Lake Mills, Iowa, welcomes you to live, work and play in our friendly community!
Lake Mills traces its history back to the 1850’s when the first settler, Joshua Thomas, settled in the area. He was soon followed by many others, a good share of who were of Scandinavian decent. C.D. Smith incorporated the community in 1869.
The "Promise of America" sculpture can be found on a six-acre restored prairie site east of town, representing a Norwegian immigrant family. The monument, sculpted by the late Clifford J. Carlson, is dedicated with gratitude to the thousands of immigrants who settled in the prairies of the upper Midwest in the 1800's.
Lake Mills has always been a prosperous community. The name Lake Mills comes from the fact that the town was built on what was 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 city residents began what has turned out to be a highly successful drive to create jobs for the people of the area. Today Lake Mills houses thriving area businesses, including financial institutions, a weekly newspaper, grocery store, antique and gift shops, flooring and window treatment business, hardware and auto shops, unique restaurants, and much more!