Black Hawk County
"The Firsts"

The first brick edfice built in Waterloo. It was used to house the court house records which were taken from Cedar Falls in 1855 until 1857 when the court house was built. Judge Hubbard was the owner and resident and he had established a store on the ground floor. The courrrom was located upstairs doubling as a Masonic and Oddfellows Hall. The multi-purpose building also served as the Waterloo post office of 1855 for which Judge Hubard, originally a Connecticut blueblood, received $50.55 "compensation" for that year. Photo from Don Durchenwald


"Revolutionary warfare" erupted between Cedar Falls and Waterloo, making lifelong enemied, over the location of the county courthouse. In 1853, Black Hawk County was authorized to set up its own government, no longer under the jurisdiction of Buchanan County. Country records went to the larger and already platted Cedar Falls in a "two-by-four" room over Mullarkey's Store. Waterloo threw down the gauntlet, when on their 1854 plat, they designated present Lincoln Park as "Courthouse Square." A group of "spirited Waterloo citizens invaded Cedar Falls to steal the county records but were driven back by an egg wielding Cedar Falls faction. A county vote on January 19, 1855 voted 388 - 260 in favor of the more centrally located "up-start" Waterloo. The new courthouse located between 9th and 10th street on the east bank, cost $27,000.00 and was dedicated on May 4, 1857.

photo from Hartman History


The first schoolhouse, a 16 x 22-foot log building, erected in 1853, doubled as a church with services equally divided between Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists. The credit for the first Waterloo church goes tothe Presbyterians. Completed in 1856, and in 1857 sold to the Baptists to become the First Baptist Church.

The first school taught on the east side was in Myron Smith's home and was taught by Mr. O Hardy. The first hotel on the west riverbank was built by Seth Lake and sold to Henry Sherman. photo from Harman History


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