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The Amana Colonies, located in east-central Iowa, were founded by a group of German immigrants in the mid-1800s. The Amanas are known for their unique communal way of life and their production of high-quality furniture, textiles, and food products.
Cass County, Iowa, located in the southwestern part of the state, has a rich and fascinating history. The area was initially inhabited by various Native American groups, including the Sauk and Meskwaki tribes. European settlers began to arrive in the early 1850s, attracted by the fertile land and the promise of a new frontier.

The county was officially established in 1851 and named after Lewis Cass, a prominent politician and Secretary of State under President James Buchanan. As settlers moved in, towns and communities started to develop, with Atlantic becoming the county seat. The county grew rapidly during the late 19th century, fueled by agriculture and the construction of railroads. The communities of Anita, Griswold, and Lewis also emerged during this period.

Cass County played a significant role in the agricultural revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Farmers in the area adopted new technologies and methods, such as crop rotation and mechanization, which boosted productivity and transformed the region into a major center for pork and grain production. The county's rich soil and favorable climate also supported the growth of orchards and vineyards, leading to the establishment of fruit packing plants and wineries.

In the modern era, Cass County continues to be an important agricultural hub, with farming being the backbone of the local economy. The county is also home to diverse industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and education. Throughout its history, Cass County has remained a tight-knit community, known for its strong work ethic, resilient spirit, and commitment to preserving its rich heritage.

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

  • 1851: Cass County, Iowa, is established as a county.
  • 1853: The first courthouse in Cass County is built in Lewis.
  • 1865-1868: The county suffers from a series of grasshopper plagues, causing significant damage to crops.
  • 1875-1876: A new courthouse is constructed in Atlantic, replacing the old building in Lewis.
  • 1896: The Atlantic and Omaha Railroad is completed, providing improved transportation to and from Cass County.
  • 1924: The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad builds a branch line through Griswold and Anita, further enhancing connectivity.
  • 1933-1942: The Great Depression and Dust Bowl greatly impact Cass County, leading to economic challenges and agricultural struggles.
  • 1969: The Pottawattamie County Community College opens a center in Cass County, offering local residents access to higher education.
  • 1987: The Cass County Historical Society is established to preserve and promote the county's history.
  • 2011: The Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company celebrates its 100th anniversary in Cass County.