city, Black Hawk county, east-central Iowa, U.S., on the Cedar River, just west of Waterloo. Settled in 1845 by William Sturgis and laid out in 1852, it was first called Sturgis Falls until 1849 when it was renamed for the cedar trees along the river. Cedar Falls served briefly as the county seat in 1853-55. After the American Civil War and the arrival of the railroad, the city boomed as a shipping point for grain, livestock, and lumber.
Learn more about Cedar Falls with a free trial on Britannica.com.