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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.

Davis County, Iowa

Davis County Education, Geography, and HistoryDavis County, Iowa Courthouse

Davis County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 8,753. Davis County was created on February 17, 1843. The county seat is Bloomfield. The county is named in honor of Garrett Davis (1801–1872), a United States Representative from Kentucky.

Davis County is included in the Ottumwa, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Davis County Name

Davis county is named for Garrett Davis, a United States Representative from Kentucky.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

DavisCounty History

Davis County was named in honor of Garret Davis, a Congressman from Lexington, Kentucky. In its early days Davis County was referred to as "the Hairy Nation." The name was given to the county because of the shaggy, rough, unkempt appearance and rude manner of the men that resided in the area.

There was an early dispute on the site of the county seat. One site was the area of Bloomfield, and the other site was the town of Richmond. Numerous petitions were filed on behalf of both towns at the Territorial Legislature. The matter was settled in an election, with Bloomfield gaining a majority.

The naming of the county seat was done by the county commissioners. Since the commissioners all favored different names, the matter was settled by the luck of the draw. The name Bloomfield was pulled out of a hat. The other choices were Jefferson and Davis.

The county was established in 1843. The first courthouse was a two-story, hewed-log building that was finished in 1844. The construction cost was $164, and in November 1844, $175 was paid for lumber, glass and putty. This building underwent many repairs, and finally in 1851, the building was abandoned. For the next 27 years county offices were kept at various locations in Bloomfield.

Five different propositions for a courthouse went to the voters. All failed, except the last one in 1875. On August 22, 1877 the cornerstone for the present courthouse was laid. The cost of the building was $61,496.58, and an additional $2,500 was spent for an iron fence. The fence has since moved to Jay Cemetery in Lick Creek township in Davis County.

In June 2002, Davis County celebrated its 125th anniversary (1877-2002) with festivities in the courtyard and courthouse tours. A courthouse cookbook was also created to remember the celebration.

Source: Megan Clyman, Davis County Deputy Recorder, 2002

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 505 square miles (1,310 km2), of which 502 square miles (1,300 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (0.5%) is water.

Davis county is located in southeast Iowa. Lake Fisher, Lake Wapello, Lake Sundown, Soap Creek, and Fox River are located in this county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Wapello County
  • Northeast: Jefferson County
  • East: Van Buren County
  • Southeast: Scotland County, Mo.
  • Southwest: Schuyler County, Mo.
  • West: Appanoose County
  • Northwest: Monroe County


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