1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Iowa
IOWA, a north central state of the United States, situated between latitudes 40° 36′ and 43° 30′ N. and between longitudes 89° 5′ and 96° 31′ W. It is bounded N. by Minnesota, E. by the Mississippi river, which separates it from Wisconsin and Illinois, S. by Missouri, and W. by the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers, which separate it from Nebraska and South Dakota. Its total area is 56,147 sq. m., of which 561 sq. m. are water surface.
Physical Features.—Topographically, Iowa lies wholly in the Prairie Plains Region, part of it having been overrun by the Great Ice Sheet of the Glacial epoch. For the most part the surface is that of a prairie tableland, moderately rolling, and with a general but scarcely perceptible slope, which in the eastern two-thirds is from N.W. to S.E., and in the western third from N.E. to S.W. Elevations above the sea range from between 1200 to 1675 ft. in the N.W. to 500 ft. and less in the S.E., the highest point being in the vicinity of Spirit lake in Dickinson county, the lowest at Keokuk. In the southern half of the state the height of the crests of the divides is very uniform. The northern half is more broken and irregular; elevations, usually rounded, mingle with depressions some of which are occupied by small shallow lakes or ponds, the characteristic physical features of this region being due to glaciation. But the most marked departures from the prairie surface are in the N.E. and S.W. In the N.E. the whole of Allamakee and parts of Winneshick, Fayette, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson counties form the only driftless area of the state; in that section cliffs frequently rise almost vertically from the banks of a river to a height of from 300 to 400 ft., and from the summit of the cliff to the crest of the divide, a few miles distant, there is another ascent of 300 ft. or more terminating occasionally in knob-topped hills crowned in many instances with small cedar. Moreover, the largest streams have numerous tributaries, and nearly all alike flow circuitously between steep if not vertical cliffs or in deep craggy ravines overlooked by distant hills, among which the wagon road has wound its way with difficulty. In the W., S. from the mouth of the Big Sioux river, extends a line of mound-like bluffs usually free from rocks, but rising abruptly from the flood plain of the Missouri to a height varying from 100 to 300 ft. A broad water-parting extending from Spirit lake, on the northern border, nearly S. to within 60 m. of the southern border, and thence S.E. to Wayne county in the south central part of Iowa, divides the state into two drainage systems. That to the E., comprising about two-thirds of the whole area, is drained by tributaries of the Mississippi, of which the Des Moines, the Skunk, the Iowa with its tributary the Cedar, and the Wapsipinicon are the largest, streams of long courses and easy fall over beds frequently pebbly in the N. but muddy in the S., and through valleys broad at their sources, well drained, and gently sloping in the middle of their courses, but becoming narrower and deeper towards their mouths; that to the W. is drained by tributaries of the Missouri, mostly short streams taking their rise from numerous rivulets, flowing quite rapidly over muddy beds through much of their courses, and in the bluff belt along the Missouri having steep but grassy banks 200 ft. in height or more. (For geological details, see United States, section Geology, ad fin.)
Flora and Fauna.—The predominant feature of the flora is the grasses of the prairie. The former forests of the state were of two general classes: on the bottom lands along the rivers grew cottonwood, willow, honey-locust, coffee trees, black ash, and elm; on the less heavily wooded uplands were oaks (white, red, yellow and bur), hickory (bitternut and pignut), white and green ash, butternut, ironwood and hackberry. The growth was heavier, however, in the E. than in the W., but, it has been estimated, covered in all about one-fifth of the area of the state at the time of its first settlement by the whites. In the N.E., also, small cedar and pine are found. But everywhere now most of the merchantable timber has been cut; in 1900 it was estimated that there were altogether about 7000, sq. m. of woodland in the state. The bison and elk long ago disappeared; black bear and deer were long found in unsettled parts of the state. Ducks, geese and other water birds are common, especially during their migrations.
