Iowa Counties
Iowa County map
Click Image to Enlarge

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.

Madison County, Iowa

Madison County Education, Geography, and HistoryMadison County, Iowa Courthouse

Madison County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 15,679. Madison county was created on January 13, 1846. The county seat is Winterset. The county is named in honor of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States.

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

Etymology - Origin of Madison County Name

Madison county is named for James Madison, the fourth president of the United States.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Madison County History

Madison County, established in 1846, was named for James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. The county originated in 1849.

Madison's first courthouse was a one-story log cabin built in Winterset in 1857. The second courthouse was built in 1868-69 completely with Madison County gray limestone, but was destroyed by fire in 1875.

The current Madison County courthouse was built by Andrew Piquenard, planner of both the Iowa and Illinois State Capitols. It was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 1969, the courthouse and surrounding square were the setting of the movie "Cold Turkey" starring Dick Van Dyke. President Ronald Reagan visited the courthouse in 1984.

Madison County is famous for being the county where John Wayne was born, and for a number of covered bridges. These bridges were featured in the 1992 book, 1995 movie, and 2014 musical The Bridges of Madison County. 

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 562 square miles (1,460 km2), of which 561 square miles (1,450 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) (0.2%) is water.

Madison county is located close to the center of Iowa.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Dallas County
  • Northeast: Polk County
  • East: Warren County
  • Southeast: Clarke County
  • Southwest: Union County
  • West: Adair County
  • Northwest: Guthrie County


Compare More Colleges and Universities
Find the Right School

Find more schools to match to your needs.

County Resources
US Counties
Click Image to Enlarge