Iowa Exhibition Hall


Iowa Exhibition Hall

IOWA Lettered PC

Iowa became part of the United Sates after the Louisiana Purchase from France 1803, but uncontested U.S. control over what is now Iowa occurred only after the War of 1812 and after a series of treaties eliminated Indians claims on the state.

Beginning in the 1830s American settlements appeared in the Iowa Territory.

Iowa Statehood United States Stamps

Iowa Statehood United States Stamps

Statehood came in 1846.

Jewish settlers in Iowa arrived at the very beginning.

For the most part, we were peddlers, walking from early villages and towns to outlying farms with merchandise in our packs. Typically, our peddling phase lasted 2-4 years until we accumulated enough capital to open a store.

Jewish peddlers in Iowa emigrated from many European counties; Germany, Poland, Russia, etc.

Subsistence frontier farming was replaced by commercial farming after the construction of East-West railroad networks in the 1850s and 1860s, expanding the Iowa towns by the railroads, while diminishing trade & merchandising in the Iowa towns & cities on the North-South rivers.

Unlike large cities of the West, information about our early Jewish pioneers in Iowa is often sketchy.

We ask our visitors related to these special people to help us “fill in the blanks” about their lives and accomplishments.

Iowa Exhibitions

Early Pioneer Jews of Davenport, Iowa

Early Jewish Pioneers of Des Moines, Iowa

Alexander Levi, Earliest Pioneer Jewish Merchant and Miner of Dubuque, Iowa

The Younker Brothers: Jewish Pioneer Merchandisers of Keokuk & Des Moines, Iowa