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Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Courthouse.jpg
Courthouse in Oskaloosa is on the NRHP
the architect was Henry C. Koch in 1886
Map of Iowa highlighting Mahaska County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location in the U.S.
Founded 1843
Named for Mahaska
Seat Oskaloosa
Largest city Oskaloosa
 • Total 573.40 sq mi (1,485 km2)
 • Land 570.87 sq mi (1,479 km2)
 • Water 2.53 sq mi (7 km2), 0.44%
 • (2010) 22,381
 • Density 39/sq mi (15/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.mahaskacounty.org

Mahaska County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 22,381 in the 2010 census, an increase from 22,335 in the 2000 census.[1] The county seat is Oskaloosa.[2]


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 573.40 square miles (1,485.1 km2), of which 570.87 square miles (1,478.5 km2) (or 99.56%) is land and 2.53 square miles (6.6 km2) (or 0.44%) is water.[3]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]


Mahaska, from Futon's Red Men of Iowa 1882.

Mahaska County was formed on February 17, 1843. The county has been self-governing since February 5, 1844. It was named after Chief Mahaska of the Iowa tribe. The county was the first in Iowa to have a sheriff and a justice of peace.[4]

The first courthouse was completed in January, 1846. The second structure was put into use on February 27, 1886. The first school, a small log cabin one-half mile (ca. 2 km) east of Oskaloosa, was opened on September 16, 1844 and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church opened as the first church in 1846.[5] On July 2, 1850, the first edition of the Iowa Herald was issued (today the Oskaloosa Herald). In 1864, the first tracks were laid through the county of the Des Moines Valley Railroad.[4]

Coal mining was once a major industry in Mahaska County.[6] In the 19th century, Muchakinock, about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Oskaloosa, was probably the largest and most prosperous coal camp in Iowa.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 5,989
1860 14,816 147.4%
1870 22,508 51.9%
1880 25,202 12.0%
1890 28,805 14.3%
1900 34,273 19.0%
1910 29,860 −12.9%
1920 26,270 −12.0%
1930 25,804 −1.8%
1940 26,485 2.6%
1950 24,672 −6.8%
1960 23,602 −4.3%
1970 22,177 −6.0%
1980 22,867 3.1%
1990 21,532 −5.8%
2000 22,335 3.7%
2010 22,381 0.2%
Est. 2012 22,443 0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[8]

2010 census[edit]

The 2010 census recorded a population of 22,381 in the county, with a population density of 39.2051/sq mi (15.1372/km2). There were 9,766 housing units, of which 8,975 were occupied.[1]

2000 census[edit]

2000 Census Age Pyramid for Mahaska County

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 22,335 people, 8,880 households, and 6,144 families residing in the county. The population density was 39 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 9,551 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.20% White, 0.64% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 0.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,880 households out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.60% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.80% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,314, and the median income for a family was $43,557. Males had a median income of $32,618 versus $23,192 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,232. About 7.50% of families and 9.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.70% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.


Incorporated cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  4. ^ a b Mahaska County
  5. ^ About Mahaska
  6. ^ Map of Historic Coal Mines in Mahaska County, Mahaska 4-H Tech Team, May 2006.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°20′02″N 92°38′44″W / 41.33389°N 92.64556°W / 41.33389; -92.64556

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahaska_County,_Iowa — Please support Wikipedia.
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2 news items

Oskaloosa Herald
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:40:09 -0700

OSKALOOSA — The Mahaska County Historical Society is pleased to announce that the Mahaska County Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is funding the restoration of the Baker/Gilchrist Windmill. The Baker windmill at Oskaloosa's Nelson Pioneer Farm and ...

Oskaloosa news

Oskaloosa news
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 04:55:40 -0700

The windmill was showing signs of deterioration after the long cold winter and the Mahaska County Iowa Farm Bureau Federation generously stepped in to finance the restoration. The windmill originally stood on the Baker Farm and was over a century old.

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