1886 Peabody City Hall, in 2010
Location of Anamosa, Iowa
|• Total||2.61 sq mi (6.76 km2)|
|• Land||2.60 sq mi (6.73 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)|
|Elevation||830 ft (253 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||5,625|
|• Density||2,128.1/sq mi (821.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0454176|
What is now Anamosa was founded as the settlement of Buffalo Forks in 1838 and incorporated as Lexington in 1856. Lexington was a popular name for towns at that time, so when Lexington chose to become incorporated as a city in 1877, the name was changed to Anamosa to avoid mail delivery confusion. There are many stories on how Anamosa was chosen as a name. Some believe it was named for a local Native American girl named Anamosa, meaning "white fawn", while others say it means "You walk with me."
The romantic origin of the naming of the town of Anamosa comes from its early history. A Native American family was passing through town in 1842. The family stayed at the Ford House. The little girl, a Native American Princess, named Anamosa, endeared herself to the townspeople and following the family's departure from town, local citizens decided to name their town after her.
The Wapsipinicon River flows through Anamosa. According to legend, a Native American maiden and her lover threw themselves off a bluff overlooking the Wapsipinicon River; one was named Wapsi, the other Pinicon. Origins of this legend are unconfirmed.
Anamosa's longitude and latitude coordinates in decimal form are 42.108954, -91.281476. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.61 square miles (6.76 km2), of which, 2.60 square miles (6.73 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,533 people, 1,941 households, and 1,163 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,128.1 inhabitants per square mile (821.7/km2). There were 2,105 housing units at an average density of 809.6 per square mile (312.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.1% White, 6.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.
There were 1,941 households of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.4% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.1% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.87.
The median age in the city was 39.6 years. 19.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.8% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 17.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 56.8% male and 43.2% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,494 people, 1,750 households, and 1,135 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,453.4 people per square mile (947.0/km²). There were 1,884 housing units at an average density of 841.3 per square mile (324.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.70% White, 6.06% African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.69% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.17% of the population.
There were 1,750 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.89.
Age spread: 19.7% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 35.5% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 145.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 158.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,284, and the median income for a family was $39,702. Males had a median income of $31,938 versus $25,248 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,585. About 7.1% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.
Landmarks and industry
Anamosa is home to the Anamosa State Penitentiary, formerly known as the Iowa Men's Reformatory, a medium/maximum security prison that is the largest in Iowa, housing over 1,200 male inmates. Anamosa State Penitentiary was home to infamous criminal John Wayne Gacy. It was established in 1872 and constructed from locally quarried Anamosa Limestone in the style of a castle, inspiring its nickname as "The White Palace of the West". The prison grounds also house the Anamosa State Penitenitiary Museum, which contains artifacts and exhibits on prison life from throughout its history.
Motorcycles are a common sight in Anamosa. Anamosa is home to J&P Cycles who supply aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories. In addition to J&P Cycles the National Motorcycle Museum, which features over 300 vintage motorcycles, including the original "Captain America bike" from the movie Easy Rider.[dubious ]
Anamosa was the birthplace and burial place of the regionalist artist Grant Wood; he is buried in Riverside Cemetery, under a large monument of a recumbent lion. Visitors can view a collection of satirical interpretations of his most famous work American Gothic at the Grant Wood Art Gallery on Main Street.
The unincorporated town of Stone City is located a few miles northwest of Anamosa and was the location for some of Grant Wood's paintings. Historic buildings built of local stone are still standing. The quarry that supplied the limestone still exists today as Weber Stone Company.
Wapsipinicon State Park is located on the southwest edge of the city. The Hale Bridge is located inside of the Wapsipinicon Park. The Iowa Army National Guard flew the three spans of the Hale Bridge from the Olin/Hale staging areas to the new home across the Wapsipinicon River at the Wapsipinicon State Park in Anamosa, Iowa by helicopter.
Controversy arose in Anamosa in the 2000s over the redistricting of election wards in the city. Because the boundaries of the city's four wards were drawn to encompass equal numbers of residents, and because the inmates of the Anamosa State Penitentiary — who are ineligible to vote — were counted among the population of the second ward, the voting population of the second ward was significantly smaller than that of any of the other three wards. Consequently, the power of each vote in the second ward was much greater than the power of a vote in any of the city's other wards. In 2007, city residents voted to end the system of wards; since 2008, all city council elections have been at-large.
Edmund Booth- Deaf Pioneer who helped establish the town of Anamosa and served as editor for the Anamosa Eureka. He later purchased the newspaper.
- Sarah Corpstein, Miss Iowa USA 2006
- Clem F. Kimball, Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
- Don Norton, (1938–1997), American Football League San Diego Chargers' receiver
- Lawrence Schoonover, American novelist
- Grant Wood, artist
- Marshal Yanda, (born 1984), Baltimore Ravens starting lineman
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- Robert McClain Corbit History of Jones County, Iowa: past and present, Volume 1 S. J. Clarke publishing co., 1910
- Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 37.
- History of Jones County: Past & Present, Iowa By Robert McClain Corbit, Chicago:S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1910
- "Boot Hill Cemetery". Billion Graves. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
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- Peck & Dolch 2001, p. 260.
-  Archived March 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
-  Archived November 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- Roberts, Sam. Census Bureau;s Counting of Prisoners Benefits Some Rural Voting Districts. The New York Times, 2008-10-23. Accessed 2009-12-03.
- Phillips, Michelle. Voters Eliminate Wards in Anamosa Election Archived July 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. Anamosa Journal-Eureka, 2007-11-08. Accessed 2009-12-03.
- Biographical Sketch of Clem F. Kimball
- "Historical Sports Records". Anamosa Community School District. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Marshal Yanda". NFL. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
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