170+ Iowa Trivia Questions and Answers

Discover Iowa, a state in the United States where the pig population is almost eight times the inhabitants of Iowa. There are about 23 million hogs, and pigs on Iowa’s farms.

This 29th United States member is also distinct for having two parallel rivers boarding it. To put things into more perspective, the Mississippi River is on the East, and Missouri is on the West.

Did you know the house in the famous Grant Wood painting ‘American Gothic’ is a real house in Eldon and still stands up to date? 

Iowa Facts Trivia Questions and Answers

For sports fanatics, you will be impressed to learn a whopping 20 Olympic athletes are rooted in Iowa. Remarkably, Liang Chow, a Des Moines-based gymnastics coach, successfully trained two Olympic gold medallists in the sport.

Read on to discover more interesting facts about Iowa. But first, the purpose of attending the Register Annual Great Race Across Iowa. The long-awaited event is ever-packed with thousands of people participating in the 7-day bike ride across Iowa State.


1. What city of Iowa is close to a crater impact site from a meteorite collision, from 74 million years ago?



2. What was the civil war battle site in Iowa?



3. Des Moines, Iowa, lies at the confluence of which two rivers?

Des Moines River and Raccoon River


4. What is Iowa’s State flower?

Wild Rose


5. Which Iowa County beginning with the letter H is named after a famous Prussian geographer, naturalist, and explorer?



6. What is the state tree?



7. Which Broadway musical is set in Iowa?

State Fair


8. Which Iowa city in Calhoun County is coincidentally linked to “Helter Skelter”?



9. How did Zearing get its name?

A judge from Chicago


10. Crikey! Incorporated in 1892, Shelby County town in western Iowa is coincidentally linked with hunting crocodiles, but also with conserving the environment and protecting endangered animal species?



11. There are several Iowa cities that double as European capitals. Which of these is a European capital, but NOT a city in Iowa?



12. The origination point of which of the following national brands is NOT in an Iowa community?

John Deere (Moline)


13. Musician Glenn Miller’s birthplace and home is currently a museum in what city of Iowa?



14. Which of the following Iowa towns is NOT correctly matched with the ethnic background of its founders? Your options: [ Madrid – Hispanic ] [ Orange City – Dutch ] [ Holstein – German ] [ Elk Horn – Danish ]

Madrid – Hispanic


15. Besides the Mississippi and Missouri, what other river forms part of Iowa’s boundary?

Big Sioux River


16. Iowa attained statehood on 28 December 1846 as the 29th state. Which Iowa city was the state capital prior to Des Moines?

Iowa City


17. What is Iowa’s state bird?

Eastern Goldfinch


18. What town in Iowa is known as the Barn Quilt Capital of the World?

Sac City


19. Iowa 80 in Walcott is known as the world’s largest WHAT?



20. American bank robber Tommy Carroll, member of the The Dillinger Gang, was shot dead by police in what city of Iowa?



21. Which is an accurate description of the average elevation of Des Moines?

955 feet / 291 meters


22. The oldest working Danish windmill in the United States is in Elk Horn, Iowa. What year was it built?



23. A giant steel ‘monument’ found in Brandon, Iowa is shaped like what?

Frying Pan


24. What Dallas County, Iowa town, located on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, is coincidentally linked to a Hall-of-Fame spitballer and a song called “I Kissed a Girl”?



25. What other two towns make up the school district Zearing is in?

McCallsburg and Colo


26. What percent of the corn grown in the United States does Iowa produce?

20 percent


27. Of the ten counties beginning with “M”, which is named for America’s first outstanding Chief Justice, a man who has been called “the Man who Made the Court Supreme”?



28. What part of Iowa was first settled?



29. Mount Ayr is the seat of the only Iowa county whose name begins with the letter R. Lying on the Missouri state line, it is one of four Iowa counties with a name not shared by any other U.S. county. Named for the hero of the Battle of Palo Alto in the Mexican War, this country’s name is reminiscent of a Wagnerian opera. Can you guess it?



30. Which  U.S President was a former resident of Des Moines?

Ronald Reagan


31. What TWO towns in Iowa’s Story County are coincidentally linked to Golden Globe nominations from “The Bad and the Beautiful” and “Cheyenne Autumn”?

