Trails to the Past

Iowa

Washington County

 

 

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.

Washington County was originally formed in 1838 as Slaughter County in honor of William B. Slaughter, the secretary of Wisconsin Territory. The county, still named Slaughter County, became part of Iowa Territory on July 4, 1838 when it was organized. To honor George Washington, the county opted to change its name on January 25, 1839. The first settlers arrived in Washington County in 1835. The homesteads did not start until 1836. A town, Astoria, was built in the present township of Oregon; it became the first county seat and housed the first court house. The county seat was moved to the city of Washington in 1839.

The first religious society, organized by Reverend J. L. Kirkpatrick, a Methodist minister was created in 1839. The first newspaper was established in 1853; it was published for two years. In 1856 another newspaper started up; it has continued to the present. The major waterways through Washington County are the Skunk and English Rivers, and Crooked Creek. Timber is found in abundance around these waterways, which has allowed a timber industry to grow up. In 1855 Washington hosted the county's first bank. The county population swelled after 1858, when a railway line belonging to the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad was laid there.

On Line Data

Cities
    Ainsworth
    Brighton
    Coppock
    Crawfordsville
    Kalona
    Riverside
    Washington
    Wellman
    West Chester
Unincorporated communities
    Noble
    Rubio
    Haskins

Townships
    Brighton
    Cedar
    Clay
    Crawford
    Dutch Creek
    English River
    Franklin
    Highland
    Iowa
    Jackson
    Lime Creek
    Marion
    Oregon
    Seventy-Six
    Washington

 

Washington County Court House

Adjacent counties
    Iowa County (northwest)
    Johnson County (northeast)
    Louisa County (east)
    Henry County (southeast)
    Jefferson County (southwest)
    Keokuk County (west)

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