Who was the first white fur-trader to set foot in Johnson County, Iowa, and when did that happen?
If you’ve ever set out on a journey to discover your family heritage, you’ll know the dilemma that often occurs when you hit a fork in the proverbial road, where the “facts” you’ve uncovered seem to point in several different directions. So, it is with Johnson County, Iowa history when trying to determine the WHO and the WHEN of those who came before us. For those interested in answering these two questions, the debate seems to come down to two opposing options:
- Historical Option #1: John Gilbert, a fur-trader from New York, arriving here via Green Bay, was the first white man to set foot in Johnson County in the early to mid-1820’s.
- Historical Option #2: Stephen Sumner Phelps, another fur-trader from New York, arriving here via Illinois, was the first white man to set foot in Johnson County in the early 1830’s.
You can check out my take on the answers to these burning questions by clicking on the link below and reading more about Johnson County – 1820’s vs.1830’s – Phelps vs. Gilbert.
Did you know? is an Our Iowa Heritage blog series that offers you a little bit of Iowa trivia from a large selection of stories on our website. Subscribe to this FREE blog and you’ll get a new email from us every Monday – Wednesday – Friday.
Join us for Our Iowa Heritage blog posts.
Learn some historical facts about Iowa City, Johnson County, or Eastern Iowa.
Amaze your friends.