Town: Independence


Nestled in Northeast Iowa, Independence was home to some of the first settlers west of the Mississippi River. It is known for its hospitality and strong-dedicated work ethic. Independence was founded in 1847.

Founded in 1853, Independence with 12 inhabitants including a few stores, sawmill and a blacksmith. By the end of the decade, Independence had grown from a dozen citizens to a striving community of 1500 residents. Complete with mills, machine shops, churches, hotels, stores, a post office and a courthouse, Independence began to thrive as the entrepreneurial spirit and commerce became a staple of the community.

Located on the banks of the Wapsipinicon River, Independence has experienced many innovative and since historical initiatives. In 1854, the Wapsipinicon Feed Mill and dam became operational. The five story structure is 122 feet long by 62 feet wide and was used as a flouring mill and in 1923 began producing the “Wapsi” brand of poultry feed. Today the Mill is operated by the Buchanan County Historical Society and is open for tours and special events during the summer months.