Roland and Gilbert


32. A few state names appear in Iowa as town names. Which of these is NOT both a U.S. state and a city in Iowa? Your options: [ Washington ] [ Montana ] [ Wyoming ] [ Nevada ]



33. S is the first letter in the names of five Iowa counties. One of them, with its seat at Davenport, is named after a famous American general whose nickname was “Old Fuss and Feathers.” During his 53 years of military service, he was also nominated at one time for President of the United States. What county is it?



34. In what year was the Iowa state flower, the wild rose, chosen?



35.  What town is Indianapolis Colts’ Tight End, Dallas Clark, from?



36. What city’s court house is situated on an island?

Cedar Rapids


37. In what county is Iowa’s highest point?



38. In the town of Audubon, you can see Albert, the world’s largest …



39. Which well-known actor was born in Winterset, Iowa?


40. Iowa is on the eastern reaches of a weather-related region?

Tornado Alley


41. Five Iowa counties begin with J. Two are named directly after presidents, while a third shares the name of two presidents but is named for neither. Rather, he is named for the ninth VICE President of the United States, who served under Martin Van Buren. Iowa City is the county seat. Can you pick it out?



42. What well known event has made its way through Zearing in recent years?



43. Two counties in Iowa begin with T, one of which is named for the twelfth President of the United States. Bedford is the county seat. Can you name this county that borders Missouri? Your options: [ Tama ] [ Thayer ] [ Tippecanoe ] [ Taylor ]



44. What river makes up Iowa’s Eastern border?



45. Which newspaper was the first to operate in Des Moines, Iowa? Your options: [ The Des Moines Register ] [ The Iowa Star ] [ The Iowa Citizen ] [ The Des Moines Tribune ]

The Iowa Star


46. What town was once a fort, and the only one ever built in the United States to protect one Native American tribe from another?

Fort Atkinson


47. Only four Iowa counties begin with F. The next county, whose seat is at Charles City, was named for an individual whom Iowans hold dear.



48. Which town was home to a World War II German POW camp? Your options: [ Algona ] [ Burlington ] [ Woodward ] [ Creston ]



49. What state came into the Union as a slave state so that Iowa could come into the Union as a free state?


50. Iowa has no counties beginning with N, but does have some ENDING in N. This question is not for the birds. Can you identify which county is named for a famous American painter who was actually born in Haiti? Your options: [ Benton ] [ Dickinson ] [ Clayton ] [ Audubon ]



51. First Ladies Mamie Eisenhower and Lou Hoover are from Iowa.



52. Iowa has no counties beginning with either Y or Z, so we will choose our final question from some of Iowa’s counties that have a Y in their names. Which of these counties, whose county seat is Corydon, is named for a famous Revolutionary War general with a “Mad” nickname? Your options: [ Shelby ] [ Woodbury ] [ Taylor ] [ Wayne ]



53. Donna Reed became a well-known actress on the “Donna Reed Show.” What Iowa city is she from?



54. What organization was interested in Fort Dodge’s famous hoax, the Gypsum Giant?

Barnum and Bailey’s Circus.


55. Creston is the seat of the only county in Iowa beginning with U, and the county is named for the very nature of the USA. Which of these names would that be? Your options: [ Urbana ] [ Utopia ] [ Utica ] [ Union ]



56. What Iowa town did author Laura Ingalls (Wilder) live in as a child?

Burr Oak


57. What is unusual about the town of Sabula, Iowa?

it’s situated on an island


58. What town claims Kate Shelley Bridge, the tallest double track bridge in the world?



59. Which Iowa county is the largest in area?

Kossuth County


60. Five Iowa counties begin with the letter A, but only one is also a presidential name–two presidents, in fact. Corning is the county seat. Which of these is it?



61. What former president was also a radio announcer for Iowa’s WHO radio station?

Ronald Reagan


62. What is Zearing’s town motto?

Zearing- A Great Town To Call Home


63. Which Pocahontas County hamlet in northwest Iowa is coincidentally linked to three Baltimore Oriole World Championships as well as 62 PGA tour wins, including seven majors? Your options: [ Hubbard ] [ Matlock ] [ Palmer ] [ Alexander ]



64. By what other name is Pauline Esther Friedman known?

Abigail Van Buren


65. Iowa has become famous for the movie “The Bridges of Madison County”, which was based on a 1992 novel. Do you know who wrote it?

