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Iowa is known for its agricultural production, but did you know that it was once a major producer of coal? In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Iowa had more than 200 coal mines, and coal was the state's leading industry.
Harrison County, Iowa has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the early 1800s. The county was named after William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States and hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Omaha, Otoe, and Missouri tribes.

European settlers began to arrive in the area in the 1830s, attracted by the fertile land and the opportunity for farming. The first white settler in Harrison County was Samuel Davis, who built a cabin near what is now Missouri Valley. Early settlers faced challenges such as harsh winters, prairie fires, and conflicts with Native American tribes.

The county was officially established in 1851 and grew rapidly in the following years. The arrival of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in the 1860s further fueled growth and development. Communities such as Logan, Missouri Valley, and Woodbine sprang up along the railroad lines, becoming important centers of commerce and transportation.

Over the years, Harrison County has experienced various economic booms and downturns. The county's economy was heavily reliant on agriculture, with corn, soybeans, and livestock being the main sources of income. In the 20th century, the construction of the Harlan Reservoir brought additional economic opportunities to the area, including tourism and recreational activities.

Today, Harrison County continues to thrive as a vibrant community. It is home to a diverse population and offers a wide range of recreational and cultural activities. The county's rich history is celebrated through museums, historical landmarks, and events that showcase the area's heritage.

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

  • 1839: Harrison County is established.
  • 1852: The first public school is opened in Harrison County.
  • 1857: The towns of Magnolia and Missouri Valley are platted.
  • 1860: The first courthouse is built in Logan, the county seat.
  • 1864: The Pony Express begins its service through Harrison County.
  • 1870: The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad reaches Harrison County.
  • 1887: The Harrison County Historical Society is founded.
  • 1916: The Missouri River flood causes extensive damage in Harrison County.
  • 1930: The Loess Hills State Forest is established in the county.
  • 1950: The Boyer River Reservoir is constructed in Harrison County.