A couple months back, on my way back from a trip to Manhattan, Kansas to watch Nate graduate from Kansas State, I cruised through Pottawattamie County to harvest the balance of their town signs.

Here are some facts about Pottawattamie County:

+ Population is 93,667 making it the 10th most populous county in Iowa. Below Story County and above Warren County.
+ The largest town and county seat is Council Bluffs.
+ Named after the Potawatomi Native American Tribe.
+ Home of the only town in Iowa that is west of the Missouri River.
+ Major highways are I-29, I-80, I-480, I-680, I-880, US-6, US-59, US-275, IA-83, IA-92, IA-165, IA-191, and IA-192.
+ Adjacent counties are: Harrison, Cass, Mills, and Shelby.
+ Currently at peak population.

The Pottawattamie Courthouse is not much to look at:

Pottawattamie County Courthouse
The Pottawattamie County Courthouse in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock is located in Oakland, Iowa:

Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock

Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock

Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock

Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock

Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock

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

Town Sign Project - 58 Counties

58 counties completed. 58.6% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the town signs of Pottawattamie County:

Council Bluffs, Iowa
Council Bluffs, Iowa
All-America City
Population: 62,799 (+569)

Carter Lake, Iowa
Carter Lake, Iowa
Population: 3,791 (+6)

Avoca, Iowa
Avoca, Iowa
Population: 1,683 (+177)

Oakland, Iowa
Oakland, Iowa
1882 1982
Population: 1,524 (+18)

Treynor, Iowa
Treynor, Iowa (Note the Cy Rip-off on the Sign)
Welcome to TREYNOR
Population: 1,032 (+113)

Underwood, Iowa
Underwood, Iowa
EST. 1882
Population: 954 (+37)

Neola, Iowa
Neola, Iowa
EST. 1882
Population: 918 (+76)

Carson, Iowa
Carson, Iowa
EST. 1881
Population: 766 (-46)

Walnut, Iowa
Walnut, Iowa
EST 1871
Population: 747 (-38)

Crescent, Iowa
Crescent, Iowa
Est. 1856
Population: 628 (+11)

Minden, Iowa
Minden, Iowa
EST. 1875
Population: 600 (+1)

Macedonia, Iowa
Macedonia, Iowa
Pop. 325
“Small In Size Large In Heart!”
Population: 267 (+21)

Hancock, Iowa
Hancock, Iowa
Population: 200 (+4)

McClelland, Iowa
McClelland, Iowa
Population: 146 (-5)

If you are wondering, Carter Lake is the only town in Iowa that is west of the Missouri River. There is no way to get to it from Iowa without having to drive through Nebraska. Which is a fate I wouldn’t wish on any Iowan. At least by car. I suppose theoretically, you might be able to swim across the Missouri River and never be in Nebraska, but I’m sure halfway through the Missouri River you are probably technically in Nebraska. Oh the humanity!

I’ll get into how Carter Lake ended up in Iowa and the Supreme Court cases that made it so at some point in the future. But Carter Lake does have a special place in my heart as its Methodist Church was the first church that Pastor Andrea was assigned to out of divinity school.

I think this is a pretty solid collection of town signs. The only one I would consider to be flat out bad is Avoca.

I really like Oakland’s acorn sign, but I’m going to have to give Pottawattamie’s purple ribbon to Walnut. And it isn’t only because I have a soft spot in my heart for antiques because of my parents.

Walnut, Iowa
Walnut – Best in Show – Pottawattamie County

There are a few alternate town signs in Pottawattamie County:

Walnut, Iowa
Walnut – Alternate

Walnut, Iowa
Walnut – Alternate

Oakland, Iowa
Oakland – Alternate

Oakland, Iowa
Oakland – Alternate

Carson, Iowa
Carson – 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

Lowden, Iowa
Best in Show – Cedar County

Dougherty, Iowa
Best in Show – Cerro Gordo County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Low Moor, Iowa
Best in Show – Clinton County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Weldon, Iowa
Best in Show – Decatur 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

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Leighton, Iowa
Best in Show – Mahaska 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

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe 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

Walnut, Iowa
Best in Show – Pottawattamie 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

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Joice, Iowa
Best in Show – Worth County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The next time we hit the open road for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, we will end up in Harrison County. A county that at least a couple of people that I know have a special connection with.


  1. Sorry, Oakland’s is the best here.

    I also find it somewhat whimsical that Oakland has a nut as their sign, while Walnut doesn’t.

  2. The acorn is the nut of an oak tree, hence the acorn in the sign. Walnut leans very heavily into their antique stores. It is actually pretty impressive, if you ever get a chance to stop there. Walnut is definitely on the list of towns I will visit again when I have more time.

  3. I do understand the acorn/oak affiliation, yes.

    I’ve heard that they have more antique stores per capita than anywhere else in Iowa, but I don’t know that there is any official science to that claim. (And the Amanas may disagree.) It would be fascinating to prowl around.

  4. I would say it isn’t even close. Walnut has way more antique stores than the Amanas. I’m not even sure there is another kind of business in Walnut. There is probably a restaurant there, but it probably also sales antiques.

    When I went through there it was a Sunday and everything was closed, but it was still cool just to drive by them and see all the stuff that they had on display outside and wonder what kind of treasures were inside.

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