city, seat (1844) of Mahaska county, southeastern Iowa, U.S. It lies between the Des Moines and South Skunk rivers, about 60 miles (100 km) southeast of Des Moines. The region was inhabited by Sauk and Fox peoples when a fort was founded there by Captain Nathan Boone, nephew of Daniel Boone, who explored the area in 1835. Settled by Quakers in 1843, it takes its name (meaning "the last of the beautiful") from a wife of the Seminole chief Osceola. Iowa's first coal was mined near there by Welsh miners in 1870; as the mines were depleted, the city gradually became an agricultural-trade centre
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