Jesse Watson came to Iowa from La Porte, Indiana, in 1855.
Along with previous settler Joe Catlin, he platted a village
where the trail crossed Big Creek and named it after his
hometown, La Porte. This name was later changed to La Porte
City because there was another La Porte in Iowa. Also incorporated
into La Porte City was Ottawa, a small village platted separately
on the west side of the creek. La Porte City is still known
for its main street, which was originally paved in brick.
Much of this brick still remains today.