Iowa Archives: 59 Newspapers Online for Genealogy Research

Iowa, located in the heart of the Midwestern U.S., is an integral part of the country’s Corn Belt, with agriculture long being the base of the state’s economy – although recent decades have seen the flourishing of a more diversified economy including manufacturing and information technology. The 26th largest state in the Union, Iowa is the nation’s 30th most populous state.

illustration of an Iowa farm, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1875

Illustration: Iowa farm, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1875. Credit: Alfred Andreas; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your family roots in Iowa, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online IA newspaper archives: 59 titles to help you search your family history in “The Hawkeye State,” providing news coverage, family stories and vital statistics from 1837 to Today. There are currently more than one million newspaper articles and records in our online Iowa archives!

photo of an 1872 poster advertising land for sale in Iowa and Nebraska

Image Credit: Library of Congress Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 134, Folder 13, 1872

Dig deep into our archives and search for historical and recent obituaries and other news articles about your Iowa ancestors in these recent and historical IA newspapers online. Our Iowa newspapers are divided into two collections: Historical Newspapers (complete paper) and Recent Obituaries (obituaries only).

Search Iowa Newspaper Archives (1837 – 1902)

Search Iowa Recent Obituaries (1992 – Current)

Here is a list of online Iowa newspapers in the archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The IA newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Adel Dallas County News 4/19/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Algona Algona Upper Des Moines 8/7/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ames Tribune 11/7/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ames Iowa State Daily 6/20/1995 – Current Recent Obituaries
Atlantic Atlantic News Telegraph 1/3/2006 – 1/6/2011 Recent Obituaries
Bettendorf Bettendorf News 2/5/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boone Boone News-Republican 11/9/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Burlington Iowa Territorial Gazette and Burlington Advertiser 7/10/1837 – 12/15/1838 Newspaper Archives
Burlington Hawk Eye 1/1/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cedar Rapids Gazette 1/4/1992 – Current Recent Obituaries
Centerville Ad Express & Daily Iowegian 11/29/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Charles City Charles City Press 8/1/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Clarinda Clarinda Herald-Journal 10/5/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Clinton Clinton Herald 8/14/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Corning Revue Icarienne 11/1/1878 – 4/1/1888 Newspaper Archives
Council Bluffs Weekly Council Bluffs Bugle 1/12/1855 – 1/2/1861 Newspaper Archives
Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil 12/23/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Creston Creston News-Advertiser 3/19/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Davenport Davenport Democrat and Leader 10/1/1857 – 12/31/1857 Newspaper Archives
Davenport Wochentliche Demokrat 1/2/1902 – 1/2/1902 Newspaper Archives
Davenport Quad-City Business Journal 4/25/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Davenport Quad-City Times 1/1/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Decorah Decorah Newspapers 9/6/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Denison Denison Bulletin & Review 6/14/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Des Moines Daily Iowa State Register 1/3/1866 – 8/31/1869 Newspaper Archives
Des Moines Iowa State Bystander 11/13/1896 – 12/28/1900 Newspaper Archives
Des Moines Iowa Baptist Standard 5/21/1897 – 5/21/1897 Newspaper Archives
Des Moines Weekly Avalanche 1/20/1893 – 1/20/1893 Newspaper Archives
Dubuque Telegraph Herald 8/28/1995 – Current Recent Obituaries
Forest City Forest City Summit 3/20/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Forest City Britt News Tribune 3/20/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fort Madison Daily Democrat 5/28/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Glenwood Opinion-Tribune 12/9/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hamburg Hamburg Reporter 10/5/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Independence Independence Conservative 3/3/1859 – 8/16/1860 Newspaper Archives
Kalona Kalona News 3/4/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Keokuk Daily Gate City 6/16/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Knoxville Knoxville Journal Express 8/15/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Logan Logan Herald-Observer & Woodbine Twiner 6/14/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lone Tree Lone Tree Reporter 5/4/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mason City Globe Gazette 1/10/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Muscatine Muscatine Journal 10/1/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nevada Tri-County Times 6/16/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nevada Nevada Journal 6/5/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Hampton New Hampton Tribune 3/8/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Newton Newton Daily News 1/2/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Osage Mitchell County Press-News 3/2/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Osceola Osceola Sentinel-Tribune 10/14/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oskaloosa Oskaloosa Herald 10/27/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ottumwa Ottumwa Courier 5/17/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pella Pella Chronicle 5/15/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Perry Perry Chief 6/6/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Red Oak Red Oak Express 12/5/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Riverside Highland Review 12/15/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Shenandoah Valley News Today 3/17/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sioux City Sioux City Journal 1/3/1872 – 8/20/1900 Newspaper Archives
Sioux City Sioux City Journal 3/2/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Story City Story City Herald 6/11/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Waterloo Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier 1/4/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

You can either print or create a PDF version of this Blog post by simply clicking on the green “Print/PDF” button below. The PDF version makes it easy to save this post onto your desktop or portable device for quick reference—all the Iowa newspaper links will be live.

