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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.

Jasper County, Iowa

Jasper County Education, Geography, and HistoryJasper County, Iowa Courthouse

Jasper County is a county located in the US state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 36,842. The county was created in 1846. The county seat is Newton.  Jasper county is named after Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero.

Jasper County comprises the Newton, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the Des Moines-Ames-West Des Moines, IA Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Jasper County Name

Jasper county is named for Sergeant William Jasper, a hero of the American Revolutionary War.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Jasper County History

Jasper County, with an area of 736 square miles, was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Sergeant William Jasper. The county seat Newton was named after Sergeant Newton. Newton and Jasper both served under General Francis Marion, "The Swamp Fox."

The first county elections were held on April 6, 1846, and the first county business was conducted on April 14, 1846. In the summer of 1846 the commissioners selected Newton City as the county seat. On February 3, 1847 the legislature shortened the name to Newton.

In 1846, before a courthouse had been constructed at Newton, one was built at Adamson's Grove. This building was offered to the county but it was declined.

Finally, in 1847, the first courthouse was constructed at Newton. It was a small, inexpensive building. Evan Adamson was paid $87.50 to construct it. In 1857 this building was sold and moved to a farm.

In 1858 a more elaborate and appropriate building was built. The 62-foot x 50-foot two-story structure was sandstone and brick and faced with limestone. The building served the county for several years until it became unsanitary and a firetrap. In 1909 it was torn down.

The present courthouse was dedicated on April 6, 1911. The large three-story building is made entirely of Bedford limestone. Only the doors and window casings are made from wood. The interior is decorated with ceramic tile and marble wainscoting.

A clock tower rises 56 feet above the roof. The four dials of the clock measure 8 feet in height. Private funds in the amount of $1,200 were donated for its purchase. Total cost, including furnishings, was $200,226.

Source: Nancy Parrot, Jasper County Recorder, 2002

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 733 square miles (1,900 km2), of which 730 square miles (1,900 km2) is land and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) (0.3%) is water.

 Jasper county is located close to the center of Iowa. The North and South Skunk River flow through the county. Bodies of water include Lake Mariposa and Rock Creek.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Marshall County
  • Northeast: Tama County
  • East: Poweshiek County
  • Southeast: Mahaska County
  • South: Marion County
  • West: Polk County
  • Northwest: Story County


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