From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
OSKALOOSA, a city and the county-seat of Mahaska county, Iowa, U.S.A., about 62 m. S.E. of Des Moines. Pop. (1900) 9 212, of whom 649 were foreign-born and 344 were negroes; (1910 U.S. census) 9466. It is served by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and the Iowa Central railways, and by interurban electric lines. The city is built on a fertile prairie in one of the principal coal-producing regions of the state. At Oskaloosa is held the Iowa yearly meeting of the Society of Friends; and the city is the seat of Penn College (opened 1873), a Friends' institution, and of the Iowa Christian College (incorporated as Oskaloosa College in 1856 and reincorporated under its present name in 1902). At the village of University Park (incorporated in 1909), a suburb adjoining the city on the E., is the Central Holiness University (1906; coeducational), where the annual camp meeting of the National and Iowa Holiness Associations is held. Coal-mining is the most important industry in the surrounding region. There are deposits of clay and limestone in the vicinity, and among the city's manufactures are drain and sewer tile, paving and building bricks, cement blocks, and warm-air furnaces; in 1905 the factory products were valued at $779,894. Oskaloosa was first settled in 1843; it was selected in 1844 by the county commissioners as a site for the county-seat, and was chartered as a city in 1853. It is said to have been named in honour of the wife of the Indian chief Mahaska (of the Iowa tribe), in whose honour the county was named; a bronze statue of Mahaska (by Sherry E. Fry, an Iowa sculptor) was erected here in 1909.
See W. A. Hunter, "History of Mahaska County," in Annals of Iowa, vols. vi.-vii. (Davenport, Iowa, 1868-1869), published by the Iowa State Historical Society.