The Iowa State Fair, one of the largest and oldest state fairs in the country, was first held in 1854 in Fairfield, Iowa. Today, it is held in Des Moines and attracts more than a million visitors each year.
Hamilton County, Iowa, is located in the heartland of the United States and has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1856. The county was named after William W. Hamilton, an influential politician from Illinois. The early settlers of Hamilton County were primarily of European descent, mainly coming from states such as Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania.

In its early years, Hamilton County relied heavily on agriculture as its main industry. Farmers cultivated crops such as corn, soybeans, oats, and wheat, taking advantage of the fertile soil and favorable growing conditions. The county also had a strong livestock industry, with cattle, hogs, and poultry being raised for both local consumption and trade with neighboring counties and states.

As the county developed, commerce began to play a significant role in Hamilton County's economy. The county seat, Webster City, became a bustling center of trade and industry. Businesses ranging from general stores to mills and factories contributed to the county's growth and prosperity. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century further boosted economic development, providing efficient transportation for both people and goods.

Throughout its history, Hamilton County has faced challenges and overcome adversity. The Great Depression of the 1930s hit the county hard, leading to significant economic hardship for its residents. However, the county bounced back, and in the post-war period, saw a surge of industrial growth and diversification. Today, Hamilton County continues to be a vibrant community, blending its rich agricultural heritage with modern industries and a commitment to progress and innovation.

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

  • 1856: Hamilton County is founded, named after William W. Hamilton, a president of the Fort Des Moines Association.
  • 1857: The first settlers arrive in the county, establishing farms and communities.
  • 1862-1865: Hamilton County residents participate in the American Civil War, with many serving in the Union Army.
  • 1875: The Chicago and Northwestern Railway reaches Webster City, boosting economic development in the county.
  • 1881: The county seat is moved from Webster City to Eagle Grove, but later moved back to Webster City in 1886.
  • 1892: The Webster City Brick and Tile Company is established, becoming a major employer in the area.
  • 1902: Hamilton County's first courthouse is built in Webster City.
  • 1926: Construction of US Highway 20 through the county enhances transportation links.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression brings economic hardships to Hamilton County, with many struggling to make a living.
  • 1959: The Hamilton County Speedway opens in Webster City, becoming a popular venue for auto racing.
  • 1980s: The county experiences a decline in agriculture, leading to a shift towards manufacturing and service industries.
  • 1997: The Briggs Woods Park and Golf Course is established, providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.