Fort Dodge, Iowa
|Fort Dodge, Iowa|
|— City —|
|Motto: Frontier of the Future.|
|• City Manager||David Fierke|
|• Total||16.31 sq mi (42.24 km2)|
|• Land||16.05 sq mi (41.57 km2)|
|• Water||0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2)|
|Elevation||1,155 ft (352 m)|
|• Estimate (2011)||24,981|
|• Density||1,570.5/sq mi (606.4/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0456686|
Fort Dodge is a city and county seat of Webster County, Iowa, United States, along the Des Moines River. The population was 25,206 in the 2010 census, an increase from 25,136 in the 2000 census. Fort Dodge is a major commercial center for North Central and Northwest Iowa. It is located on U.S. Routes 20 and 169.
Fort Dodge traces its beginnings to 1850 when soldiers from the United States Army erected a fort at the junction of the Des Moines River and Lizard Creek. It was named after Henry Dodge, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin.
The fort was abandoned in 1853 and the next year William Willams, a civilian storekeeper in Fort Dodge, purchased the land and buildings of the old fort. The town of Fort Dodge was founded in 1869. In 1872 the long and continuing history of gypsum production in Iowa started when George Ringland, Webb Vincent, and Stillman T. Meservey formed the Fort Dodge Plaster Mills to mine, grind, and prepare gypsum for commercial use. The Company constructed the first gypsum mill west of the Mississippi River, at the head of what is now Gypsum Creek.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.31 square miles (42.24 km2), of which, 16.05 square miles (41.57 km2) is land and 0.26 square miles (0.67 km2) is water.
2010 census 
As of the census of 2010, there were 25,206 people, 10,275 households, and 5,850 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,570.5 inhabitants per square mile (606.4 /km2). There were 11,215 housing units at an average density of 698.8 per square mile (269.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.7% White, 5.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.0% of the population.
There were 10,275 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.5% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.1% were non-families. 36.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.89.
The median age in the city was 36.8 years. 21.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 13.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.4% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 16.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.3% male and 48.7% female.
2000 census 
As of the census of 2000, there were 25,136 people, 10,470 households, and 6,376 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,726.1 people per square mile (666.6/km²). There were 11,168 housing units at an average density of 766.9 per square mile (296.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.47% White, 3.79% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.30% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.94% of the population.
There were 10,470 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.94.
Population spread: 24.3% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,361, and the median income for a family was $42,555. Males had a median income of $31,253 versus $23,360 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,018. About 7.7% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.2% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.
Gypsum rock is processed into drywall and plaster products at several Fort Dodge manufacturing facilities. Drywall was patented by a Fort Dodge resident, and the gypsum used to create the Cardiff Giant hoax of the late 19th century was mined at Fort Dodge. Currently National Gypsum Company, Georgia Pacific Corporation, Celotex Corporation, and the United States Gypsum Company operate gypsum facilities in and around Fort dodge.
Fort Dodge is the home of Fort Dodge Animal Health (a division of Boehringer Ingelheim), a major producer of pharmaceuticals and vaccines for veterinarian use, the company's headquarters were moved from Fort Dodge to Overland Park, Kansas in 1995. Two of the company's three USA manufacturing plants are located in Fort Dodge.
At least three major national trucking companies (primarily flatbed carriers serving the drywall industry) are based out of Fort Dodge.
Fort Dodge serves as a retail center for North-Central Iowa.
The Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, 1,250-bed medium security state prison, opened in 1998.
For most of the 20th century, meatpacking was a major industry in Fort Dodge. The last two large meatpacking plants (owned by Iowa Beef Processors and Hormel) closed during the 1980s. One of the laboratories of Fort Dodge Animal Health was built on the site of a former Hormel processing plant.
Arts and cultural 
The Fort Museum and Frontier Village is located on the southeast edge of Fort Dodge. It is a full scale recreation of a military outpost on the prairie from the 19th century. It also features a recreated village from the same time period. Additionally, The Fort Museum has a replica of the Cardiff Giant, which was a fossilized giant humanoid "discovered" at Cardiff, New York. The Cardiff Giant was later proved to be a hoax, sculpted from gypsum mined at Fort Dodge.
