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Trails to the Past of Iowa is accepting any donations of genealogy materials that you may have such as marriage announcements, news articles, old obituaries, births, (you do not need the birth certificate) just the information, and biographies.  If you have any of these items please contact me Marie Miller the Iowa State Administrator.

Although Native Americans in the United States have resided in what is now Iowa for 13,000 years, the written history of Iowa begins with the proto-historic accounts of Native Americans by explorers such as Marquette and Joliet in the 1680s. Until the early 19th century Iowa was occupied exclusively by Indians and a few European traders, with loose political control by France and Spain.

Iowa became part of the United States of America after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, but uncontested U.S. control over what is now Iowa occurred only after the War of 1812 and after a series of treaties eliminated Indian claims on the state. Beginning in the 1830s Euro-American settlements appeared in the Iowa Territory, U.S. statehood was acquired in 1846, and by 1860 almost the entire state was settled and farmed by Euro-Americans. Subsistence frontier farming was replaced by commodity farming after the construction of railroad networks in the 1850s and 1860s. Iowa contributed a disproportionate amount of young men to fight in the American Civil War. Afterwards they returned to help transform Iowa into an agricultural powerhouse, supplying food to the rest of the nation. The industrialization of agriculture and the emergence of centralized commodities markets in the late 19th and 20th centuries led to a shift towards larger farms and the decline of the small family farm; this was exacerbated during the Great Depression. Industrial production became a larger part of the economy during World War II and the postwar economic boom.

Des Moines is the State Capital of Iowa located in Polk County.

Horse Thieves ---Regulators of 1857

Name of County County Seat Date Formed Origination of County Origination of Name
Adair Greenfield January 15, 1851 Cass County John Adair (17571840), sixth Governor of Kentucky
Adams Corning January 15, 1851 Taylor County John Adams, second President of the United States (17971801)
Allamakee Waukon February 20, 1847 Clayton County Disputed, possibly named for Allan Makee, an early Indian trader and guide for early settlers
Appanoose Centerville February 17, 1843 Davis County Appanoose, Native American chief who headed peace party in the Black Hawk War
Audubon Audubon January 15, 1851 Black Hawk County and Cass County John James Audubon (17851851), ornithologist and artist
Benton Vinton December 21, 1837 Native American lands and Wisconsin Territory Thomas Hart Benton, United States Senator (18211851)
Black Hawk Waterloo February 17, 1843 Delaware County Black Hawk (17671838), chief of Fox and Sac Indians and leader in the Black Hawk War
Boone Boone January 13, 1846 Polk County Nathan Boone (17811863), one of the first to survey Iowa
Bremer Waverly January 15, 1851 Native American lands and Winnebago County Fredrika Bremer (18011865), Swedish poet and author
Buchanan Independence December 21, 1837 Delaware County and Wisconsin Territory James Buchanan, fifteenth President of the United States (18571861)
Buena Vista Storm Lake January 15, 1851 Clay County and Sac County Battle of Buena Vista, a battle during the Mexican-American War
Butler Allison January 15, 1851 Black Hawk County and Buchanan County William Orlando Butler (17911880), War of 1812 hero and unsuccessful candidate for Vice President
Calhoun Rockwell City January 15, 1851 Fox County (renamed) John Caldwell Calhoun, Vice President of the United States (18251832)
Carroll Carroll January 15, 1851 Guthrie County Charles Carroll (17371832), longest lived signatory of the Declaration of Independence
Cass Atlantic January 15, 1851 Pottawattamie County Lewis Cass, United States Senator from Michigan and unsuccessful candidate for President (1848)
Cedar Tipton December 21, 1837 Wisconsin Territory Red Cedar River which runs through the county
Cerro Gordo Mason City January 15, 1851 Floyd County Battle of Cerro Gordo, battle during the Mexican-American War
Cherokee Cherokee January 15, 1851 Crawford County Cherokee Native American tribe
Chickasaw New Hampton January 15, 1851 Fayette County Chickasaw Native American tribe
Clarke Osceola January 13, 1846 Lucas County James Clarke, third Governor of Iowa Territory (18451846)
Clay Spencer January 15, 1851 Native American Lands Henry Clay, Jr. (18071847), officer in the Mexican-American War
Clayton Elkader December 21, 1837 Dubuque County and Wisconsin Territory John M. Clayton (17961856), United States Senator from Delaware
Clinton Clinton December 21, 1837 Dubuque County and Wisconsin Territory DeWitt Clinton (17691828), Governor of New York
Crawford Denison January 15, 1851 Shelby County William Harris Crawford (17721834), United States Senator from Georgia
Dallas Adel January 13, 1846 Polk County George Mifflin Dallas (17921864), eleventh Vice President of the United States
Davis Bloomfield February 17, 1843 Van Buren County Garrett Davis (18011872), congressman
Decatur Leon January 13, 1846 Appanoose County Stephen Decatur (17791820), naval officer in the War of 1812
Delaware Manchester December 21, 1837 Dubuque County and Wisconsin Territory State of Delaware, home of Iowa statehood advocate U.S. Senator John M. Clayton
Des Moines Burlington September 6, 1834 Michigan Territory and Wisconsin Territory Des Moines River that once ran through the county
Dickinson Spirit Lake January 15, 1851 Kossuth County Daniel Stevens Dickinson (18001866), United States Senator from New York
Dubuque Dubuque September 6, 1834 Michigan Territory and Wisconsin Territory Julien Dubuque (17621810), first permanent white settler in Iowa
Emmet Esterville January 15, 1851 Kossuth County and Dickinson County Robert Emmet (17781803), Irish revolutionary and American republican sympathizer
Fayette West Union December 21, 1837 Clayton County and Wisconsin Territory Marquis de Lafayette (17571834), Frenchman who aided colonial forces during the American Revolutionary War
Floyd Charles City January 15, 1851 Chickasaw County Charles Floyd (17821804), member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition who died in Iowa
Franklin Hampton January 15, 1851 Chickasaw County Benjamin Franklin (17061790), statesman and U.S. founding father

