Taylor County

Population (2010): 6,317

Land Area: 532 Square Miles

Homeownership Rate (2012): 77.3%

Median House Hold Income (2012): $42,638


County History

Taylor County gets its name from Major General Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States. The county was established in 1847. The first county elections were held in 1851, by order of the county sheriff. 53 votes were cast in the election of three commissioners, a clerk, judge, treasurer, and county recorder. The first county business conducted was the location of a county seat. Eventually the Legislature, on January 14, 1853, appointed a second committee to locate a new county seat after the first committee failed to do so. When a site was located, it was to be named Bedford. 

For several years the county went without a county courthouse. The offices and court were held in a log cabin home. In 1864, the county built its first courthouse in Bedford. The square, two-story stone building was used until 1891, when it was deemed unsafe. At this time the county built its present courthouse. 

In 1980, the Taylor County Courthouse was put on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1992, the Courthouse turned 100 years old. There were tours, music, demonstrations, food and fun to celebrate the occasion. 

There are still many big beautiful trees and sidewalks lined with benches for anyone to sit and enjoy the peace and beauty of the courthouse and courtyard. Taylor County is very proud of their "Grand Old Lady!"

(Source: Inventory of the County Archives of Iowa (Taylor County), W.P.A., 1941, http://www.e-referencedesk.com) (Picture Source: Iowabackroads.com)

Helpful Links

Lenox Chamber of Commerce

Bedford Chamber of Commerce

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Taylor County 


Public Libraries

Bedford Public Library

Lenox Public Library 

New Market Public Library 


School Districts

Bedford Community School District

Clearfield Community School

Lenox School District

Southwest Valley Schools

Clarinda Community School District


Cities of Taylor County

Taylor County

City of Bedford

City of Blockton

City of Clearfield

City of Conway

City of Gravity

City of Lenox

City of New Market

City of Sharpsburg