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established 1869



Lake Mills is strategically located 10 miles west of Interstate 35, 18 miles south of Interstate 90 and approximately 2 hours from both Des Moines and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Lake Mills traces its history back to the 1850's. The first settler in the area was Joshua Thomas. He was soon followed by many others, a good share of whom were of Scandinavian descent. C. D. Smith incorporated the community in 1869.


Lake Mills has always been a prosperous community. The name Lake Mills comes from the fact that the town was built on what was then the shoreline of Rice Lake. There was also a grist and lumber mill located on the banks of the old town lake.

During the first half of the 20th century the city depended on Cool Spring Canning Company for jobs. When the canning plant closed in 1957, an aggressive group of Lake Mills' residents began what has turned out to be a highly successful drive to create jobs for people in the area.

The Mayor, City Council members, and the Lake Mills Chamber Development Corporation work closely with new and existing businesses to access local and state/federal incentives. The Community prides itself on the high quality of companies that have located here as a result of an industrious labor force, excellent municipal facilities, equitable tax structure, and a quality environment for businesses.


Richard Sears, the founder of the huge Sears organization, was depot agent here from 1880 to 1886 prior to moving to Redwood Falls where the company picks up his trail to success. Pulitzer prize winning author Wallace Stegner spent his early life here. Jesse Parker, a legend in Iowa education, was born and raised in Lake Mills. Governor Terry E. Branstad, who served in the state's top office, has roots in Lake Mills. Branstad opened a law practice here as a young attorney, and continued to call Lake Mills home while serving as state representative and lieutenant governor before being elected to the Governor's office, a position he held for 16 years. He stepped down as Governor in 2017 to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. 


Many graduates of Lake Mills Community School have gone on to make their mark in various endeavors in the state, nation, and world.

Contact us at (641) 592-3251 or at

Construction Plans


Lake Mills City Council is made up of 5 elected residents who meet as a group on the third Monday of each month to address community projects and planning.



The City of Lake Mills provides a variety of public services including a public library, swimming pool, transit service, and city-owned utilities.

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The Lake Mills Parks & Recreation Departments maintains city parks and provides safe and fun activities for community youth.

CITY ELECTIONS - November 2 


One of the most challenging and exciting responsibilities an individual can assume is to become a Mayor or Council Member. The business of city government and local leadership presents a unique opportunity to resolve issues, accomplish goals, and affect the future of your community.


The City of Lake Mills conducts business on the third Monday of each month. The meetings are generally held at 7:00 p.m., with additional work sessions anticipated during budget season (January - March) and special meetings when necessary. In order to hold office in the city, a candidate must be an eligible elector, meeting the same qualifications required to vote and be a resident of the city he or she plans to serve.


Copies of nomination papers are available at the City Clerk’s office. Nominees must obtain 10 eligible signatures. Candidate filing begins Monday, August 23, 2021 and ends with nomination papers and affidavit of candidacy due at the County Auditor’s Office by 5 p.m. Thursday, September 16, 2021.


For more information about how to participate in the City’s decision making process, please contact the City Clerk’s office at 641-592-3251.


The City of Lake Mills is taking applications for Deputy City Clerk. This is a full-time position in City Hall.


Looking for a self-motivated person who is looking for long term employment with the opportunity for advancement. Duties will include clerical tasks related to the administration and operation of City Clerk / Treasurer. Other duties include accounts payables, payroll and maintaining City accounting records. Knowledge of office and bookkeeping practices and procedures is required. Would prefer Microsoft Word and Excel experience. CMC certification is desirable.


Applications will be accepted until position is filled. A complete job description and application may be picked up at the Lake Mills City Hall, 200 N 1st Ave W, or call (641) 592-3251. Office hours 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Equal Opportunity Employer