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I am Gail Meyer Kilgore and I am your State Administrator for Iowa's Trails to the Past.  If you have any questions please contact me, we are always willing to add your family information to the site. 



The State of Iowa was one of the heavily traveled trails from points East like St. Louis, Missouri headed for the trail head of the Oregon Trail leaving Omaha or whether it was trails heading to the south or trails headed to California, all paths seemed to cross Iowa.

The first American settlers officially moved to Iowa in June 1833. Primarily, they were families from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. On July 4, 1838, the U.S. Congress established the Territory of Iowa. President Martin Van Buren appointed Robert Lucas governor of the territory, which at the time had 22 counties and a population of 23,242.

Almost immediately after achieving territorial status, a clamor arose for statehood. On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union when President James K. Polk signed Iowa's admission bill into law. Once admitted to the Union, the state's boundary issues resolved, and most of its land purchased from the Indians, Iowa set its direction to development and organized campaigns for settlers and investors, boasting the young frontier state's rich farmlands, fine citizens, free and open society, and good government.  Source: Wikipedia

Added information:

Iowa was first opened to settlement in the spring of 1833, the year following the close of the Black Hawk War and the ending of that portion of the Indian land, bordering on the Mississippi River, thirty miles in width extending from the Des Moines River south to the Turkey River north of Dubuque. At that period there were but two settlements in the "Black Hawk Purchase," one in the present limits of Dubuque County, the other in Lee County, neither of which had an organized existence. In the spring of 1834, the Iowa district (with Wisconsin) was attached to the Territory of Michigan for judicial purposes, and at the first session of the Legislature of Michigan Territory two counties were organized in the Iowa district west of the Mississippi river, Dubuque and Des Moines counties. A very few settlers came during that year, but the number increased during the succeeding years, 1835 -36, when the population reached some ten thousands.





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Copyright Trails to the Past 2014
Trails to the Past - Iowa State: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the internet, data may be used by non-commercial researchers, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format for profit, nor for presentation in any form by any other organization or individual. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than as stated above, must obtain express written permission from the author, or the submitter and from the listed Iowa State  Administrator.