Our Iowa Heritage Index: Coralville.

As you can see, our growing website Our Iowa Heritage covers a lot of time (pre-1800 to the present) and a lot of people. We’ve written about famous people and the not-so-famous ones as well. Yet, despite a person’s prominence (or lack of it), everybody has a story. And as you read our posts, you’ll hopefully discover that everyone’s story is a good one. So, in order to better find these good stories and details surrounding them, we’ve added this INDEX of HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS to help you along the way. Enjoy your journey.

Our Iowa Heritage: An Introduction. We might suggest you start here! Here’s how & why I got started collecting stamps, coins, and other Iowa memorabilia.

Coralville – Taming The Iowa River. Between 1841 and 1844, there were three dams and grist mills built in Johnson County. The third – built by the Iowa City Manufacturing Company – proved to be the most successful and was built on the historic limestone shores of the Iowa River where Coralville stands today. Take a big step back in time with us to 1777 B.C. and meet Coralville’s first pioneers – native people living alongside the Iowa River who evolved into the role of Iowa’s first farmers long before the white man ever came to America.

Samuel J. Kirkwood – Iowa’s Civil War Governor. After the Lincoln-Douglass debates changed American politics, gubernatorial candidates Samuel Kirkwood and Augustus Dodge crisscrossed Iowa debating the pros and cons of slavery. In 1860, Iowans chose rightly, sending Kirkwood to Des Moines, opening the door for a humble miller from Coralville to become Iowa’s famous Civil War Governor.

Meet Four Iowa City Civil War Veterans. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, a unique group of four young Iowa Citians enlisted for the Union Army: two Pritchard brothers – James E. & John N., and two good friends of the Pritchards – John C. Rutan and William W. Kirkwood. Fortunately, we have three of their postal covers and two personal letters written during the war years – letters that offer us amazing insight into both their personal lives and turbulent times in which they lived.

Johnson County’s Own – Coralville. First established around Iowa’s largest grist mill and dam – located on the limestone shores of the Iowa River – Coralville took its name from that vast collection of fossilized coral found within that same limestone. When a famed zoologist from Harvard University visited in 1864, he pointed out the treasure beneath their feet, and by 1866, the village, once known as Clarksville, adopted its new name.

Greetings From Clarksville Or Coralville? The village on the Iowa River that was formed around the Territory’s largest grist mill and dam became known to many as Clarksville when Ezekiel Clark and his brother-in-law, Samuel J. Kirkwood, took over the mill in the 1850’s. In 1866, the townspeople renamed it Coralville, opened its first post office in 1869, and incorporated the village in 1873. Yet despite all that, many locals continued to call it Clarksville even at the turn of the century. Come read the full story.

Caitlin Clark From The Logo In Coralville. In April 2023, immediately following the exciting women’s basketball season with the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Final Four, Caitlin Clark dropped by the Coralville Community Food Pantry (CCFP) to meet and greet her many fans while raising funds for the CCFP Clark’s Team Up Against Hunger Campaign. This April, we raised over $50,000 and it all goes to help our neighbors in need throughout Coralville. Here’s a salute to Caitlin – maybe we need to restore Coralville’s old name – Welcome to Clarksville!

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