“Grinnell was founded as a “Yankee” settlement, that is to say it was founded and originally settled by settlers from New England (as well as those from upstate New York whose parents and grandparents had come to that region from New England) who were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s. Grinnell was founded in 1854 by Josiah B. Grinnell a Congregationalist from Vermont. The city was originally slated to be named “Stella,” but J.B. Grinnell convinced other members of the colony to adopt his own name for the city, citing it as a rare and concise name. Grinnell was incorporated on April 28, 1865, and by 1880 Grinnell had a population of around 2000. Located at the junction of two railway lines (east-west line of the Rock Island Railroad and the north-south Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway), it became and remains the largest community in Poweshiek County.“
“The largest, most elaborate party ever held in Clinton celebrated the debut of Emma Lamb and the twentieth wedding anniversary of her parents, Artemus and Henrietta Sabrina Smith Lamb on October 13, 1885. Fellow lumber baron F.C. Weyerhauser, his wife and daughter attended together with several hundred guests all attired in formal wear. The era of opulence came to an end by 1900, as the northern forests were depleted. The sawmills closed, but the railroad and river, providing economical transportation in all directions, attracted manufacturing and heavy industry. The city still boasts a number of magnificent Victorian mansions, including the Curtis Mansion, now the home of the Clinton Women’s Club.
In January 2011, Clinton opened the world’s first-ever site of noted rapper Flavor Flav’s fast food chain, Flav’s Fried Chicken. This was due to the fact that Flav’s business partner, Nick Cimino, is a Clinton native and felt that the restaurant’s opening would be good for the community. The restaurant was closed down after a mere four months due to low staff retention and bad checks, among other concerns. Rapper Flav has gone on record stating ‘that restaurant manager Nick Cimino wasn’t running the business right.’”
“Wheatland was platted in 1858 under the leadership of John Bennett. The town was named for President James Buchanan’s estate Wheatland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The entire township (Spring Rock) had a white population of only 101 in 1850, but that number rose to 756 in 1860. A significant body of early settlers all came from the village of Wunderthausen in central Germany. The Germans founded the first church in town in 1857 with a Presbyterian affiliation. This relationship was dissolved in 1861 with the incorporation of St. Paul’s German Reformed Church (now St. Paul’s United Church of Christ). The First Presbyterian Church was organized in 1858, though no longer functions. Wheatland was legally incorporated on July 13, 1869.”