GRUNDY COUNTY lies in the fourth tier south of the Minnesota line in the fifth west of the Mississippi River and contains five hundred four square miles. It was created in 1851 from territory formerly belonging to Benton and Buchanan counties and was named for Felix Grundy, a prominent citizen of Tennessee. The county contains no large streams and but little native timber but consists of a vast stretch of prairie of great fertility.

On the 4th of October, 1853, William D. Peck made a claim in the northeastern part of the county, now Franklin township. About two weeks later John Freel took a claim on Black Hawk Creek in the southeastern part of the county and built a log cabin. Thomas G. Hoxie made the first settlement in the vicinity of Grundy Center in 1855. C. F. Clarkson was the pioneer settler in the western part of the county where he built a house and established his family in May, 1855.

The county was organized in 1856 by the election of the following officers: A. W. Lawrence, judge; Thomas G. Copp, treasurer; T. G. Hoxie, sheriff; Elias Marble, clerk, and C. F. Clarkson, prosecuting attorney. The county-seat was located at Grundy Center in 1856 and the first term of the District Court was held in 1857 in a log house at which Judge J. D. Thompson presided. In 1861 a weekly newspaper was established by W. H. Hartman and J.M. Chaffee, named The Pioneer. The Burlington and Cedar Rapids Railroad runs in a northwesterly direction through the county and Grundy Center.