Iowa was one of the first states to grant women the right to vote. In 1869, the Iowa state legislature passed a law allowing women to vote in school board elections. This was more than 50 years before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote nationwide.
Bremer County, Iowa, located in the northeastern part of the state, has a rich history dating back to early Native American settlements. The region was home to various Native American tribes, including the Meskwaki and Fox tribes, who hunted and fished in the area. The first European settlers arrived in the mid-19th century, attracted by the fertile land and proximity to water sources such as the Cedar River.

The county was officially organized in 1853 and named after Fredrika Bremer, a Swedish author and advocate for women's rights. The early settlers faced challenges such as harsh winters and limited infrastructure, but gradually established communities and began agricultural practices. Bremer County quickly became known for its successful farming and rural lifestyle.

Throughout its history, Bremer County has witnessed significant changes and developments. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century brought new opportunities for commerce and transportation. With the growth of the railroad industry, the county prospered and experienced an influx of immigrants, particularly from Germany and Scandinavia. The county's population increased, and new towns and villages were established.

Over the years, Bremer County has faced challenges such as the impact of two World Wars, the Great Depression, and changing agricultural practices. Nevertheless, the county has remained resilient and adapted to these changes. Today, Bremer County is a thriving community with a mix of urban and rural areas, offering a range of recreational activities, business opportunities, and a strong sense of community.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Bremer County, Iowa.

  • 1851 - Bremer County is established by the Iowa legislature.
  • 1852 - First settlers arrive in the county.
  • 1854 - The town of Waverly is platted.
  • 1856 - Bremer County's first post office is established in Waverly.
  • 1858 - The first courthouse is built in Waverly.
  • 1861-1865 - Bremer County residents serve in the American Civil War.
  • 1868 - Waverly becomes the county seat of Bremer County.
  • 1881 - The Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway reaches Waverly.
  • 1893-1896 - Bremer County experiences an agricultural depression.
  • 1905 - County officials adopt a new courthouse building in Waverly.
  • 1927 - The local farm bureau is organized in Bremer County.
  • 1933-1936 - The Civilian Conservation Corps completes several projects in the county.
  • 1950s-1960s - Waverly experiences significant population growth.
  • 1980 - The Bremer County Historical Society is established.
  • 1996 - The Bremer County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.