Once in Marion County, Iowa, there was a timber belt along the Des Moines River that reached nearly 4 miles wide. Prairie grass grew over the rolling countryside at heights of over 6 feet. The Sac and Fox tribe made their homes along the rivers and creeks.
Dixie Cornell Gebhardt, creator of the Iowa flag.
Dixie Cornell

If you enjoy history, plan to visit area museums and landmarks to learn about our stories. Here are some of our favorites...

Iowa Flag

Dixie Cornell Gebhardt, creator of the Iowa flag, was a resident of Knoxville. You will find a marker on the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn and at her residence which is now the offices of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.

Red Rock Line & Dragoons

Marion County figured prominently in the settlement of Iowa. Dragoons first explored the Des Moines River Valley in 1835 and recorded information about the new frontier. In 1842, the Sac and Fox signed a treaty to sell lands west of the Red Rock Line named after the town of Red Rock. The land west of the Red Rock Line in Iowa was opened for settlement after 1845.


In the summer of 1847, a company of immigrants from the Netherlands settled in the area near the divide between the Des Moines River and Skunk River. Learn about their story at the Pella Historical Village and Scholte House Museum.

Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

This legendary wild west lawman grew up in Pella from 1850 to 1864. Visit the Pella Historical Village to visit his boyhood home and learn more about his story.

Coal Mining

In Melcher-Dallas you will find a museum open by appointment only, which chonicles the history of coal mining in the area. There were at one time over 500 coal mines in Marion County. See a coal car in the downtown square and mark your calendar to attend the annual Coal Mining Days in June.


Pella Corporation and Vermeer Corporation each have a museum which contains history and artifact about the company. The Pella Rolscreen Museum is located in the old Pella Depot and also contains a small display on the depot history. Vermeer’s museum is located in the Global Pavilion located on the east side of the Vermeer campus.

Raceway at the Marion County Fairgrounds
Raceway at the


The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum tells the story of sprint car drivers, owners, mechanics, builders, promoters, media, and their innovations. They are the only museum in the world dedicated to the history of sprint car racing. Watch the Knoxville Raceway schedule and plan your visit to the museum when you can also take in a race.

Rural Landmarks

There are signs around Marion County put up by the Rural History Buffs of Marion County, Iowa marking the locations for rural schools, old roads, towns, native settlements and landmarks. Spend a Sunday afternoon driving down elevator road or stringtown road...or find your way to the burr oak school site, horn’s ferry bridge, thunder creek or sandridge school site.

Rural History Buffs

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