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Wisconsin was the first state in the United States to provide workers' compensation for injured workers, in 1911.
Iowa County, Wisconsin is located in the southwestern part of the state and is rich with history. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, specifically the Ho-Chunk, Sauk, and Meskwaki peoples. European fur traders and explorers began to venture into the region in the 17th century, introducing trade and interactions between the Native Americans and Europeans.

In the early 19th century, settlers began to establish permanent communities in what is now Iowa County. The first European-American settlement was established in 1827, around the lead mines located in the area. These lead mines played a significant role in the county's development, attracting workers from various parts of the United States and Europe. As a result, the population grew rapidly, and the county was officially created in 1829, incorporating lands from the Wisconsin Territory.

As the lead mining industry thrived, several towns were established, including Mineral Point, which became the county seat in 1830. Mineral Point, with its unique architecture influenced by European settlers, served as a cultural and economic hub during this time. However, the rapid depletion of lead deposits led to a decline in mining activities by the mid-1840s.

Iowa County's economy diversified in the late 19th century. Agriculture, particularly dairy farming and crop production, became the dominant industry. The county's fertile soil and favorable climate allowed for successful farming practices, contributing to the county's prosperity. Today, Iowa County continues to be a significant agricultural region in Wisconsin, with a mix of small farms and larger agricultural operations.

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

  • 1830: Iowa County is formed as the first county in the Wisconsin Territory.
  • 1836: The county seat is established in Mineral Point.
  • 1842: The first courthouse is built in Mineral Point.
  • 1847: The founding of the University of Wisconsin-Madison leads to an increase in population and economic development.
  • 1861-1865: Iowa County residents actively participate in the Civil War, with many volunteering for the Union Army.
  • 1870: The railroad reaches Mineral Point, improving transportation and boosting the local economy.
  • 1890: Cornerstone of the second Iowa County Courthouse is laid.
  • 1938: Construction of the third and current courthouse is completed in Dodgeville.
  • 1957: Governor Klenke votes in favor of merging several small school districts to create the Iowa-Grant School District.
  • 1980: The Heartland Festival, an annual celebration of the county's heritage, is established in Dodgeville.
  • 2005: Iowa County celebrates its 175th anniversary.