Town Sign Project: Winnebago County

A few weeks back I hit the open road to harvest the town signs of Winnebago County.

Here are some facts about Winnebago County:

+ The population is 10,679 making it the 69th most populous county in Iowa. Behind Hancock County and above Guthrie County. (Unrelated question, do you think that whenever teachers ask their classes to pick a number, do they still always pick 69 and the laugh uncontrollably? I bet they still do.)
+ The largest town and county seat is Forest City, which is partially in Hancock County.
+ Founded in 1847.
+ Founded after the Native American tribe also known as the Ho-Chunk.
+ Location of motor home manufacturers Winnebag.
+ Major highways are US-69 and US-9. (Unrelated, but back in the day college students used to steal Highway 69 signs and thought it was hilarious. I bet they still do.)
+ Adjacent counties are Worth, Hancock, Kossuth, and Cerro Gordo.
+ Population peaked in 1940 at 13,972.

The Winnebago Courthouse is pretty sweet. Especially the fountain out front.

Winnebago County Courthouse
The Winnebago Courthouse in Forest City, Iowa.

The Winnebago County Freedom Rock is located in Lake Mills, Iowa.

The Winnebago County Freedom Rock

The Winnebago County Freedom Rock

The Winnebago County Freedom Rock

The Winnebago County Freedom Rock

If you ever want to check out all the Freedom Rocks and Courthouses to date, just click on this link below:

Courthouses and Freedom Rocks

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

Town Sign Project - 49 Counties

49 counties completed. 49.5% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the town signs of Winnebago County:

Forest City, Iowa
Forest City, Iowa (Partially in Hancock County)
Forest City
Population: 4,285 (+134)

Lake Mills, Iowa
Lake Mills, Iowa
EST. 1869
Population: 2,143 (+43)

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Buffalo Center, Iowa
Population: 857 (-48)

Thompson, Iowa
Thompson, Iowa
Est. 1892
Population: 495 (-7)

Leland, Iowa
Leland, Iowa
Population: 249 (-40)

Rake, Iowa
Rake, Iowa
EST. 1900
A Little Bit of Norway And A Lot Of Pride
Population: 186 (-39)

Scarville, Iowa
Scarville, Iowa
Population: 74 (+2)

I don’t think there is a bad town sign in the bunch. If I had to pick a least favorite, it would probably be Lake Mills or Thompson gets points for the at least using a fun font.

Best in Show is pretty obvious. I like the town signs of Leland and Rake, but really it is all about the Buffalo.

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Buffalo Center – Best in Show – Winnebago County

When I worked at the Campus Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire my Breakfast Assistant was a woman named Jean Smith. She was from Buffalo Center, Iowa. Jean passed away a few years after I left for the Computer Mine. She was a fascinating person and have many fond memories of her. I thought about her as I drove through Buffalo Center.

A few towns in Winnebago County have alternate town signs:

Thompson, Iowa
Thompson – Alternate

Rake, Iowa
Rake – Alternate

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Buffalo Center – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

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

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago Count

Joice, Iowa
Best in Show – Worth County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The next time we hit the dusty road for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT we will head south to Decatur County.

2 thoughts on “Town Sign Project: Winnebago County”

  1. Thompson and Lake Mills look a little bit like headstones. I love Buffalo Center and Rake. They’re both great.

  2. I fear this is the way town signs are trending now. Here lies Thompson, Iowa. A town that slowly died after the railroad left.

    I assume they cost more money upfront, but require no maintenance. Must be the appeal. But they definitely look like tombstones.

    But I do always feel bad for towns that play up their railroad heritage on their signs even though the railroad might have left 50 years ago.

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