Climate.—The climate is one of great extremes of heat and cold, with a dry winter and a usually wet summer, the prevailing wind of winter being N.W. while in summer it not infrequently blows from the S.W. Both the midwinter isotherm of Montreal and the mid-summer one of Washington, D.C., pass through the state. The mean annual temperature is 47.5° F.; the average range of extremes per year during the decade ending with 1900 was 136° F., while the greatest extremes recorded are from −43° F. in 1888 to 113° F. in 1901, a difference of 156° F. From 1893 to 1898 the average mean annual temperature at Cresco in Howard county, near the N.E. corner of the state, was 44.3° F., while at Keokuk in the S.E. corner it was 52.2° F., and as the isotherms cross the state, especially in the N., their tendency is to move S.W. The rainfall is also very unequal in distribution throughout the year, as also between the same periods of different years, and as between the different parts of the state. For while the mean annual precipitation is 31.42 in., 22.48 in., or 71% of this, fall during the six months from the 1st of April to the 1st of October, or 10% in winter, 23% in autumn, 28% in spring and 39% in summer, June and July being the two wettest months. At the same time extremes during the four most critical crop months, from the 1st of May to the 1st of September, have ranged from 6.75 in. in 1894 to 27.8 in. in 1902. Within any one year the precipitation is in general usually less in the western part of the state than in the eastern, the mean difference for all the years of record up to the close of 1903 being 2.5 in.; the western part also is marked by having a still larger per cent of its rain in spring and summer than has the eastern. The unequal distribution throughout the state is in much larger measure due to local showers. Injury to crops from drought and hot winds has occurred about two or three times in a decade, but liability to injury of the crops from excessive rainfall and hailstorms is greater than that from a deficiency of moisture. Three notable tornadoes have swept portions of the state: the Comanche in June 1860, the Grinnell in June 1882 and the Pomeroy in July 1893; but the greatest area traversed by any of these was less than one-twentieth of 1% of the total area of the state, and this kind of storm has been less destructive to human life, animals and buildings than the lightning which accompanies summer showers.
Soil, Agriculture.—Its depth, together with its porous nature, makes the fertile soil of Iowa capable of withstanding the extremes of wet and dry remarkably well, and it is perhaps true that, taken as a whole, no other state in the Union has a superior soil for agriculture. Certainly no other has so many acres of improved land, or so large a proportion—from 85 to 90%—of its land subject to cultivation. The soil is of four kinds: till or drift, alluvial, loess or bluff and geest. The dark drift, composed chiefly of clay, sand, gravel, boulders and lime, is both the soil and subsoil of the greater part (about 66%) of the state, being especially predominant in the N. and N.W. The alluvial soil, composed of what has been washed from other soils, together with decayed vegetable matter, covers about 6% of the surface of the state and is found in the river bottoms, of greatest extent in that of the Missouri; it varies much in fertility. The loess soil, chiefly a mixture of porous clay and carbonate of lime, forms the bluffs bordering the bottom lands of the Missouri and is common in the N.E. Its fertility is not inferior to that of the better drift. Geest is found particularly in the north-eastern part of the state; it covers less than 1% of the area of the state.
The superior qualities of the soil, together with the usually warm and moist months of spring and summer, make Iowa one of the foremost states of the Union in agriculture and stock-raising, especially in the production of Indian corn, oats, hay and eggs, and in the raising of hogs, horses, dairy cows and poultry. In comparison with its other industries it stands also pre-eminently as an agricultural state; for of its 789,404 labourers in 1900, 371,604, or 47%, were engaged in agriculture, 129,006 being engaged in trade and transportation, and 124,803 in manufactures and mechanical pursuits. In 1899 the total value of the agricultural products, $365,411,528, was greater than that of any other state. Of the farms 65.1% were cultivated by owners in 1900, a decrease from 76.2% in 1880; and 19.5% were cultivated by cash tenants, an increase from 4.5% in 1880. After 1880 the percentage of farms operated by share tenants slowly but steadily decreased, falling from 19.4% in 1880 to 15.4% in 1900. Between 1880 and 1900 the average number of acres to a farm slightly increased—from 133.5 acres in 1880 to 151.2 acres in 1900—instead of decreasing as in the older states of the Union; though the