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All about Marshalltown, IA
Marshalltown is a city in and the county seat of Marshall County, Iowa, United States, located along the Iowa River. It is the seat of Marshall County and the 16th largest city in Iowa, with a population of 27,591 at the 2020 census. Marshalltown is home to the Iowa Veterans Home and Marshalltown Community College.
History of Marshalltown, IA
Henry Anson was the first European settler in what is now called Marshalltown. In April 1851, Anson found what he described as “the prettiest place in Iowa.” On a high point between the Iowa River and Linn Creek, Anson built a log cabin. A plaque at 112 West Main Street marks the site of the cabin. In 1853 Anson named the town Marshall, after Marshall, Michigan, a former residence of his.
The town became Marshalltown in 1862 because another Marshall already existed in Henry County, Iowa (In 1880, Marshall’s name changed to Wayland). With the help of Potawatomi chief Johnny Green, Anson persuaded early settlers to stay in the area. In the mid-1850s, Anson donated land for a county courthouse. Residents donated money for the building’s construction. In 1863 the title of county seat transferred from the village of Marietta to Marshalltown. The young town then began growing. By 1900, Marshalltown had 10,000 residents. Many industries began developing in Marshalltown, like Fisher Controls, Lennox International and Marshalltown Company.
Marshalltown plays a small but significant role in the life of Ebe Dolliver, a main character in MacKinlay Kantor’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Andersonville” (1955).
Baseball steadily became popular as Marshalltown grew in the mid-1800s. Adrian’s brother Sturgis also became a talented baseball player and both went to play on intra-school teams at the University of Notre Dame. Both later returned to Marshalltown to play baseball for the town team. Along with their father Henry, the town’s founder, they put together a team and became the most prominent team in the state of Iowa. The Marshalltown team, with Henry Anson at third base, Adrian’s brother Sturgis in center field, and Adrian at second base, won the Iowa state championship in 1868. In 1870 Marshalltown played an exhibition game with the talented Rockford Forest Citys. Although Marshalltown lost the game, Rockford’s management offered contracts to all three of the Ansons. Adrian accepted the contract, which began his professional career in baseball in 1871.
Geography and Demographics of Marshalltown, IA
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.31 square miles (50.01 km2), of which 19.28 square miles (49.93 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water. Neighboring counties include Hardin and Grundy to the north, Tama to the east, Jasper to the south, and Story to the west.
Marshalltown is notably more ethnically diverse than the State of Iowa overall. In 2019, 85% of Iowans were non-Hispanic whites, compared to just 59.8% of Marshalltonians. Most of this discrepancy can be explained by the sizable Hispanic population in Marshalltown (30.7% in 2019).
At the 2010 census there were 27,552 people in 10,335 households, including 6,629 families, in the city. The population density was 1,429.0 inhabitants per square mile (551.7/km2). There were 11,171 housing units at an average density of 579.4 per square mile (223.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.8% White, 2.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 7.9% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.1%.
Of the 10,335 households 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.9% were non-families. 29.8% of households were one person and 12.6% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.18.
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