Le Mars, Iowa
|Le Mars, Iowa|
|Nickname(s): "Ice Cream Capital Of The World"|
|• Mayor||Dick Kirchoff|
|• Total||8.97 sq mi (23.23 km2)|
|• Land||8.96 sq mi (23.21 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)|
|Elevation||1,234 ft (376 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||9,795|
|• Density||1,096.7/sq mi (423.4/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0458255|
|Website||City of LeMars|
Le Mars is a city in and the county seat of Plymouth County, Iowa, United States. The population was 9,826 at the 2010 census. Le Mars is the home of Wells' Dairy, the world's largest producer of ice cream novelties in one location and is the self-proclaimed "Ice Cream Capital of the World". Wells is most well known for its Blue Bunny products. Le Mars, located on the Floyd River, is northeast of Sioux City. Le Mars is the former home of Westmar University, which closed in 1997. Le Mars is a part of the Sioux City metropolitan area.
Le Mars is located at (42.788799, -96.165944).
Le Mars was platted in 1869, but no lots were sold until the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company arrived in 1879. According to town legend, CNW investor John I. Blair and a group of women arrived at the town which was then referred to as St. Paul Junction. The women were asked to name the town and they submitted their own first name initials for Lucy Underhill, Elizabeth Parson, Mary Weare, Anna Blair, Rebecca Smith and Sarah Reynolds.
In 1913, Fred H. Wells opened a milk route in Le Mars. By 1925, his sons and he opened an ice cream manufacturing plant in Le Mars. It (and the Wells name) was purchased by Fairmount Ice Cream in 1928. In 1935, Fred and his sons wanted to begin selling ice cream again, but could not use their name. They sponsored a “Name That Ice Cream” contest in the Sioux City Journal. The winner of the $25 prize suggested Blue Bunny because his son had enjoyed seeing blue bunnies in department store windows at Easter.
The Wells were eventually to get back their name after Blue Bunny became popular. However, it remained largely a regional ice cream until 1992, when it began an aggressive program to expand nationally.
The centerpiece of the expansion is a 900,000-square-foot (84,000 m2) plant with a 12-story tall refrigeration plant called the "South Ice Cream Plant" because it is on the south side of town (on 1 Blue Bunny Drive). The plant employs 1,000 and produces 75 million gallons of frozen treats, with the milk coming mainly coming from three large dairy farms in Iowa.
The plant has led to the claims the company is the world's largest family-owned and managed dairy processor and the world's largest manufacturer of ice cream in one location, and with Le Mars claiming to be the "Ice Cream Capital of the World".
Wells also produces ice brands marketed by Häagen-Dazs, Baskin-Robbins, General Mills and General Foods in Le Mars. Wells Dairy was to throw Häagen-Daz into a crisis in 1999, when the South Plant, which was the primary producer for Häagen-Dazs, had an explosion at the beginning of the summer ice cream season. Häagen-Dazs has subsequently added other dairies as its producers.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,826 people, 4,013 households, and 2,593 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,096.7 inhabitants per square mile (423.4 /km2). There were 4,220 housing units at an average density of 471.0 per square mile (181.9 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 0.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 2.9% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.4% of the population.
There were 4,013 households of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.4% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.00.
The median age in the city was 39.2 years. 25.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.5% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 16.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,237 people, 3,640 households, and 2,453 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,356.9 people per square mile (523.7/km²). There were 3,818 housing units at an average density of 560.9 per square mile (216.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.24% White, 0.45% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.44% of the population.
There were 3,640 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.05.
Age spread: 27.2% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $38,892, and the median income for a family was $47,409. Males had a median income of $35,936 versus $21,757 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,598. About 4.5% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
- Clarence E. Coe, pioneer of Palms, California and member of the Los Angeles, California, City Council, born in Le Mars
- Keith Knudsen, drummer for the Doobie Brothers
- Paul Rust, star of I Love You Beth Cooper
- Roger C. Schultz, United States Army Lieutenant General and Director of the Army National Guard
- John Spenkelink, first person involuntarily executed in the America after the re-introduction of the death penalty
- Charles A. Spring, influential Presbyterian, son of Revolutionary War chaplain Samuel Spring
- Thomas Starzl, innovator in organ transplant surgery
- Isaac S. Struble, congressman and namesake of Struble, Iowa
- Bruce Dreckman, umpire in Major League Baseball
- Plymouth County Courthouse
- St. George's Episcopal Church
- Tonsfeldt Round Barn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- Westmar University A private four-year liberal arts college that permanently closed on November 21, 1997.
- Wells Enterprises Wells Dairy
- "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 2013-05-23.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Horace A. Laffaye, Polo in Britain: A History, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2012, p. 70
- Curtis Harnack, Gentlemen on the Prairie: Victorians in Pioneer Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2011 p. 138
- The big chill: Wells' Dairy's South Ice Cream Plant dominates the world of frozen dessert production - Allbusiness.com - January 1, 2005
- Wells Dairy Ice Cream Production Facility, St George, Utah, USA
- International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 36. St. James Press, 2001 (via fundinguniverse.com)
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Le Mars Daily Sentinel". printed October 30, 2006. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Le Mars, Iowa.|
- Official Le Mars City Website
- Blue Bunny Official Site
- City Data Comprehensive Statistical Data and more about Le Mars