National Register Listings in
Mills County, Iowa

The Field of Dreams movie site, located near Dyersville, Iowa, attracts thousands of visitors each year. The site includes the baseball field used in the movie, as well as a gift shop and museum. The movie, starring Kevin Costner, was released in 1989 and has since become a beloved classic.
Mills County, Iowa is located in the southwestern part of the state along the Missouri River. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Ponca, Omaha, and Otoe. European settlers began arriving in the 1840s, with the Mormon Trail passing through the region. In 1851, the county was officially established and named after Frederick Mills, a politician from Burlington.

During the early years, Mills County developed primarily as an agricultural community, with farms and small towns dotting the landscape. The county experienced growth and prosperity with the expansion of railroads in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, causing towns like Glenwood and Pacific Junction to flourish as transportation hubs. Mills County also saw the establishment of coal mines, providing an additional source of economic activity.

In 2011, Mills County faced a major challenge when it was severely impacted by the Missouri River flooding. The flooding caused widespread damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, leading to evacuations and significant economic losses. However, the community rallied together to rebuild and recover, demonstrating their resilience and determination.

Today, Mills County continues to be primarily rural and agrarian, with a rich history and strong sense of community. The area is known for its natural beauty, including the picturesque Loess Hills and the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, which attracts outdoor enthusiasts. Mills County also hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, showcasing its unique heritage and providing opportunities for residents and visitors to connect and celebrate.

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

  • 1851: Mills County is created by the Iowa legislature and named in honor of Frederick Mills, a justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa.
  • 1852: Glenwood becomes the county seat of Mills County.
  • 1857: The first courthouse in Mills County is built in Glenwood.
  • 1861-1865: Mills County residents serve in the American Civil War, with some joining the Union Army and others fighting for the Confederacy.
  • 1864: The original courthouse in Glenwood is destroyed by fire.
  • 1872: A new courthouse is constructed in Glenwood to replace the previous structure.
  • 1880s: The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad builds a line through Mills County, boosting agricultural trade and economic development.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression brings economic hardship to Mills County, with many residents seeking relief through New Deal programs.
  • 1944: An explosion at the Naval Ammunition Depot near Minden kills ten workers and causes widespread damage.
  • 1958: The current Mills County courthouse is built in Glenwood to replace the previous building.
  • 2008: A devastating flood along the Missouri River affects Mills County, causing significant damage to homes and infrastructure.
  • Present: Mills County continues to be an agricultural community, known for its farming and livestock production.