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.

Dallas County, Iowa

Dallas County Education, Geography, and HistoryDallas County, Iowa Courthouse

Dallas County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 66,135. Dallas County was created on January 13, 1846. The county seat is Adel.  Dallas county is named for George M. Dallas, Vice President of the United States of America under James K. Polk.

Dallas County is included in the Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area

Etymology - Origin of Dallas County Name

Dallas county is named for George Mifflin Dallas, the eleventh vice president of the United States.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

DallasCounty History

George Mifflin Dallas, mayor of Philadelphia, U. S. senator from Pennsylvania and Vice President of the US under James K. Polk is the namesake of Dallas County. The city of Dallas, Texas is also named in his honor.

The county was established in 1846. The first county elections were held in a schoolhouse on April 15, 1857 east of present-day Adel. The county seat was originally called Penoach or Panouch, an Indian word meaning "far away." In 1849 the name was changed to Adel. The county seat has remained at Adel, but not without fights from Dallas Center, Perry and Waukee.

The first courthouse was a simple log cabin built by Buel Lathrop in 1848. It had two rooms connected under one roof with crude looking chimneys on each side for heating. This building was replaced in 1853 by a 20-foot x 40-foot, one-story frame building. It was "comfortably finished and furnished." Although it was better than the previous courthouse, it was only used until 1858, when a third courthouse was constructed.

The third courthouse came about after an election authorized its construction by a vote of 401 to 240. This structure was two stories high and constructed of brick. The $20,000 building was located on the town square.

In 1902 the fourth and present courthouse was dedicated. The $109,243 building is impressive looking. The tower is 128-foot-tall with a clock that was donated by the people of Adel. It is decorated by statues and a stone engraving of the 1853 courthouse. This courthouse, like many others in Iowa, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1993, a restoration project was started which uncovered artwork and stenciling throughout the public hallways and court room areas of the courthouse. Restoration architect William Wagner of rural Dallas Center assisted by offering advice and his time while restoring hidden faux marbling on the wainscoting in the district court room. Mr. Wagner, at the age of 80, continued to consult with the county until he lost his life in an automobile accident in 2001. We are very proud of our district court room and the magnificent chandelier manufactured by St. Louis Antique Lighting.

Restoration is an ongoing project for the county, as we strive to keep our 100 year old courthouse in good condition. We are planning a birthday celebration and rededication during the week of September 16-20, 2002.

Stanek, Edward & Jacqueline, Iowa's Magnificent County Courthouses, Wallace-Homestead, 1976
Carole J. Bayeur-Dawson, Dallas County Auditor, 2002

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 592 square miles (1,530 km2), of which 588 square miles (1,520 km2) is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) (0.5%) is water.

Dallas county is located close to the center of Iowa.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Boone County
  • East: Polk County
  • Southeast: Warren County
  • South: Madison County
  • Southwest: Adair County
  • West: Guthrie County
  • Northwest: Greene County


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