A "Frontier Days" event is held every year. It features a parade down Central Avenue, a buckskinner camp, and live entertainment. 2009 marks the 35th year of the event, with festivities taking place on June 5 and 6.
The Blanden Memorial Art Museum, the first public museum of art in the state of Iowa, is located in the historic Oak Hill district of Fort Dodge. The Blanden, opened June 5, 1932, is renowned as one of the finest small museums in the nation for its extensive permanent collection as well as popular touring exhibits.
The Fort Dodge municipal band is the Karl King Band, named after well-known composer Karl L. King, who was the leader of the municipal band for fifty years before his death in 1971. Several local landmarks are named after Karl King, including the bandshell at Oleson Park, a memorial statue in front of the Fort Dodge Public Library, and a bridge over the Des Moines River.
Hawkeye Community Theatre, one of the longest continually running theatre organizations in the state, is located on 521 North 12th Street. It is housed in a century old classic building converted for live theatre performances, and seats 220. HCT puts on six full length productions a year of varied genre.
Fort Dodge gallery 
Abandoned Ferris wheel
Abandoned Rosedale Dairy, once manufacturer of Eskimo Pies
Downtown Ghost sign
Parks and recreation 
Oleson Park boasts a small zoo featuring a small population of albino white tailed deer and other animals. Oleson Park also has woods and hiking trails. Oleson Park Zoo is not an AZA (American Zoo and Aquarium Association) accredited zoo and the zoo's USDA license number 42-C-0128, has been cited over 15 times in the last 2 years by the USDA inspectors. The town's recently restored band shell is located here.
Snell-Crawford Park (located at Williams Drive and 12th Avenue North) is a local favorite for weekend recreation. It has a disc golf course, three sand volleyball courts, a jogging/walking/bicycling trail, picnic tables, and grills. Soldier Creek runs through the park.
Rosedale Rapids, the city's new multi-million dollar aquatic center, opened north of the roundabout intersection of 10th Avenue North and North 32nd Street in July 2010. The aquatic center features swimming pools, water slides, and a lazy river.
John F. Kennedy Park is the nearest camping facility to Fort Dodge. It has a large campground, a lake with a swimming beach, a playground, and hiking trails. Lakeside Municipal Golf Course, an 18-hole course, is located here.
The 300 acres (1.2 km2) Gypsum City Off-Highway Vehicle Park opened to the public on July 6, 2006. The park is located on abandoned gypsum mines. Plans are in place for the park to be expanded to as much as 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) in the future.
Fort Dodge is a top tubing destination in the state, offering the swift and clear waters of Lizard Creek, solitude on the Des Moines River from Fort Dodge to the Dolliver Memorial State Park, and the nearby lake at Brushy Creek.
The Fort Dodge Country Club par 71 golf course is one of Iowa's top courses.
Woodman Hollow State Preserve lies roughly 7 miles southeast of Fort Dodge.
Fort Dodge is the home to the central campus of Iowa Central Community College.
Fort Dodge is served by the Fort Dodge Community School District. The public school system includes Fort Dodge Senior High School (9–12), Phillips Middle School (Fort Dodge, Iowa) (PMS) (7–8), Fair Oaks (5–6), and several elementary schools.
Private schools in Fort Dodge include St. Edmond (Preschool-12), Community Christian School (pre-K −8), St Paul Lutheran (Preschool-8), and Harvest Baptist School (K4–12)
Fort Dodge has been the location of Iowa High School Athletic Association championship events. Currently, the cross country championships are held at John F. Kennedy Park north of the town. Fort Dodge also hosts the Iowa girls' softball championship tournament at Harlan Rogers Park.
- AM radio stations
- 540 KWMT (Three Eagles Communications, news/country/farm) 5 kW day/.2 kW night
- 1400 KVFD (Three Eagles Communications, news/talk/sports) – 1 kW
- FM radio stations
- 88.1 KICB (Iowa Central Community College Broadcasting, "88.1 The Point", alternative rock) – 0.2 kW
- 91.1 KNSH (Iowa State University/WOI Radio Group, NPR) 100 kW
- 92.1 KZLB (Three Eagles Communications, "The Eagle", Classic Rock) – 6 kW
- 94.5 KKEZ (Three Eagles Communications, "Mix 94.5", Hot Adult Contemporary) – 100 kW
- 96.9 KIAQ (Three Eagles Communications, "Hot Country K97", Country) – 100 kW
- 99.7 KXFT (Three Eagles Communications, "Sunny 99.7", Adult Contemporary) – 25 kW
- 105.9 KTLB (Three Eagles Communications, "Hippie Radio", Oldies) – 25 kW
- Broadcast television stations
- KTIN 21, local PBS member station, Iowa Public Television network member.
