Town Sign Project: Kossuth County

A few weeks back I made a solo trip to Kossuth County to harvest their town signs. Kossuth County is the largest county in Iowa covering 972 square miles. Pottawattamie County is second, covering 950 square miles. It was twice split into two counties with the northern section broke off into a second county. Giving Iowa 100 counties. First Bancroft County was established in 1851, but then abolished in 1857. It was joined to Kossuth because Bancroft County was determined unusable as farmland. Then in 1870 the same area was designated as Crocker County, but in 1871 the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that this creation violated the constitution because no county can be less than 432 square miles. The area was returned to Kossuth County.

Here are some facts about Kossuth County:

+ The population is 14,828. Making it the 52nd most populous county in Iowa. Below Hamilton County and above Harrison County.
+ The largest town and county seat is Algona.
+ Founded on January 15, 1851.
+ Named after Hungarian politician Lajos Kossuth.
+ Home of Nativity Set carved by Nazi prisoners of war.
+ Major highways are US-18, US-169, IA-9, IA-15, and IA-17.
+ Adjacent counties are: Winnegabo, Hancock, Humboldt, Palo Alto, and Emmet.
+ Population peaked in 1940 at 26,230.

Kossuth County has a pretty nondescript courthouse:


Kossuth County Courthouse
The Kossuth County Courthouse in Algona, Iowa.

The Kossuth County Freedom Rock is located in Whittemore, Iowa.


Kossuth County Freedom Rock

Kossuth County Freedom Rock

Kossuth County Freedom Rock

Kossuth County Freedom Rock

Something I think is cool about the Kossuth County Freedom Rock display is that the rock is in the middle of a concrete path that makes out a purple ribbon.

With Kossuth County conquered, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 48 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

48 counties completed. 48.5% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the town signs of Kossuth County:


Algona, Iowa
Algona, Iowa
ALGONA WELCOMES YOU
Population: 5,487 (-73)

Bancroft, Iowa
Bancroft, Iowa
Bancroft
Garden Spot of Iowa
Population: 699 (-33)

Swea City, Iowa
Swea City, Iowa
SWEA CITY
est. 1895
Population: 566 (+30)

Titonka, Iowa
Titonka, Iowa
TITONKA
EST 1898
Population: 511 (+35)

Whittemore, Iowa
Whittemore, Iowa
Welcome To Whittemore
ESTABLISHED 1878
Proud of our past… Excited for our future
Population: 497 (-7)

Burt, Iowa
Burt, Iowa
WELCOME TO BURT
EST. 1881
Population: 418 (-115)

Wesley, Iowa
Wesley, IOwa
WESLEY
Quality Life in the Heartland
Population: 391 (+1)

Fenton, Iowa
Fenton, Iowa
FENTON
A GOOD TOWN FOR A HOME TOWN
Population: 271 (-8)

Lakota, Iowa
Lakota, Iowa
WELCOME TO LAKOTA
Population: 267 (+12)

Lu Verne, Iowa
Lu Verne, Iowa (Partially in Humboldt County)
WELCOME TO LU VERNE
COME AGAIN
Population: 258 (+33)

Lone Rock, Iowa
Lone Rock, Iowa
Lone Rock
Population: 146 (0)

Ledyard, Iowa
Ledyard, Iowa
WELCOME TO LEDYARD
A PLACE TO COME BACK TO
Population: 121 (-9)

West Bend is also partially in Kossuth County, but since the majority is in Palo Alto County, I will wait to share that sign when I share the signs of Palo Alto County.

I don’t know there is a truly terrible town sign in Kossuth County. I guess I’ll give it to Algona for their sign being mostly corporate, but also hard to read.

As fro Best in Show for Kossuth County? I really like the sign for Lone Rock, but believe it or not, that rock isn’t “the” Lone Rock. Which means there is actually more than one rock in Lone Rock. I like the signs of Whittemore and while I’m not a big tombstone looking town sign guy I like the town signs for Swea City and Titonka. However, it is well known that I am partial to signs that have animals on them. So I’m giving it to Titonka. But Swea City is a really close second.


