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Orange City

Sioux County, Iowa

Orange City administrative offices are located at 125 Central Avenue SE, Orange City, IA 51041.
Phone: 712‑707‑4885.

Beginnings [1]

Beginning in 1869 a large increase of immigrants, mostly from the Netherlands, moved into the area. The town of Orange City was laid out by Henry Hospers in the eastern part of the county, and the immigrants from the Netherlands flocked to the area. It was not long before a rivalry developed between the two towns. This rivalry became so heated that, on January 22, 1872, 55 bobsleds left Orange City bound for Calliope. Along the way they met up with 25 more sleds from the Hull area. When these raiders arrived at Calliope, they cut a hole in the log courthouse and removed the safe and all of the county records contained within. They then hauled the 5,000-pound safe back to Orange City. The safe and county records were later returned to Calliope; however, the county seat was officially moved to Orange City with an election held in November 1872.

The old log cabin in Calliope was sold and county offices were scattered around Orange City for several years. Then, with the help of a bond issue, the construction of a red and buff colored sandstone building began in June 1902. Construction was stalled when the construction company went bankrupt later that year. The building was finally completed in October 1904. There was a huge celebration containing bands, glee clubs, speeches and even fireworks.

Lightning struck the courthouse tower in 1907, knocking off about four feet of the pinnacle, which broke many roof tiles. A 10-foot bronze statue of "Lady Justice" (Vrouwe Justitia), replaced the broken pinnacle. From 1976-1982 extensive improvements were made to the courthouse and its facilities: a new roof, renovated courtroom, an elevator, the latest computer system, and new voting machines. In 1977, the Sioux County Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  1. Northwest Iowa Planning&Development Commission and Sioux County Administrators, Sioux County Comprehensive Land Use Development Plan, 2007, www.siouxcounty.org, accessed October, 2015.