Linn County History - A 1911 Excerpt
Linn County was established by an act of the legislature of the Territory of Wisconsin, approved on December, 21, 1837. The county was regular in shape but four townships larger than its neighbors on the north and east, which were created at the same time. The spelling of the name was Lynn, although it was spelled in the body of the act itself as Linn; it took its name from Dr. Louis F. Linn, United States Senator from Missouri, who was appointed to that office in 1833 and who was a friend and admirer of President Jackson and much interested in the development of the west.
The eastern part of Linn County, perhaps one third, had been part of the original county of Dubuque since 1834. Linn County embraces within its limits two Indian land cessions. The eastern part was acquired from the Sac and Fox Indians by the treaty of September 21, 1832, known as the Black Hawk Purchase. The western part, or the other two thirds, was acquired by a treaty of October 21, 1837.
The territory of Iowa was created by an act of Congress, approved June 12, 1838. Among the bills passed by the first legislature, which met during the winter of 1838 and 1839, was an act to organize the county of Linn and establish the Seat of Justice. Two of the Commissioners named in the act, Richard Knott and Benjamin Nye, accepted the trust, meeting at the house of William Abbe, two and one-half miles west of what is now Mount Vernon. The Commissioners located the county seat in the middle of the county and named it "Marion," in honor of the Revolutionary general Francis Marion.
In October, 1838, the entire county composed one electoral precinct, and thirty-two ballots were cast for candidates for the legislature. Charles Whittlesey was chosen for the Senate and Robert G. Roberts for the House. The sale of land in the county was advertised to take place in January, 1840. On account of the difficulties of transportation, the settlers petitioned to have the sale postponed until the summer of that year, which was granted. The location of the land sale was also changed from Dubuque to Marion. Thus, for a time, Marion was a United States land office, and the people of Linn County who had little money to spend could claim their lands without much trouble.
The townships and the dates they were established are as follows: Marion, Franklin, Washington, Fayette, Putnam, and Brown in 1841; Linn and Rapids, 1843; Otter Creek, 1844; Buffalo and Maine, 1848; Monroe, 1849; Spring Grove, 1853; Clinton, 1854; Jackson, 1855; College, Bertram, Boulder, and Fairfax, 1858; Grand, 1872; and Cedar, 1906.
[Taken from History of Linn County, Iowa: From its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time by Luther A. Brewer and Barthinius L. Wick, 1911.]