About Cerro Gordo County

Cerro Gordo County was established in 1851. It's home to 10 communities and over 40,000 residents.

First Inhabitants of Northern Iowa

The first inhabitants of Northern Iowa were the American Indians who existed for centuries on the North Iowa Prairies. The American Indians in the North Iowa area included the roaming tribes of eastern Sioux, Winnebago, Sauk (also Known as Sak or Sac), Fox (Meskwaki, Iowa (or Ioway), and Potawatomi.

A New County is Established

On January 15, 1851, the third General Assembly, meeting in Iowa City carved out the western and northern parts of the state. About fifty new counties were set off by the legislature at this time and Cerro Gordo was one of them. Prior to this time, Cerro Gordo County had been part of what is known as current-day Floyd County. The County seat is located in the city of Mason City.

County Name Origin

The name Cerro Gordo is of Mexican War origin, which described a mountain pass behind which troops were entrenched was one of the most decisive battles of the Mexican War. Cerro Gordo translates into Rocky Hill/Fat Hill, a term which may have been given to this area of the county in 1851, because of extensive limestone deposits which are found in the Lime Creek area and Shell Rock River Valley.

City and Township Profiles

Cerro Gordo County is divided into sixteen townships with ten incorporated cities with a population of 43,070 people.

County Courthouse

220 N. Washington Ave.
Mason City, IA 50401
Contact · Report a Concern

Courthouse Hours

M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Holidays
Department Hours May Vary