Council Bluffs, a city and the capital of Pottawattamie co., Iowa, on the E. bank of the Missouri river, 1,000 m. above St. Louis, and 120 m. W. by S. of Des Moines; pop. in 1860, 2,011; in 1870, 10,020. It has ample railroad communication by means of the Union Pacific, the Chicago and North western, the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific, the Burlington and Missouri River, and the Kansas City, St. Joseph, and Council Bluffs lines. It also communicates by horse railroad and ferry with Omaha, Neb., on the opposite bank, 4 m. distant. The bridge connecting the two cities, known as the Missouri river bridge, is 2,750 ft. in length between the abutments, and has 11 spans. It rests on piers, each consisting of two hollow columns of wrought iron, 1 3/4 inch thick and 8 1/2 ft. in diameter, which are sunk to the bed rock of the river, in one case 82 ft., and filled with concrete and masonry. The bridge, which is 50 ft. above high-water mark, has a railroad track and accommodations for horse cars and ordinary travel. Council Bluffs is situated about 3 m. from the river, at the foot of the bluffs, which are high and precipitous. It embraces an area of 24 sq. m., extending N. and S. 4 m., and E. and W. 6 m. The streets cross each other at right angles, one set running from the river to the bluffs.
The city presents a neat appearance. The principal edifices are of brick. The most important public buildings are the county court house, erected in 1867 at a cost of $50,000; the city hall; two public halls; the high school building, which cost $50,000, and has 6 acres of ground attached; and 6 ward school houses, erected at a cost of $60,000. The most important manufactories are the Council Bluffs iron works and machine shops, the agricultural works, a carriage factory, 2 lumber wagon factories, one manufactory each of brooms, candy, and soap, 2 steam flour mills, 3 breweries, a steam bakery, and a manufactory of furniture. There are two national banks, with a capital of $150,000, and a savings bank, with $25,000. Besides the high and ward schools, there is a grammar school, the whole being under the charge of a superintendent and 26 teachers, and having an average attendance of about 2,400 pupils. The Roman Catholics have a seminary for young ladies, with 70 pupils, and a boys' school, with 40 pupils. Two daily newspapers, three weeklies, and a monthly periodical are published. There is a library association, and a young men's Christian association and reading room. The state institute for the deaf and dumb is in the vicinity.
There are nine churches, viz.: Methodist (two), Baptist, Congregational, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Unitarian, and United Brethren. - The site of Council Bluffs was occupied in 1846 by a Mormon settlement known as Kanesville. The city was incorporated under its present name in 1853. In 1804 Lewis and Clark held there a council with the Indians.