Why Move to Iowa?
Pioneers settled in Iowa in the late 1700s and early 1800s for a variety of reasons. Many came for the rich farm land. Some came to escape religious persecution or sickness. Some came to escape the law.
For many pioneers it was a difficult decision to leave their homes for the unknown, but they were poor—as poor as the soil in the homeland—and they were fleeing from sickness and a lack of religious freedom. Some were horse thieves, fleeing from the long arm of the law. Most were farmers looking for a better land. For many this was not their first move nor would it be their last. To arm themselves for the tract west, they brought guides, almanacs and handbooks—complete with maps and testimonials about this new land.