Robert Waller


66. Zearing was founded in what year?



67. Not counting towns with more than one word, which Iowa city has an ocean name?



68. Only one Iowa county begins with the letter V. Keosauqua is the county seat. Which name of Dutch origin is it? Your options: [ Vinton ] [ Vincennes ] [ Vandelay ] [ Van Buren ]

Van Buren


69. Herbert Hoover was born in Iowa, but when his parents died he moved in with his uncle. Where did his uncle live?



70. What newspaper has the largest distribution in the state?

“Des Moines Register”


71. The town of Winterset, in Madison County, is famous for being the birthplace of movie star Marion Michael Morrison, better known by this stage name.

John Wayne


72. What feature films were filmed at all in Iowa?

Field of Dreams – Dyersville, Bridges of Madison County – Winterset, and Twister – Ames, Boone, Eldora, Rippey, and Whitten


73. We could have had two questions for counties beginning with the letter W, because Iowa has ten of them. Clarion is the county seat of a county which our sources say was named after TWO men. These brothers were governors of New York and Indiana. Which of the following do you suppose is the correct answer? Your options: [ Winneshiek ] [ Wapello ] [ Winnebago ] [ Wright ]



74. What popular movie site is located in Dyersville?

Field of Dreams


75. Iowa has two western neighbors, which are they?

Nebraska and South Dakota


76. What is the trophy that the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones are playing for when they play each other in football?



77. What Iowa college is the only college in the nation to have the entire campus on the National Registry for Historic Places?



78. Born in Iowa, this man was the first US president born west of the Mississippi.

Herbert Hoover


79. The World’s Largest Concrete Gnome is located in what town?



80. Iowa has two counties beginning with O. Which one was named for the great Seminole chief who refused to sign a treaty with the United States? Your options: [ O’Brien ] [ Ottawa ] [ Ottumwa ] [ Osceola ]



81. Des Moines Blank Park is an example of what?



82. What is Iowa’s state rock?



83. What Iowa town shares its name with one of the world’s oceans?

Atlantic, Ironically the town was going to be named Pacific.


84. No Iowa county name begins with the letter X, but one does have X in its name. Nine Iowa counties are named for Native American tribes and eight for famous Native chiefs or leaders. Which of the following Native American tribes is also the name of an Iowa county? Your options: [ Fox ] [ Patuxet ] [ Saulteaux ] [ Sioux ]



85. What county is Zearing in?



86. Des Moines experiences a variety of weather and natural phenomena. It is most prone to natural disasters?

Tornadoes and floods


87. “Blue Velvet” and “Mr. Lonely” are coincidentally linked to what city in Benton County, Iowa?



88. What exciting event takes place in August?

Meskwaki Powwow


89. Seven Iowa counties begin with the letter B. One is named after a heroic leader of his people who fought a war against the United States. The county seat is Waterloo. Which county is it?

Black Hawk


90. Where is Iowa’s geographic center?

Story City


91. The town of Indianola is noted for a museum and convention dedicated to this hobby.

Hot air ballooning


92. What state and river form borders to Iowa?



93. In what city will you find ‘The Bridges of Madison County’?



94. Which city of Iowa is located just 30 miles north of the state capital, Des Moines?



95. What northeastern town is internationally known for its elaborate homage to Norwegian heritage known as Nordic Fest.



96. What Iowa River translates as “Potato River”?



97. What is the longest river in Iowa (not on the border)?

Des Moines


98. Which of these is a lake in northern Iowa? Your options: [ Ontario ] [ Okoboji ] [ Oswego ] [ Ozark ]



99. What percent of Iowa people live in rural areas?


100. What attraction is Zearing most well known for?

Sparrow’s Belgian 40 horse hitch


101. Which Iowa member of the Quad Cities is coincidentally linked to a tennis gold medal in the Games of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta, Georgia, USA?



102. Three Iowa counties begin with G. Of them, one is named for an outstanding general in the Revolution who earned the nicknames of “The Savior of the South” and “The Fighting Quaker.” He forced Cornwallis to leave the Carolinas and head for Virginia, where he finally surrendered. Jefferson is the county seat of what county?



