Tama County, Iowa

Maps and Atlases



Courtesy: Iowa State University Rural Data Project. Iowa Profiles, Public Resources Online
Tama County, Iowa is a rectangle, 24 miles east-west, and 30 miles, north-south. It is divided into 20 squares, each 6 miles by 6 miles. Each square is a Township, except one, which is further divided into Tama Township and Toledo Township, as they contain the largest cities in the county, Tama and Toledo. Thus there are 21 Townships, and each is divided into square sections, one square mile each. Tama County currently has 12 cities or towns, and many that existed in the past are no longer incorporated. For a good overview of the Townships of Tama County, see this 1916 map.

Tama County in 1875 (larger map here)


Some very nice, high resolution, zoomable and downloadable maps have recently been made available by the Iowa Maps Digital Collection. They are contained in five atlases, published from 1875 to 1916. Some of the atlases also contain information on businesses, and other topics. The contents of each atlas are summarized below.

I can't give you a link to each map, because they're in frames. The links below will take you to one of the pages in each atlas. From there, you can navigate to other pages using the bar that you will find on the right.

Atlas of Tama County, Iowa, pub. Harrison & Warner 1875

  • population totals for all Iowa counties, from 1870 US Census
  • population totals for all Tama County townships, from 1870 US Census and 1873 Iowa State Census
  • Tama County map, showing townships and towns, rivers, roads and the C&NW railroad
  • individual township maps, showing buildings, property lines, acreage and land ownership
  • city and town maps, showing subdivisions, streets and larger buildings
  • business reference for each township, listing name, business, post-office, section, nativity and year settled in county, for each business owner, including farmers (see transcription)
  • map of Iowa, showing counties, cities, rivers and railroads, on a grid showing, but not naming, townships and sections

Plat Book of Tama County Iowa, pub. North West Publishing Co. 1892

  • map of the United States, showing states, rivers and major cities
  • map of Iowa, showing counties, cities, rivers and railroads
  • map of Tama County, showing townships and towns, numbered sections, roads, rivers and railroads
  • Analysis of the System of United States Land Surveys
  • directory of businesses, including farms, organized by township, listing name, business, post-office and section (see transcription)
  • old photo with no name
  • individual township maps, showing buildings, property lines, acreage and land ownership
  • city and town maps, showing subdivisions, streets and larger buildings

Plat Book and Business Directory, Tama County, Iowa, pub. A.J. Wheeler 1897

  • list of county, township and town officers (see transcription)
  • there is no map of the entire county in this atlas
  • smaller township maps, showing roads, creeks, buildings and property boundaries, but no ownership or acreage
  • instead, ownership is shown in a Farmers' Directory, listing name, nativity and location of farm
  • Business Directory, and many advertiements (see transcription)

Souvenir Atlas of Tama County, Iowa, issued by The Tama Herald, pub. C.J. Wonser 1909

  • map of Tama County, showing townships, towns, numbered sections, roads, creeks, schools and churches
  • individual maps of townships, showing buildings, property, acreage and ownership
  • this Farm Directory transcribed from the information on the maps. It will allow you to find farms that existed in 1909, given the owner's names. Once you have the locations, you can find some of the same farms in the other atlases.

Atlas of Tama County, Iowa, pub. Anderson Publishing Co. 1916

  • map of Tama County, showing townships, towns, numbered sections, rivers and roads
  • individual maps of townships, showing buildings, property, acreage and ownership
  • maps of cities and towns, showing some buildings, streets and subdivisions
  • directory of farmers, listing name, P.O. and R.R. (see transcription)
  • 1910 US Census totals for all Iowa counties and towns
  • map of Iowa, showing counties and cities, with chief auto roads highlighted in green
  • map of US, with auto roads and postal information
  • map of Panama Canal, with an elevation profile
  • map of the World, with areas, distances and population figures
  • bios and pictures related to Panama Canal


Some of the directories in the above atlases have been transcribed. These can be found on the Business and Farm Directories page.

The COLOR LANDFORM ATLAS OF THE UNITED STATES: IOWA includes numerous links to Iowa maps.

This page was last revised on 2 Sep 2015 by William Haloupek.