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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.

Scott County, Iowa

Scott County Education, Geography, and HistoryScott County, Iowa Courthouse

Scott County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 165,224, making it the third-most populous county in Iowa. Scott County was created on December 21, 1837. The county seat is Davenport. The county is named in honor of Winfield Scott (1786–1866), the general and commander of the United States Army in the years leading up to the American Civil War.

Scott County is included in the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Scott County Name

Scott county is named for Winfield Scott, the general and commander of the United States Army in the years leading up to the American Civil War.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Scott County History

For thousands of years native Americans lived on the land which we now call Scott County. In the early 1830s non-natives of European ancestry began to arrive and settle in the area. Scott County as a political subdivision was established by an act of the territorial legislature of Wisconsin in 1837. By this time the county had been completely surveyed, and copies of the original survey are still available for study. The new county was named in honor of Major General Winfield Scott, Commander-In-Chief of the US Army from 1841 until the beginning of the Civil War, and the presiding officer at the signing of the peace treaty ending the Black Hawk War. He negotiated the first treaty purchasing lands in Iowa from Indians.

Located in eastern-most Iowa, Scott County is bordered on three sides by water, the Mississippi River on two sides, and the Wapsipinicon River on the third.

The first election of county officers took place in February of 1838. Also in that election voters were charged with the responsibility of choosing a county seat and the newly incorporated city of Davenport eventually won out, but only after losing the first time to a town called Rockingham in a rigged election. Davenport maintains its original Charter City designation, meaning it was a city prior to Iowa statehood.

From 1838 until 1850 county commissioners were elected annually and in 1861 the commissioners officially became the Board of Supervisors. In 1874 the number of supervisor positions was set at five, which it still is today , almost 130 years later.

Early white settler Antoine LeClaire donated the land for the first, and subsequent, courthouses. With the addition of county treasurer, recorder, auditor, prosecuting attorney, and trial courts the courthouse building quickly became inadequate and in 1886 a magnificent stone, brick, and mortar courthouse was built at what was then an astronomical sum of $125,000. Even before the building was complete it was evident there were problems; the entire structure was sinking in the sandy soil upon which it was built. After a while even the huge dome was removed in an effort to lesson the weight of the structure. County government managed to endure in that building until finally, in 1955 a new courthouse was constructed, an aluminum-clad structure typical of government architecture at the time.

From the mid 1950s until today Scott County's population has increased by 50%, and more people means more services to the citizens. Consequently the county added an annex building which has been remodeled a couple of times, acquired a six story building called the Bicentennial Building which has been utilized by various offices over the years, and renovated the jail in 1980, something which hadn't been done since it's erection in 1897.

Scott County is currently in the midst of an ambitious eleven year renovation project which will eventually move all non-court related offices out of the courthouse into the nearby Bicentennial Building. A community pavilion addition is planned for the Bicentennial Building which will serve as a new boardroom for the Board of Supervisors and for use by public groups. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2011.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 468 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (2.2%) is water.

Scott county is located in east Iowa.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Clinton County
  • South: Rock Island County, Ill.
  • Southwest: Muscatine County
  • Northwest: Cedar County


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