Main Births etc
Iowaville, Iowa
—  Ghost town  —

Map of Iowa c.1845 Carey and Hart

Country United States
State Iowa
County Van Buren
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 319
FIPS code
GNIS feature ID

Iowaville was a small town on the lowland near the northeast bank of the Des Moines River, near the line between Davis and Van Buren counties, and between present-day Eldon and Selma, Iowa. It was established about 1838 near the site of earlier trading posts. Iowaville is now farm land with almost nothing to show the town location, but it is an important Iowa archaeological site.[1][2][3]

The area around the town site had long been used by the Ioway Indians. The residents of Iowaville were frequent visitors to Fort Madison, 1808–1813, the first U.S. Army post in the Upper Mississippi. Iowaville was attacked in the 1810s or early 1820s, perhaps by the Sauk under leadership of Pashepaho and Black Hawk,[4][5] but there is also evidence it was attacked by the Dakota or may have been abandoned because of smallpox.[6]

Keokuk made his home near there for a time.[7]

Trader and settler John Jordan operated near here from 1837[4] and platted the town in 1838. Iowaville was badly flooded during the Flood of 1851.[8][9] The town was prosperous for a time, with a peak population of perhaps 200, but it declined rapidly after the railroad came to nearby Eldon.[10]

There was a postoffice established in Iowaville on January 11, 1840 that closed on September 26, 1870.[11]

Black Hawk spent his last few years living in the area.[12] There is a marker for him in the Iowaville Cemetery[13] on the hill over the river, although it is unknown if any of his remains are there.


  1. ^ Alex, Lynn M. (2000). Iowa's Archaeological Past. University of Iowa Press. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Iowaville: Ioway and the 18th-century Fur Trade in Southeast Iowa. Newsletter of the Iowa Archeological Society 58(3):4-5.
  4. ^ a b Andreas Atlas of Iowa, 1875 "Davis Co. Early History"
  5. ^ B.F. Gue, History of Iowa, 1903,
  6. ^ Peterson, Cynthia (2009). "Historical Tribes and Early Forts". Frontier Forts of Iowa: Indians, Traders and Soldiers 1682-1862. University of Iowa Press. pp. 18–20. 
  7. ^ Andreas Atlas of Iowa, 1875 "Van Buren Co. Early History"
  8. ^ The Flood of 1851, The Palimpsest 1934 15(6)
  9. ^ Tacitus Hussey 1902, The Flood of 1851, The Annals of Iowa 5(6)
  10. ^ "The Blotting Out of an Iowa Town", 1908 Annals of Iowa 11(57-59).
  11. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Iowaville Post Office (historical)". U S Geological Survey GNIS. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ Andreas Atlas of Iowa, 1875 "Davis Co. Early History" and "Van Buren Co. Early History"
  13. ^

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