In 1917, a German submarine sank the SS Housatonic, a U.S. freighter carrying food and supplies to Europe during World War I, off the coast of South Carolina. Among the crew members who went down with the ship was an Iowa native named Herbert C. Jones, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the sinking.
Marshall County, Iowa, has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Fox and Sauk tribes. European settlers began to arrive in the early 19th century, drawn to the fertile soil and abundant natural resources.

In 1846, Marshall County was officially established and named after John Marshall, the then Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The county quickly became an important agricultural center, with settlers cultivating crops such as corn and wheat, and raising livestock. The arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century further spurred economic growth, allowing for increased transportation and trade opportunities.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Marshall County underwent significant industrialization. Several factories and mills were established, and the county became a prominent manufacturing hub for items such as agricultural machinery, wire products, and textiles. This period of industrial growth brought a wave of immigrants to the region, including many Eastern Europeans seeking work in the factories.

Throughout the 20th century, Marshall County continued to evolve and adapt to changing societal and economic trends. The agricultural sector remained an important part of the county's economy, while new industries such as healthcare and education began to emerge. Today, Marshall County is a vibrant community that celebrates its past while embracing the opportunities of the future.

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

  • 1848 - Marshall County is established
  • 1851 - First post office is established in Marietta
  • 1853 - County seat is moved from Marietta to Marshalltown
  • 1856 - First courthouse is built
  • 1863 - Marshalltown becomes an incorporated city
  • 1874 - First public school is established
  • 1879 - Marshall County Historical Society is founded
  • 1895 - Grimes Farm and Conservation Center is established
  • 1906 - Electric streetcars begin operating in Marshalltown
  • 1935 - Marshall County Airport is opened
  • 1962 - Marshalltown Community College is founded
  • 2001 - Iowa Veterans Home museum opens in Marshalltown