Howard County is located in Northeast Iowa.

Howard County borders Winneshiek, Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw counties in Iowa and Mower and Fillmore counties in southern Minnesota.

Major highways:
US Hwy 63
Iowa Hwy 9
Iowa Hwy 139

Cities in Howard County are:

  • Chester
  • Cresco
  • Elma
  • Florenceville (unincorporated)
  • Lime Springs
  • Lourdes (unincorporated)
  • Protivin
  • Riceville
  • Saratoga (unincorporated)
  • Schley (unincorporated)

Howard County is about
  • 60 miles from Rochester, Minnestoa
  • 150 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 300 miles from Chicago, Illinois
  • 200 miles from Madison, Wisconsin
  • 200 miles from Des Moines, Iowa


Established: January 15, 1851
Organized: July 17, 1855
County Seat: Cresco
417 Square miles

Howard County was named for General Tilghman Ashurst Howard, who held various offices in Tennessee and Indiana, and who was long time friends of Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston.