Iowa was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, but it wasn't until 1833 that the first permanent settlement was established in what is now the city of Burlington.
Pottawattamie County, located in western Iowa, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Potawatomi, Sauk, and Fox tribes. These indigenous peoples relied on the land for hunting, fishing, and agriculture, establishing a deep connection with the natural resources in the region. European settlers began arriving in the early 19th century, leading to significant changes in the area.

In the 1830s, the federal government implemented the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the forced relocation of Native American tribes from their ancestral lands. This had a major impact on Pottawattamie County, as the Potawatomi tribe was one of the many tribes displaced during this time. After their removal, European settlers began moving into the area, establishing towns and farms.

Pottawattamie County experienced rapid growth during the mid-19th century, thanks to its strategic location along the Missouri River and the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. These transportation routes played a crucial role in the county's economic development, attracting businesses, industries, and immigrants looking for opportunities. The county became an important hub for trade and agriculture.

Over the years, Pottawattamie County has faced various challenges and undergone significant changes. The county played a role in the Civil War, with many residents serving in the Union Army. It also weathered economic downturns, including the Great Depression, but managed to rebound and diversify its economy. Today, Pottawattamie County is a thriving area with a mixture of urban and rural landscapes, known for its agricultural heritage, educational institutions, and vibrant communities.

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

  • 1836 - Pottawattamie County was established by an act of the Iowa Territorial Legislature.
  • 1837 - The county seat was selected and named as Council Bluffs.
  • 1838 - The first post office was established in Council Bluffs.
  • 1846 - The Mormons arrived in Pottawattamie County on their way to establish Winter Quarters.
  • 1851 - Council Bluffs became an important supply point during the California Gold Rush.
  • 1867 - The Union Pacific Railroad reached Council Bluffs, connecting it to the Transcontinental Railroad.
  • 1872 - Pottawattamie County's first courthouse was constructed.
  • 1887 - The city of Avoca was incorporated.
  • 1891 - The Pottawattamie County Courthouse in Council Bluffs was destroyed by a fire.
  • 1900 - The Carnegie Library in Council Bluffs was built.
  • 1918 - Lake Manawa State Park was established.
  • 1944 - The Squirrel Cage Jail in Council Bluffs was closed.
  • 1986 - Construction of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge was completed, connecting Council Bluffs with Omaha, Nebraska.