About Us

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.


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.


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 lmclerk@wctatel.net.

City Hall Hours:

Monday: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Thursday: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Friday: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

Federal Holidays

Public Hearing Notice

The City Council will conduct a public hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year City property tax levy.

Meeting Date: 2/15/21

Meeting Time: 7 pm

Meeting Location: City Hall Council Chambers (200 N 1st Ave W)

City of Lake Mills
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200 N 1st Ave W

Lake Mills, IA 50450


phone 641-592-3251 

© 2016 by Lake Mills Chamber Development Corporation.