MAHASKA, a county in the S. E. central pint of Iowa, has an area of 576 square miles. The county is intersected by the DesMoines and by the North and South forks of Skunk river, which all flow in a S. E. direction. It is also drained by numerous creeks. The surface in some parts is level, and in others rolling, and is finely diversified with prairies and woodlands. The prairies are of moderate extent, and separated by large bodies of heavy timber distributed along the rivers and creeks. The soil is deep, friable, and highly productive. Wheat and Indian corn are the principal productions. In 1850 there were raised 341,150 bushels of Indian corn, and 40,092 of wheat. It contained 1 church and 805 pupils attending public schools. Stone coal is abundant in many parts of the county, and extensive beds of limestone of good quality are found. The rivers and creeks afford a copious supply of water-power. A railway route has been surveyed from Davenport to Oskaloosa. The possession of the soil was given by the aborigines to the whites in 1843. Organized in 1844. Capital, Oskaloosa. Pop., 5989. (Baldwin's New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States..., 1854)
MAHASKA COUNTY Of which Oskaloosa is the county-seat, is a thriving and populous county for its age. The first settlements in the county were made in 1842, on the public land, and in June 1843, the county-seat was organized by commissioners appointed by the Legislature. The present population of Os- kaloosa is nearly 3000.
The county is well supplied with churches and schools. Of the former are Methodist, Christian, Seceder, O. S. Presbyterian, and Cumberland Presbyterian.
The '' Times" and the " Herald," are both published in Oskaloosa.
Two public and two private schools at the county-seat, in good condition.
Of manufactories, two steam saw-mills, and one steam flouring-mill, a carding and spinning-machine, with smaller establishments, comprise the assortment. Manufactories of any kind will do well here.
The county is unsurpassed for fertility of soil, abundance and quality of water, &c. The county-seat is reported to be the largest inland town in the State, and with the splendid country that surrounds it, and the railroad connections that are hastening to link that place with the rest of mankind, the prospects are that it will soon be a large and important business point. (Iowa As It Is in 1855; A Gazetteer for Citizens..., 1855)