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Records :: History: A Brief History of Iowa County, 1881
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Source: The History of Iowa County
Published: Des Moines: Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co., 1881.

Brief Outline

1832 - American Indians ceded land 50 miles west of the Mississippi River. This included a portion of Johnson County.

1837 - American Indians gave up more land including all of Johnson County and a small portion of Iowa County. A few settlers roamed about the territory at this time, but none purchased land from the government.

1842-1843 - American Indians gave up title to all land that is now Iowa County. On May 1, 1843, white settlers were officially allowed to make claim to land, but purchases could not be made because it was not yet surveyed.

1844 - First surveys were made. The county was divided into Congressional townships and ranges based upon the principal meridians and base lines. Iowa County is divided into four townships, 78N to 81N, and four ranges, 9W to 12 W, each township measuring six miles by six miles.

1845-46 - All American Indians officially moved to reservation west of Missouri River. The Territorial Legislature authorized organization of Iowa County, its survey and establishment of a county seat. First land purchases were made.

1847 - There were four townships in Iowa County:
1847 Today
Greene Troy, York, Greene
English Lincoln, Pilot, Dayton, English, Fillmore
Marengo Honey Creek, Marengo, West half of Washington, West half of Hilton, Hartford, Sumner
Iowa East half of Washington, East half of Hilton, Lenox, Iowa

 Marengo was designated as the County Seat of Iowa County in 1845. In 1847, the first courthouse was constructed . It was used until 1851 when a second one, valued at $300 and insured against fire for a three-year premium of $4.50, was built. This courthouse was soon outgrown due to the arrival of the German pioneers who settled in the Amana Colonies and, in 1861, a brick building was authorized to be as "large as the $2,000 appropriation would allow."

 In 1891, voters of  Iowa County approved the construction of yet another courthouse and in December of that year voters approved the sale of "swamp land in Ida and Cherokee counties" owned by Iowa County, with the proceeds of that sale to be used in construction of the new courthouse. The sale was completed in March 1892, and in June lots on Green Street (which later became Court Avenue) were purchased.

 The brick used in the construction came from the brick yard north of Marengo, operated by Charles Carter. The building was completed by July 1, 1893, at a total cost of $57,608.16.

 The Iowa County Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in June of 1980. In 1985, renovation projects were completed on the courthouse to restore it to "...some of its past splendor with modern amenities thrown in for good measure."

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