Ocheyedan, Iowa


"Home of the Mound"

In the summer of 1884 the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroad, now the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, crossed the northern part of Osceola county. The coming of the railroad was a great event on the prairie and in the sparsely settled region here-one of the last in Iowa to be settled.

In the fall of 1884 building activities began and the prairie town of Ocheyedan was a busy place with every available person at some kind of work. The first building put up on the town site was a shanty-more popularly called shack. The post office was moved to the town site that year from Rush Lake where it had been located from 1875. Rush Lake is a mile northeast of the town site and is noted for its excellent wildfowl hunting.

Ocheyedan, like many small Iowa towns, has lost population through the years. It now has a population of 545 redidents, but has been recognized by the state betterment committee for many projects of improvement in business, housing, retirement, recreation, churches, schools and other lines of endeavor.

Just where Ocheyedan gets its name is really not known. In the early Dacotah (Sioux) dictionary compiled in 1852 were two names, Acheya and Akicheya, meaning to mourn as for a dead relative. The Indians of the area applied these to landmarks in the area to commemorate two Indian boys who were killed here by a party of tribal enemies. Acheya (white settlers pronounced it Ocheyeda) is a mourning ground. Ocheyedan was the name applied to Nobles county's (Minnesota) largest lake. An "n" was added and the name became "Ocheyedan."

Cultural and Informational Resources

Ocheyedan Public Library

The Ocheyedan Public library was started in 1912. The present day library building was built in 1970. The library originally had 600 books, today it has more than 15,890 books.

Parks, and Wildlife Management Areas

Ocheyedan Mound Wildlife Area

Located one mile southeast of Ocheyedan. This 29 acre area is an historic site with hiking opportunities.

Ocheyedan Mound

Ocheyedan Pits Recreation Area

This area is located two miles south of Ocheyedan. The 33 acre area has electricity, drinking water, pit toilets, picnicking, hiking, fishing, and swimming opportunities available. The area also has 25 acres of surface water.

Ocheyedan Pit Park