Cerro Gordo County Courthouse
Cerro Gordo County was organized
in 1855 and Mason City was picked as the first county seat. In 1856, the Iowa
legislature appointed three commissioners to chose a new location for the
county seat. They picked a site called Livonia, near the village of Clear Lake.
In 1857, over half the citizens of the county signed a petition to move the
county seat back to Mason City. The county seat returned to Mason City in 1858.
Although a courthouse was built in Livonia, nothing is left standing to recall
the once-promising city.
Mason City's first
courthouse stood on the site where a theater is now located. It was soon
outgrown and board of supervisors tried to get a new one in 1880. But the plan
was not approved until 1899. A $64,000 courthouse was then constructed.
In the late 50's concern
over the security of county records led the county to expand. The Standard Oil
Building in Mason City was purchased for $159,400 and remodeled. The courthouse
was ready for service by 1960 and is 30,000 square feet larger than the
previous courthouse. It continues to serve Cerro Gordo today.