Iowa History

By | October 15, 2021

Iowa is a state in the United States. It is one of the states in the Midwest and borders Minnesota to the north, Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, and Nebraska and South Dakota to the west. The state’s largest city and capital is Des Moines.

Before Europeans came to Iowa, the area was populated by several Native American tribes 13,000 years ago, the most recent of which are Sauk and Mesquaki, which were the most dominant. The original residents were largely nomads who traveled around hunting animals. See directoryaah for museums in Iowa.


1673 – French explorers Jolliet and Marquette are the first Europeans to explore the territory of the King of France.

1811 – The New Madrid fault zone causes an earthquake in central Iowa.

1832 – The federal government orders the Indians of Illinois over to Iowa, and when they resist, the Black Hawk War ensues. As punishment for the resistance, the authorities claimed an approx. 80 km wide strip of eastern Iowa. In 1833, the Black Hawk was allowed to join the remnants of the Iowa tribe.

1834 – Patrick O ‘Connor becomes the first killer to be hanged in Iowa. A legend tells that his spirit joked / jokes in the Dubuque prison, which was built long after his death on the place where he was hanged. Read about the ghost here.

1846 – Iowa officially becomes a state on December 28, the 29th in a row. Shortly after, the American Civil War broke out. No battles were fought in Iowa, but 13,001 Iowa soldiers died in the service of the Union forces. The population continued to grow in the years after the war.

1856 – The first train from Chicago arrives in Iowa City.

1857 – The Spirit Lake Massacre takes place on December 8-12. March; the capital is being moved from Iowa City to Des Moines.

1867 – Grasshopper swarms invade Iowa and destroy crops; first railroad track completed in Iowa.

1890 – A giant meteor hits Earth on May 2, 18 miles northwest of Forest City.

1893 – The Pomeroy tornado hits Calhoun County on July 6, destroying 80% of homes, killing 71 and injuring 200 people.

1901 – A record hot day in Sigourney reached 45 degrees!

1912 – The lowest temperature in Iowa reaches -47 degrees in Washta.

1920 – Backbone State Park is inaugurated as Iowa’s first state park.

1928 – Herbert Hoover, who was born in West Branch, was the US ‘s 31st president on March 4, 1929-4. March, 1933.

1942 – After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the five Sullivan brothers all enlist in the U.S. Navy. They all join the warship USS Juneau, which is unfortunately torpedoed in the Pacific Ocean. Read more here.

1949 – The Effigy Mounds National Monument is named.

1993 – Floods cost more than $ 2 billion in damage.

1998 – A derecho in Washington, IA, blows at up to 198 km / h.

2001 – An Amtrak train traveling from Chicago to California was derailed in Iowa, killing one passenger and injuring 90 others.

Iowa History