The History of

Sioux City Has A Rich History In Its People, Exploration, Transportation, Architecture, Manufacturing, Food Production And More.

Founded in in 1856, Sioux City is the seat of Woodbury County, located in northwestern Iowa.  It lies on the Missouri River (bridged to South Sioux City, Nebraska) at the influx of the Big Sioux and Floyd rivers, where Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska meet.

The former territory of Omaha, Sioux, and Oto peoples, the site was visited in 1804 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition; Sergeant Charles Floyd, the expedition’s only fatality, was buried there (commemorated by a monument erected in 1960, the first U.S. national historic landmark). Laid out in 1848 by William Thompson of Illinois and initially known as Thompsonville, it was subsequently settled by Theophile Bruguier, a French-Canadian trader, who arrived in 1849 with his Sioux wives and their father, Chief War Eagle, who aided the European pioneers in the area. War Eagle’s grave is in a park on a bluff overlooking the river with a view of the three states. In 1857, the community was renamed for the chief’s tribe. It grew with the steamboat trade and became a supply and land-office depot for the northern plains. With the advent of the railroad (1868) and the meat-packing industry (1872), its population increased rapidly.

Throughout its history, Sioux City has been home to international manufacturers that included apparel, electronic goods, chemicals, and fertilizers. Meatpacking, food production, transportation, healthcare, industrial manufacturing, casino gambling and more contribute to the economy.

The Woodbury County Courthouse (1918) is a nationally known Greco-Roman-style structure designed by architects William Gray Purcell and George Grant Elmslie, colleagues of Louis Sullivan. The Sioux City Art Center features regional and contemporary works. Sioux City is the seat of Morningside College (founded 1894), Briar Cliff College (1930), and Western Iowa Tech Community College (1966). Stone State Park is in the northwestern corner of the city along the Big Sioux River, and Lewis and Clark State Park is about 30 miles (50 km) to the south.

With over 150,000 people in the Sioux City Metro area, we hope you enjoy your visit and take in the historical sights, food, entertainment and shopping that make this area so remarkable.

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Uniquely situated in the tri-state area of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, the Siouxland region is home to events and experiences as diverse as the communities it represents. Plan year-round adventures and enjoy major sporting events, live music and theater, a vibrant local arts scene, and restaurants in Sioux City with a flavor for every palate. From our 70 miles of recreational trails to our unmissable festivals and events, there’s so much to do in Siouxland, and we invite you to take part in it all.



Dakota Dunes

Tucked between the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers, Dakota Dunes is a master-planned community just over the South Dakota state line that seamlessly blends businesses and residential properties. About a 10-minute drive from Sioux City, this little gem is a golfer’s paradise, boasting two golf courses (one world-famous!), biking trails, and restaurants.

North Sioux City

A short drive from the city proper, North Sioux City is a Siouxland community with an identity all its own. From discovering the natural world to getting your heart pumping at sporting events to dining on “The Strip,” this little community is well worth the trip.

Sergeant Bluff

Sergeant Bluff is a Siouxland destination that feels like a home away from home. Take a quick, 10-minute trip south of the city, and you’ll find a family getaway with a little something for everyone. In addition to being convenient to the airport, Sergeant Bluff has shopping, dining, and athletic recreation to bring the whole gang together.

Sioux City

Nestled along the Missouri River in western Iowa, Sioux City is the state’s 4th largest city, a vibrant melding of midwestern hospitality and all the excitement of a major metropolis. Explore immersive history at our many museums and pulse-pounding major sporting events held here year-round. Explore our historic and entertainment districts for unique shopping, dining, and nightlife. There is so much to explore in Sioux City. Better get exploring!

Woodbury County

Woodbury County is home to a good portion of the Siouxland communities — including its seat, Sioux City — and many road trip-worthy destinations to check out while you’re there. Blending urban, suburban, and rural attractions, Woodbury County compliments a bustling cityscape with wide open spaces and all-around family fun.

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