increase was not nearly so marked as in such states as Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Texas. Iowa about equals Illinois in the production of both Indian corn and oats, nearly 10,000,000 acres or about one-third of its improved area usually being planted with Indian corn, with a yield varying from 227,908,850 bushels in 1901 (according to state reports) to 373,275,000 (the largest in the United States, with a crop value second only to that of Illinois) in 1906. According to the Department of Agriculture in 1907 the acreage was 9,160,000 and the yield 270,220,000 bushels (considerably less than the Illinois crop); the yield of oats was 168,364,170 bushels (Twelfth U.S. Census) in 1899, 124,738,337 bushels (U.S. Department of Agriculture) in 1902, and in 1907 the acreage and crop (greater than those of any other state) were 4,500,000 acres and 108,900,000 bushels, valued at $41,382,000—a valuation second only to that of Illinois. In total acreage of cereals (16,920,095 in 1899) it ranked first (Twelfth Census of the United States), and in product of cereals was exceeded by Illinois only; in acreage of hay and forage (4,649,378 in 1899) as well as in the annual supply of milk (535,872,240 gallons in 1899) it was exceeded by New York only. In 1905, according to railway reports, 91,051,551 ℔ of butter were carried to points outside the state. It ranked far ahead of any other state in 1908 in the number of its hogs (8,413,000, being 15% of the whole number in the United States), Illinois, the second in rank, having only about half as many. It ranked first in 1900 in the number of horses (1,392,573); in the number of poultry (about 20,000,000); in the annual egg product (99,621,290 dozen in 1899); in the total acreage of all crops (22,170,000); in the total value of agricultural products; and in the total value of live stock ($271,844,034). In 1899 it ranked fourth in the production of barley (18,059,050 bushels) and in 1907 sixth (14,178,000 bushels). The wheat crop has varied from 12,531,304 bushels in 1903, 13,683,003 bushels in 1905, 7,653,000 bushels in 1907 (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture), to 22,769,440 bushels (Twelfth Census) in 1899. Potatoes, apples and small fruits are grown successfully. For the most part the several crops are quite evenly distributed throughout the state; but nearly all the winter wheat is grown in the S. and N.W., spring wheat most largely in the N.W., barley mostly in the N., flax-seed and prairie hay in the N.E.
Minerals.—The first mines to be worked in Iowa were those for lead and zinc at Dubuque and to the northward. These are little mined at present, only 110 tons of lead ore and 516 tons of zinc ore being taken from the mines in 1908. Of more promise is the gypsum deposit extending over an area of about 50 sq. m. in the vicinity of Fort Dodge (Webster county), from which was taken in 1908 a product valued at $565,645, having increased to that figure from $45,819 in 1898. Limestones and sandstone are also profitably quarried, the value of the product in 1908 being $530,945 for limestone and $2337 for sandstone. The principal mineral of Iowa, however, is bituminous coal; it ranked in 1908 eighth among the coal-producing states of the Union, its product being valued at $11,706,402. The beds lie in the southern half of the state, extending under about two-fifths of its surface.
Trade and Commerce.—The manufactures of Iowa are chiefly such as have to do with the products of the farm. Meat packing is the most important, the product of this industry amounting in 1900 to $25,695,044, and in 1905 to $30,074,070, an increase of 17% in this period; in 1900 the state was seventh, in 1905 sixth, among the states in the value of this industry, producing in each year 3.3% of the total. Next in importance is the manufacture of dairy products, the value of which in 1900 was $15,846,077 (an increase of 50.3% in ten years) and in 1905 was $15,028,326; at both censuses the state ranked third in the value of cheese, butter, and condensed milk and of food preparations, which were valued at $6,934,724 in 1905. Flour and grist-mill products ranked third both in 1900 and 1905, the value of the product for the later year being $12,099,493, an increase of 9.9% over the value for the earlier. Among the lesser manufactures are lumber and timber products (value in 1905, $5,610,772), most of the raw material being floated down on rafts from Wisconsin and Minnesota. The largest centres of industry are Sioux City, Davenport, Dubuque, Des Moines, Burlington and Council Bluffs. In 1905 the gross value of the manufactured product (of establishments on the factory system) was $160,572,313, as against $132,870,865 in 1900, an increase of 20.8%; whereas, even including the products of smaller establishments not technically factories, the value of the product in 1850 was only $3,551,783, and in 1880 was only $71,045,926.
