Historical Marker in
Jones County, Iowa

The famous outlaw Jesse James once robbed a bank in Corydon, Iowa in 1871. It was the first bank robbery in the state's history.
Jones County, Iowa, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1837. Named after George Wallace Jones, a United States Senator from Dubuque, the county was initially settled by pioneers attracted to the region's fertile soil and natural resources. The area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Meskwaki and the Sauk and Fox, before European settlers arrived.

The county's early economic growth was fueled by agriculture, with corn and wheat farming becoming popular. In the mid-19th century, Jones County experienced a surge in population due to the construction of two railroads, which improved transportation and created new opportunities for trade and commerce. Many towns within the county, such as Anamosa, Monticello, and Olin, were established during this period and continue to thrive today.

During the American Civil War, Jones County gained notoriety as the site of the "Jones County Rebellion." Frustrated by the war's impact on their livelihoods, a group of local farmers formed an independent militia and declared their opposition to both the Union and Confederate causes. Known as the "Jones County Scouts," they resisted draft orders and tax collectors, sparking controversy and attracting national attention.

In the 20th century, Jones County experienced further growth and prosperity. The county embraced modernization, with advancements in transportation, technology, and infrastructure. Agriculture remained a vital part of the economy, but new industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare, also emerged. Today, Jones County is known for its beautiful landscapes, historical landmarks, and vibrant communities, providing a unique blend of history and progress for its residents and visitors alike.

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

  • 1837 - Jones County is established as a county in the state of Iowa
  • 1839 - The town of Wyoming is founded
  • 1840 - Antrim Township is organized
  • 1842 - Jones County's first permanent courthouse is built in the town of Jackson
  • 1847 - The town of Monticello is platted
  • 1850 - The first newspaper, the Jones County Republican, is published
  • 1855 - The first railroad, the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad, is completed in Jones County
  • 1861 - The American Civil War begins, and many Jones County residents serve in the Union Army
  • 1873 - The current Jones County Courthouse is built in Anamosa
  • 1891 - The Anamosa State Penitentiary is established
  • 1919 - The Jones County Historical Society is founded
  • 1967 - The Jones County Conservation Board is established
  • 2008 - The Great Jones County Fair celebrates its 155th year