103. Which is NOT one of the Quad Cities? Your options: [ Clinton ] [ Moline ] [ Rock Island ] [ Davenport ]



104. The University of Iowa has won at least one national championship in which sport?



105. Driving in Iowa, on which interstate would you pass exit signs for the following communities: Council Bluffs, Pisgah, Honey Creek, Hamburg, Sloan, Onawa, and Sioux City?



106. Who were the first Europeans to visit the area that would become Des Moines?

French explorers


107. What is the average temperature in July?

75 degrees F


108. Which is the closest to Iowa’s current population?

3 million


109. Iowa has no counties that begin with Q, but does have one with a Q in the name. This county, with a county seat of the same name, was named for the first permanent settler in Iowa, a Frenchman whose first name was Julien. He mined lead in the area and the Spanish granted him a land grant to do so. The county sits across the Mississippi River from Wisconsin and Illinois. Which of the following is it? Your options: [ McQuarry ] [ Mesquakie ] [ Albuquerque ] [ Dubuque ]



110. The Sergeant Floyd Monument is a large memorial on the Missouri River. What city is it located in?

Sioux City


111. Des Moines was founded in 1843 when Fort Des Moines was built, but when was it incorporated as a city?

September 1851


112. Five Iowa counties begin with the letter L. This county is unique in that it is Iowa’s southernmost county, the only one that has land extending south of the rest of the Iowa-Missouri state line, but it has TWO county seats. Can you identify the county whose seats are Keokuk AND Fort Madison?



113. Which of Iowa’s 99 county seats, home of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, is coincidentally linked with a chess piece on a business card which reads, “Have Gun — Will Travel”?



114. What organization was interested in Fort Dodge’s famous hoax, the Gypsum Giant?

Barnum and Bailey’s Circus


115. Only two Iowa counties begin with the letter I. Which one is named after a mountain in Greece?



116. Where in Iowa is the world’s largest (man-made) strawberry?

Strawberry Point


117. Since Meredith Willson was born in Mason City, Iowa, it is NOT a coincidence that his musical “The Music Man” takes place in a town patterned after his hometown. However, there is a small Jackson County town that IS coincidentally linked to the musical. Can you name it?



118. Who was President of the United States when Iowa entered the Union?

James Knox Polk


119. Which Carroll County community in west central Iowa is coincidentally linked with Super Bowls XLI, XLII, and XLVI?



120. Which Iowa city is the largest member of the “Quad Cities” (according to the 2010 census)?



121. Which town in Iowa’s Jasper County is coincidentally linked to such films as “All About Eve” and “The Razor’s Edge”?



122. What Iowa University mascot shares its name with the state’s nickname?

University of Iowa


123. Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are completely formed by rivers. Which rivers form these boundaries?

Mississippi, Big Sioux and Missouri


124. Why is the oak Iowa’s state tree?

Because it contributes to the wildlife


125. This cyclonic Iowa college town is coincidentally linked with TV’s Daniel Boone and the 1967 hit “When the Snow Is on the Roses”. Which city is it?



126. Basically, Iowa is a rectangle crossed roughly in the middle by Interstates 80 (east-west) and 35 (north-south). Also, I-29 passes through Iowa along its western border, from South Dakota to Missouri. But there is also a 73-mile section of interstate completely within Iowa’s borders (I-380). Which two of Iowa’s larger cities does it connect?

Cedar Rapids and Waterloo


127. Iowa was part of what historic land deal?

Louisiana Purchase


128. The famous Butter Cow Statue in Toledo, Iowa is located under what kind of tree?

Oak tree


129. What part of Iowa was last settled?



130. How many states border Iowa?



131. The Iowa Speedway is found in what town?



132. There are several “state capitals” in Iowa besides Des Moines. Which “state capital” can you NOT visit without leaving Iowa?



133. Seven Iowa counties begin with the letter D. Although three Iowa counties share the names of states, this is the only one specifically named for another state. In this case it was the state whose senator advocated Iowa for statehood. Can you figure out this country’s name?



134. How many Iowa towns begin with a “z”?

Zearing & Zwingle are the two.