Fremont

Sidney February 24, 1847 Pottawattamie County John Charles Fremont (18131890), officer in Mexican-American War
Greene Jefferson January 15, 1851 Dallas County Nathanael Greene (17421786), American Revolutionary War general
Grundy Grundy Center January 15, 1851 Black Hawk County Felix Grundy (17771840), United States Senator
Guthrie Guthrie Center July 8, 1851 Jackson County Edwin B. Guthrie, officer in Mexican-American War
Hamilton Webster City December 22, 1856 Webster County William W. Hamilton, President of the Iowa Senate (18561857)
Hancock Garner January 15, 1851 Wright County John Hancock (17371793), President of the First Continental Congress
Hardin Eldora January 15, 1851 Black Hawk County John J. Hardin (18101847), prominent soldier in the Black Hawk War
Harrison Logan January 15, 1851 Pottawattamie County William Henry Harrison (17731841), ninth President of the United States
Henry Mount Pleasant December 7, 1836 Wisconsin Territory either Henry Dodge (17821867), governor of Wisconsin Territory; or James Dougherty Henry, general in the Black Hawk War
Howard Cresco January 15, 1851 Chickasaw County Tilghman Ashurst Howard (17971844), congressman
Humboldt Dakota City February 26, 1857 Webster County Alexander von Humboldt (17691859), German scientist
Ida Ida Grove January 15, 1851

Cherokee County

Mount Ida in Greece
Iowa Marengo February 17, 1843 Washington County Iowa River, river that flows through the county, and which is itself named for the Ioway Native American tribe
Jackson Maquoketa December 21, 1837 Wisconsin Territory Andrew Jackson (17671845), seventh President of the United States
Jasper Newton January 13, 1846 Mahaska County William Jasper (17501779), sergeant in the American Revolutionary War
Jefferson Fairfield January 21, 1839 Native American Lands Thomas Jefferson (17431826), third President of the United States
Johnson Iowa City December 21, 1837 Des Moines County, Iowa and Wisconsin Territories Richard Mentor Johnson (17801850), Vice President of the United States 1837-1841
Jones Anamosa December 21, 1837

Wisconsin Territory

George Wallace Jones (18041896), United States Senator from Iowa
Keokuk Sigourney December 21, 1837 Washington County Keokuk (17671848), chief of the Sac Native American tribe
Kossuth Algona January 15, 1851 Webster County Lajos Kossuth (18021894), Hungarian revolutionary who was inspired by American democratic ideals
Lee

