Burlington, a city and the county-seat of Des Moines county, Iowa, U.S.A., on the Mississippi river, in the S.E. part of the state. Pop. (1890) 22,565; (1900) 23,201; (1905, state census) 25,318 (4492 foreign-born); (1910) 24,324. It is served by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (which has extensive construction and repair shops here), the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and the Toledo, Peoria & Western (Pennsylvania system) railways; and has an extensive river commerce. The river is spanned here by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railway bridge. Many of the residences are on bluffs commanding beautiful views of river scenery; and good building material has been obtained from the Burlington limestone quarries. Crapo Park, of 100 acres, along the river, is one of the attractions of the city. Among the principal buildings are the county court house, the free public library, the Tama building, the German-American savings bank building and the post office. Burlington has three well-equipped hospitals. Among the city's manufactures are lumber, furniture, baskets, pearl buttons, cars, carriages and wagons, Corliss engines, waterworks pumps, metallic burial cases, desks, boxes, crackers, flour, pickles and beer.
The factory product in 1905 was valued at $5,779,337, or 29.9% more than in 1900. The first white man to visit the site of Burlington seems to have been Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike, who came in 1805 and recommended the erection of a fort. The American Fur Company established a post here in 1829 or earlier, but settlement really began in 1833, after the Black Hawk War, and the place had a population of 1200 in 1838. It was laid out as a town and named Flint Hills (a translation of the Indian name, Shokokon) in 1834; but the name was soon changed to Burlington, after the city of that name in Vermont. Burlington was incorporated as a town in 1837, and was chartered as a city in 1838 by the territory of Wisconsin, the city charter being amended by the territory of Iowa in 1839 and 1841. The territorial legislature of Wisconsin met here from 1836 to 1838 and that of Iowa from 1838 to 1840. In 1837 a newspaper, the Wisconsin Territorial Gazette, now the Burlington Evening Gazette, and in 1839 another, the Burlington Hawk Eye, were founded; the latter became widely known in the years immediately following 1872 from the humorous sketches contributed to it by Robert Jones Burdette (b. 1844), an associate editor, known as the "Burlington Hawk Eye Man," who in 1903 entered the Baptist ministry and became pastor of the Temple Baptist church in Los Angeles, California, and among whose publications are Hawkeyetems (1877), Hawkeyes (1879), and Smiles Yoked with Sighs (1900).