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DeWitt Township

The following history is from the Clinton Herald, July 4, 1976:

DeWitt township was created in 1843 out of what was Clear Creek Township.  Settlers first came to the area in 1836.

The city of DeWitt was incorporated in 1858, although its beginnings go back to 1841 when some county residents began agitating for a county seat in the geographical center of the county.

The territorial government of Iowa set up a commission to investigate the request in a petition which was said to have been prompted by jealousy among communities in the county.

A site was selected, and the town was platted in 1841.  It was initially called Vandenburg, in honor of the sweeheart of one of the commission members, but in 1842, the territorial legislature changed it to DeWitt.

In 1848, Lyons unsuccessfully challenged DeWitt for the county seat, and the courthouse stayed where it was.  County business outgrew its original building and a second courthouse was built in DeWitt in 1854.  However, in 1869 the more densely populated eastern portion of the county succeeded in winning back the courthouse in a hotly contested election which resulted in the county offices being moved to Clinton.

(Probably one of the original six townships)


Crystal Lake


Summer resort on old millpond

De Witt

17 Apr 1844 - Current

1844 Population: 14 families. County seat 1841-1869.

Independence Grove


Near milldam on Silver Creek at Crystal Lake


15 Aug 1857 - 19 Nov 1858

Renamed Malone, moved to Eden Township

Round Grove


Heavy timber NE of DeWitt


09 Jun 1842 - 14 Apr 1844

Renamed DeWitt


59 Unnamed
60 Unnamed
61 Elmwood
62 Old Town
63 St. Joseph's

Early History of St. Joseph's Parish in DeWitt

Business of DeWitt

From the end of January, 1880, until June, the Clinton County Advertiser ran a section called “Business of DeWitt” in which they tell quite a bit about the local businesses.

DeWitt High School Commencement - 1920

1935 High School Class


Bredstadt, Germany is a sister city of DeWitt.

DeWitt also recently dedicated its "Hausbarn", a building built in 1727 that originally had a barn on one end and a house on the other.
It was taken apart, shipped to DeWitt and reconstructed there.