Titonka, Iowa
Titonka – Best in Show – Kossuth County

There are a couple of towns with alternate signs:


Lone Rock, Iowa
Lone Rock Alternate

Lone Rock, Iowa
Lone Rock Alternate

Bancroft, Iowa
Bancroft Alternate

Algona, Iowa
Algona Alternate


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

New Hartford, Iowa
Best in Show – Butler County

Manson, Iowa
Best in Show – Calhoun County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Anita, Iowa
Best in Show – Cass County

Dougherty, Iowa
Best in Show – Cerro Gordo County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Tabor, Iowa
Best in Show – Fremont County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Beaman, Iowa
Best in Show – Grundy County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Britt, Iowa
Best in Show – Hancock County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Malvern, Iowa
Best in Show – Mills County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Plover, Iowa
Best in Show – Pocahontas County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Malcom, Iowa
Best in Show – Poweshiek County

Maloy, Iowa
Best in Show – Ringgold County

Nemaha, Iowa
Best in Show – Sac County

Elk Horn, Iowa
Best in Show – Shelby County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Gravity, Iowa
Best in Show – Taylor County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Joice, Iowa
Best in Show – Worth County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The next time we hit the dusty trail for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, we will visit Winnebago County.

14 thoughts on “Town Sign Project: Kossuth County”

  1. Jon’s from Titonka! Everyone always does some little buffalo horns thing from “Dances With Wolves” at the residents when they hear about the place, from what I’ve observed, thinking they’re the first one to come up with the joke.

  2. Easily one of the worst movies to ever win Best Picture. I’ve only endured it once, so I don’t even remember what this references, but I imagine it is like all the people that make FIGHT CLUB references to Shannon when they find out she makes soap. Only FIGHT CLUB is a superior movie, so it isn’t as bad.

  3. My grandma sent me the book when I was in seventh grade as a Christmas present. I read it, but my mom didn’t let me watch the movie (I think it came out the same year), as it was definitely a bit mature. Even though it was a Best Picture, and I’d ideally love to see all of those someday – I have not pursued it at all.

    I had no idea people thought they were being clever and made that joke to Shannon. Yeah, she is a real Tyler Durden if I have ever seen one, hilarious.

    I sent this blog to Jon and some of his buddies from Algona with whom we are good friends. They loved it, and then found your photos of Britt (Jon’s family farm was sort of between Britt and Tike) to tease him about Hobo Days. I would not be ashamed of Hobo Days – I am bound and determined to make it up there someday. It sounds fascinating.

  4. Cool! Always glad to know when I have new fans. I’ve seen every Best Picture winner except one. And I’ve owned that one on Blu Ray for years. And with the pandemic, I’ve had the time.

    I don’t know if they do it so much now, but they used to. And of course Shannon had never seen the movie. I think she has now.

    Britt should be proud of Hobo Days. Ashamed of the fence that I think is trying to be Islamophobic though.

  5. I have to ask – what’s the holdout movie?

    Shannon! It’s a good movie. Great soundtrack – Pixies and Dust Brothers. I hope that she can now say something like “I am Shannon’s seething rage” when they tell her that.

    Yeah, that is a real nice dose of racism there. It isn’t super surprising up in northern rural Iowa, but disappointing.

  6. Sorry took so long to respond. Very busy few set of days. The last movie is THE LAST EMPEROR.

    I’m 98% sure she has now seen FIGHT CLUB. Not sure who sat her down and made her watch it, but I have a vague memory of her telling me she has seen it.

    As for the fence in Britt. Do you back my theory that is attempting to be Islamophobic and the person was just too stupid to pull it off?

  7. I sort of remember the movie posters for THE LAST EMPEROR. Or maybe we had the VHS when I worked at the grocery store in Ogden, which seems more likely. I’ve definitely never seen it.

    Yeah, it looks pretty obvious that they don’t quite understand Islam and wanted to bag on it. They literally have the “Scrolls of Abraham,” so that might not be the one-two punch they think it is to specify all Old Testament prophets. I mean, prejudice never looks as good as people think it does, anyway – but this one is just factually incorrect. I do know that Jon said that the counties up there voted something like 80% for Trump in the last few elections, however – so not surprising.

  8. Yeah, nothing says Trumpism isn’t a cult like, One Nation Under God, but MY GOD! Yeah, usually the more run down and dumpy a town is, the more likely I am to find somebody still, sadly, rocking a Trump sign or flag. But it definitely isn’t contained in northwest Iowa. Rural eastern Iowa is surprisingly filled wit them. And always the dumpiest, just about to fall apart houses you’ve ever seen. In one town, at the main intersection coming into town, somebody has a semi-trailer parked in their yard, just covered in Trump propaganda.

    I’ve also seen a sad amount of businesses with such stuff in their windows. It under 10, yet more than one is more than enough.

    And I think all these things are plenty embarrassing, but then I remember that the town I live in is the only one I’ve seen where a business owner has painted a mural to their one true god on the side of their building.

    It is sad that the one I haven’t seen, I own and it isn’t one of the hard ones to find. I should try to watch it this week. But not sure when I’d have the time.

