Without the trailblazing spirit and hard work of early forward-thinking leaders, Mount Pleasant would not be the exceptionally dynamic, thriving community that stands today.
The Henry County area opened its doors for settlement on June 1, 1833, with the development of Mount Pleasant following close behind in 1835. The town was the site of the area’s premier hard-surface road. Constructed of wooden planks linking Mount Pleasant to Burlington, the roadway was ultimately replaced by tracks for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroads in 1856.
Established educational institutions proved to play a significant role in the history of Mount Pleasant. In fact, the community was at one point dubbed the “Athens of Iowa” due to its strong focus on education. Supplementing the public school system, three four-year colleges were in operation in Henry County – Whittier College in Salem, Iowa Wesleyan University (now Iowa Wesleyan College) and German College in Mount Pleasant.
Home-based within Mount Pleasant, Iowa Wesleyan University opened in 1842 and is today hailed as Iowa’s oldest co-educational, degree-granting institution. It was here that seven Iowa Wesleyan co-eds formed a new philanthropic education organization known as the International PEO Sisterhood in 1869. The initial Women’s Rights Convention in Iowa was held in the community in 1870, and in 1943, Iowa Wesleyan College organized the state’s first women’s intercollegiate basketball team.
During the area’s early years, the agricultural industry reigned supreme. While the community retained strong ties to its agricultural roots, past residents understood the importance of expanding the county’s employment base beyond the farm. With the end of World War II, Mount Pleasant began to recruit new industry to the area. The effort attracted several new business ventures, with many of these original companies still calling Mount Pleasant home to this day. These long-time community partners include such nationally known companies as Walmart Distribution, Veyance Technologies, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Hearth & Home Technologies, a division of HON Corporation.
Henry County Community Credit Union