Hawk County was part of Buchanan County until 1852. In the
following year, the county commissioners met in Cedar Falls
and declared it to be the first county seat.
"courthouse" was the loft of Andrew Mullarky's
Black Hawk Store, located at the corner of First and Main.
It was here that the county's papers and records were kept
until 1855, when the county seat was moved to the more centrally
located Waterloo by a vote of 388 to 260. The records were
then transferred to a temporary courthouse (a brick store)
in Waterloo, West.
Cedar Falls got
even with Waterloo, West for this defeat the following year,
however, by siding with Waterloo, East in the election to
decide the site of the permanent courthouse.
It was assumed
that the new courthouse would be located in Waterloo, East
at what is now Lincoln Park. The courthouse was actually
built on Block 20, at 10th and Water Street, by Giles Tinker
at a cost of $27,000, well over the $12,746.61 specified
in the contract. That overrun, plus the unusual location
far from the business district, fed rumors of bribes and
kickbacks in site selection and construction.
the courthouse at this site served Black Hawk County until
1902, when a new courthouse was built at Park Avenue and
Sycamore Street. The present courthouse, built in 1964,
is located at Fifth and Lafayette Street.