Red Oak, Iowa
|Red Oak, Iowa|
M. E. Church, Red Oak, Iowa. 1920s postcard
Location of Red Oak, Iowa
|• Total||4.01 sq mi (10.39 km2)|
|• Land||3.95 sq mi (10.23 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)|
|Elevation||1,050 ft (320 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||5,640|
|• Density||1,453.7/sq mi (561.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP codes||51566, 51591|
|Area code(s)||712 Exchange: 623|
|GNIS feature ID||0460554|
Red Oak is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Iowa, United States, located along the East Nishnabotna River. The population was 5,742 in the 2010 census, a decline from the 6,197 population in the 2000 census.
Red Oak derives its name from Red Oak Creek which flows through the community and was noted for the red oaks on its banks. First settlers arrived there in the 1850s. In 1865 it became the official county seat of Montgomery County and the courthouse which previously was in the middle of the county seven miles east in Frankfort, Iowa was towed to the community in the middle of a snow storm. That courthouse remained in place until the current Montgomery County Courthouse (Iowa) was built in 1891. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1869 the community was officially founded when the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (called the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad at the time) arrived. The community was named Red Oak Junction by the railroad on March 20, 1876. The junction was a line off the main Chicago to Council Bluffs, Iowa line that went to Nebraska City, Nebraska and on to Lincoln, Nebraska. The Junction name was dropped in 1901 although the community continues to celebrate its history each summer in Junction Days. In 1903 a new depot was opened by the railroad. It today serves as a museum celebrating the community's significant military heritage and its disproportionate number of casualties in various wars and most famously in World War II. The depot is one of nine places in Montgomery County on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Montgomery County, Iowa.
Darwin R. Merritt, born in Red Oak on April 12, 1872, graduated third in his class from The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on July 1, 1897. On February 15, 1898, he perished in the explosion that sank the USS Maine (ACR-1) in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. His body was later recovered and interred in Evergreen Cemetery in Red Oak.
The community has had a disproportionate number of casualties in the Civil War and World War II.
In the American Civil War, the area provided more Union troops per capita than any other in the state. Company M (which also included residents from Montgomery County) had 160 casualties among its 250 members; 52 men were killed in action.
Early World War II battles claimed a disproportionate number of soldiers from Red Oak (although the final casualty statistics tend to disprove the oft-repeated statement that Red Oak suffered more losses per capita than any other American community). In the Battle of the Kasserine Pass in February 1943, forty-five soldiers from Red Oak alone were captured or killed. At the time more than 100 telegrams arrived in Red Oak saying that its soldiers were missing in action. In recognition of Red Oak's extraordinary sacrifice, the city's name was given to a "victory ship". The SS Red Oak Victory has become a floating museum in the shipyard where it was built, in Richmond, California.
The old Burlington Northern depot has been transformed into a museum telling this history.
Red Oak is located at (41.011681, -95.227227).
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,742 people, 2,481 households, and 1,475 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,453.7 inhabitants per square mile (561.3/km2). There were 2,887 housing units at an average density of 730.9 per square mile (282.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 0.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.
There were 2,481 households of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.
The median age in the city was 42.2 years. 24.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.2% were from 25 to 44; 26.6% were from 45 to 64; and 20.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,197 people, 2,670 households, and 1,650 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,684.7 people per square mile (650.2/km²). There were 2,985 housing units at an average density of 811.5 per square mile (313.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.42% Caucasian, African American African American (U.S. Census), 0.11% Asian (U.S. Census), 0.50% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.15% of the population.
There were 2,670 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.6% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.2% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.
Age spread: 24.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 83.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,098, and the median income for a family was $37,007. Males had a median income of $28,942 versus $20,047 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,793. About 7.9% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.
The Montgomery County Memorial Hospital is located in Red Oak. MCMH is a modern 25-bed facility with birth to hospice capabilities. MCMH management puts an emphasis on health care for the local community inside the hospital and with programs outside of the hospital.
