Iowa City Becomes the Capital City

Time Frame: 1839

By 1839 Iowa City was surveyed and laid out into lots. The seat of government was moved to Iowa City in 1841.
“The Path to Statehood,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 3, Iowa Public Television, 1978.

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Mr. Swan and Mr. Ronalds proceeded to the site of the future capital of the Iowa Territory. About two miles north of the town of Napoleon, the commissioners came upon an ideal spot overlooking the Iowa River. The river could serve as a source of transportation, there were stands of trees and rocks suitable for building material nearby. By July of 1839, Iowa City had been surveyed and laid out in lots. Lots in the new Capital city sold rapidly. In December of 1841 the seat of Government was moved to Iowa City. Although the Capital Building, itself, was not completed until almost a year later.


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