Plymouth County is one of the largest counties in Iowa, claiming 864 square miles. The early pioneers made this observation: “If you stared long enough at the open prairie, it would stare back at you!” The first white settlers arrived in 1856 and began establishing the communities of Westfield and Melbourne that same year. The town of Le Mars was founded in 1869. The town name was derived from the first initials of five women who visited the site with a railroad official. The early pioneers endured hardships and disappointments. They were committed to a way of life, forging ahead to make a better life for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren. Plymouth County portrays an overview of the county’s history in early photographs.
Author Bio: Linda Ewin Ziemann’s ancestors came to Plymouth County in the early 1880s—settling in Elgin Township, near Seney. Four generations of Ziemann’s family, including herself and her siblings, studied in the same country schoolhouse. She has been the Plymouth County IAGenWeb coordinator since August 2003. She is also one of three women who coordinate the Iowa Old Press Web site. Much of her time today is spent in genealogy research and preserving family history for future generations.
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