Iowa History Timeline


Louisiana Purchase

Louisiana Purchase (all of Iowa is included in the Louisiana Purchase) bought for a total of 15 million, under 3 cents an acre

First School in Iowa

Berryman Jennings taught in a log cabin in Lee country in southeast Iowa. Paid privately by parents who wanted their kids to have an education.

First Christian Church in Iowa

Methodist Church becomes first Christian Church in Iowa

Iowa Territory Established

With a population of 22,859, Iowa is allowed to appoint a governor, Robert Lucas becomes first territorial governor.

Iowa Band to Iowa

After graduating from Andover Theological Seminary, 8 Congregationalists enter Iowa to start churches, schools, and colleges.

Iowa Admitted to Union

Iowa becomes the 29th state in America.

Sioux Cession

All Native American Indian claim to Iowa land is officially gone after the Sioux Cession in northwest Iowa.

Iowa's Constitution Goes Into Effect

Old constitution of 1846 is trashed and a new constitution is drawn up starting from scratch. There have been 36 amendments

Iowa Board of Immigration Formed

Iowa created this board in order to encourage immigration from Europe to Iowa. Brochures are printed in English, Dutch, German, Swedish, and Danish.

Women Suffrage Convention Held

Organized by Joseph A. Dugdale to start women's suffrage in Iowa.

Herbert Hoover Born

Only Iowan born president is born in West Branch, Iowa.

Iowa First Nationally in Corn Production

For the first time, Iowa produced the most corn of any state.

Grant Wood Born

Grant Wood born in Iowa--most famous artist from Iowa, popular for "American Gothic"

George Washington Carver Transfers to Iowa State

George Washington Carver transfers from Simpson College to Iowa State for five years he was the only black student. Later became first black to earn a Master's degree as well as the first black faculty member.

Maytag enters Iowa

Maytag begins in Newton Iowa start producing washing machines.

Buxton Native co-founds NAACP

In 1905, J.E. Buxton from Buxton Iowa co-founded the Niagra movement which became the NAACP in 1909

Iowan First American Casualty of WWI

Pvt. Merle Hay is one of 3 men killed simultaneously by an explosion in France.

Iowa's First Female Secretary of State

Viola Babcock Miller was a result of early Iowan women's suffrage movements, by 1935 she helped create and then headed the Iowa State Patrol increasing from 50 officers in 1935 to 150 by 1938.

Iowan Develops First Computer

Atanasoff-Berry Computer is the first electronic digital computer built at Iowa State University.

First Television Broadcast in Iowa

Reached approximately 400 homes in the Quad-Cities.

Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man" performs Broadway

Iowan Native Meredith Wilson from Mason City gets his first Broadway start with, "The Music Man"

Amana Corporation Creates FIrst Microwave

Iowa company, Amana Corporation sold the first countertop microwave oven.

Iowan Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Borlaug wins the prize for his work creating strains of disease-resistant wheat in Mexico and India as well as increased the food supply in third world countries.


The beginning of the annual bike race across Iowa.

Field of Dreams Filmed in Iowa

Field of Dreams is filmed in Dyersville Iowa.

Iowan Wins the Masters

Zach Johnson from Cedar Rapids and Drake graduate won the Masters.