RINGGOLD COUNTY, IOWA
Welcome to IAGenWeb's Ringgold County site. My name is Sharon R. Becker, coordinator of the site. To learn more about
me, please refer to "About Us" link located in the menu bar at left.
Unfortunately I'm unable to conduct individual
research. For assistance in conducting your Ringgold County research, please refer to "Look Ups" or "Resources" or "Surnames"
links, all found in the menu bar at left.
Enjoy your visit with us. Please come back often as new material is added
on a regular basis.
If you should find a link that doesn't work for you or wish to contribute to this site or report corrections, please contact the site coordinator (see "Coordinator Contact" located at the upper left). Thank you.
RINGGOLD COUNTY, IOWA
The first settlers in what would become Ringgold County were Charles SCHOOLER and his wife, followed by the James TETHEROW
family two years later in 1846. The families believed that they were residing in the State of Missouri. This disputed territory
was surveyed twice and consequently awarded to the State of Iowa in 1850.
Ringgold County was established in 1847 and organized in 1855.
Ringgold County was named in honor of Major Samuel B.
Ringgold (1796-1846). Major Ringgold led a small American force to victory at Palo Alto during the first clash of the
Mexican War. However, Major Ringgold was mortally wounded, dying three days later. News of his death, the first American officer
casualty of the Mexican War, filtered back to the States and made him a hero.
[To learn more about Major Ringgold, click
on his name to for his biography.] It is believed that Ringgold County is the only county in the United
States named as such.
Ringgold County Courthouse, Mount Ayr
The first original Ringgold County Courthouse, built in 1856, was a 14-foot square log building which was destroyed by cyclone during a session of the court on June 8th, 1858. Not only was the courthouse destroyed but many county records were lost. The county built a new, larger, and better framed courthouse out of native lumber 1859 for a cost of $3,500. This courthouse served for 25 years.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1889, the second wood-framed building was destroyed by fire, burning to the ground. Fortunately, construction on the 3rd courthouse had already begun and completed at a cost of $36,455. This courthouse, constructed out of brick and stone,
photograph at left,
served Ringgold County well for approximately 40 years. Inferior brick and lack of drainage caused extensive damage. It was ultimately condemned in 1921 and torn down after it was sold for $500 cash.
The county offices were situated in a part of a garage [where the Napa Auto Parts is currently located] for several years. In 1926, the voters of Ringgold County approved the construction of a new courthouse (the 4th). Made of brick, the new courthouse
has three stories and was completed at a total cost of $132,533. It continues to serve Ringgold County courthouse to the present day.
In the first floor lobby hangs a plaque with the names of all the Ringgold County servicemen who gave their lives for our country. These men fought in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict. Also in the courtyard, there is a memorial statue honoring the county servicemen. The inscription reads: "In memory of the men who gave their lives to the defense of their country."
Until World War II, there was a large cannon mounted on the Northwest courthouse lawn. On the East lawn stood a tall flagpole. The base was shaped somewhat in a pyramid with large cannon balls imbedded in the cement. On Saturday evenings in the summer children loved to climb on both while their parents listened to band concerts from the bandstand on the North lawn.
In recent years a landscaping program has brought the beauty of new trees, shrubs, and flowers to the square.
Just as the early pioneers used the courthouse for many meetings in addition to its official functions, the courthouse is available to community groups for meetings, entertainment, and various activities. A good example is the hot cider and cookies served in the lobby during the Christmas walk.
History of County Governments in Iowa, Iowa State
Association of Counties,Des Moines, Iowa, published 1992
www.judicial.state.ia.us/.../pressrel79.asp Iowa Courts History
Ringgold County Message Boards
Click on the images above for more
Ringgold County Biographies, Obituaries and other Documents of interest.
IAGenWeb Special Projects & Sites
Click on an image above to access this particular IAGenWeb site.
Ringgold County, Iowa Neighbors
The county that is bordered on the north is
UNION County, to the northwest
ADAMS County and northeast
CLARKE County; on the west is
TAYLOR County and east is
DECATUR County; on the southwest
WORTH County Missouri and southeast
HARRISON County Missouri.