The Clayton County Courthouse, built in 1867-68, is an example of "Italianate" style architecture. The light red brick structure rests on a foundation of limestone blocks quarried five blocks away. An addition built in 1877-78 and the construction of the clock tower in 1896 completed the existing building.
The timepiece in the clock tower is hand wound twice a week and keeps excellent time. A monument on the front lawn stands in honor of Civil War soldiers and sailors. While the courthouse has been in use for over 100 years its records date from May 1838, eight years before Iowa's statehood. The State Preservation Program nominated the courthouse for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in January 1976.