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O’Brien County Courthouse
O'Brien County IA Courthouse.jpg
O'Brien County Courthouse is located in Iowa
O'Brien County Courthouse
O'Brien County Courthouse is located in the US
O'Brien County Courthouse
Location Fir Ave.
Primghar, Iowa
Coordinates 43°5′12″N 95°37′38″W / 43.08667°N 95.62722°W / 43.08667; -95.62722Coordinates: 43°5′12″N 95°37′38″W / 43.08667°N 95.62722°W / 43.08667; -95.62722
Built 1917
Architect Smith & Loeffer
J.E. Lovejoy
Architectural style Beaux Arts
MPS County Courthouses in Iowa TR
NRHP Reference # 81000656 [1]
Added to NRHP July 2, 1981

The O’Brien County Courthouse located in Primghar, Iowa was built in 1891. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981 as a part of the County Courthouses in Iowa Thematic Resource.[1] The courthouse is the fourth building the county has used for court functions and county administration.


The county’s first courthouse was a log building built on a farm for about $2,000 in 1860.[2][3] It was later moved to a different location where it served as a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop and a stable. The county’s second courthouse was completed in April 1874 for about $2,000 as well.[2] It was built in the recently established county seat of Primghar. It was replaced by the third courthouse that was built in 1887 for $6,000.[2] The building measured 50 by 54 feet (15 by 16 m).[3] An addition was built on to the structure in 1902 to recreate additional space for the county government. The present courthouse was completed in 1915 for $159,000.[2] The Beaux Arts style building is three-stories tall and the exterior is clad in Bedford stone. The corridors in the interior are made of marble and the handrails in the stairways are finished in bronze.[2]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "O'Brien County Courthouse". Iowa Judicial Branch. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  3. ^ a b Stanek, Edward and Jacqueline (1976). Iowa's Magnificent County Courthouses. Des Moines: Wallace-Homestead. p. 116. ISBN 0-87069-189-9.