Rockingham Iowa

In the 1830s, two towns sprang to life on the Iowa bank of the Mississippi River. The village of Rockingham was settled in 1835 across from the mouth of the Rock River. The village seemed ideally located—except for the inconvenient fact that flooding turned the town into an island every year. In spite of its wet location, the village had one hundred residents by the summer of 1836, twice as many as its neighbor, Davenport. The town of Davenport grew very slowly after its founding by Antoine LeClaire, using a contentious—and corrupt—victory over Rockingham for the county seat to solidify its future. In the first round of voting, Davenporters helped their cause by importing lead miners from Dubuque and paying them ten barrels of whiskey to vote. After two more controversial and equally corrupt elections, Davenport won the county seat and Antoine LeClaire donated land and $3,000 to build the first courthouse. Davenport annexed Rockingham a short time later.

© Dean Klinkenberg, 2009

By |2016-10-21T15:29:32+00:00April 10th, 2009|Ghost Towns|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dean Klinkenberg, the Mississippi Valley Traveler, is on a mission to explore the rich history, diverse cultures, and varied ecosystems of the Mississippi River Valley, from the Headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. He is the author of Rock Island Lines, a mystery, and several guidebooks for the Mississippi Valley.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ah, geez. Another pop-up? Yep! But if you sign up for updates, I’ll send you a free, full-color PDF of Small Town Pleasures, your guide to the most interesting small Mississippi River towns. You’ll save five bucks!

This is a limited time offer, so sign up today.

We value your privacy and will never spam you. You will receive updates about new books and offers, site updates, and news from the Mississippi Valley. You can unsubscribe whenever you want.