Historical Marker in
Chickasaw County, Iowa

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In the mid-1800s, Iowa was a major hub for the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved African Americans to escape to freedom in the North.
Chickasaw County, Iowa, has a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. Originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Chickasaw and Dakota Sioux, the area was home to the Indigenous people for thousands of years. European settlers began to arrive in the early 1800s, with the first permanent settlers establishing homesteads in the 1840s.

The county was officially established in 1851 and named after the Chickasaw tribe, who had occupied the region prior to European settlement. Agriculture played a crucial role in the county's early development, with farming and livestock becoming the primary industries. As the population grew, towns such as New Hampton, Nashua, and Fredericksburg emerged as major centers of commerce and industry.

Chickasaw County experienced significant growth during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Railroads were constructed, connecting the county to larger markets and facilitating the transportation of goods. The discovery of natural resources, such as limestone and clay, further contributed to economic expansion. The establishment of schools, churches, and other community institutions also played a vital role in shaping the county's identity.

In more recent years, Chickasaw County has continued to adapt and grow. The agricultural sector remains a significant part of the local economy, but the county has also diversified its industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism. Today, Chickasaw County blends its rich history with modern amenities, while preserving its natural beauty and strong sense of community.

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

  • 1851 - Chickasaw County is established as a county in the state of Iowa
  • 1857 - First courthouse in Chickasaw County is built in Bradford
  • 1861-1865 - Chickasaw County residents actively participate in the American Civil War
  • 1870 - County seat is moved from Bradford to New Hampton
  • 1875 - First railroad enters Chickasaw County, improving transportation and boosting economic development
  • 1885 - New Hampton Public Library is established
  • 1898 - Chickasaw County Agricultural Society organizes the first county fair in New Hampton
  • 1919-1933 - Prohibition era affects the county, leading to an increase in illegal alcohol production and consumption
  • 1936 - The Chickasaw County Historical Society is formed to preserve the county's history
  • 1969 - Heavy flooding occurs in Chickasaw County, causing significant damage to homes and infrastructure
  • 1998 - Nashua-Plainfield School District is formed through a consolidation of two local school districts
  • 2011 - Historic Bradford Bridge is renovated and reopened for pedestrian use