The first plat of the town was started in 1854 by a Dr. Moore and named after his eldest daughter “Cora”, but the name was never recorded. In 1855 a Mr. Gibbs arrived from Massachusetts, representing wealthy capitalists in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He prevailed upon Mr. Orrin Sage, a great banker from Ware, MA to invest in this community, and later Mr. Sage gave $2,000 and 600 acres of land to the Library Building Fund. Because of his benevolence, the town’s name was changed to Osage in his honor.
Several of the businesses in Osage occupy structures built in the 1870’s. City Hall occupies the former Sage Library Building constructed in 1910. Because of the age and preservation of many of the downtown buildings, the State Historical Society designated a three-block area on Main Street as “Osage Commercial Historic District” in October, 1966.
Osage has had many prominent citizens over the years, most whose names could be tied to a business or profession in Osage. But there have been a few who have made a name for themselves beyond their hometown. One of those is Hamlin Garland, an author of the early 1900’s who spent his youth in Osage. One of his first books, “Son of the Middle Border”, is basically an autobiography of the time he spent growing up in Osage after the Civil War. Another notable who calls Osage home is former Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, who grew up on a farm in rural Osage. Prior to his position in Washington, D.C., he was the governor of Nebraska. He still has siblings in Osage.
The Departments, Boards, Commissions & Staff at City Hall include:
- Mayor & City Council
- Planning and Zoning Commission
- Park Board & Park and Park & Recreation Department
- Utility Board of Directors
- Board of Adjustment
- Library Board
- City Clerk & Assistant City Clerk
- Public Works Director
806 Main Street, Osage, IA, USA