Mahaska County

Communities

Barnes City
Beacon
Fremont
Keomah Village
Leighton
New Sharon
Oskaloosa
Rose Hill
University Park

Mahaska County Courthouse
106 S 1st St
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
(641) 673-4940

Mahaska County Hospital
1229 C Avenue East
Oskaloosa
(641) 672-3100

Places of Interest

William Penn University
201 Trueblood Avenue, Oskaloosa, IA 52577
(641) 673-1012

Lake Keomah State Park
2720 Keomah Lane
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
ph. (641) 673-6975
fax. (641) 673-0647
Lake_Keomah@dnr.iowa.gov

Russell Wildlife Area and Conservation Center
2254 200th St,
New Sharon, Ia 50207

Mahaska County was formed on February 17, 1843, and has been self-governing since 1844. It was named after Chief Mahaska of the Iowa tribe. The county was the first in Iowa to have a sheriff and a justice of peace.

The first courthouse was completed in January, 1846. The second structure was put into use on February 27, 1886. The first school, a small log cabin one-half mile east of Oskaloosa, was opened on September 16, 1844 and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church opened as the first church in 1846. On July 2, 1850, the first edition of the Iowa Herald was issued (today the Oskaloosa Herald). In 1864, the first tracks were laid through the county of the Des Moines Valley Railroad.

Coal mining was once a major industry in Mahaska County. In the 19th century, Muchakinock, about 5 miles south of Oskaloosa, was one of the largest and most prosperous coal camps in Iowa.