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  • Henry Harrison Senter (1836 - 1919)
  • James Marcus Brady (1815 - 1894)
  • Charles Brady, Sr. (1781 - 1850)
  • Antoine Le Claire (1797 - 1861)
    Le Claire (also "LeClaire"; December 15, 1797 – September 25, 1861) was a US Army interpreter, landowner in Scott County, Iowa, and Rock Island County, Illinois, businessman, philanthropist and princip...
  • George Davenport (1783 - 1845)
    George Davenport, born George William King (1783 – July 4, 1845), was a 19th-century English-American sailor, frontiersman, fur trader, merchant, postmaster, US Army soldier, Indian agent, and city pla...

Settlers in Iowa before statehood: December 28, 1846

Iowa Territory

Most of the area in the territory was originally part of the Louisiana Purchase and was a part of the Missouri Territory. When Missouri became a state in 1821, this area (along with the Dakotas) effectively became unorganized territory. The area was closed to white settlers until the 1830s, after the Black Hawk War ended. It was attached to the Michigan Territory on June 28, 1834. At an extra session of the Sixth Legislative Assembly of Michigan held in September, 1834, the Iowa District was divided into two counties by running a line due west from the lower end of Rock Island in the Mississippi River. The territory north of this line (which started just south of the present-day Davenport) was named Dubuque County, and all south of it was Des Moines County. When Michigan became a state in 1836 the area became the Iowa District of western Wisconsin Territory—the region west of the Mississippi River.

The original boundaries of the territory, as established in 1838, included Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas, covering about 194,000 square miles of land.

Burlington was the provisional capital; Iowa City was designated as the official territorial capital in 1841.

When Iowa became a state on December 28, 1846, no provision was made for official organization of the remainder of the territory. Morgan L. Martin, the Wisconsin territorial delegate to congress, pushed through a bill to organize a territory of Minnesota which would encompass this land. While the bill passed in the house, it did not pass the senate. In the following session a bill by Stephen A. Douglas was introduced in the senate but also did not pass. The situation was resolved when Minnesota Territory was organized on March 3, 1849, the day before the close of congress.

In the 1840 United States census, 18 counties in the Iowa Territory reported. They were, in order of population:

  1. Van Buren
  2. Lee
  3. Des Moines
  4. Henry
  5. Dubuque
  6. Jefferson
  7. Muscatine
  8. Louisa
  9. Washington
  10. Johnson
  11. Jackson
  12. Linn
  13. Cedar
  14. Scott
  15. Clayton
  16. Clinton
  17. Jones
  18. Delaware

Iowa Territory total population was 43,112

Territorial officers of Iowa Territory from 1838–1846


  • Robert Lucas, appointed 1838
  • John Chambers, appointed 1841
  • James Clarke, appointed 1845


  • William B. Conway, appointed 1838; died in office, November 1839
  • James Clarke, appointed 1839
  • O. H. W. Stull, appointed 1841
  • Samuel J. Burr, appointed 1843
  • Jesse Williams, appointed 1845


  • Jesse Williams, appointed 1840
  • William L. Gilbert, appointed 1843
  • Robert M. Secrest, appointed 1845


  • Thornton Bayless, appointed 1839
  • Morgan Reno, appointed 1840

Congressional Delegates

  • William W. Chapman 25th and 26th Congresses, 1838–1840
  • Francis Gehon, irregularly "elected" in 1839, but never served as delegate
  • Augustus C. Dodge, in the 27th, 28th, and 29th Congresses, 1840–1846