The first American casualty of World War I was a sailor from Iowa named Merle Hay. He was killed when the German submarine U-58 torpedoed the USS Jacob Jones on December 6, 1917.
Winneshiek County is located in the state of Iowa in the United States. It was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Dakota, Ho-Chunk, and Ioway. The first European settlers arrived in the area in the early 1840s, and in 1847, Winneshiek County was officially established. The county was named after Chief Winneshiek, a Ho-Chunk leader who was known for his friendship with European settlers.

The early economy of Winneshiek County was primarily focused on agriculture, with settlers establishing farms and raising livestock. The county's rich soil and favorable climate made it well-suited for farming, and as a result, agriculture became the backbone of the local economy. Over time, the county also saw the development of small industries, including flour mills and sawmills, which further contributed to its growth.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Winneshiek County experienced significant population growth, driven in part by immigration from Scandinavia. Norwegian and Danish immigrants, in particular, settled in the county and brought with them their cultural traditions and heritage. Today, the influence of Scandinavian heritage is still evident in the local community, with annual festivals and events celebrating these cultural ties.

In recent decades, Winneshiek County has seen a shift in its economy. While agriculture remains important, the county has also become known for its education and healthcare sectors. Luther College, a private liberal arts college, is located in Decorah, the county seat, and has played a significant role in the local economy. Additionally, Winneshiek Medical Center, a leading healthcare facility, has also contributed to the county's economic prosperity.

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

  • 1851 - Winneshiek County is established
  • 1852 - The first courthouse is built in Decorah, the county seat
  • 1857 - The Decorah Post Office is established
  • 1876 - The Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway reaches Decorah
  • 1879 - Luther College is founded
  • 1883 - The Decorah Public Library opens
  • 1885 - Winneshiek County Courthouse burns down, a new one is built in its place
  • 1914 - Decorah becomes the first city in Iowa to adopt the city manager form of government
  • 1964 - Upper Iowa University opens a branch in Decorah
  • 1997 - The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum becomes a National Historic Landmark
  • 2011 - Magellan Pipeline Co. spills gasoline into a stream, causing an environmental disaster