Clay County, Iowa photographic memories of special places, activities and events that have happened. 

Clay County, Iowa - Photo Album  
Clay County Courthouse - History, Exterior & Interior
First Courthouse - Peterson Auto Electric, 2nd Floor
Where does Peterson Auto Electric fit into Clay County history? The second floor of this building was once the Clay County Courthouse. It was built in 1871 and served as the courthouse until 1882 when it was replaced by rented space in a nearby bank building.
Intricately designed doorknob in the Clay County Courthouse
Much of the woodwork, tile and hardware were salvaged from the previous courthouse, cleaned, refinished and utilized in the current building. Oak woodwork abounds on the first floor of the building. Italian marble wainscoting enhances the tile floor. Even the doorknobs sport intricate designs. 
 
Judege's bench at north end of courtroom 
To the west of the lobby
is the courtroom.
The north end of the room houses the judge's bench.
 
Close-up of detailed carvings and trim on judge's bench
A close-up of the bench reveals detailed carvings and trim. 
 
Great Seal of Iowa
The wooden arch behind the bench borders the seal of the Great State of Iowa.
 
Stained glass windows in the courtroom
To the judge's right are three more of the circular topped stain glass windows. Four more large windows in the back of the Courtroom are topped with amber tinted stained glass. 
 
Jury box surrounded by maple woodwork
To the judge's left is the jury box surrounded by maple woodwork, a beautiful railing and an elaborately finished door. 
 Clay County Courthouse
Clay County Courthouse
From 1884 until 1900 a plain two story brick structure was erected on land several Spencer citizens purchased and donated. This building was torn down about 1900 and the current Courthouse was constructed on the same site. 
September 1901 marked the first official use of our current building.  The main entrance to the courthouse faces south and is flanked by four enormous columns built of Portage Entry Red Stone and capped with terra cotta.  Above the columns resides an American Eagle with outstretched wings surrounded by a laurel wreath.  Atop the building sits a clock tower that was added to the original structure about 1910. 
Clay County Courthouse - Interior
One of the two display cases in the first floor lobby contains relics from the Grand Army of the Republic and is dated 1930. The rightmost case contains a flag that was made by the women of Clay County in 1871. The 37 star flag hung outside of the original Lincoln School.
Original tile floor leading to second level of the courthouse 
 
Elaborate carvings on the ceilings 
Slate steps lead to the second level where the original tile floor still stands. Over the stairs are two windows topped by circular stained glass of blue and gold. A large memorial quilt, depicting the floor tile is displayed in the second floor lobby. The quilt is appropriately titled, "Tiles of Clay". Beneath the quilt is a row of chairs that were part of the seating in the original courthouse. The lobby ceiling is accented by elaborate carvings. All woodwork on the second floor is maple. 
Stained glass windows in courthouse "Tiles of Clay" quilt on display in the second floor lobby
*Special Thanks to Theresa Wurth for her assistance in collecting both pictorial and written history.
References:
A Brief Overview of Clay County History
Pictoral Atlas Clay County Iowa, Title Atlas Co, Inc., 1980.