The means of transportation is afforded chiefly by the steam railways, of which the state had 9,907.44 m. in January 1909. Scarcely a farm is more than 6 or 8 m. from a railway station; and only three other states have a greater railway mileage. The great period of railway building in Iowa was during the twenty-five years immediately following the close of the Civil War, the railway mileage being only 655 m. in 1860. The several roads are under the management of twenty-seven companies, but about 75% of the business is done by the Chicago Burlington & Quincy, the Chicago & North-Western, the Chicago Milwaukee & St Paul and the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific. Electric interurban railways are increasing in importance for freight and passenger service. In 1908 about 225 m. of such railways were in operation. Transportation facilities by water are afforded by the Mississippi river. The former difficulties with the Des Moines Rapids of the Mississippi (which are passable for rafts and light boats at high water) have been overcome by a canal from Keokuk to Montrose constructed by the National Government. Other federal improvements undertaken are a harbour at Muscatine, a harbour of refuge below Davenport and channel improvements at Clinton.
Population.—The population of Iowa in 1850 was 192,214; in 1860, 674,913; in 1880, 1,624,615; in 1890, 1,911,896; in 1900, 2,231,853. The state census of 1905 showed a total population of 2,210,050, and the Federal census of 1910, of 2,224,771. Of the population in 1905, 1,264,443 (57.2%) were native whites of native parentage, 648,532 (29.3%) were native whites of foreign parentage, 289,296 (12.8%) were foreign-born and 14,832 (0.7%) were coloured, including 346 Indians. The Indians, a remnant of the Sauk and Foxes, are most unprogressive, and are settled on a reservation in Tama county in the east-central section of the state.
In 1906 it was estimated that there were 788,667 communicants of all religious denominations; of these 207,607 were Roman Catholics; 164,329 Methodists; 117,668 Lutherans; 60,081 Presbyterians; 55,948 Disciples of Christ; 44,096 Baptists; 37,061 Congregationalists; 11,681 members of the German Evangelical Synod; and 8990 Protestant Episcopalians.
The rural element of the population is large, though it is not increasing as rapidly as the urban; and no other state in the Union is so uniformly settled. There were in 1905 seven cities with a population of 25,000 or more; twenty with 8000 or more; and thirty-seven with 4000 or more. Between 1890 and 1900 the urban population increased 38.3%, while the rural increased 14.6%. The chief cities are Des Moines (pop. in 1905, 75,626), Dubuque (41,941), Davenport (39,797), Sioux City (40,952), Cedar Rapids (28,759), Council Bluffs (25,231) and Burlington (25,318).
Government.—There is comparatively little in the political institutions of Iowa dissimilar to those of other states of the Union; they show in recent years a tendency toward greater centralization—in boards, however, rather than in individual officers. The constitution now in force was adopted in 1857, the constitution of 1846 having been superseded chiefly on account of its prohibition of banking corporations. The present one admits of amendment by a vote of a majority of the members of both houses of the legislature, followed by a majority vote of the electors in the state voting on the amendment; and by this process it was amended in 1868, 1880, 1884 and 1904. The present constitution also provides that the question, “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” shall be submitted to the people once every ten years (beginning with 1870), but the affirmative vote taken in accordance with this provision has hitherto been small. The suffrage now belongs to all male citizens of the United States at least twenty-one years of age who shall have resided in the state for six months, and in some one county sixty days preceding an election, except idiots and persons insane or convicted of some infamous crime. The franchise was conferred on negroes by an amendment adopted in 1868. Prior to 1904 elections were annual, but by an amendment of that year they became biennial.