135. Which New York City borough appears as the name of a city in Iowa?



136. Which Plymouth County town located on the edge of the Loess Hills in western Iowa is coincidentally linked to Mahatma Gandhi and Krishna Pandit Bhanji?



137. Which Iowa county contains the city of Des Moines?



138. Prior to settlement by white pioneers, which of the following Native American tribes inhabited the Des Moines area?



139. What is Iowa’s nickname?

The Hawkeye State


140. What is the myth about the swinging Lover’s Leap Bridge in Columbus Junction, Iowa?

A Native American maiden leapt to her death from it


141. What is Iowa’s capital city?

Des Moines


142. Zearing has one proud boast that very few towns can claim; what is that boast?

Never had a murder in town history


143. Zearing is approximately (give or take 3-4 miles in each direction) 25 miles from three big cities–what are they?

Ames, Marshalltown, Iowa Falls


144. Iowa is home to the Mother Mosque of America. Completed in 1934, it is the oldest still standing building originally built for the purpose of being a mosque in the USA. What city of Iowa is it located in?

Cedar Rapids


145. Burlington is located in Iowa’s southeast. Which of the following is it famous for?

Iowa’s crookedest street


146. Which of these Iowa towns is NOT mentioned in any of the songs from the musical entitled “The Music Man”?



147. What is the number of the main Interstate going East/West? It goes from coast to coast.



148. If you travel the most direct route from Dubuque on the Mississippi to Sioux City on the Missouri, which route will you be on and how long will the trip be?

US Highway 20 for about 300 miles


149. In which Iowa town did the 1959 plane crash occur which killed Buddy Holly, the “Big Bopper”, and Ritchie Valens?

Clear Lake

150. The town of Dyersville has become famous as the site of which movie?

Field of Dreams


151. What river marks the eastern border of Iowa?



152. This small central Iowa town may have seemed like a brave, new world in 1902 when it was founded. Now part of “Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area”, according to Wikipedia, can you identify it by name and its coincidental association with a dystopian novel published in 1932?



153. What is the University of Iowa’s mascot called?

Herky Hawkeye


154. Which entertainer’s birthplace is NOT in Iowa?

Bemidji (Jane Russell)


155. How many counties are there in Iowa?



156. What is the nickname of Iowa’s Arena League football team?



157. Along the same line, what is the smallest county in Iowa?



158. The Cedar River flows for over 300 miles through Iowa and what other state?



159. Every year in the town of Britt, people of this “profession” gather for a convention.



160. Who painted the famous work of art that depicts a dour looking man and his wife.

Grant Wood


161. In what county is the largest city?



162. Well, only one Iowa county begins with the letter E. Bordering on Minnesota, this county’s seat is Estherville. It is named after an Irish patriot and revolutionary who was executed for leading an uprising against the British in 1803?



163. Who was the governor of Iowa in 2000?

Tom Vilsack


164. In what Iowa town is the Hobo Museum located?



165. Moving into northeastern Iowa, what Bremer County town is coincidentally linked with “Gilligan’s Island”?



166. What other state does Iowa border to the west?



167. What is Iowa’s state song?

Song of Iowa


168. Time to go to Scandinavia. Which of these Scandinavian countries is also an Iowa city?



169. The highest natural point of Iowa is Hawkeye Point. It is located 4.5 miles away from what city of Iowa?



170. In production, what does Iowa rank in corn and soybeans?



171. Known for the Iowa Old Capitol Building, Iowa City is located in what county of Iowa?

Johnson County


172. Where did Iowa’s first school open in 1830?

Lee County


173. Which of Iowa’s “Big Four” universities is LEAST easily and quickly reachable from Interstates 80 and 35?

Northern Iowa


174. An even dozen Iowa counties begin with the letter C. One in particular was named for a slave-holder who was also Vice President of the United States. The county seat is Rockwell City, and it had previously been named Fox County, for a Native American tribe. Can you pick the vice-presidential name?



175. In which city would you find Iowa State University?



176. The American Gothic House is in Eldon, Iowa. What famous artist painted the picture “American Gothic”?

Grant Wood


177. Name Iowa’s famous African-American opera singer.

Simon Estes



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