The famous explorers Lewis and Clark passed through Iowa in 1804 on their journey to the Pacific Ocean, but they didn't actually set foot on Iowa soil. The expedition traveled along the western border of Iowa, which was then part of the Missouri Territory.
Marion County is located in the state of Iowa and has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. The area was first explored by French fur traders in the late 1700s, but it wasn't until the 1830s that settlers began to establish permanent communities in the area. The county was officially created in January 1845 and is named after Francis Marion, an American Revolutionary War hero known as the "Swamp Fox".

Early settlers in Marion County were primarily farmers who were attracted to the area's fertile soil and abundant natural resources. The county saw rapid growth in the mid-1800s as more settlers arrived and established towns and villages. The communities of Knoxville, Pella, and Pleasantville were among the early settlements in the county.

Marion County played a significant role in the state's agricultural and industrial development. A number of mills, factories, and businesses were established, contributing to the county's economic growth. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century further boosted the county's economy and facilitated transportation of goods and people.

Over the years, Marion County has faced various challenges and undergone significant changes. The Great Depression in the 1930s brought economic hardships to the region, but the county rebounded with the help of government programs and the resilience of its residents. Today, Marion County continues to be a vibrant community with a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and education.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Marion County, Iowa.

  • 1845: Marion County is established as a county in Iowa.
  • 1864: The city of Knoxville is incorporated.
  • 1875: The town of Pella is incorporated.
  • 1881: Marion County Courthouse, located in Knoxville, is constructed.
  • 1883: The Red Rock Dam is built on the Des Moines River.
  • 1891: Lake Red Rock is formed behind the Red Rock Dam.
  • 1932: The Cordova Park Zoo, now known as the Cordova Park and Nature Trail, is established in Knoxville.
  • 1982: The Marion County Historical Society Museum is opened in Pella.
  • 1994: The Red Rock Scenic Overlook is completed, providing panoramic views of Lake Red Rock.
  • 2006: The Knoxville Raceway hosts its first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.