Named for Samuel Ingham, Secretary of the Treasury under Andrew Jackson, Ingham County was organized in 1838. In 1840 Mason became the county seat. The town's wide public square had been designed as the county's political and business center. The first county offices were on the sides of the square until 1858, when a courthouse was built at this location. The present building, completed in 1904, was described as a "temple of justice." Governor Fred Warner, speaking at the dedication, called it "a meeting place for farmers, mechanics, business and professional men." The courthouse has been the center of Ingham County's activities throughout the twentieth century. In 1971 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.