About This Place
Larchwood is a city in Lyon County, Iowa, United States. The population was 788 at the 2000 census. Its main employer is the Novartis Animal Vaccines plant located 3 miles (5 km) southwest of the city.
Larchwood was founded about 1872 by a group of McLean County, Illinois land developers Jesse W. Fell (10 November 1808 – 25 February 1887) and Charles W. Holder (25 September 1819 – 10 April 1900). Fell was born in Pennsylvania, had settled in Bloomington, Illinois, in 1831 and had played an active role in founding many Illinois towns including Clinton, Normal, Pontiac, and Towanda. He was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, and with his brother Kersey Fell had persuaded Lincoln to write his famous autography. He was nationally known for his love of trees. Holder was a partner in many of Fell’s projects including Towanda and Normal. Holder, Illinois was named in his honor. In the summer of 1869 Fell traveled to northwestern Iowa and selected a tract of about forty sections, more than 25,000 acres (100 km2) of land. Fell wrote, “I have never beheld such a large body of surpassingly beautiful prairie as is here to be found. There is absolutely no waste of land, and scarce a quarter of a section not affording an admirable building site.” Holder then entered the land. Larchwood was established at the center of their holdings. Fell frequently visited the site and in May 0f 1873 personally supervised the planting of some 100,000 saplings and tree cuttings. The town did not grow as rapidly as expected and in 1881 the development was sold to an Englishman Richard Sykes.
Larchwood's longitude and latitude coordinates in decimal form are 43.454351, -96.434897. It is the last city in the northwest corner of Iowa.