Fort Madison and Keokuk

December 7, 1836 Des Moines County William Elliott Lee, businessman from the New York Land Company, which sold the county's first tracts of land
Linn Cedar Rapids December 21, 1837 Wisconsin Territory Lewis Fields Linn (17951843), doctor and United States Senator from Missouri
Louisa Wapello December 7, 1836 Des Moines County either Louisa Massey, a woman then famous for avenging the death of her brother; or Louisa County, Virginia
Lucas Chariton January 13, 1846 Monroe County Robert Lucas (17811853), first Governor of Iowa Territory
Lyon Rock Rapids January 15, 1851 Woodbury County, Iowa Nathaniel Lyon (18181861), first Union general to be killed in the American Civil War, (formerly named Buncombe County)
Madison Winterset January 13, 1846 Polk County James Madison (17511836), fourth President of the United States
Mahaska Okaloosa February 17, 1843 Fox and Sac Indian Lands Mahaska (17841834), chief of the Ioway Native American tribe
Marion Knoxville June 10, 1845 Washington County Francis Marion (17321795), general in the American Revolutionary War
Marshall Marshalltown January 13, 1846 Jasper County John Marshall (17551835), fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Mills Glenwood January 15, 1851 Pottawattamie County Frederick Mills, major killed during the Battle of Churubusco in the Mexican-American War
Mitchell Osage January 15, 1851 Chickasaw Counnty John Mitchel (18151875), Irish revolutionary who for a time operated out of the United States
Monona Onawa January 15, 1851 Harrison County Word of Native American origin that perhaps translates to "peaceful valley"
Monroe Albia February 17, 1843 Wapello County James Monroe (17581831), fifth President of the United States
Montgomery Red Oak January 15, 1851 Polk County Richard Montgomery (17381775), general in the American Revolutionary War
Muscatine December 7, 1836 Des Moines County Muscatine Native American tribe
O'Brien Primghar January 15, 1851 Cherokee County William Smith O'Brien (18031864), Irish revolutionary who was inspired by American democratic ideals
Osceola Sibley January 15, 1851 Woodbury County Osceola (18041838), Native American leader
Page Clarinda February 24, 1847 Pottawattamie County John Page, officer killed in Battle of Palo Alto in the Mexican-American War
Palo Alto Emmetsburg January 15, 1851 Kossuth County Battle of Palo Alto in the Mexican-American War
Plymouth Le Mars January 15, 1851 Woodbury County Landing place of the Pilgrims who came to America on the Mayflower
Pocahontas Pocahontas January 15, 1851 Greene County and Humboldt County Pocahantas (15951618), famous Native American woman
Polk Des Moines January 13, 1846 Native American Lands James K. Polk (17951849), eleventh President of the United States
Pottawattamie Council Bluffs February 24, 1847 Native American Lands Pottawattamie Native American tribe
Poweshiek Montezuma February 17, 1843 Mesquakie Indian lands Poweshiek, chief of the Fox tribe
Ringgold Mount Ayr February 24, 1847 Taylor County Samuel Ringgold (17961846), major killed in the Mexican-American War
Sac Sac City January 15, 1851 Greene County Sac Native American tribe
Scott Davenport December 21, 1837 Wisconsin Territory Winfield Scott (17861866), U.S. Army General during the War of 1812
Shelby Harlan January 15, 1851 Cass County Isaac Shelby (17501826), general in the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812
Sioux Orange City January 15, 1851 Plymouth County Sioux Native American tribe
Story Nevada January 13, 1846 Boone County, Jasper County, and Polk County Joseph Story (17791845), United States Supreme Court justice
Tama Toledo February 17, 1843 Benton County and Boone County either Taimah, Fox chief; or Taomah, wife of Poweshiek
Taylor Bedford February 24, 1847 Page County Zachary Taylor (17841850), twelfth President of the United States
Union Creston January 15, 1851 Clarke County The union of the states
Van Buren Keosauqua December 7, 1836 Des Moines County Martin Van Buren (17821862), eighth President of the United States
Wapello Ottumwa February 17, 1843 Native American Lands Wapello, chief of the Fox Native American tribe
Warren Indianola January 13, 1846 Polk County Joseph Warren (17411775), General in the American Revolutionary War
Washington Washington January 25, 1839 Wisconsin Territory George Washington (17321799), first President of the United States
Wayne Corydon January 13, 1846 Appanoose County Anthony Wayne (17451796), General in the American Revolutionary War
Webster Fort Dodge January 12, 1853 Risley County and Yell County (defunct counties) Daniel Webster (17821852), U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
Winnebago Forrest City January 15, 1851 Kossuth County Winnebago Native American tribe
Winneshiek Decorah February 20, 1847 Native American Lands Winneshiek, chief of the Winnebago Native American tribe
Woodbury Souix City January 12, 1853 Polk County Levi Woodbury (17891851), Governor of New Hampshire, (formerly named Wahkaw County)
Worth Northwood January 15, 1851 Mitchell County William Jenkins Worth (17941849), officer in the Black Hawk War and the Mexican-American War
Wright Clarion January 15, 1851 Webster County and Kossuth County Silas Wright (17951847), Governor of New York, and Joseph Albert Wright (18101867), Governor of Indiana, brothers

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