History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/3/Counties/Floyd

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FLOYD COUNTY lies in the second tier south of the Minnesota line, and in the fourth west of the Mississippi River. It contains an area of five hundred four square miles and was named for William Floyd, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence from the State of New York. Floyd was at one time included in the old county of Fayette, but was made a separate county in 1851. When first established the north line was three miles north of the present northern boundary which was fixed July 1, 1855.

In 1850 Joseph Kelley ascended the Cedar valley to the old village of the Winnebago Indians, which had stood in a large forest. Here Kelley staked out a claim where Charles City now stands. Jerome Watson the same year took a claim farther down the river. Soon after C. P. Burroughs, Joseph Hewett and H. M. Brown took claims six miles above Kelley’s near the river. In the summer of 1853 Mr. Kelley platted a town on his land and named it St. Charles for his eldest son. In 1854 he built a log house on the town plat and also constructed a dam across the river and erected a saw mill. Soon after he changed the name to Charles City.

The county was organized in August, 1854, by the election of the following officers: John M. Hunt, judge; S. C. Goddard, clerk; David Wiltse, prosecuting attorney; William Montgomery, sheriff; C. M. Burroughs, school fund commissioner, and D. B. Mead, superintendent of schools. Charles City was made the county-seat as soon as the organization was completed and several attempts were made to secure its removal which were not successful.

The first newspaper established was the Charles City Intelligencer, the first number of which was issued on the 31st of July, 1856, by A. B. F. Hildreth and D. D. W. Carver. In July, 1855, the town of Floyd was laid out about six miles north of Charles City by James Griffith and Henry Tatum. Here the first bridge across the Cedar River was built. The town of Rockford was laid out on the banks of the Shellrock River in the western part of the county in June, 1856, by men from Rockford, Illinois.

Granite Bowlder at Nora Springs - History of Iowa.jpg
Floyd County. Thirty Feet Wide by Forty Long.

The first railroad built through the county was the Milwaukee and St. Paul, running from east to west.