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Iowa Counties
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Iowa Counties

There are ninety-nine counties in Iowa. The first two counties, Des Moines County and Dubuque County, were created in 1834 when Iowa was still part of the Michigan Territory. In preparation for Michigan's statehood, part of Michigan Territory was formed into Wisconsin Territory in 1836]. Two years later, the western portion was split off to become Iowa Territory. The south-eastern part of Iowa Territory became Iowa, the 29th state in the union, on 28 December 1846, by which point 44 Counties had been created. Counties continued to be created by the state government until 1857, when the last county, Humboldt County, was created.

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Hamilton County, Iowa

Hamilton County Education, Geography, and HistoryHamilton County, Iowa Courthouse

Hamilton County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 15,673. Hamilton County was created on January 8, 1857.The county seat is Webster City. The county is named in honor of William W. Hamilton, who served as President of the Iowa State Senate.

Etymology - Origin of Hamilton County Name

Hamilton county is named for William W. Hamilton, a president of the Iowa state senate who was influential in the creation of the county.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Hamilton County History

When the county was originally organized in 1847 it was named Risley, after Colonel Risley who was killed in the Mexican War. It was later changed to Webster. Finally, Webster County was divided in half, and the eastern half was given the name of Hamilton in December 1856. It is named after Senate President William W. Hamilton who was influential in the passing of the bill.

The same Legislative Act that established Hamilton County also named Webster City as the county seat in 1857. At an April 1858 election, it was proposed that the county use swamp land funds to construct the county's first courthouse. The motion passed by a wide margin, and construction of the building began in the summer of 1858. But due to the lack of public support, funds, and county seat battles, the $50,000 building was never completed.

The first courthouse that was completed was in 1866. It was a temporary structure that cost $1,934 and was used until 1877. The second courthouse was originally to cost around $50,000, but was revised to $35,000. The winning bid of $30,000 and 1,360 acres of swamp land was submitted by John M. Rice of Chicago. The building was completed in June, 1877.

In 1974 the courthouse of 1877 was condemned. Construction of a $1.25 million building was begun later that same year and it was dedicated on December 4, 1976. It is a split-level brick building faced with Georgia black stone.

In March 2002 voters countywide passed a local option sales tax with the proceeds to pay for the construction of county jail. The jail will be attached on the north and east sides of the courthouse with construction to begin in early 2003.

Source: Kim Schaa, Hamilton County Auditor, 2002

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 578 square miles (1,500 km2), of which 577 square miles (1,490 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) (0.1%) is water.

Hamilton county is located close to the center of Iowa.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Wright County
  • Northeast: Franklin County
  • East: Hardin County
  • Southeast: Story County
  • Southwest: Boone County
  • West: Webster County


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