Jefferson County Online
A part of the IAGenWeb and USGenWeb Projects
The State of Iowa
Geographical Situation

The following is a chapter from "The History of Jefferson County, Iowa", Page 109, published by the Western Historical Company of Chicago in 1879.




The State of Iowa has an outline figure nearly approaching that of a rectangular parallelogram, the northern and southern boundaries being nearly due east and west lines, and its eastern and western boundaries determined by southerly flowing rivers -- the Misissippi on the east, and the Missouri, together with its tributary, the Big Sioux, on the west. The northern boundary is upon the parallel of forty-three degrees thirty minutes, and the southern is approximately upon that of forty degrees and thirty-six minutes. The distance from the northern to the southern boundary, excluding the small prominent angle at the southeast corner, is a little more than two hundred miles. Owing to the irregularity of the river boundaries, however, the number of square miles does not reach that of the multiple of these numbers; but according to a report of the Secretary of the Treasury to the United States Senate, March 12, 1863, the State of Iowa contains 35,228,200 acres, or 55,044 square miles. When it is understood that all this vast extent of surface, except that which is occupied by our rivers, lakes and peat beds of the northern counties, is susceptible of the highest cultivation, some idea may be formed on the immense agricultural resources of the State. Iowa is nearly as large as England, and twice as large as Scotland; but when we consider the relative area of surface which may be made to yield to the wants of man, those countries of the Old World will bear no comparison with Iowa.

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