County offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each Monday through
Friday except for legal holidays. (Driver's License hours are from 8:30
a.m. - 3:30 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Holidays
observed by county employees are: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King
Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day,
Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve
and Christmas Day.
Emmet County was organized on February 7, 1859. It is situated in
the northern tier of Iowa counties and is bounded on the north by the
state of Minnesota; on the east by Kossuth County; on the south by Palo
Alto County; and on the west by Dickinson County. It includes
congressional townships 98, 99, and 100 North of Ranges 31, 32, 33 and
34 West. The townships along the northern border are fractional, so that
the extent from north to south is only seventeen miles. From east to
west it is twenty-four miles and the total area of this county is 408
square miles. The west fork of the Des Moines River flows through the
county along the west side. The east fork has its source in Tuttle
(Okamanpadu) Lake in the northeast part of the county and flows
southerly along the east side of the county. The county has several
lakes that afford good fishing. There are a total of six incorporated
towns in Emmet County they include: Armstrong, Dolliver, Estherville,
Gruver, Ringsted and Wallingford.
Estherville is the county seat. The first courthouse for Emmet
County was in the town's first school building located where the post
office now stands. An election in 1879 moved the county seat from
Estherville to Swan Lake. A couple years later, it was moved back. The
first courthouse was built in 1883 and was located between the present
library and courthouse. That first courthouse was torn down in 1958 when
the present courthouse was constructed.
The Estherville Meteorite is world famous. The largest meteor fall
on record landed two miles north of Estherville in May of 1879. It
created interest world wide and parts of it are in international museums
with a large piece being located in the Estherville Library.