The central executive and administrative authority is vested in a governor, a lieutenant-governor, an executive council, several boards and a few other officers. The governor and the lieutenant-governor was elected for a term of two years, and the qualifications for both offices require that the incumbents shall be at least thirty years of age and shall have been for two years immediately before their election residents of the state. Under the Territorial government when first organized the governor was given an extensive appointing power, as well as the right of an absolute veto on all legislation, but this speedily resulted in such friction between him and the legislature that Congress was petitioned for his removal, with the outcome that the office has since been much restricted in its appointing power, and the veto has been subjected to the ordinary United States limit, i.e. it may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature. Members of boards of regents or trustees of state institutions are for the most part elected by the General Assembly; railway commissioners are elected by the state electors; while in the case of the few appointments left for the governor, the recommendation or approval of the executive council, a branch of the legislature, or of some board, is usually required. He, however, is himself a member of the executive council as well as of some important boards or commissions, and it is in such capacity that he often has the greatest opportunity to exert power and influence. His salary is $5000 per annum (with $600 for house rent and $800 as a member of the executive council). The executive council, composed of the governor, secretary of state, auditor of state and treasurer of state, all elected by the people for a term of two years, has extensive powers. It supervises and audits the accounts of state departments, directs the taking of the census, transfers cities from one class to another in accordance with census returns, constitutes the board for canvassing election returns, classifies railways, assesses railway and other companies, constitutes the state board of equalization for adjusting property valuations between the several counties for taxing purposes, supervises the incorporation of building and loan associations, appoints the board of examiners of mine inspectors and has many other powers. Among other state boards the more important are the board of railroad commissioners, the board of control of state institutions, the board of health, and the board of educational examiners.
The state legislature, or General Assembly, composed of a senate and a house of representatives, sits biennially at Des Moines. Senators are elected for a term of four years, one from each of fifty senatorial districts, the term of one-half expiring every two years. Senators must be at least twenty-five years of age and residents of the state for one year at the time of election. Representatives are elected for a term of two years, one from each of the ninety-nine counties, with an additional one from each of the counties (not exceeding nine) having the largest population; the ratio of representation and the apportionment of the additional representatives from the larger counties is fixed by the General Assembly. The qualifications for representatives differ from those for electors only in that they must have been residents of the state for one year at the time of election, the disqualification of negroes for sitting in both senate and house having been removed by an amendment adopted in 1880. No bill can pass either house without the assent of a majority of all the members elected to that house; the governor is allowed three days (Sunday excepted) in which to veto a bill.
The state judiciary consists of a supreme court of six judges and a district court of fifty-three judges, from one to four in each of twenty districts. The supreme court has three sessions a year, while each district-court judge is directed to hold at least one session a year in each county of his district, and no two district-court judges may sit together on the same case. The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction in chancery cases only, but may correct errors at law in other cases. The district court has general, original and exclusive jurisdiction in all matters civil, criminal and probate not expressly conferred on an inferior court, and may hear appeals from inferior courts, boards or officers.
For purposes of administration and local government the state is divided into ninety-nine counties, each of which is itself divided into townships that are usually 6 m. square. The township may be divided into school districts and highway districts, but in these matters option has resulted in irregularity. Each county has its own administrative boards and officers; and there are two justices of the peace and two constables for every township. The board of supervisors, consisting of not more than seven members, elected for a term of three years, has the care of county property and the management of county business, including highways and bridges; it fixes the rate of county taxes within prescribed limits, and levies the taxes for state and county purposes. The officers of the township are three trustees, a clerk and an assessor. The trustees are elected for a term of three years, the clerk and assessor for two years. All taxable property of the state, that of corporations for the most part excepted, is assessed by the township assessor.
The municipal corporations are civil divisions quite independent of the county and township system. They are divided into cities of the first class, cities of the second class and towns, besides a few cities with special charters. Cities of the first class are those having a population of 15,000 or over; cities of the second class are those having a population of 2000 but less than 15,000; all other municipal corporations, except cities with special charters, are known as incorporated towns. In all these cities and towns a mayor, council and various officers are elected, and also a police judge in cities of the first class where there is no superior court. By a law of 1907 cities with a population of 25,000 or more may adopt a commission form of government, with a mayor and four councilmen elected at large on a non-partisan ticket.
