Audubon County was named after naturalist and artist, John James Audubon. After his death in 1855, admirers named the new county in his honor. Throughout the early history of Audubon County there was a lot of conflict and battle over the location of the county seat. One report stated the original county seat was in Hamlin’s Grove. Another report has the original county seat in Dayton in 1856 until the residents realized that Dayton would never survive as a town. The following year, it was moved to Viola, which is now called Exira. Ten years later in 1871, the first courthouse was built in Exira.
Exira, Oakfield and Louisville battled over the location of the county seat for years, but it remained in Exira. In 1871, the Board of Supervisors approved construction for the courthouse in Exira. Once again, dispute over the county seat erupted. Between 1872 and 1873, Hamlin residents petitioned in attempt to regain the county seat, yet it remained in Exira.
In 1878, the Rock Island Railroad linked Atlantic to the new city of Audubon. A year later, an election was held to determine the site of the county seat and Audubon was the winner. Several years after the move, Audubon received a grant to assist in the construction of a new courthouse, which was completed in 1939.
You can visit the Audubon County website by clicking Here.