  9. I’ve gone over to Bettendorf to visit Grandpa several times, and we could fill an entire Bingo grid with Trump signs in different locations. Trump signs, “you hate God and babies if you are pro-choice” billboards, and Blue Lives Matter flags on pickups. It’s for sure correlated to the towns that actually need the most federal assistance.

    I don’t remember if you worked with a Boone gal whose name rhymed with Schmila, or if she was let go before you started? She talked constantly about the assistance she and her husband received – and she is the most active QAnon Trumper I’ve encountered. Did the whole “I’m leaving FB for Parler” thing (as if Zuckerberg isn’t pro-Trump), etc. I’ve never defriended her because I do secretly find dumpster fires amusing if I can watch from a very safe distance – but I’ve had to block her in my feed.

  10. She was before my time, but I’ve heard many a nightmare story about her. Yeah, dumpster fires are amusing, until they set your house on fire. That is the lesson I think we’ve learned in the last 5 years.

    Yeah, the amount of pro-life billboards in rural Iowa is really staggering. My favorite reads something like “Real men love babies.” Well, if more men were responsible, I’m sure there would be less of a need for abortions, but you’ll notice that all the people that want to make abortion pretty much illegal don’t also have legislation holding the man accountable in their back pocket. It really is great to be a gangsta, I mean a heterosexual white male.

    And if Zuckerberg isn’t a Trumper (while he tries to pretend he isn’t) Peter Thiel is pretty in your face about his horrible libertarian views. But the leaving Facebook for Parler threat that never really happens, is like people that think the mainstream media has a liberal bias. Actual academics that have studied this have determined it actually has a slight conservative bias. When I leave Mediacom in a few months, if they ask for a reason I’m going to tell them that it is because they added Newsmax.

    There are some people in Boone that are making bank on the Blue Lives Matter stuff. They setup a booth in a local parking lot now and again. I think they even have a store front, but I’m not sure if it is an actual store or just the local slum lord filing an empty building with a bunch of that stuff.

    Yeah, it is weird how many people don’t have a problem with the assistance they get, but don’t want anybody else to get it. I’m okay with anybody that needs it getting it. It is corporate welfare I want cutoff.

  11. I completely agree – if I can put out a dumpster fire, I do. Or even try!

    It really has to be so convenient to have unlimited means, the right skin color, AND a penis (so, ultimately, they can walk away from an unwanted/unsafe pregnancy). Really empowering, you know? So empowering that they get to just shame anyone who has a different existence. I also want to know who precisely the target audience is for those billboards. Just to rile up people who agree with them? To shame women getting abortions? I honestly don’t know, because it’s not like there’s a huge population out there undecided about that topic.

    How on EARTH could they feel justified about Newsmax? I don’t understand. We switched to YouTubeTV about a year ago or so – while there’s currently a question on Disney contracts (and, correspondingly, ESPN), it has overall been a good move. I hope you find a good fit rather than Mediacom.

    The Blue Lives Matter stuff is so willfully ignorant and racist. It’s just glossing it over with pretending to be supporting the police.

  12. I prefer just to shove the dumpster fire down the road. Hasn’t necessarily worked out for me.

    That is a good question about the target audience for billboards. I’m sure they think that somebody will see it that was going to have an abortion and change their mind. That is the best case scenario. I suppose for their motivations. I want to just once drive by a pro-choice billboard in rural Iowa. But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a pro-choice billboard every in my life. I guess I don’t know what the messaging would be.

    I think, but I’m not sure that Mediacom might have also added OAN. I don’t know that they will ask why I’m leaving when I cancel. But not giving money to FoxNews and NewsMax will be the first things I mention.

    Yeah, Blue Lives Matter… Speaking of messaging, I felt so bad when the police reform movement decided on “Defund the Police”. It was such a bad way to message police reform that I knew that the argument was lost before it even started.

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pro-choice billboard, either. Maybe just the “come to Planned Parenthood to discuss your options” type of thing? But the “discuss your options” group is usually the “come to our Family Planning pro-life coercion” crowd.

    I just can’t understand how people can not only engage misinformation, but do it so vigorously and completely. It blows my mind.

    There were SO many other ways to word that. I don’t understand that phrasing at all! It hurt the movement so badly.

  14. This country was wounded fatally in 1987 when they repealed the fairness doctrine. The death spiral has just been expedited by social media. Given the choice, most people will always choose the comforting lie over the unpleasant truth. And an easy, catchy chant will always best well thought out policy. And we continue to get dumber and dumber and dumber.

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