Birthplace of Sioux County - Rock & Plaque. Historical Society Committee members. Front row, left to right: Chairperson Betty Berge, Mary Janet Wilkens. Back row, left to right: George Wood representing L. G. Everest Co., Rex Truesdell, Margaret Leafstedt.
Photo of the engraved plaque on the large Sioux Quartzite Rock placed 3 miles south of Hawarden on Highway 12 in 1985. L.G. Everest donated the rock and volunteered their equipment. This location is incorporated in the Sioux County Park system as a roadside park. In 1984-1985 a committee of the Historical Society worked to purchase the plaque and initiate development of this as the birthplace of Sioux County.

Sioux County was first formed by four young men who decided to organize a county in order to receive a regulation county salary. The young men were Frederick M. Hubbell, W.H. Frame, Joseph Bell, and E.L. Stone. They founded the government site and organization was granted on January 20, 1860. At the time they were living in a dugout overlooking the Big Sioux River.

To mark the site, the Historical Society and L.G. Everest moved a large quartzite rock to the site in the fall of 1984. In summer 1987, the Historical Society added a plaque denoting its historical value. The site, which is now known as Roadside Park, is 3 miles south of Hawarden on Highway 12. This site is maintained by the Sioux County Park system.

Raiders from the East

The town of Calliope was the county seat from 1860 until 1872 when citizens in the Dutch settlement of Orange City, located on the east side of the county, decided that the county seat should be moved there.


On January 22, 1872, fifty-five Orange City men used horses and sleighs to conduct a raid on Calliope. When these raiders arrived at Calliope, they cut a hole in the log courthouse and removed the safe and all of the county records contained within. They then hauled the 5,000-pound safe back to Orange City.


The safe and county records were later returned to Calliope with the agreement of both towns. However, the county seat was officially moved to Orange City in January, 1873.

Original Sioux County safe that was stolen from the town of Calliope in the 1872 raid by the Dutch from Orange City. The safe was returned to Calliope shortly after the raid and is now on display at Calliope Village in the Log Cabin.