Home | Whats New | Site Index | Search

New Hampton City

Chickasaw County, Iowa

New Hampton City Hall is located at 112 East Spring Street, New Hampton, IA 50659.
Phone: 641‑394‑5906.

New Hampton as described in 1938 [1]

New Hampton is the seat of Chickasaw County; first known as Chickasaw Center, it was later renamed by Osgood Gowen for his old home town in New Hampshire. A controversy arose over the vote in 1856 to decide whether the county seat should be removed to Forest City (now Williamstown) from New Hampton. A tie vote had thrown the case into court, where Judge Bailey ruled in favor of Forest City. Refusal of New Hampton to relinquish the records led to a series of arrests, among them that of the judge. A group of 24 men, led by the constable, forced him into a wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen, but before they had gone far, friends who had secured a writ of habeas corpus from the clerk (acting for the judge in his absence), demanded his release. A pitched battle brought about the judge's release, and those resisting were arrested. Eventually the records were transferred to Forest City, but in 1880, when New Hampton subscribed $5,000 for a new courthouse if built there, the offer was accepted, and New Hampton once more became the county seat.

In Chickasaw County an annual "crow shoot" is held; crows destroy crops, and the nests, eggs, and even the young of the quail, pheasants, robins, and other birds. Two groups are chosen, a captain heading each organization; the contest sometimes begins early in May and continues into June, depending on the number of crows. Often there is a one-day hunt, and the group killing the smaller number of crows is obliged to furnish a big dinner for all the hunters.

In March 1936, The Fisherman-Liar Club was organized here with about 80 members. At the first meeting local members were asked to spin their favorite fishing yarn, tell jokes, sing, or dance the Virginia Reel. Plans were made for other meetings, and the best fishing spots were discussed and trips planned. At each meeting the gold-handled prize cup is passed on the narrator of the best fishing yarn.

  1. Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Iowa, Iowa: A Guide to the Hawkeye State, American Guide Series, The Viking Press, New York, 1938.