Lee County, Iowa

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Lee County
Courthouse located in Fort Madison
Courthouse located in Fort Madison
Map of Iowa highlighting Lee County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 40°38′34″N 91°28′28″W / 40.642777777778°N 91.474444444444°W / 40.642777777778; -91.474444444444
Country United States
State Iowa
Founded1836
SeatFort Madison and Keokuk
Largest cityFort Madison
Area
 • Total539 sq mi (1,400 km2)
 • Land518 sq mi (1,340 km2)
 • Water21 sq mi (50 km2)  4.0%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total33,555 Decrease
 • Density62/sq mi (24/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.leecounty.org

Lee County is the southernmost county in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census, the population was 33,555.[1] The county seats are Fort Madison and Keokuk. Lee County is part of the Fort Madison–Keokuk, IA-IL-MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Fort Madison dates to the War of 1812. Lee County was the location of the Half-Breed Tract, established by treaty in 1824. Allocations of land were made to American Indian descendants of European fathers and Indian mothers at this tract. Originally the land was to be held in common. Some who had an allocation lived in cities, where they hoped to make better livings.[citation needed]

Lee County as a named entity was formed on December 7, 1836, under the jurisdiction of Wisconsin Territory. It would become a part of Iowa Territory when it was formed on July 4, 1838.[2] Large-scale European-American settlement in the area began in 1839, after Congress allowed owners to sell land individually.[citation needed] Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) under the direction of Brigham Young fled persecutions in Missouri to settle in Illinois and Iowa. Nauvoo, across the border in Hancock County, Illinois, became the main center of Latter-day Saints settlement, but there was also a Latter Day Saints stake organized in Lee County under the direction of John Smith, the uncle of Joseph Smith, land that was sold to them by Isaac Galland in 1839.

Lee has two county seatsFort Madison and Keokuk.[3] The latter was established in 1847 when disagreements led to a second court jurisdiction.[4]

Lee County's population grew to about 19,000 in 1850, the first US census, to 37,000 per the 3rd census in 1870, peaking at 44,000 people in 1960. It has continuously decreased since and as of 2020, 33,555 people lived there, comparable to the years between 1860 and 1870.[5]

Name[edit]

There is no agreement about the derivation of the name "Lee." It has been variously proposed that the county was named for Marsh, Delevan & Lee, of Albany, New York, and the 'New York Land Company', who owned extensive interests in the Half-Breed Tract in the 1830s; Robert E. Lee, who surveyed the Des Moines Rapids; or Albert Lea, who helped explore the interior of Iowa.[6][7]: 398 

Geography[edit]

Lee County, Iowa and the "Half Breed Tract" historic map detail from a 1905 Iowa Census Map

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 539 square miles (1,400 km2), of which 518 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 21 square miles (54 km2) (4.0%) is water.[8] The lowest point in the state of Iowa is located on the Mississippi River in Keokuk in Lee County, where it flows out of Iowa and into Missouri and Illinois.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
185018,861
186029,56556.8%
187037,21025.9%
188034,859−6.3%
189037,7158.2%
190039,7195.3%
191036,702−7.6%
192039,6768.1%
193041,2684.0%
194041,074−0.5%
195043,1024.9%
196044,2072.6%
197042,996−2.7%
198043,1060.3%
199038,687−10.3%
200038,052−1.6%
201035,862−5.8%
202033,555−6.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2018[12]
Population of Lee County from US census data

2020 census[edit]

The 2020 census recorded a population of 33,555 in the county, with a population density of 62.0765/sq mi (23.9679/km2). 94.67% of the population reported being of one race. 87.10% were non-Hispanic White, 2.71% were Black, 3.31% were Hispanic, 0.21% were Native American, 0.42% were Asian, 0.02% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 6.23% were some other race or more than one race. There were 15,858 housing units, of which 14,036 were occupied.[1]

2010 census[edit]

The 2010 census recorded a population of 35,862 with a population density of 69.3133/sq mi (26.7620/km2). There were 16,205 housing units, of which only 14,610 were occupied.[13]

2000 census[edit]

2000 Census age pyramid for Lee County

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 38,052 people, 15,161 households, and 10,248 families residing in the county. The population density was 74 people per square mile (28/km2). There were 16,612 housing units at an average density of 32 per square mile (12/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.24% White, 2.80% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.03% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 2.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 15,161 households, out of which 30.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.70% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.40% were non-families. 28.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.40% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,193, and the median income for a family was $42,658. Males had a median income of $32,286 versus $21,821 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,430. About 7.10% of families and 9.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.60% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Courthouse in Keokuk in 1900

