Area Information


Ringgold County is named after Major Samuel Ringgold, a hero of the Battle of Palo Alto during the Mexican-American War. It is one of the 26 Iowa counties which has a name not borne by any other county in the United States.

The first settlers in the county were Charles Schooler and his wife. Two years later, in 1846, the James Thithrow family settled nearby. The 2 families believed they were living in Missouri until the disputed territory on the southern boundary was surveyed and awarded to Iowa in 1850. This dispute arose in consequence of 2 surveys, having been made of the boundary line between the 2 states. Ringgold County was established in 1847 and originated in 1855.

Activities and events in the area include the Ringgold County Fair and Ayr Days. You'll also enjoy such area attractions as the Ramsey Farm at Lesanville, a historic 180-acre working farm and 1870s restored village depicting the life and culture of rural Iowa between the late 1800s and mid-1950s. Mount Ayr's historical town square features cobblestone brick streets, an early 1900s courthouse, classic Carnegie Library, restored Princess Theatre, interesting antique stores, gift shops, restaurants and taverns. And, don't forget to visit the 1879 restored Mount Ayr Depot Museum.


Educational needs are met by the Mount Ayr Elementary and Mount Ayr High School. Area and regional colleges and universities include Graceland University-Lamoni, Northwest Missouri State University, Drake University, Des Moines Community College, Iowa State University, University of Iowa and others.

Mount Ayr is served by Ringgold County Hospital, a brand new state of the art facility.


Mount Ayr and the surrounding area are very popular spots for outdoorsmen. There's fishing, hunting boating, cross country skiing, running trails and so many other activities. Mount Ayr has a beautiful and challenging golf course.

Fife's Grove and Poe Hollow, "State Parks", feature wooded areas with camping available, ponds for fishing, picnic area, playground area and a gazebo. Judge Lewis Recreational Park has a large swimming pool, lighted tennis courts and baseball diamonds, sand volleyball court, horseshoe courts, bike and hiking trail and picnic area complete with playground for children. The Poe Hollow Park and Ringgold Trailway are just 2 miles east of town. You can also enjoy Sun Valley Lake and Resort at nearby Ellston. The Sun Valley Country Club has a 9-hole golf course open to the public for golf, lunch, dinner and occasional dancing and live entertainment. A public dock is open all year long for fishing, swimming and other water recreation.





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