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Clarke County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 9,286. The county was created on January 13, 1846. The county seat is Osceola. Clarke county is named for James Clarke, a Governor of the Iowa Territory.
Clarke county is named for James Clarke, a territorial governor of Iowa.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Clarke County was originally part of
Des Moines County and was established as a separate county on January 13, 1846.
It is named after James Clarke who was the Governor of Iowa Territory.
The first settlers of Clarke County were the Mormons, who were on their way to Salt Lake City, Utah. None of them stayed for a long period of time; it was just a stopover for them on the Mormon Trail.
During the session of the Legislature in 1850-1851, a commission consisting of two men and one women was appointed to locate a county seat for Clarke County. In the late summer of 1851 they chose an area and named it Osceola, after a Seminole Indian Chief. George Howe had already claimed the area intended for Osceola, however. It was part of his farmland. He later sold the land to the county for $100.
Although the county had established a county seat, the first courthouse was not completed until 1854. It was contracted for $1,000 but the completed price was $1,600. It was abandoned on January 1, 1883. A second courthouse was built on the same site. It was a red brick structure, complete with a clock tower.
This building was torn down in the fall of 1955 and the construction of a new and modern looking courthouse began in the winter of the same year. The cornerstone was laid in August 1956 and the building was ready for occupation in November 1956. Bonds were approved to cover the $275,000 cost.
Population of Clarke County went from 548 in 1851 to 12,440 in 1900 to 8,287 in 1990. Larger farms have replaced the many small farms; and many residential houses have been torn down, thus reducing the rural population. Manufacturing is now a major livelihood for many families in Clarke County.
Some significant dates and events in Clarke County history:
Partial source: Enid Kendall, Clarke County Recorder
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 432 square miles (1,120 km2), of which 431 square miles (1,120 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (0.1%) is water.
Clarke county is located in south Iowa. Grade Lake Park is located in
Bordering counties are as follows: