About This Place
Mason City is the county seat of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. The population was 28,079 in the 2010 census, a decline from 29,172 in the 2000 census. The Mason City Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Cerro Gordo and Worth counties.
The region around what would later be first called Shibboleth was a summer home to the Sioux and Winnebago natives. The town of Shibboleth was settled in 1853 by John Long, Joseph Hewitt and George Brentner where the waters of the Winnebago River and Willow Creek come together. The town changed names several times, from Shibboleth, to Masonic Grove, to Masonville, and finally to what it is known as today, Mason City.
In 1854 John McMillin opened the first store and Dr. Silas Card opened the first medical practice in the area. The first schoolhouse was established in a log cabin by Lizzie Thompson in 1856. In 1857 the U.S. Postoffice Department started service to the town. Mason City was named as the county seat in 1858.