- A commercial TV station, last known as KVFD-TV, an NBC affiliate, operated on channel 21 from 1953 until 1970 then moved to channel 50. On May 4, 1977, its tower and transmitter were destroyed by a tornado. The owner died before he could rebuild it, and his heirs were not interested in continuing it. KVFD was never rebuilt and the call letters have been returned to the FCC. Fort Dodge is served from the television stations in the Ames-Des Moines metro area.
- Fort Dodge Messenger, daily newspaper
- You Are The Guest Podcast
- MyFortDodge.com, social network
- Fort Dodge Press, local coverage of Fort Dodge
|This section requires expansion. (November 2010)|
U.S. Highway 20 bypasses Fort Dodge to the south, and U.S. 169 skirts the west side of the city; both highways have business routes through town. Iowa Highway 7 has its terminus at the northwest edge of the city.
The Fort Dodge Regional Airport is located north of town. It is primarily a general aviation airport, but it does have commercial links from Delta Airlines.
Jefferson Bus lines serves Fort Dodge with a link to Williams.
Health care 
Notable people 
- Lew Anderson (1922–2006) last Clarabell the Clown on Howdy Doody
- Samuel Z. Arkoff, B movie producer
- Scott Bloomquist, race car driver
- Holm O. Bursum, politician for the state of New Mexico
- Ray Cheetany (born 1977) All American football player at University of Nevada Las Vegas and Founder of RawTeams.com - The Sports Social Network
- Nick Collison, professional basketball player
- Marvin Cone, painter
- Gene Elston, sportscaster and Baseball Hall of Fame honoree
- Nate Erdmann, professional basketball player
- Lou Fiene (1884–1964) Major League Baseball pitcher
- Robert Garrison, sculptor
- Thomas Heggen, writer and author of Mr. Roberts, which was made into a Hollywood film starring; Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and James Cagney.
- Walter Howey, journalist and editor
- Corita Kent, artist, social activist and nun
- William S. Kenyon, U.S. senator and federal appeals court judge
- Karl King, conductor
- Bill Koll (1923–2003) NCAA Champion, Wrestlng Hall of Fame member
- Lisa Koll (born 1987), NCAA record holder in 10,000 metres
- Mitch Krebs, news anchor
- Richard D. McCormick, director of Wells Fargo & Company
- John M. Peters, lawyer and legislator
- Daniel Rhodes, ceramic artist and author
- Robert Schliske (1924–2007), member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1971–1975
- Jeff Struecker, U.S Army chaplain and author
- Bill Tilghman, lawman and gunslinger
- Don Ultang, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer
- Betsy Warland, poet and writer
- Dale Warland, choral conductor and clinician
- Kevin Wickander, MLB player
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
- "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Data from the 2010 Census". State Data Center of Iowa. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- Gue, Benjamin (1903). History of Iowa from the earliest times to the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Volume 1. New York: The Century History Company. p. 267. Retrieved June 19, 2010-06-19.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health closes deal to acquire a significant portion of the Fort Dodge Animal Health Business from Pfizer
- "Fort Dodge Community School District". Home. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- Fort Dodge Messenger, May 5th, 1977
- Martin, Douglas (May 17, 2006). "Lew Anderson, 84, Clarabell the Clown and a Bandleader". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "BASEBALL-REFERENCE". Louis Henry Fiene (Big Finn). Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- Palmer, Mark (July 7, 2007). "Rev Rewind: Bill & Rob Koll". Wrestling Talk. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- Petersen, Eric (June 8, 2010). "Cyclones’ Koll double trouble for NCAA field". The Gazzette.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Fort Dodge, Iowa|
- Official Fort Dodge City Website
- Fort Dodge History Museum
- Fort Dodge Chamber of Commerce
- Fort Dodge Public Library
- Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Trinity Regional Medical Center
- City Data Comprehensive Statistical Data and more about Fort Dodge, Iowa