Iowa and Missouri are on pretty friendly terms these days, but that wasn't always the case. In a flare-up called the "Honey War, " the border states even involved their local militias.

A conflict between the two states took place well before the Civil War and helped shape the borders we know today. In fact, Iowa wasn't even a state when this went down, but rather a territory.

But why was it called the "Honey War" and what were the two states bickering about in the first place? The answers to these questions may surprise you.

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What Was The "Honey War"?

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

Back in 1816, surveyor, John Sullivan created the southern borderline for Iowa, which began near Farmington, along the Des Moines River, and ran westward. It was determined soon after that this would be the border of the Iowa Territory and the brand-new state of Missouri, which was admitted in 1820.

After doing some surveying of its own, many top officials in Missouri began to claim that its state's boundary with Iowa was actually 30 miles to the north, at the town of Keosauqua. The state became so bold, in fact, that it actually attempted to collect taxes from those who lived in the disputed territory. The citizens refused, so as payment, the tax collectors chopped down 3 trees, filled with honeycombs as payment. The name stuck and the period will be forever known as the "Honey War".

Militias from both Missouri and the Iowa Territory were called to the border, but thankfully, it never came to open warfare. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually took the case on and sided with the state of Iowa (admitted to the Union in 1846) and the border remains at the Sullivan Line to this day.

To learn more about the Honey War and the Sullivan Line, you can visit the historic marker at the Iowa/Missouri Border, commemorating the event.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

Also, check out the video below for a detailed and fun explanation of the Honey War.

Story Source: Edge Effects Website

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