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Our History

The first settlement in the neighborhood of what would become Waterville was in 1850. In 1854, Nathaniel Beebe erected the Waterville Mill. In 1855, Col. J. Spooner opened a store, and in 1856, James Beebe built a hotel. The Waukon and Mississippi Railroad was completed through town in 1877, at which point, Waterville became the only station between Waukon and Waukon Junction.


Waterville was incorporated as a city in 1912.




City of Waterville

Mayor: Dave Monserud
City Clerk: Kim Yohe
City Council: Jeff Mitchell, Robbie Burret,
Ashley Mitchell, Dave Christianson and Jackie Hilleshiem

When the Waterville Library Expansion Project was completed the building that the library had been using became available for a City Hall space. It is used for council meetings and other meetings of public interest. What is now the City Hall, is what this was originally along with the original fire station. On the walls are many pictures of graduating classes of Waterville High School. These pictures were put together by the School Reunion Commitee of the Waterville Community Foundation. More of these class pictures are on display in the Waterville Library.

A local author, Robin Larson, has published two books of the History of Waterville.  "The Town on the Hill" and "We Remember Waterville."  Robin was raised in Waterville, the daughter of Bob and Eleanor Larson. Her efforts to put these books together, so we can all enjoy reading of the town's history, is very much appreciated by everyone.

Waterville's history starts with the early settlers that came to the Paint Creek Valley after a treaty in 1846 with the Winnebago Indians.  With Iowa gaining statehood in 1848 the county was officially opened for settlement.  The immigrants mainly were Scandinavians, Germans, Irish and Scottish.  Most of them came to farm but some were entrepreneurial men who saw this area as a place to start a business. In 1850 one such man, Riley Ellis, came to the area and built a grist mill.  Such was the establishment of the City of Waterville, the sixth town in the county.


This is information taken from one of Robin's books. You can find these books at the Waterville Public Library.

The City Council of Waterville has sponsored this website to help others who have been working on projects to preserve the history of Waterville. As you take the opportunity to look at the pages included feel free to offer suggestions of what you would like to see added. I have gotten most of the information and pictures from individual Facebook pages, and Robin's books.  Thank you everyone who makes the effort to show current, and remember the old, Waterville.

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