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The town of Keosauqua was platted in 1837 and 1839 by the Van Buren Company. The site selected lay on the north bank of the Des Moines River within a broad oxbow. In 1846 construction was started on the Des Moines River Improvement Project—a scheme using a series of dams, locks, and canals to make the river navigable. Three sets of locks were built, making it possible to travel as far as Keosauqua, but the larger scheme was never carried out. The town's grid was laid out parallel to the river, and a courthouse square was provided three blocks from the riverfront.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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