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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.

Clinton County, Iowa

Clinton County Education, Geography, and HistoryClinton County, Iowa Courthouse

Clinton County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 49,116. Clinton County was created on December 21, 1837. The county seat is Clinton. Clinton county is named  in honor of the seventh Governor of New York State, DeWitt Clinton.

Clinton County comprises the Clinton, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Davenport-Moline, IA-IL Combined Statistical Area

Etymology - Origin of Clinton County Name

Clinton county is named for DeWitt Clinton, the seventh and ninth governor of New York and presidential candidate in 1812.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Clinton County History

The county is named in honor of the two-time governor of the state of New York, DeWitt Clinton.

The county was established in 1837. The original county seat originated in 1840 was Camanche. However, this county seat was changed to Vandenburg (later called DeWitt) the following year by a petition to the Territorial Legislature. DeWitt was the better choice due to its location in the geographic center of the county.

The first courthouse was constructed of basswood timbers. This courthouse also doubled as a hotel, with court being held on the first floor and the attic being used as sleeping quarters for jurors and witnesses.

This courthouse was used until 1846, when it was considered to be inadequate. County business was then conducted in various locations until 1854, when the second courthouse was completed. This 40-foot x 50-foot building was to be a duplicate of the Scott County courthouse. The total cost of the building was $6,000.

The majority of Clinton County's population lived along the Mississippi River. Therefore, it was not long before there was a call to relocate the county seat closer to the population. In 1869 the town of Clinton won the right to become the county seat. An election was held, and Clinton beat out rival Lyons by 511 votes. A courthouse was then erected in only 23 days at a total cost of $3,200.

This small courthouse was replaced in 1878 by a small, fireproof brick structure. Cost of this building was $5,000. It served the county until 1897, when the present courthouse was completed. The $168,000 present courthouse is built of red sandstone and granite. It has a large central tower that is constructed of copper, which has weathered to a bright green.

On June 3, 1960, Camanche was the scene of the most tremendous tornado on record. Not a building, tree, fence, animal, or human being in the tornado's path escaped. It lasted only about three minutes, but the village of 1,200 people was almost totally destroyed. Entire buildings were pulverized, poultry had their heads completely twisted off and the feathers cleanly plucked, parts of human bodies were strewn about the wreckage, and iron wagon wheels were straightened out perfectly flat. The most reliable authorities of the time estimated the total number killed at 134.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 710 square miles (1,800 km2), of which 695 square miles (1,800 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (2.1%) is water.

 Clinton county is located in east Iowa. The county consist of the easternmost point in the state of Iowa, on the Mississippi River in Elk River township in the northeast section of the county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Jackson County
  • Northeast: Carroll County, Ill.
  • Southeast: Whiteside County, Ill.
  • South: Rock Island County, Ill.
  • Southwest: Scott County; Cedar County
  • Northwest: Jones County


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