Related Link:

Tarbell Sisters’ Civil War Feud Finally Ended—in 1922!

While many genealogical records can provide names and dates for your family tree, newspapers give you something more: actual stories about your ancestors’ lives, so that you can get to know them as real people and learn about the times in which they lived.

Here’s an example of a newspaper preserving a remarkable family story: the two Tarbell sisters, although they dearly loved each other, carried on a feud for 61 years sparked by a disagreement over the American Civil War!

Hatchet Buried by Oldest Twins, Lexington Herald newspaper article 11 June 1922

Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky), 11 June 1922, page 1

Mae and Bell Tarbell were twin sisters born in Camden, Maine, in January 1839. The girls remained deeply attached to one another—and nearly inseparable—for the next 83 years. In the late 1850s, when the sisters were teenagers, the family moved to Missouri—at a time when pro- and anti-slavery violence along the Missouri-Kansas border was so extreme that people referred to the conflict as “Bleeding Kansas,” a precursor to the Civil War.

The differences tearing the nation apart almost separated the Tarbell sisters as well. Mae married a Virginia man who joined the Confederate army, while Bell married a Connecticut man who fought for the Union. This difference in allegiance began the feud between the twins, even though they continued to live together throughout the long war—as they have their entire lives. Their two husbands went off to fight the war, “leaving the twins at home”:

Hatchet Buried by Oldest Twins, Lexington Herald newspaper article 11 June 1922

Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky), 11 June 1922, page 1

As Mae explains in this historical newspaper article: “Bell is a mighty sweet girl, always has been, and we lived together fine, or did until that horrid war came along. We were both from Maine, but we stuck to our husbands’ states. Bell and I would not be separated from each other and yet we would not agree on anything in that war. Only once were we apart, and that was when Bell’s husband was captured. She went to the Southern camp and, although officers there tried to get her to come home, she wouldn’t do it without her husband, and, being persistent, she finally got him. Well, the war ended and our husbands came back, and we all went together to California, but Bell and I still argued about the war. That was the only thing we did argue about. Our husbands said they wished there never had been any war, if it was going to result in such a long quarrel, but what could we do? We’re from Maine, and neither of us would give in.”

And so it went, this long family feud that stretched over 61 years between these two stubborn yet loving sisters, long after the Civil War had ended and both of their husbands had passed away.

Then one day in 1922, the 83-year-old sisters were out in the yard making a kettle of lard when they had the following conversation. Mae again tells the story:

“‘Bell,’ I said, ‘I believe we’re getting old.’ ‘Yes, Mae,’ she said, ‘I suppose we are getting along.’ ‘How long ago did this here Civil War begin?’ I asked. ‘Just tell me that,’ and Bell added a minute or two and said: ‘Sixty-one years ago.’ ‘Seems to me that you and I have said about all there is to say about that war,’ I declared. ‘Doesn’t make any difference if we are from New England. Life’s too short to worry over something that happened that long ago. I want to take things quietly from now on, and besides the papers say there ain’t going to be any more war. If you’ll stop and not mention the war again, I’ll do the same. I think you’re part right anyway.’

“Well, Bell looked at me kinda funny and smiled, and said: ‘Why, Mae, I’ve been wanting to stop talking about that blamed war all these years, but I just hated to give in. One side was about as right as the other anyway, and I’ll quit if you’ll quit. There’s nothing in war anyway.’”

What a great family story! Can’t you just see the two elderly sisters, out in that back yard stirring a pot of lard, smiling at each other and finally agreeing to bury the hatchet? A marvelous moment in your ancestors’ lives, captured and forever preserved in an old newspaper article, just waiting for you to discover and add to your family history.

Along with the emotional satisfaction of this story, look at all the important genealogical information we get from this one old newspaper article:

  • The twins’ names: Mae (Tarbell) Peake and Bell (Tarbell) Billings
  • Their birthplace and date: Camden, Maine, in January 1839
  • Mae’s husband: Dr. W. Peake, from Virginia, a Confederate veteran, who died in 1904
  • Bell’s husband: John Billings, from Connecticut, a Union veteran who was a prisoner-of-war held in a Southern camp, who died in 1906
  • The twins’ movements throughout their life: from their birthplace in Maine to Keokuk, Iowa, in 1854; to Missouri in the late 1850s; to California after the Civil War; to Clint, Texas
  • Mae has 13 children and 26 grandchildren
  • Bell had no children
  • The twins’ mother lived to be 103
  • They trace their ancestry back to the days of the witchcraft trials in Salem, Massachusetts

If you are related to the Tarbell sisters, this historic newspaper article has not only given you a great family story but lots of genealogical clues to continue your family history research.

There are a lot more family stories like this one in GenealogyBank’s historical newspaper archives. Search now, and find the tales about your Civil War ancestors and more!