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Historical Downtown Nevada, Iowa with vintage shops from the 1980s

168 years of


All the need-to-know history

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Historic Downtown Nevada, Iowa in the 1960s

At a Glance

Iowa became a separate territory in 1838 and the 29th state in the year 1846. The area that would eventually be called Story County had no history of its own. In 1853, the county was formed and named after the Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story. Story County grew slower than surrounding areas and counties.

As the years passed and as markets and conditions changed, the wide circumstances which had made Story County unattractive in the beginning had tended to rank the County among the best. 

The legislature of 1853 appointed commissioners to locate a county seat for Story County. The two commissioners who made the final decision were Joseph M. Thrift of Boone County and Johnson Edgar of Jasper County. They inspected the county and selected land in the east half of the northwest quarter and the west half of the northeast quarter of Section 7, Township 83, Range 22, west of the Fifth Principal Meridian. Their assignment required them to name the new town. Joseph Thrift asked that it be named Nevada after the “Eldorado of the Rocky Mountains.” A surveyor laid out the original plat with 49 blocks.

The County Seat

A group of young individuals hanging out on 6th Street of Downtown Nevada, Iowa

Nevada, Iowa Quick Facts


As of the census of 2010, Nevada's population sits at 6,798 with 2,761 homes and 1,811 families residing in the city.

Briggs Terrace

If you look closely, you can see fingerprints forever stamped in some bricks. The workers stayed in a worker men's shed, which still stands today.

Our Nevada

Our Nevada is a collaboration between the City of Nevada, the Nevada Community School District, Story County Medical Center, Story County, NEDC, and Main Street Nevada to put a monthly publication together informing our residents on what is going on in the community around them and share the great things happening in Nevada.

George Child Log house

Nevada's longest standing building, which was the third house built in the town.

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