History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People
early European explorers first saw the land of Iowa in the late 1600s,
many Indian groups lived or hunted there.
The Iowa, Miami, Ottawa, and Sioux tribes lived along the
The Omaha, Oto, and Missouri tribes lived in the western part of
1673, French explorers canoed down the Mississippi River reaching the
shore of Iowa.
Other expeditions followed and in 1682, Robert Cavelier reached
the mouth of the Mississippi River.
He claimed the entire region for France and named it Louisiana,
in honor of King Louis the Great.
the early 1700s, only a few missionaries and fur traders visited the
land now called Iowa; no permanent settlements were built.
In 1788, French-Canadian Julien Dubuque bought land from the
Meskwaki people to mine lead near present-day Dubuque.
He became the first white settler of Iowa.
Soon afterward, other settlers began to arrive.
1803, the United States bought Louisiana from France, including the land
Two years later the Louisiana Territory was created and the Lewis
and Clark Expedition sent out to explore the new territory.
In 1808, the U.S. Army built Fort Madison, Iowa’s first fort.
Iowa region changed into different territories as states were created
during the early 1800s.
In 1821, Iowa became part of the unorganized territory of the
As settlers desired to move west, Native Americans were forced
out of their lands.
The end of the Black Hawk War of 1832, gave a small area in Iowa
for settlement near the Mississippi River.
Iowa Territory was created on July 4, 1838.
The boundaries included all of present-day Iowa, Minnesota, and
parts of North and South Dakota.
After much debate on its boundaries, Iowa became the 29th
state on Dec. 28, 1846.
Over 100,000 people lived in Iowa at that time.
no battles took place in Iowa during the Civil War (1861-1865), about
70,000 Iowans fought for the Union.
After the war, Iowa’s economy grew rapidly.
By 1870, four railroads crossed the state connecting Iowa with
the eastern market.
New industries were developed and businesses opened.
Iowa farmers led the nation in corn and livestock production.
the early 1900s, land in Iowa increased in value.
Farmers went deep into debt to buy land.
When the Great Depression hit in 1929, many lost their lands.
Farmers formed cooperatives to save their farms during this time.
They joined together to buy supplies and sell their crops.
World War II also helped Iowa’s economy by increasing the need
for pork and corn.
new industries moved into Iowa during the 1950s.
Manufacturing businesses increased.
Larger farms with new equipment were replacing small farms.
People moved to the cities to find work.
By 1960, the population living in cities was greater than in
government also went through changes.
Liquor laws went from prohibiting the sale of alcohol in 1855,
through several changes until the legalization of selling it with a
county permit in 1963.
Districts were changed to give equal representation in the
legislature to the cities.