Date of Origin - 1851
The county is named for John Page, captain in the 4th U.S. Infantry, who was wounded in the Battle of Palo Alto in the Mexican War.
The county was established in 1847 and formally organized in 1851 by William Hudson, who had been appointed organizing sheriff by the Third General Assembly of the State.
The first district court was located at Boulware’s Mill on the Nodaway River. Court was held on September 22, 1851, in the home of Philip Boulware, in the mill, a small shanty, in Cottonwood Schoolhouse and even in the general store.
The General Assembly declared Clarinda the county seat on December 22, 1852. The town is named for Clarinda Buck, who carried water to the surveyors and was popular amongst the early settlers.
A temporary courthouse was built in 1856. It was a two-story, wood frame building that also housed the post office. In 1873 the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to erect a two-story courthouse at a cost of $7,456.16.
In 1885 a contract was awarded for the amount of $71,000. The third courthouse was constructed of brick and stone. The building was completed on December 19, 1887 with an actual cost of $86,500. A four-faced clock sat on top of a large tower. The tower was removed in 1950. In 1985, the cornerstone was removed, and the papers and documents contained within were placed on display. The cornerstone was re-laid by the Grand Lodge of Masons of Iowa on July 4, 1985, 100 years after the original laying date.
On December 11, 1991 this courthouse was involved in a fire possibly caused by faulty wiring. In the fire the county lost its ornate judge’s bench and all the furniture that sat in the 19th century courtroom, a collection of presidential portraits, law books and a large stained glass window. All records were saved, but some were water damaged from the 500,000 gallons of water used to extinguish the blaze. Those records went through a freeze-dry process and are still in use.
The county set up offices in the old Sernett department store building, which it purchased for $200,000. A successful $875,000 bond election was held in the August, 1992 to determine if bonds could be issued for restoration purposes. Voters approved the restoration by an 85% majority and conversion of unused third floor attic space to offices. The building was insured for $1.5 million and the contents were covered for more than $250,000.
courthouse was rededicated June 5, 1994. The courthouse now has central air,
fire alarm, and
Page County was honored with the second annual David E. Archie Award of Preservation by The Iowan Magazine, an honor given for dedication to preserving the past. On April 25, 2001, Page County celebrated its 150th anniversary with a special program, display, and coffee at the Courthouse. During the summer of 2002, the exterior of the Courthouse is undergoing a complete renovation of tuck pointing and repair.