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Chickasaw County Iowa

Chickasaw County administrative offices are located at 24 North Chestnut Avenue, New Hampton, IA 50659; phone: 641-394-3426.

Beginnings [1]

Prior to the settlement of the county, a tribe of Indians bearing the name of Chickasaw occupied it. The chief of this tribe was called Bradford. The county and the town of Chickasaw were named after this Indian tribe and the township of Bradford after its chief. New Hampton township was so named by Osgood Gowan, in honor of his old home, he having come from New Hampton, New Hampshire.

At the time of its organization in 1854, the population of the county was about six hundred. In two years it had increased to two thousand and six hundred fifty one, due to emigration and settlements. Chickasaw County started out with seven townships, which at the present time this number has increased to twelve.

Chickasaw County was first created as a political sub-division of the State of Iowa in 1851. On January 12, 1853, this county was attached to Fayette County for election, revenue and judicial purposes, but on the 31st of June 1853, in answer to a petition circulated by a number of residents of the county stating that on the first Monday in August an election was to be held in the town of Bradford for the sake of organizing Chickasaw County, and for the purpose of electing its officials.

The officers were duly elected at this date, but due to some misunderstanding, they were not given the power to perform the functions of their respective offices. In April 1854, another election was called at which time the officials were properly elected, including a county sheriff, county judge, clerk, treasurer, and recorder and prosecuting attorney.

About the year 1856, the land upon which New Hampton is located was platted and a few houses were built. It was not much of a town at first, but at this time the question removing the county seat from Bradford to a more central location was seriously agitated. For several years this question was the source of serious trouble, as the towns of Fredericksburg, Forest City and Bradford were also fighting for it. New Hampton offered no special benefits for the county seat, with the exception of it being centrally located. The county seat was moved about at will, and it was not determined until New Hampton possession of it in the year of 1860, after a fight through the courts. During the years of contest over the location of the county seat the Chickasaw County courthouse was in a transitory state. For that reason no suitable building was provided for the transaction of the county business.

  1. Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments, Chickasaw County, Iowa Comprehensive Land Use Plan, 2007,, accessed October, 2015.
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