In the early 1900s, the town of Villisca, Iowa was the site of a gruesome murder that remains unsolved to this day. On June 10, 1912, eight people were bludgeoned to death with an axe in their home. The crime is known as the Villisca Axe Murders and has been the subject of numerous books, films, and TV shows.
Plymouth County, Iowa, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Sioux, who relied on the abundant natural resources provided by the land. In the mid-19th century, European settlers arrived and established the first permanent settlements in the area.

The county was officially created in 1851 and named after Plymouth, Massachusetts, the original home of many of the settlers. The economy of early Plymouth County was primarily agricultural, with farmers cultivating crops such as corn, wheat, and oats. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century boosted the local economy, allowing for easier transportation of goods and opening up new markets for farmers.

Plymouth County saw substantial growth during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Towns such as Le Mars, the county seat, saw the establishment of various industries and businesses, including creameries and agricultural equipment manufacturers. The county also experienced an influx of immigrants, including people of Dutch and German descent, who brought unique cultural traditions and contributed to the community's growth.

In the following decades, Plymouth County continued to evolve and adapt to changing times. Like many rural areas, it faced challenges such as the decline of small family farms and the consolidation of agricultural operations. However, the county has remained resilient, diversifying its economy to include not only agriculture but also manufacturing, retail, and healthcare industries. Today, Plymouth County continues to be a vibrant community that embraces its heritage while looking towards a promising future.

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

  • 1837 - Congress creates the Wisconsin Territory, including present-day Plymouth County
  • 1851 - Plymouth County is established as a county within the Iowa Territory
  • 1856 - First permanent settlers arrive in Plymouth County
  • 1858 - Le Mars becomes the county seat
  • 1860 - First post office is established in Le Mars
  • 1869 - Railroad reaches Le Mars, stimulating economic growth
  • 1872 - County courthouse is built in Le Mars
  • 1950s - Agriculture and industry become major drivers of the local economy
  • 1972 - Plymouth County Historical Museum opens in Le Mars
  • 2010 - Census records a population of over 24,000 in Plymouth County