Welcome To The Keokuk Area Convention & Tourism Bureau

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       Bald Eagle Appreciation Days
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       Civil War Reenactment
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       Rollin on the River Blues Fest

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       Bridge Observation Deck
       Chief Keokuk
       Keokuk National Cemetery
       Keokuk Veterans' Memorial
       Lock & Dam #19
       Miller House Museum
       The Grand Theatre
       Verity River Museum

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      of Historic Places

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Chief Keokuk Statue Chief Keokuk

     This statue of Chief Kiyo' kaga, (one who moves about alert) 1788-1848, later known as Chief Keokuck, or Chief Keokuk stands in Rand Park, the front yard of the city named after him.

     It is unclear why the city was named after a man who barely, if ever spent any of his life in the town named after him but one thing is clear, the town was christened with whiskey.

    It is said that on July 4, 1829 at a river party celebration held upon a steamboat here, Col. George Davenport proposed the name of Keokuk. As they were non-residents, the official naming of the

town took place five years later in 1834 by nine citizens here.

     In John Gaines saloon, a decanter of whiskey was set on the bar and at Gaines' suggestion, all those present who wanted to name the settlement "Keokuk" were to step up to the bar and have a drink. The vote carried eight to one. The town when named contained one frame house and ten log cabins.

     Kiyo' kaga was not a full blooded Indian, and was not in line to be the Chief that he later was acknowledged to be. His father was one-half French and one-half Indian. His mother was a full blooded Indian. 

     In fact, if surnames were used as they are today, his last name would have been
LaMott(e). According to the records, he was more of a politician than a brave leader.

 
 
Keokuk Area Convention and Tourism Bureau
329 Main St. | Keokuk, IA 52632
800.383.1219 | 319.524.5599
info@keokukiowatourism.org