Under the laws of Iowa a wife enjoys property rights equal to those of her husband. The expenses of the family, including the education of the children, are chargeable alike upon the property of either or both. Otherwise, the wife may control her property as if single, and neither is liable for what are clearly the debts of the other. In case of the death of either, one-third of the property of the deceased becomes that of the survivor. A homestead cannot be conveyed or encumbered without the consent of both husband and wife, if held by a married man; and a homestead, to the value of $500, is exempt from liability for debts postdating the purchase, unless for improvements on the property. A petition for a divorce may be presented after a residence within the state of one year immediately preceding, and a decree may be granted against the defendant if judged guilty of adultery, desertion for two years without reasonable cause, habitual drunkenness, such inhuman treatment as to endanger the life of the plaintiff, or if convicted of felony after marriage. In 1882 an amendment to the constitution was passed prohibiting the manufacture and the sale of intoxicating liquors within the state. In April 1883 the Supreme Court pronounced this amendment invalid on the ground of irregularity in recording it, whereupon the legislature provided for a like prohibition in an ordinary statute. But attempts to execute this were so unsuccessful that it has been succeeded by a law imposing what is known as the “mulct tax,” which requires the payment of $600 in quarterly instalments for a licence to sell such liquors and places a lien for the whole amount on the real property in use for the business. One-half the proceeds goes to the county and one-half to the municipality or township in which the liquor is sold. The exceptional dependence of Iowa on eastern markets has given more than ordinary prominence to railway legislation, and the conflict of interests between the railways and the shippers has agitated the state for forty years, various attempts being made to regulate freight rates by legal enactment. In 1888 an elective commission was established with power to fix maximum rates, which has met with general commendation throughout the country.
The charitable, penal and reformatory institutions of the state are all under a “Board of Control of State Institutions,” composed of three electors appointed by the governor and approved by two-thirds of the senators, careful provision being made also to prevent the board from becoming subject to either political party. The institutions under its charge include a Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home at Davenport; a Soldiers’ Home at Marshalltown; a College for the Blind at Vinton; a School for the Deaf at Council Bluffs; an Institution for Feeble-minded Children at Glenwood; an Industrial School for Boys at Eldora; an Industrial School for Girls at Mitchellville; and, at Oakdale, a Sanatorium for the Treatment of Tuberculosis. The Board of Control of State Institutions has supervisory and inquisitorial powers over all county and private institutions in the state in which insane are kept, and over homes for friendless children maintained by societies or institutions. In 1907 the General Assembly passed a law under which the indeterminate sentence was established in the state, and the governor appoints a Board of Parole of three members, of whom one must be an attorney and not more than two are to belong to the same political party.
Education.—The percentage of illiterates (i.e. both those unable to read and write and those unable to write) ten years of age and over, according to the census returns of 1900, was only 2.3; of all the other states of the Union, Nebraska alone made such a good return. But teachers were poorly paid, and fourteen schools have been closed at a time within a single county from want of teachers. However, there are laws requiring that each school be taught at least six months in a year, and that children between the ages of seven and fourteen attend for at least twelve consecutive weeks, and for a total of sixteen weeks in every year. In 1905-1906 male teachers received on an average $63.97 per month, women teachers, $43.41. Although the electors of each school district have ample powers reserved to them, in actual practice matters are attended to chiefly by an elected board of directors. The county administration is in the hands of a board of education and a superintendent. The school tax was derived in 1905-1906 from interest on the state’s permanent school fund—amounting to 2.3% of the total tax, and distributed in proportion to the population of school age; from a 1 to 3 mill county tax, amounting to 5.2% of the whole; and from local or district taxation, 92.5% of the entire tax. A law of the state provides for the establishment of a county high school whenever a majority of the electors of a county desire it, but in 1902 only one county (Guthrie county) had such a school. The number of public high schools in towns and cities, however, increased from 256 in 1893 to 345 in 1903. The state established a university at Iowa City in 1847, a State Agricultural College and Model Farm in 1858 (opened at Ames in 1869 as the Iowa State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts), an Agricultural Experiment Station in 1887, an Engineering Experiment Station in 1904, and a normal school at Cedar Falls in 1876.
