Many settlements and towns were started in the great state of Iowa, but one is considered not only the oldest city in Iowa but was also one of the first settlements west of the Mississippi. This city is still standing today.

Welcome to Iowa sign

The Oldest Cities In Iowa

First, let's look at all the oldest cities in Iowa. We found this list from and other sources. You're going to see a trend here. A lot of river cities on this list.

7. Cedar Rapids

Incorporated in 1849, Cedar Rapids was named after the many cedar trees on the banks of the Cedar River at the site.

6. Keokuk

Incorporated in 1847, Keokuk was a key location for settlers; situated between the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers, the area had access to a large trading area.

5. Muscatine

Incorporated in 1839, Muscatine began as a trading post founded by representatives of Colonel George Davenport, the namesake of the city of Davenport. Muscatine, like other river towns, was built because of its key location on the river, which offered good trade opportunities

4. Iowa City

Created in 1839, Iowa City was built on the request of Governor Robert Lucas to house the new capitol building and replace Burlington as the capital city.

3. Davenport

Incorporated in 1839, Davenport has a past older than the state itself. Davenport is another river town in the east, which was a key location for settlers. Most of the oldest cities in Iowa are in the eastern part of the state, because of their proximity to the Mississippi River, which was a huge trading route. Also because the settlers who came from the crowded eastern part of the country moved slowly west, it took a while for them to start settling in other parts of the state.

2. Burlington

Founded in 1833, Burlington is one of the oldest cities in Iowa. Back in the steamboat era, Burlington was a bustling river port and a central city to the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad.



Iowa's Oldest Cities

As we mentioned in the title, this city is also a river city like Davenport, Muscatine, and many others. This city was Incorporated in 1833. It was one of the first settlements west of the Mississippi. The first settler, Julien Dubuque, arrived in 1785. Named after Julien,

Dubuque is Iowa's oldest city.

Dubuque’s location on the Mississippi and its abundant land and resources, attracted large numbers of immigrants, particularly Irish and Germans, from overcrowded cities on the east coast.

You can learn more about Dubuque's rich history on its site here. 

Iowa Stingray Home

This home is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It holds two tanks, both around 300 gallons each. They both contain different types of stingrays. As for right now, this project is just for fun, though the owners do hope to someday breed these rays.

It's been about a 6-month process getting all the supplies, tanks, and stingrays.

This Iowa "Bargain Mansion" Has Captured TikTok's Attention

A home for sale in Ottumwa, Iowa was featured in a TikTok because of it's size and it's very light price tag.

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