Welcome to the Palo Alto County website!

Palo Alto County is located in the northwest region of the state of Iowa. The county has a total area of 569 square miles that contain a variety of lakes including Five Island Lake, Lost Island Lake, Rush Lake, and Silver Lake. Communities include Ayrshire, Curlew, Cylinder, Emmetsburg, Graettinger, Mallard, Rodman, Ruthven and West Bend.

The population of Palo Alto County is 9,421 (according to the 2010 census). County business is done at the county seat in Emmetsburg. Most offices are located at the historic 1880s courthouse located downtown near the business district.

Upcoming Courthouse Closed Holidays:

February 17, 2020



Wanted: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Northwest Iowa Care Connections (NWIACC), a Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Region.  Full time County Employment at 37.5 hours per week with competitive salary based on education and experience.  Benefits include IPERS, health/major medical and dental insurance, life insurance, vacation and sick leave. Educational requirements: Master’s degree in Human Services or Management preferred; or a B.A in social work/human services or related field with 5 years of experience working in the MHDS field.  Excellent oral and written communication skills needed for work with clients, families, community partners, and service providers.   Computer skills required.

For more information, please contact NWIACC CEO Kim Wilson at 712-262-9438. Resumes may be sent to Clay County Community Services at 215 W. 4th St. Suite 6 Spencer, IA 51301 by February 28th, 2020. Clay County, as a member county of NWIACC, is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Clay County will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.