In 1850 soldiers arrived where the Des Moines River and the Lizard Creek met and constructed a new military post soon to be named Fort Dodge. The fort was active until 1853 when troops were moved to protect settlers to the north and west from Indian uprisings. The town of Fort Dodge was platted in 1854 after the post storekeeper, Major William Williams, purchased the land and building. Fort Dodge’s future was secured when the Land Office and four railroads arrived in the area. Growth continued throughout the community after the discovery of gypsum around Fort Dodge.
Presently, Fort Dodge is located in North Central Iowa at the junction of Hwy 20 and Hwy 169. The region has a well-balanced, diverse industry base from advanced manufacturing, bio-processing, veterinary pharmaceuticals and vaccines, gypsum and limestone mining, drywall manufacturing, trucking to home grown companies. Fort Dodge is situated in a region with some of the richest soil in Iowa and contributes to Iowa’s corn, soybean, pork and egg production industries. It is a regional hub for retail and has a regional airport with daily commercial flights to St. Louis.
Recent public investments in the community include a new aquatic center, new middle school, construction of additional and connected trails, development of a new off highway vehicle park with campgrounds, development of the mini-major baseball fields at Rogers Sports Complex and a new public library. Private investments include a family entertainment center with indoor and outdoor attractions, an addition of a cancer center to the regional hospital, investment in renewable of energy industries, numerous new facilities and dorms at Iowa Central Community College, major development in the Ag Park and retail development along the 5th Avenue South corridor.
More information on Fort Dodge can be found in the following on-line publications: