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History

The Indian Princess
Pocahontas County was named in honor of Pocahontas, the Indian Princess of Virginia, and a daughter to Powhatan, for whom one of the townships of the county has been named. Pocahontas, who became famous for her heroic intercession to save the life of Captain John Smith during the early history of Virginia later married colonist John Rolfe in 1613 or 1614. The name of Pocahontas was suggested by Iowa Senator, John Howell of Jefferson County to Phineas M. Casady of Des Moines, who was a member of the Iowa Senate and was on the Senate Committee on New Counties.

Government
Government surveys of Pocahontas County were made during 1853-1855. When the special election for officers was held on March 15, 1859, the county's population was only around 80 people. Shortly after the formal organization of the county in March, citizens petitioned for the location of county seat. In August 1859, three commissioners were appointed for this purpose, however, only two commissioners, Hiram Benjamin and Cyrus C Carpenter, came to visit the new county. A site of 200 acres near the West Fork of the Des Moines River, in Des Moines township was selected on August 20, 1859. The first name suggested for the little village that grew here was Highland or Highland City. In January 1861, the town's name was changed to Milton, but since there was already a town of the same name in Van Buren County, in was changed once more to (Old) Rolfe and finally to Parvin.

Read more of the history of Pocahontas County


National Register of Historical Places:

Laurens Public Library (added 1974 - Building - #74000804)
Also known as Laurens Carnegie Free Library
263 N. 3rd St., Laurens
Historic Significance:
Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer:
Zitterell,W.J.
Architectural Style:
Mission/Spanish Revival
Area of Significance:
Architecture, Social History
Period of Significance:
1900-1924
Owner:
Local Gov't
Historic Function:
Education
Historic Sub-function:
Library
Current Function:
Education
Current Sub-function:
Library
Pocahontas County Courthouse (added 1981 - Building - #81000264)
Court Sq., Pocahontas
Historic Significance:
Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer:
Neuman,A. H.,& Co., Proudfoot,Bird & Rawson
Architectural Style:
Classical Revival
Area of Significance:
Architecture
Period of Significance:
1900-1924
Owner:
Local Gov't
Historic Function:
Government
Historic Sub-function:
Courthouse
Current Function:
Government
Current Sub-function:
Courthouse
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church (added 1994 - Building - #94000086)
16 Second Ave. NW, Pocahontas
Historic Significance:
Architecture/Engineering, Event
Architect, builder, or engineer:
Hubel, Will
Architectural Style:
Italianate, Greek Revival
Area of Significance:
Religion, European, Architecture
Period of Significance:
1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Owner:
Private
Historic Function:
Religion
Historic Sub-function:
Religious Structure
Current Function:
Vacant/Not In Use

Museums

Laurens Carnegie Library & Pocahontas County Historical Museum
The Laurens Carnegie Library and Pocahontas County Historical Museum are located on Main Street in Laurens near the swimming pool. This old library is listed with the National Historical Register of Historic Places. The museum is open by appointment on weekends during the summer.

Gib Alpers Museum is located on Main Street in Fonda. At one point in time this building was a prominent theatre in the community. The museum is open by appointment and throughout the summer.

 
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Pocahontas County Economic Development Commission
11½ W Elm Ave, PO Box 212, Pocahontas, IA 50574
Phone: 712-335-3935 | Fax: 712-335-4482
pcedc@evertek.net
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