Historical Marker in
Jackson County, Iowa

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.
Jackson County, Iowa is a richly historical area situated in the eastern part of the state. The county's history can be traced back to the early 19th century, when European settlers arrived in the area. The first settlement established in present-day Jackson County was Bellevue, in 1833. Soon after, more settlers began to arrive, attracted by the fertile land and opportunities for farming.

The county was officially established on December 21, 1837 and named after President Andrew Jackson. In the early years, Jackson County experienced rapid growth as more families settled in the area. Towns and communities such as Maquoketa, Sabula, and Andrew were formed, each with its own unique history and character.

Throughout the 19th century, Jackson County played a significant role in the development of Iowa. The county was crossed by several major transportation routes, including the Mississippi River and the Chicago and North Western Railway. As a result, the region became an important hub for commerce and trade, with industries such as logging, mining, and agriculture flourishing.

In the 20th century, Jackson County continued to evolve, adapting to changing times and economic shifts. The Great Depression and World War II had a significant impact on the county, but it managed to rebound and thrive in the post-war era. Today, Jackson County attracts visitors with its beautiful natural landscapes, historic sites, and recreational opportunities, while also preserving and celebrating its rich heritage.

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

  • 1837 - Jackson County is established on December 21.
  • 1838 - First settler, Samuel F. Lockwood, arrives in the county.
  • 1841 - County seat is established in Andrew, Iowa.
  • 1851 - Maquoketa becomes the new county seat on April 8.
  • 1861 to 1865 - Jackson County residents serve in the American Civil War.
  • 1870 - Railroad service reaches Maquoketa.
  • 1875 - Bellevue State Park is established.
  • 1902 - Ohnward Bancshares, Inc., is founded in Cascade, Iowa.
  • 1929 - Hurstville Lime Kilns and Caves are dedicated as a scenic state park on September 2.
  • 1959 - Maquoketa Caves State Park is dedicated on September 5.
  • 2012 - A wind farm is established in Jackson County.