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Old 09-22-2006, 07:54 AM
 
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I have always wondered why one of the smaller towns in a county becomes and remains a County seat. For example, Oelwein is about the largest town in Fayette County with a little more than 6,000 people but West Union is the county seat with around 3,000. Fayette, where Upper Iowa University is located, has a little more than 1,000 people.
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Old 09-23-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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I would wager that if you follow the history of these towns that West Union was created and made county seat before Oelwin was a town.

I won't bet much because I haven't researched it, but that would account for it.

Sometimes it is convenience. Iowa City used to be the state capital.
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Old 09-23-2006, 07:08 PM
 
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Tek Freek
I believe West Union has been the county seat since the mid-1800's. the good people of Oelwein don't know why their town isn't the county seat since they are twice as large as West Union.
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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Lightbulb As I said...

Here is the history of the beginnings of both towns.

West Union:

In 1850, a census showed a population of 825 in Fayette County, which allowed for the organization of civil government. In 1849, William Wells chose an area to develop a town, which he named West Union. In 1851, West Union was chosen as the county seat, which it remains today.


Oelwein:

Oelwein is rich in history, here you can read some of the important highlights that helped shape our city. The town of Oelwein was laid out in a corn field purchased from G.A. Oelwein on the coming of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Minnesota Railroad (later called the Rock Island) in 1872. Some years later the two dividing streets of Oelwein were named after his sons, Frederick and Charles.

First one in, wins! Or perhaps: Size doesn't matter.
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Default I must admit to a chuckle

over this. Apparently the people of Oelwein are upset over it, but not enough to do a little research to find out why it is so.
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:12 AM
 
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maybe it's high time to consider size and change the county seat. Or at least compromise, and make Fayette the county seat of Fayette County. Fayette is at least more centrally located and would be easier for the people down in Oelwein to get to.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:55 AM
 
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I hope they have a lot of money.....

Or the votes to pass a bond.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
I hope they have a lot of money.....

Or the votes to pass a bond.
they can move the old court house in West Union by jacking it up off its foundation and pulling it down to Fayette. The characters in the new Jackass movie can help out and film Jackass 3 while they're at it.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:26 PM
 
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In the 1850's most people traversed to the County seat by either walking or riding a hourse or buggy. West Union is centrally located, for the residents, so it was obviosly the choice for the Fayette County County government.

Oelwein, though with a much larger population, was/is on the southern boundary line of Fayette County and at the time it was felt that the travel time for the northern residents of Fayette County would have been very unfair to them As Oelwein is around 30 farther south from West Union.

As far as Iowa City once the State Capital you will find many States have changed their State Capitals, some a few times, over the years. As such with the Capital of the United States which I believe was Philidelphia at one time.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Strawberry Point, IA
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Yeah... I would like to know why West Union remains the county seat in Fayette County meanwhile Oelwein is the largest city in Fayette County. I am with Southside Shrek as well. I lived in Independence, a patriotic town of 6000 people, 16 miles south of Oelwein in Buchanan County for 4 years (March 2003 to March 2007).

Back to the topic, I found other good source telling history of Fayette County. It is at "Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC)" website or click ---> http://www.iowacounties.org/About%20Us/AboutCoGov/County%20Pages/Fayette.htm (broken link) it was very interesting to know.

Have a great day!

Kevin
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