Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project




Compiled and written by
The Iowa Writers’ Program
Of the Work Projects Administration
In the State of Iowa


Jessie K. Parker,
State Superintendent of Public Instruction,
State-wide Sponsor of the
Iowa Writers’ Program


Sponsored by
Buena Vista County Superintendent of Schools


Storm Lake, Iowa



The history of every Iowa county is a record of triumph over hostile forces and untamed nature.  Our pioneers had little but an indomitable spirit, savored by their own frontier humor, to help them vanquish the wilderness.  Today, when the ideals on which they helped to found our American way of life are at stake in every corner of the globe, we are especially glad to have their story before us.  What we now know as Buena Vista County was an almost treeless tract where even the surveyors lost their way.  The hot summer sun was unfriendly and winter brought blizzards that made the land all but untenable.  Too, the first settlers were haunted by the fear of Indian attack.  Without timber to build homes they made huts of the prairie sod and burned the slough grass for fuel.  They fought off malaria and the hordes of mosquitoes that infested the swamplands.  Sometimes they seemed far from civilization, but they never lost the faith that it would follow them.

This story of Buena Vista County, from the days of its first survey down to 1942, has been carefully prepared by the Iowa WPA Writers’ Program.  The reader will find it both truthful and colorful.


(signed) A. E. Harrison
County Superintendent of Schools
Buena Vista County, Iowa

Contributed anonymously