|THE STATE OF IOWA
Welcome to the greatest state in the nation -- welcome to Iowa!
The word "Iowa" comes from the American Indian tribe of the same name.
When early European explorers first saw the land of Iowa in the late 1600s, many Indian groups lived or hunted there. The Iowa, Miami, Ottawa, and Sioux tribes lived along the Mississippi River. The Omaha, Oto, and Missouri tribes lived in the western part of the state.
In 1673, French explorers canoed down the Mississippi River reaching the shore of Iowa. Other expeditions followed and in 1682, Robert Cavelier reached the mouth of the Mississippi River. He claimed the entire region for France and named it Louisiana, in honor of King Louis the Great.
Iowa was part of the Louisiana Purchase, a deal arranged between President Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte of France that brought a vast tract of the continent under the control of the United States in 1803. Two years later the Louisiana Territory was created and the Lewis and Clark Expedition sent out to explore the new territory. In 1808, the U.S. Army built Fort Madison, Iowa’s first fort.
After white settlement began with the Black Hawk Purchase, Iowa became part of Michigan Territory. When Michigan achieved statehood in 1837, Iowa then became a part of Wisconsin Territory. Finally, two years later, Iowa Territory was carved out of the area of Wisconsin Territory west of the Mississippi River.
Iowa became the 29th state on Dec. 28, 1846.