WASHINGTON COUNTY, IOWA. Situated in the w. toward the s. part of the territory, and contains 618 sq. ms. Drained by Iowa r., and Long and Crooked crs., and by a branch of Checauque or Skunk r. The climate is healthy; soil, fertile. Capital, Washington. There were in 1840, neat cattle 600, sheep 39, swine 864; wheat 2,210 bush, produced, Indian corn 100,055, oats 2,155, potatoes 1,357; 5 stores, capital $3,900; 2 saw m. Pop. 1,594.  (Haskell's Complete Descriptive and Statistical Gazetteer of the the United States...,1840)

WASHINTON, a county in the S. E. part of Iowa, has an area of 570 square miles. The Iowa river washes the N. E. border, the Skunk river intersects the S. W. part, and the English river flows through the northern part into the Iowa. The surface is diversified by rolling prairies and groves of timber, which are generally distributed along the large streams; the soil is good, and well watered. Indian corn, wool, and butter arc the staples. In 1850 there were raised 277,205 bushels of corn; 30,767 of wheat; 37,654 of oats, and 12,977 pounds of wool. It contained 3 churches, and 962 pupils attending public schools. The streams of this county afford motive-power for mills. A railroad is projected through the county from Keokuk to Dubuque. Capital, Washington. Pop., 4957.  (Baldwin's New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States..., 1854)

WASHINGTON COUNTY  Is situated in the southeast part of the State, about thirty-five miles west of the Mississippi River, and sixty-five miles north of the south line of the State, and is bounded on the east by Louisa and Muscatine Counties, on the south by Henry and Jefferson Counties, on the west by Keokuk County, and on the north by Iowa and Johnson Counties.
The general surface of the county is undulating, with very little land either too level or hilly for farming.
“The principal water-courses in the county are the Iowa, Skunk and English Rivers, and Crooked Creek. The Iowa River traverses the eastern portion of the northeastern township in the county only. Skunk River runs diagonally through two townships in the southwest part of the county, and English River runs nearly due east through the most northerly tier of townships. Crooked creek traverses a considerable portion of the central and southeastern parts of the county, and empties into Skunk River near the corner of Henry and Jefferson Counties.
Skunk and English Rivers afford considerable water-power, and several fine mills are in successful operation on these streams in this county.
The heaviest body of timber in the county is in the southern portion, on Skunk River and Crooked Creek. It consists for the most part of black and white oak, black and white walnut, shellbark and pignut hickory, elm, ash, linden, cherry, white and sugar maple, hackberry, buckeye, sycamore and honey locust. Considerable belts of timber are also found in the north part of the county, on English River and its tributaries; but taken as a whole, Washington County is not as well supplied with timber as some of the adjoining ones.
The streams above mentioned furnish an ample supply of stock water; and upon the prairie, good wells of never-failing water are obtained at depths of from twenty to forty feet below the surface. Along the banks of the streams the wells require to be deeper, and in some cases a depth of fifty feet fails to afford an adequate supply.”
The soil is easily cultivated, and well adapted to raising all kinds of grain, grasses, grapes and other fruits, and all root crops.
“COAL.—Washington County is but poorly supplied with coal, her resources being confined, so far as is at present known, to a local outlier in Brighton Township. Although the shales and sandstones belonging to the coal measures are found at several localities in the county, they have nowhere else afforded a workable coal-seam; and from the fact that rocks older than the coal measures are everywhere exposed where the streams cut through the superincumbent drift deposits, it is not probable that any extensive deposits of coal exist within the limits of the county. A local outlier may occur anywhere above the limestones, and their presence can only be determined by boring from the highest level of the country down to the limestone, which everywhere underlies the coal in this region. The fact that these outliers seldom afford a coal-seam more than two or three feet in thickness, and the coal of an inferior quality, is far from encouraging to those who feel disposed to invest money or labor in searching for coal in this region.
BUILDING STONE.—In the southern portion of the county, the concretionary limestone is the only rock exposed that can be made available as a building material, and, from its uneven bedding and concretionary structure, is not well adapted to the purpose. At some points, however, along Skunk River, the quarries in this bed afford a tolerable material for rough walls. The central portions of the county are supplied with a tolerable building stone from the Burlington limestone, which outcrops on Crooked Creek at several points northwest of Washington, as well as on Goose Creek and Davis Creek, in the northeast part of the county. This rock is quite thinbedded, the strata seldom exceeding four or five inches in thickness, but is a durable rock, and answers well for foundation walls. The best building stone is obtained in the north part of the county, from the brown arenaceous limestones of the Chemung group, which are sufficiently massive to afford material for abutments and for heavy masonry, the strata varying in thickness from six to fifteen inches. This rock outcrops on English River throughout the north part of the county, and on Davis Creek and Goose Creek near the east line of the county.
MATERIAL FOR QUICKLIME.—The central and southern portions of the county are supplied with an inexhaustible amount of material for the manufacture of quicklime, from the concretionary and Burlington limestones which underlie the whole region. The former is by far the best rock for this purpose, and is the purest limestone in the county. The Burlington limestone contains some arenaceous matter, that affects somewhat the quality of the lime made from it; but as a cement it answers a good purpose.
MATERIAL FOR BRICK.—Sand and clay suitable for brick are found in the drift deposits in all parts of the county; the clay may be obtained immediately below the subsoil, and the sand from the lower portion of the same deposit, or from the beds of the streams. These, in connection with the limestones above mentioned, will always afford an abundant supply of cheap building material to the inhabitants of this county, sufficient for the wants of a dense population.”
There are three large flouring mills and saw mills on Skunk River, and one woolen manufactory, including carding and cloth dressing. The county is well adapted to raising horses, cattle, hogs and sheep, and a large surplus of each is shipped every year.
Washington County was organized in 1837 by the Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin, and called Slaughter, after the Secretary of said Territory. After Iowa was set off its name was changed to Washington.
It is twenty-four miles square, less about three square miles on the east side of Iowa River in the northeast corner of the county, and is divided into fifteen civil townships, called Brighton, Cedar, Clay, Crawford, Dutch Creek, English River, Highland, Iowa, Jackson, Lime Creek, Marion, Oregon, Seventy-six, and Washington. The development of the county was slow for the first fifteen years, and its settlers were principally from those States bordering on the Ohio River and its tributaries. As soon as railroad connections were established between the lakes and the Mississippi, the emigration from the Eastern States has been much increased, and since 1852 the county has rapidly filled up, and its prairies are now covered and dotted over with farms. The population is about eighteen thousand, and is rapidly on the increase. (Hair's Iowa State Gazetteer..., 1865)

Total Population 1840
Total Population 1850
Total Population 1860
Free Black Population 1860
Free Black Population 1850
Presidential Election Result 1848
Presidential Election Result 1852
Presidential Election Result 1856
Presidential Election Result 1860
Presidential Election Result 1864
Unconditional Union (1864)