At the head of the whole system is the state superintendent of public instruction, assisted by a board of educational examiners. In 1901 the total receipts for school purposes were $6,001,187; and the total disbursements $5,813,541; in 1906 the receipts were $7,126,162.12 and the disbursements $6,950,580.27. The pupils enumerated in 1906 were 707,843. Educational institutions not supported by the state include: Iowa Wesleyan University (Methodist, opened in 1842) at Mt. Pleasant; Iowa College (Congregational, 1848) at Grinnell; Central University of Iowa (Baptist, 1853) at Pella; Cornell College (Methodist, 1857) at Mt. Vernon; Western College (United Brethren, 1856) at Toledo; Upper Iowa University (Methodist Episcopal, 1857) at Fayette; Leander Clark College (United Brethren, 1857) at Toledo; Lenox College (Presbyterian, 1859) at Hopkinton; Luther College (Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran, 1861) at Decorah; Des Moines College (Baptist, 1865) at Des Moines; Tabor College (Congregational, 1866) at Tabor; Simpson College (Methodist, 1867) at Indianola; Wartburg Kollege (Lutheran, 1868) at Clinton; Amity College (Non-sectarian, 1872) at College Springs; German College (Methodist Episcopal, 1873) at Mt. Pleasant; Penn College (Friends, 1873) at Oskaloosa; St Joseph’s College (Roman Catholic, 1873) at Dubuque; Parsons College (Presbyterian, 1875) at Fairfield; Coe College (Presbyterian, 1881) at Cedar Rapids; Drake University (Disciples of Christ, 1881) at Des Moines; Palmer College (Disciples of Christ, 1889) at Legrand; Buena Vista College (Presbyterian, 1891) at Storm Lake; Charles City College (Methodist Episcopal, 1891) at Charles City; Morningside College (Methodist Episcopal, 1894) at Sioux City; Graceland College (Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints, 1895) at Lamoni.
Finance.—The taxing system of Iowa embraces a general property tax, corporation taxes (imposed on the franchises or on either the capital stock or the stock in the hands of shareholders), taxes on certain businesses and a collateral inheritance tax. Several important attempts have been made to effect a segregation as between state and local taxes, but for the most part without success. For the year ending June 30th, 1908, the receipts of the state from all sources were $3,663,154.67, and the total expenditure was $3,891,842.81. The full value of all property, according to assessment of 1904, is $2,567,330,328. The state has no bonded debt, and the constitution forbids it to incur debts exceeding in the aggregate a quarter of a million dollars, except for warlike purposes or for some single work to which the people give their consent by vote; the constitution also forbids any county or municipal corporation from incurring an indebtedness exceeding 5% of the value of its taxable property. When first admitted into the Union, Iowa had a strongly pronounced antipathy to banks. This was largely overcome by the year 1857, and yet the constitution of that date prohibits any legislation of primary importance relating to banks without referring the matter to a direct vote of the people. The number of banks and the amount of banking business has, nevertheless, rapidly increased.
History.—Iowa, as a part of the whole Mississippi Valley, was taken into the formal possession of France in 1682; in 1762 as a part of the western half of that valley it was ceded to Spain; in 1800 it was retroceded to France; in 1803 was ceded to the United States; from 1804 to 1805, as a part of the District of Louisiana, it was under the government of Indiana Territory; from 1805 to 1812 it was a part of Louisiana Territory; from 1812 to 1821 a part of Missouri Territory; from 1821 to 1834 a part of the unorganized territory of the United States; from 1834 to 1836 a part of Michigan Territory; from 1836 to 1838 a part of Wisconsin Territory. In 1838 Wisconsin Territory was divided, the western portion being named Iowa, and out of this the state with its present bounds was carved in 1846.
The name Iowa (meaning “sleepy ones”) was taken from a tribe of Siouan Indians (probably of Winnebago stock), which for some time had dwelt in that part of the country and were still there when the first white men came—the Frenchmen, Marquette and Joliet, in 1673 and Hennepin in 1680. Early in the next century the Sauk and Foxes, vanquished by the French in Michigan, retreated westward, and in their turn largely supplanted the Iowas. Thither also came Julien Dubuque, a French Canadian, to trade with the new occupants. He discovered lead mines on and near the site of the city which now bears his name, in 1788 obtained an Indian grant or lease of about 21 sq. m., established there a settlement of miners and continued his mining operations, together with a trade in furs, until his death in 1810. The Indians refused permission to others to work the mines, and when intruders attempted to do so without it United States troops protected the red man’s rights, especially from 1830 to 1832. But Black Hawk’s war policy soon resulted in letting the white man in; for the war which he instigated was concluded in 1832 by a cession to the United States of nearly 9000 sq. m., embracing much of what is now the district of the Iowa lead and zinc mines. Without further waiting, though still in the face of the Act of Congress of 1807 prohibiting such settlements, the frontiersmen rushed in to mine and to farm, and government was established through voluntary associations. Such proceedings of these associations as related to claims to land were later recognized by the United States authorities, while such as related to the establishment of schools were tolerated for a time by the state government. Iowa, having separated from Wisconsin in 1838 on account of lack of courts for judicial relief, the question of applying for admission into the Union as a state was voted on as early as 1840, the Territory in that year having a population of 43,112; but the measure was defeated then, as it was again in 1842, by those who most wished to avoid an increase of taxes. In 1844, however, the vote was otherwise, a convention was called, a constitution framed and application for admission made. The question of boundaries, to which the question of slavery gave rise, then became the cause of delay, but the Territory became a state in 1846.
