Keosauqua welcome sign
Location of Keosauqua, Iowa
|• Total||1.57 sq mi (4.07 km2)|
|• Land||1.45 sq mi (3.76 km2)|
|• Water||0.12 sq mi (0.31 km2)|
|Elevation||584 ft (178 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||694/sq mi (267.9/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0458057|
The Hotel Manning, a three-story relic from the Des Moines River's steamboat days, is Keosauqua's most notable landmark. Its unique Steamboat Gothic architecture mimics riverboats of the mid-1800s. The hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April, 1973.
Also located in Keosauqua are many other notable historic sites. The 1847 Pearson House was a stop on the underground railroad. The Van Buren County Courthouse, built in 1843 in the Greek Revival style, is the oldest in continuous use in the state, and second oldest in the United States. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The courthouse was the scene for the murder trial of William McCauley. A guilty verdict led to his subsequent demise at, appropriately, Hangman's Hollow. It was the first legal hanging in Iowa history.
When Brigham Young and his followers were exiled from their base at Nauvoo, Illinois in 1846, their caravan crossed the Des Moines river at Ely's Ford, just upriver from Keosauqua on what is now known as the Mormon Trail.
Van Buren County native Voltaire Twombly received the Congressional Medal of Honor for actions taken at Ft. Donelson during the American Civil War. His post-war pursuits included a stint as mayor of Keosauqua and, as a business man there, he built a stone building on the main street that remains to this day.
The 1839 Honey War, so named because three trees with beehives were cut down in the process, was fought south of Keosauqua in what is now Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. The event was a border disagreement between Iowa and Missouri. Before it was over, militias from both sides faced each other, though the dispute was ultimately resolved without a shot being fired.
Lacey-Keosauqua is one of the largest state parks in Iowa and was built by the Civil Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The lake bathhouse and lodge stone work, from stone quarried within the park, remain outstanding testament to their work.
Keosauqua hosts its annual Fall Festival the second full weekend in October.
Keosauqua is located at (40.732089, -91.963027).
Keosauqua is in the Southern Iowa Drift Plain, formed by Pre-Illinoian glaciers around 300,000 years ago. The topography of the area is heavily forested rolling hills, interspersed with farmland, and having many tributaries flowing into the Des Moines River. The Des Moines was large enough to handle steamboat traffic in the 1800s and was the reason that Keosauqua was founded.
|Source:"American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. and Iowa Data Center|
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,006 people, 459 households, and 251 families residing in the city. The population density was 693.8 inhabitants per square mile (267.9/km2). There were 515 housing units at an average density of 355.2 per square mile (137.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.6% White, 0.4% African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
There were 459 households of which 20.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.3% were non-families. 41.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.79.
The median age in the city was 50.9 years. 17.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.5% were from 25 to 44; 28.3% were from 45 to 64; and 28.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,066 people, 467 households, and 270 families residing in the city. The population density was 728.7 people per square mile (281.9/km2). There were 505 housing units at an average density of 345.2 per square mile (133.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.59% White, 0.19% African American, 0.28% Asian, and 0.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.09% of the population.
There were 467 households out of which 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.0% were non-families. 38.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.77.
Age spread: 19.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 19.5% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 31.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females, there were 77.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,833, and the median income for a family was $37,063. Males had a median income of $25,489 versus $19,904 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,097. About 7.7% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.
Keosauqua is home to the Van Buren Warriors at Van Buren High School; Harmony High School consolidated into it at the end of the 2015-2016 school year as part of a grade-sharing arrangement. In 2018 the Van Buren district voted to merge with the Harmony Community School District.
- Josiah H. Bonney (1817-1887), Iowa Secretary of State and territorial legislator.
- Smith W. Brookhart (1869–1944) US Senator from Iowa
- Henry Clay Caldwell (1832–1915) United States federal judge and Union Army officer.
- Sallie Fox (1845–1913), California pioneer who spent her childhood in Keosauqua
- James B. Howell (1816-1880), newspaper editor and U.S. Senator, resided in Keosauqua
- Leonard John Rose (1827-1899), California pioneer and leader of the Rose–Baley Party who lived in Keosauqua from 1848 to 1858
- Theodosia Burr Shepherd (1845-1906), botanist
- Phil Stong (1899-1957), an American author, journalist and Hollywood scenarist. He is best known for writing the novel State Fair, upon which three films were based; one starring Will Rogers (1933) and two that were Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals (1945 and 1962).
- Voltaire P. Twombly, (1842-1918), Iowan politician, businessman and Medal of Honor recipient for the American Civil War, is buried in Keosauqua. Twombly briefly served as mayor of Keosauqua, where he had worked as a merchant.
- Edward K. Valentine (1843–1916) US Representative from Nebraska
- George G. Wright (1820–1896) US Senator from Iowa
Franklin Pearson House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- Bentonsport is a 35-acre historical district that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
- Lake Sugema is a constructed artificial 574 acres (2.32 km2) lake.
- The Great Flood of 1851
- USS Keosauqua was a proposed and partially built United States Navy ship during the Civil War.
- Des Moines Rapids limited Steamboat traffic through the early 19th century.
- Sullivan Line is the history of the border between Missouri and Iowa.
- Shimek State Forest
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- The History of Van Buren County, Iowa: Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c. Western Historical Company. 1878. p. 467.
- Isaac Galland, 1840, Galland's Iowa emigrant: containing a map, and general descriptions of Iowa, p 6-7.
- "The Village of Keosauqua Iowa". Affordable-Website-Solutions. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
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- "VAN BUREN." Iowa Department of Education. Retrieved on June 20, 2018.
- Aguirre, Joey (2016-05-23). "Harmony sends off its final graduating class". The Hawk Eye. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
- Niehaus, Michaele (2018-02-06). "Van Buren, Harmony to merge". The Hawk Eye. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
- University of Iowa Libraries-Papers of Josiah H. Bonney
- "BROOKHART, Smith Wildman". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
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- Cheney, J.W. (1915). "The Story of An Emigrant Train". The Annals of Iowa, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 82–83.
- "James B. Howell," National Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Volume 9. New York: James T. White and Company, 1899; pg. 450.
- Online Archives of California-Theodosia Burr Shepherd papers
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- "VALENTINE, Edward Kimble". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
- "WRIGHT, George Grover". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
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