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Mahaska County, Iowa facts for kids

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Mahaska County
The courthouse in Oskaloosa, built 1886, is on the NRHP. The architect was Henry C. Koch.
The courthouse in Oskaloosa, built 1886, is on the NRHP. The architect was Henry C. Koch.
Map of Iowa highlighting Mahaska County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  Iowa
Founded February 17, 1843
Named for Chief Mahaska
Seat Oskaloosa
Largest city Oskaloosa
Area
 • Total 573 sq mi (1,480 km2)
 • Land 571 sq mi (1,480 km2)
 • Water 2.5 sq mi (6 km2)  0.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 22,190
 • Density 38.73/sq mi (14.952/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Mahaska County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census, the population was 22,190. The county seat is Oskaloosa.

Mahaska County comprises the Oskaloosa, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Mahaska
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.

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. 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.

Coal mining was once a major industry in Mahaska County. 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.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 573 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 571 square miles (1,480 km2) is land and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 63.svg U.S. Highway 63
  • Iowa 23.svg Iowa Highway 23
  • Iowa 92.svg Iowa Highway 92
  • Iowa 163.svg Iowa Highway 163
  • Iowa 146.svg Iowa Highway 146
  • Iowa 149.svg Iowa Highway 149

Adjacent counties

Demographics

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%
2020 22,190 −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018
MahaskaCountyIowaPop2020
Population of Mahaska County from US census data

2020 census

The 2020 census recorded a population of 22,190 in the county, with a population density of 38.832/sq mi (14.993/km2). 96.02% of the population reported being of one race. 90.01% were non-Hispanic White, 1.78% were Black, 2.16% were Hispanic, 0.18% were Native American, 1.14% were Asian, 0.07% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 4.66% were some other race or more than one race. There were 9,680 housing units, of which 8,799 were occupied.

2010 census

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.

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Mahaska County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Oskaloosa City 11,463
2 New Sharon City 1,293
3 Eddyville (partially in Monroe and Wapello Counties) City 1,024
4 Fremont City 743
5 Beacon City 494
6 University Park City 487
7 Barnes City (partially in Poweshiek County) City 176
8 Rose Hill City 168
9 Leighton City 162
10 Keomah Village City 84
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