Historical Marker in
Delaware County, Iowa

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.
Delaware County, Iowa has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Meskwaki and the Sauk, who were primarily involved in agriculture and hunting. European settlers began arriving in the early 1800s, and the county was officially established in 1841. It was named after the Delaware tribe, who had once resided in the region.

During its early years, Delaware County experienced rapid growth as more settlers arrived, attracted by the fertile land and opportunities for farming. The arrival of the railroad in the mid-1800s further facilitated economic development and trade in the area. The county became known for its agriculture, particularly its production of wheat, corn, and livestock.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries brought significant industrial and cultural changes to Delaware County. The growth of manufacturing and the emergence of new industries, such as limestone quarries, contributed to the county's economic prosperity. The construction of schools, churches, and community organizations also played a vital role in the establishment of a thriving local culture.

In recent decades, Delaware County has seen a shift in its economic focus, with agriculture and manufacturing remaining important sectors, but tourism and recreational activities also gaining prominence. The county is home to several parks, natural areas, and outdoor recreational facilities that attract visitors from both within and outside the state. Today, Delaware County showcases a blend of its rich past and its modern development, offering residents and visitors a unique mix of history, culture, and natural beauty.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Delaware County, Iowa.

  • 1837: Delaware County was established and organized.
  • 1840s: The area was primarily used for agriculture, with the first settlers establishing farms and homesteads.
  • 1851: The town of Delhi was platted and became the county seat.
  • Late 1800s: The construction of railroads, such as the Illinois Central and the Milwaukee and St. Paul, boosted the county's economy and facilitated transportation of goods.
  • Early 1900s: Industrialization brought the establishment of factories and businesses, contributing to the county's growth and development.
  • 1940s: World War II had a significant impact on Delaware County, as many residents served in the armed forces, while the home front contributed to the war effort.
  • 1950s-1960s: The advent of modern technology and infrastructure improvements further transformed the county, including the expansion of highways and the introduction of telecommunication networks.
  • 1980s-1990s: The county experienced economic diversification, with a focus on tourism, retail, and service industries.
  • 2000s: Delaware County continued to thrive, balancing its agricultural roots with growing sectors like healthcare, education, and renewable energy.