Built in 1906, for $750,000.00, the Polk County Courthouse, in Des Moines, Iowa, was designed by the Des Moines, Iowa, architectural firm Proudfoot and Bird in the Beaux-Arts style. The Polk County Courthouse is one of the state’s largest courthouses as well as one of the most architecturally significant.

In early America, courthouses were the center of activity for many burgeoning towns and cities and the Polk County Courthouse was no exception, and, as a result, the opening of the third (and current) incarnation of the Court was had to great fanfare.

Capitalizing on the importance of both the function and architecture of the building(s), courthouse souvenirs became popular collectibles in the early 1900s. The Polk County Courthouse saucer and pitcher on display are but two examples.