During the period in which the question of admission was under consideration, the Whigs opposed the measure, while the Democrats carried it through and remained in power until 1854; but ever since 1857 the state has been preponderantly Republican in all national campaigns; and with but two exceptions, in 1889 and 1891, when liquor and railroad legislation were the leading issues, has elected a Republican state administration. Nevertheless there has always been a strong sentiment in the state urging that corporations be held more in check, and its industries are not such as to receive a large benefit directly from tariff legislation. As a consequence there has been a tendency towards the formation of two opposing elements within the dominant party; the more radical seeking the promotion of what since 1902 has been known as the “Iowa Idea,” which in substance is to further the expansion of the trade of the United States with the rest of the world through the more extended application of tariff reciprocity, and at the same time to revise the tariff so as to prevent it from “affording a shelter to monopoly.”
|Governors of Iowa|
|James Wilson Grimes||Whig and Free-Soil Democrat||1854-1858|
|Ralph P. Lowe||Republican||1858-1860|
|Samuel Jordan Kirkwood||”||1860-1864|
|William Milo Stone||”||1864-1868|
|Cyrus Clay Carpenter||”||1872-1876|
|Samuel Jordan Kirkwood||”||1876-1877|
|Joshua Giddings Newbold||”||1877-1878|
|John Henry Gear||”||1878-1882|
|Buren Robinson Sherman||”||1882-1886|
|Frank Darr Jackson||Republican||1894-1896|
|Francis Marion Drake||”||1896-1898|
|Leslie Mortier Shaw||”||1898-1902|
|Albert Baird Cummins||”||1902-1909|
|B. F. Carroll||”||1909-|
Bibliography.—Publications of the Iowa Geological Survey (Des Moines, 1868); Iowa Weather and Crop Service (Des Moines, 1889); U.S. Census; F. H. Dixon, State Railroad Control, with a History of its Development in Iowa (New York, 1896), a detailed history of the control of Iowa railways through the commission system; B. F. Shambaugh, History of the Constitution of Iowa (Des Moines, 1902); Jesse Macy, Institutional Beginnings in a Western State in Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science (Baltimore, 1894); H. M. Bowman, The Administration of Iowa, a Study in Centralization (New York, 1903), an able presentation of the present administrative system in the light of its historical development; William Salter, Iowa, the first Free State in the Louisiana Purchase (Chicago, 1905); B. F. Shambaugh, Documentary Material relating to the History of Iowa (Iowa City, 1897), and The Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of Iowa (Iowa City, 1903-1904); Annals of Iowa, 3 series: Series 1, The Annals of the State Historical Society of Iowa (Iowa City and Davenport, 1863-1874); Series 2, vol. i, The Annals of Iowa; vol. ii., Howe’s Annals of Iowa (Iowa City, 1882-1884); Series 3, The Annals of Iowa, published by the Historical Department of Iowa (Des Moines, 1893- ); Iowa Historical Record (Iowa City, 1885-1902); Iowa Journal of History and Politics (Iowa City, 1903 seq.); and G. T. Flom, Chapters on Scandinavian Immigration to Iowa (Iowa City, 1907).
|Emery Walker sc.|
- As lieutenant-governor, Newbold serves for the unexpired portion of the term to which Kirkwood was elected; Kirkwood resigned on the 1st of February 1877, having been chosen United States senator.