Winterset, Iowa

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Winterset is a city in Madison County, Iowa, United States. The population was 4,768 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Madison County.[1]

Winterset is part of the Des MoinesWest Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Winterset is located at 41°20′9″N 94°0′50″W / 41.33583°N 94.01389°W / 41.33583; -94.01389 (41.335901, -94.013981).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km²), all of it land.

Winterset is located about 30 minutes southwest of the state capital of Des Moines.


The city of Winterset was first plotted in 1849. This year is considered by the Madison County Historical Society and city government to be the year of Winterset's founding. Winterset's sesquicentennial (150 years) was celebrated in the summer of 1999. Among the original family names thought to be living in Winterset around the time of its founding were: Bilderback, Clark, Storck, Danforth, Guiberson, Weatayne, Percy, McDonald, Larson, Gentry, Berthold, Tidrick, Pitzer, Gaff, Berger, Simpson, Ruby, Hornback, Dougherty, Wilhoit, Walkup, McPherson, Wilkinson, Rottenberger, Gaskill, Houk, and Hutchings.


Winterset is widely known for its covered bridges. A total of six covered bridges are located in Madison County, including one in Winterset City Park. The annual Covered Bridge Festival celebrates the bridges and local heritage every second full weekend in October. In 2006, the festival was held October 14 and 15.

Another notable landmark is Clark Tower, located in Winterset City Park, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Middle River Valley area.

The Madison County Courthouse, in the middle of the town square, was built in 1868, and rebuilt in 1876 after being partially destroyed by fire.

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