Appanoose County administrative offices are located at 201 North 12th Street, Centerville, IA 52544; phone: 641-856-5512.
Appanoose County was opened for settlement on May 1, 1843 as part of the "New Purchase." It is located in the southern tier of Iowa counties, the fourth county west of the Mississippi River. Appanoose is divided diagonally NW/SE by the Chariton River. Much of the county is composed of gently rolling prairies, but approximately 25% of the county was originally covered by timber. Abundant stone is available for building purposes, and clay for the making of excellent brick is readily available. Appanoose lies wholly within the great Iowa coal field.
Although there appear to have been settlers in the area as early as 1840, Appanoose County was actually created in February 1843 by the Territorial Legislature. The Legislature also provided for the location of a Territorial road from Keosauqua (two counties to the east) by way of the county seat of Davis to the county seat of Appanoose, "or as near the center of said county as practicable, if the county seat of said county is not located when said Commissioners shall proceed to locate said road; thence to the western line of said county." The county was officially organized in 1846 and the way paved for the election of County Commissioners.