Peosta is a city in Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, and an exurb of the city of Dubuque. It is part of the Dubuque, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,377 in the 2010 census, an increase of 111.5% from 651 in the 2000 census. Peosta experienced a 70% increase in population (estimated) from 2000 to 2007, making it the state's 10th-fastest growing city during that period. Peosta is currently the seventh-largest city in Dubuque County, but it will likely soon pass Farley (pop. 1,537) and Epworth (pop. 1,860) to become the fifth-largest. The community is home to a large industrial park, the largest campus of Northeast Iowa Community College, and a handful of new commercial businesses. However, the city is increasingly becoming a bedroom community, much like nearby Asbury, made up of spacious new subdivisions.
Peosta is named after the leader of a local Native American tribe that once lived in Dubuque County. Chief Peosta, of the Mesquakie tribe, was a close friend of Julien Dubuque, one of the first European settlers in the area. Dubuque was also the founder of the City of Dubuque, Iowa, and was allegedly married to Chief Peosta's daughter, who was reportedly named "Potosa".
For most of its history, and even as recently as 1990, Peosta was a quiet rural town of around 100 people. The groundwork for later growth was laid in the 1960s, when the new 4-lane U.S. Highway 20 opened along the city's southern edge, providing quick access to Dubuque. The city was also aided by the opening of Northeast Iowa Technical Institute (later NICC) in 1979. However, it wasn't until the city's industrial park began to flourish in the 1990s that the population began to soar. Peosta grew from a tiny 128 people in 1990 to over 1,300 today, and it continues to climb rapidly. This 1000% growth in 20 years has helped attract new businesses and services to Peosta as well. The city now boasts two elementary schools, its own community center, hotel, church, industrial park, and expanding neighborhoods.