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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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Jefferson County, Iowa

Jefferson County Education, Geography, and HistoryJefferson County, Iowa Courthouse

Jefferson County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 16,843. The county was created on January 21, 1839. The county seat is Fairfield.  Jefferson county is named after President Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson County comprises the Fairfield, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Jefferson County Name

Jefferson county is named for Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Jefferson County History

Jefferson County is named after the framer of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.

The locating commissioners located the county seat of Jefferson County at Fairfield on March 4, 1838. There was some minor disappointment that it was not located at Lockridge, but after time passed, Fairfield was seen as a wise choice. The county was established and originated in 1839.

The first lots of Fairfield were sold to provide funds for public buildings. The first of these buildings was the courthouse. Built in 1839, it was the first courthouse built in Iowa that was not a log cabin or a temporary structure. This building cost $725, plus extras and painting. By 1845 this building was considered inadequate for county use. It was sold by the county and subsequently used as a blacksmith shop.

Approval for the second courthouse came in an election held August 1846. This stone and brick structure was completed in January 1851 and was being used by the county in May of that same year. Although this building was only 22 years old, a grand jury deemed it unfit for county use. Several attempts to construct a new courthouse failed in elections. It was not until 1890 that the construction of a new courthouse was approved.

This third, and present, courthouse was officially dedicated on January 20, 1893. The total cost of the 68-foot x 88-foot stone and brick structure was $73,630. When this building was first completed, it was heated by steam and contained gas lighting.

Jefferson County claims the first Carnegie Library, the first malleable iron foundry, and the first golf club located west of the Mississippi. In addition, Fairfield enjoys the distinction of hosting the first Iowa State Fair in 1854

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 437 square miles (1,130 km2), of which 436 square miles (1,130 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Jefferson county is located in southeast Iowa.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Washington County
  • East: Henry County
  • South: Van Buren County
  • Southwest: Davis County
  • West: Wapello County
  • Northwest: Keokuk County

Education

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