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Welcome to Howard County, Iowa

Howard County memorial site

Established: January 15, 1851 Organized

July 17, 1855 County Seat:

Cresco 417 Square miles


Howard County was named for General Tilghman Ashurst Howard, who held various offices in Tennessee and Indiana, and who was long time friends of Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston. Howard County was organized July 17, 1855 by order of Judge James Lyon of Chickasaw County, and an election followed on August 6, 1855.


The first question to be answered after the election of county officers was where to locate the county seat, but for the first few years, the seat of government changed so much that no one was quite sure of the official location until the first Courthouse was built four years later, court sessions were held in the homes of some of the early residents.

History About Howard County


For 25 years (1855-1880), the county seat war went on and the location if the seat of justice was tossed from onecommunity to another. Starting early in 1856 with Vernon Springs (where a sawmill had been built on the Turkey River in 1853) and the county seat was subsequently located at Howard Center (September 1856) and New Oregon.

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Historical Preservation


More Information about Howard County Historical Preservation

Howard County Historical Sites 


Kellow House

Cresco |  Photo Credit by Jon Roanhaus