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Montgomery County Neighbors Pottawattamie County, IA Cass County, IA Mills County, IA Adams County, IA Fremont County, IA Page County, IA Taylor County, IA

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Montgomery County IAGenWeb


Montgomery County is looking for a new County Coordinator. If you love Montgomery County, and would like to help, please contact us. For information on how you can adopt Montgomery County and become a part of the great IAGenWeb project, please contact our Welcome Hosts.

If you have contributions, need assistance, or would like to help, please contact our Temporary County Coordinator, Karyn. Unfortunately, we are unable to do individual research. Please post to the Queries Board for assistance from others.

Montgomery County History
The area known as Montgomery County was originally part of the Pottawattamie Purchase in 1846. The county was established by the General Assembly on January 15, 1851, and was named in honor of General Richard Montgomery who died at the assault of Quebec in the Revolutionary War.

The first county courthouse was built in Frankfort, Iowa in 1857, named in honor Frankfort, Kentucky, the hometown of the judge who appointed the commissioners to select the county seat. It was 20-foot by 40-foot, a simple wood-frame structure, that cost $1,141.50. After a contest between Frankfort and Red Oak for the county seat, the courthouse was moved by hitching it to a team of oxen and towed to Red Oak in the winter of 1865. During the move, the men had to abandon the building in favor of shelter as a blizzard came up. When they returned, they had lost the courthouse in the snow. Although it was eventually found, the "lost courthouse" was a great joke in Montgomery County for many years. A second story was added to the old courthouse, but it was still not large enough for the growing needs of the county.

Two attempts to build a new courthouse failed, but finally the people approved the building of a new one in the summer of 1889 (photo left). The second, and current courthouse, was built in 1890. This building is made of nearly fireproof sandstone and red brick. It is 91-foot by 72-foot and 60-feet high with the clock tower extending another 40 feet. The courthouse has become the centerpiece of Red Oak and Montgomery County and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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