Historical Facts About
Plymouth County was
first settled by the white man in 1856, invading the domain of the
Sioux Indian Tribe. The county of Plymouth was organized in
1853, and started with two civil townships. The county now has
24 townships and covers 865 square miles.
The first courthouse was
erected at Melborne in October of 1859, at a cost of $2000.
The first public school was
taught in Melborne in December 1859. The records show the
school fund for the year 1861 was $470.00 and the number of students
registered was 32.
1869, the town of LeMars was platted and after a close vote, the
county seat was moved there in 1872.The new town was named by using
the initial letters of
the Christian names of the ladies who visited the new town site with
an official of the railroad. In 1873, $3000
was approved by the voters to build
a courthouse and jail on Block
35 in LeMars. This is the present day location of the
courthouse. The land was
donated by the Sioux City and
Iowa Falls Town Lot and Land Company. The present red
sandstone courthouse was erected in 1900, after the election of a
bond issue for $72,000.
Grade school was held in
LeMars as early as 1874.
During the Depression of 1929,
many Plymouth County farmers joined an organization calling itself
the “Farmers Holiday Group”. Their goal was to keep farm
products off the market until the desired price was met. A
group of the Farm Holiday men dragged Judge Bradley from the
courtroom at LeMars and threatened to hang him on the courthouse
grounds. He was freed, but the governor ordered out the
National Guard and Plymouth County was placed under martial law.
Plymouth County is the fourth
largest county in the State of Iowa in area and has 357 miles of
The county is chiefly an
agricultural county and its largest city is LeMars with a population
of approximately 9435. The highest point in the county is in
Sioux Township and has
an elevation of 1501 feet. The average rainfall over a period
of forty years has been between 26 and 28 inches, while the average
temperature of the area is 52 degrees.