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2020 census of Lee County.[1]

county seat

Rank City/town/etc. Municipal type Population (2020 Census)
1 Fort Madison City 10,270
2 Keokuk City 9,900
3 West Point City 921
4 Donnellson City 885
5 Montrose City 738
6 Denmark CDP 425
7 Mooar CDP 321
8 Sandusky CDP 297
9 Houghton City 141
10 Franklin City 131
11 St. Paul City 109
12 Wever CDP 101
13 Argyle CDP 91

Notable people[edit]

Politics[edit]

In recent presidential elections, Lee County had a strong Democratic lean, voting for the party's candidate in every election from 1984 to 2012. In 2016 however, the county swung hard to vote for Republican Donald Trump by a wide margin, a swing of over 31 points compared to 2012. [17]

United States presidential election results for Lee County, Iowa[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 9,773 58.40% 6,541 39.09% 420 2.51%
2016 8,803 54.50% 6,215 38.48% 1,133 7.02%
2012 7,785 41.17% 10,714 56.65% 412 2.18%
2008 7,062 40.99% 9,821 57.00% 347 2.01%
2004 7,472 41.84% 10,152 56.85% 234 1.31%
2000 6,339 38.25% 9,632 58.12% 601 3.63%
1996 4,932 31.49% 8,831 56.38% 1,899 12.12%
1992 4,777 27.85% 9,366 54.61% 3,009 17.54%
1988 6,228 36.02% 10,911 63.11% 151 0.87%
1984 8,756 49.17% 8,912 50.04% 141 0.79%
1980 8,793 48.14% 8,204 44.92% 1,268 6.94%
1976 8,195 46.92% 9,017 51.63% 253 1.45%
1972 9,748 55.33% 7,510 42.63% 360 2.04%
1968 8,883 49.25% 8,076 44.78% 1,077 5.97%
1964 6,321 34.02% 12,244 65.89% 17 0.09%
1960 10,765 52.00% 9,936 48.00% 0 0.00%
1956 11,571 58.35% 8,226 41.48% 32 0.16%
1952 12,289 58.61% 8,625 41.13% 55 0.26%
1948 7,801 45.32% 9,201 53.46% 210 1.22%
1944 9,406 53.03% 8,252 46.53% 78 0.44%
1940 10,616 53.71% 9,117 46.12% 33 0.17%
1936 8,955 46.36% 9,630 49.85% 732 3.79%
1932 7,084 39.57% 10,624 59.35% 194 1.08%
1928 11,645 59.86% 7,785 40.02% 25 0.13%
1924 9,999 54.41% 4,903 26.68% 3,475 18.91%
1920 10,763 65.94% 5,177 31.72% 383 2.35%
1916 4,395 51.18% 3,993 46.50% 199 2.32%
1912 2,016 23.66% 3,891 45.67% 2,613 30.67%
1908 4,262 46.61% 4,706 51.47% 176 1.92%
1904 4,612 52.71% 3,848 43.98% 289 3.30%
1900 4,486 45.88% 5,182 53.00% 110 1.12%
1896 4,847 47.70% 5,153 50.71% 162 1.59%


Education[edit]

School districts include:[19]

Former school districts:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "2020 Census State Redistricting Data". census.gov. United states Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "WI: Individual County Chronologies". publications.newberry.org. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  4. ^ North Lee County Historical Society, Museums USA, accessed 11 Aug 2008
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  6. ^ The History of Lee County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical. 1879. pp. 414–415.
  7. ^ Naming of Iowa Counties. The Annals of Iowa. 36 (1962), 395-400. ISSN 0003-4827
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  12. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  13. ^ "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved May 19, 2011.[dead link]
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ Swansen, H.F. "The Sugar Creek Settlement in Iowa". Norwegian-American Historical Association. pp. Volume IX: Page 38. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  16. ^ "Alone In The Wilderness". Bob Swerer Productions. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  17. ^ "Here's a map of the US counties that flipped to Trump from Democrats". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  19. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Lee County, IA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 21, 2022. - Text list
  20. ^ "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Lee County, IA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 21, 2022. - Text list

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°38′34″N 91°28′28″W / 40.64278°N 91.47444°W / 40.64278; -91.47444