Iowa Territory 

 

Summary

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803.1 First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833.2 Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota.3 Population in 1840 about 43,000; in 1844 about 75,000; in 1846 about 96,000; and in 1850 about 192,000.4 Several Mormon settlements established in Iowa across Mississippi River from Commerce (now Nauvoo), Illinois.5 Iowa Stake created, 1839.6 Locations of key LDS church activities in territory include Montrose, Council Bluffs, and Zarahemla.7 JS visited territory, Apr.–May and July 1839, Mar. 1840, Sept. 1841, Aug. 1842, and June 1844.8 During forced exodus from Nauvoo, 1846, approximately 15,000 Saints traversed territory westward from Montrose to what was later known as Council Bluffs.9 While in area, about 500 Mormon men enlisted, July 1846, in U.S. Army of the West to provide support in Mexican War.10 At Sugar Creek, flocks of quail, exhausted from long flight, landed in camp and were gathered for much-needed food by over 600 destitute Saints, Oct. 1846.11 Territory gained statehood, Dec. 1846.12