Land Records in Pottawattamie County

Land in Pottawattamie County began to be registered in the Federal Land Offices in 1853; however, long before this settlers moved into the area and established pioneer homes and businesses. Many of the early pioneers came because of the Mormon movement from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Pottawattamie County, and parts of Mills County, became the site of the great “Mormon Encampment” as early pioneers gathered here and prepared for the movement west.

The great migration to Kanesville (now Council Bluffs,) Iowa, began in about 1846 and by 1852 many of the people of the Latter-Day Saints faith had regained their strength and continued upon their journey to Utah. Some of these brave individuals either stayed behind or returned to our county to be recognized as part of its leading citizenry. Naturally, the migration of this large number of people opened the door for numerous others to follow, and “follow” they did!!

In the first decade after the county was established, thousands of land transactions were recorded. Deeds dating from 1853 to 1905 indicate a flurry of activity as settlers sought to establish, or re-establish, homes and businesses’ — some long ago fading into obscurity — .

This indelible mark placed upon the official records of Pottawattamie County continue to offer a glimpse of the history of the families who struggled to maintain an existence and, by so doing, descendants of these early settlers, by viewing the documents of their ancestors, can begin to fill the gaps of their heritage.

The following records are available for research in the county recorder’s office, or by contacting the Pottawattamie County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 394, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 51502-0394 — or email us.

Deeds from 1853 to 1905.
Land Transfers from 1866 to 1937
Town Lot deed transfers from 1866 to 1977

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