The settlement of Polk City, Iowa, began very early, with the overnight opening of the former Native American land on October 10, 1845. Consequently, pioneer stories tell of the circuit riders and the doctors on horseback, the log houses and the mills, the mail delivered in a saddlebag. The transition from a mill and store along Big Creek to an urban center happened in less than 20 years-a time rich with tales of change and establishment. There are common elements in the history of every small town in Iowa. There are the people from European homelands coming by wagon and foot. There are the shopkeepers and carpenters and farmers. There are common people and eccentric people. The railroad does or does not come, and thereby decides the fate of the town. This is the story of our town, Polk City, and the story of Iowa.