- Hospital history
Originally began as Red Oak Hospital when Dr. B.F. Gillmor opened a 15-bed hospital in 1920. In 1931 it was renamed the Murphy Memorial Hospital in honor of a bequest of $40,000 from Thomas D. and Ina C. Murphy. In 1941 a 26-bed hospital was built in a new location, with an addition in 1951. In 1961 a long-term care unit, named Highland Acres, was constructed. In 1978 in a special election voters approved of Montgomery County taking ownership of Murphy Memorial Hospital. The facility then became known as Montgomery County Memorial Hospital. In 1989 a new hospital was built and in 1993 a Physicians Center was added.
Points of interest
- Red Oak is the smallest town in Iowa to have had a streetcar system.
- It currently has a transmitter for the Iowa Public television system.
- This community holds a rich history including ties to the Underground Railroad and a wealth of lineage to the American railroad expansion.
- Red Oak is mentioned in Willa Cather's 1912 short story The Bohemian Girl.
- Dennis Ashbaugh painter
- James R. Bennett Secretary of State of Alabama 1993-2003, 2013-2015
- Lou Blonger 1849-1924 Wild West saloonkeeper
- Johnny Carson (1925–2005) entertainer, host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
- Clyde Cessna (1879-1954) Founder of Cessna Aircraft Company
- Thomas Harlan Ellett (1880-1951) New York City architect
- Joni Ernst Republican member of Iowa Senate, junior member of the United States Senate
- Kenneth A. Evans (1898-1970) Republican member of Iowa Senate 1937-45 and Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 1945-1951
- Raymond Hatton (1887-1971) Hollywood Actor
- Elvin Hutchison (1912-2001) Running Back for the Detroit Lions and National Football League official
- John Milton Killits (1858-1938) United States federal judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio from 1910-1928
- James E. Kearney (1884–1977) Roman Catholic bishop
- Dick Kenworthy Major League Baseball third baseman for the Chicago White Sox
- Audra Paul Liegerot, (1906-1968) Wrestled at 95 pounds and pinned all three of his opponents at the Iowa State Invitational meet at Ames, Iowa on Feb. 5, 1921, to become the first individual high school state champion in Iowa.
- John Logan (poet) (1923-1987) Poet and Noted College Professor
- Smith McPherson (1848-1915) Iowa Attorney General from 1881-1885
- Darwin R. Merritt (1872-1898) Lieut. U.S. Navy. Assistant Engineer and one of two officers killed in the explosion that sank The USS Maine (ACR-1) in Havana, Cuba.
- L. Welch Pogue (1899-2003) American aviation attorney and chairman of the now-defunct Civil Aeronautics Board.
- Judi Sheppard Missett Founder of the Jazzercise dance-based group fitness program.
- Stephen Shortridge actor
- Con Starkel (1880-1933) Major League Baseball Pitcher for the Washington Senators
- Nellie Walker (December 8, 1874 – July 10, 1973), sculptor best known for her statue of James Harlan in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol, Washington D.C.
- Fred Lawrence Whipple(1906-2004) Famed Astronomer, creator of the whipple shield and Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University from 1950-1977
- C. Franklin Wilson, started Wilson Concrete in 1905 and manufactured the first reinforced concrete pipe in the United States.
- "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.
- "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
- "Data from the 2010 Census". State Data Center of Iowa. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
- "Victory at Sea," TIME, 1966-3-11.
- Red Oak Home Page, Red Oak Victory Amateur Radio Club. Accessed 2007-09-02.
- "Emmet County Leads in War Dead Ratio," Council Bluffs Nonpareil, p. 2, 1946-01-03 (Montgomery County ranked third among Iowa counties in World War II casualties per capital).
- Rick Atkinson, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, p. 397 (Macmillan 2003) ISBN 0-8050-7448-1.
- SS Red Oak Victory (Victory Ship), National Park Service. Accessed 2007-09-02.
- "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.
- "Montgomery County Memorial Hospital". Home website. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- Garrison, Webb B.; Janice Beck Stock (2000). A treasury of Iowa tales. Rutledge Hill Press. ISBN 1-55853-751-1. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Red Oak, Iowa.|
- Red Oak's Website Portal style website.
- The Red Oak Express Area wide local print and online newspaper.
- City Data Comprehensive Statistical Data and more about Red Oak.
- Red Oak Community School District Local School District Website