Posted by Juliana Szucs on December 9, 2014 in Research
Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa

As we wrap up our series of state research guides, we’d like to share five things about Iowa that you might not know.

  1. The Iowa State Capitol dome is covered in 23-karat gold leaf. The interior is among the most ornate in the country as well, with twenty-nine varieties of marble incorporated into the décor.
  2. The oldest city in the state was named after its earliest settler, Julien DuBuque, a French Canadian who began mining lead in the area in 1788.
  3. After revising the state constitution to allow African-American men the right to vote, many Iowans began rallying around the issue of suffrage for women. In 1870, a convention was held in Mount Pleasant and drew 1,200 supporters.
  4. Prohibition in Iowa began in 1916, four years ahead of the 18th amendment, which made Prohibition the law of the land.
  5. Iowa and other Midwestern states also began feeling the effects of the Great Depression before the rest of the country. Following record farm production during World War I, prices for farm goods fell off sharply. Faced with a glut of produce on the market and lower prices, many farmers struggled to make ends meet throughout the 1920s, well before the stock market crash in 1929.

Want to learn more? Download our free Iowa state research guide.

Ancestors from another state? We’ve probably got you covered. Check out the complete list of available guides here.

Juliana Szucs

Juliana Szucs has been working for for more than 19 years. She began her family history journey trolling through microfilms with her mother at the age of 11. She has written many articles for online and print genealogical publications and wrote the "Computers and Technology" chapter of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Juliana holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program.


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