Historical Marker in
Audubon County, Iowa

The town of Fort Atkinson, Iowa was established in 1840 as a military outpost to protect the Winnebago Indians from hostile neighboring tribes. It was the first military post west of the Mississippi River.
Audubon County, Iowa is located in the southwestern part of the state and has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s. The county was officially established on January 15, 1851, and was named after famed ornithologist and artist John James Audubon.

The first European settlers arrived in Audubon County in the late 1840s, primarily from various parts of Europe, including Germany, Ireland, and Sweden. They were attracted by the fertile soil and the potential for establishing prosperous farms. The early years were marked by the construction of small towns and the development of an agricultural economy.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Audubon County experienced significant growth and progress. Railroads were built, connecting the county to larger markets and expanding trade opportunities. The population increased as more settlers were drawn to the area, contributing to the establishment of schools, churches, and other community institutions.

In the mid-20th century, like many rural areas, Audubon County faced challenges due to the decline of family farms and changing economic landscapes. However, the county adapted to these changes, diversifying its economy and embracing new industries such as manufacturing and healthcare. Today, Audubon County is known for its thriving agriculture, which includes corn, soybeans, and livestock production, as well as its commitment to outdoor recreation and conservation. The John James Audubon Memorial Park and Museum, dedicated to preserving Audubon's artwork and legacy, serves as a cultural highlight of the county.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Audubon County, Iowa.

  • 1848 - Audubon County is established as a county in Iowa.
  • 1857 - The first land purchase is made in the area by a settler named John James Audubon.
  • 1870 - The first official courthouse in Audubon County is constructed in the town of Audubon.
  • 1913 - The Audubon State Savings Bank is founded.
  • 1926 - The current Audubon County courthouse is built.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression takes a toll on the county's economy, leading to a decline in population.
  • 1956 - The Audubon County Memorial Hospital is established.
  • 1981 - The Audubon County Conservation Board is created to manage the county's natural resources.
  • 1999 - The town of Exira celebrates its 125th anniversary.
  • 2015 - Audubon County celebrates its 167th anniversary.