DeWitt, Iowa

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De Witt, Iowa
Aerial view of De Witt
Aerial view of De Witt
Location of De Witt, Iowa
Location of De Witt, Iowa
Coordinates: 41°49′22″N 90°32′34″W / 41.82278°N 90.54278°W / 41.82278; -90.54278Coordinates: 41°49′22″N 90°32′34″W / 41.82278°N 90.54278°W / 41.82278; -90.54278
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Clinton
 • Total 5.98 sq mi (15.49 km2)
 • Land 5.98 sq mi (15.49 km2)
 • Water 00 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 709 ft (216 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 5,322
 • Estimate (2016)[3] 5,233
 • Density 890/sq mi (343.6/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code 52742
Area code(s) 563
FIPS code 19-21180
GNIS feature ID 0455826

De Witt is a city in Clinton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,322 at the 2010 census, which is a 5.2% increase from the 2000 census, making it the fastest growing city in Clinton County.


Buildings along Sixth Avenue

De Witt was platted in 1841.[4] The city started under the name Vandenburg, but was later[5] named after DeWitt Clinton (1769–1828), an early American politician who served as United States Senator and 7th Governor of New York.[6]

Ralph Waldo Emerson gave a lyceum lecture at De Witt in January 1866.[7]


De Witt is located at 41°49′22″N 90°32′34″W / 41.82278°N 90.54278°W / 41.82278; -90.54278 (41.822684, -90.542643).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.98 square miles (15.49 km2), all of it land.[1]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20165,233[3]−1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 5,322 people, 2,208 households, and 1,415 families residing in the city. The population density was 890.0 inhabitants per square mile (343.6/km2). There were 2,306 housing units at an average density of 385.6 per square mile (148.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.1% White, 0.8% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 2,208 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.9% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.99.

The median age in the city was 39.7 years. 25.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.1% were from 25 to 44; 26% were from 45 to 64; and 17.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,720, and the median income for a family was $54,063. Males had a median income of $37,951 versus $25,457 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,717. About 2.8% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.


De Witt is governed by a mayor and five-member council. The mayor is Don Thiltgen[10], and the city council is currently composed of Luanne Smith (First Ward), Steve Hasenmiller (Second Ward), Verlyn Scheckel Dawn Marcus (At-Large), (At-Large) and Kurt Ketelsen (At-Large).[11]


De Witt is served by the Union Pacific along the south side. Until 1971 The Milwaukee Road entered DeWitt from the north and ran along 12th Street before crossing the tracks of the former Chicago & Northwestern south into Scott County. The tracks between DeWitt and Eldridge Junction were abandoned 1931.[12] The Milwaukee Road rail between Maquoketa and De Witt was abandoned by 1970. What was the Chicago & Northwestern's Depot was destroyed by fire around 1969 and never rebuilt. The Depot for the Milwaukee Road's Depot was at the northeast corner of 7th and 12th streets. It was converted into commercial use.

Area Highways[edit]

De Witt is served by U.S. Highways 30 & 61. At one time the highways met at the northwest corner of the City Park to the north of the city center business district. By 1980 both highways were moved to new alignments around the south and west sides of De Witt. This was first suggested in a plan from the early 1960s.


DeWitt is home to the Central DeWitt Community School District. In addition to DeWitt, the nearby cities of Grand Mound, Low Moor, and Welton are also a part the school district.[13] Due to a referendum in November 2015, the name of the district was changed from Central Clinton Community School District. But is now referred to as Central De Witt in 2018. The District was formed in 1958 with the schools in DeWitt, Grand Mound, Welton and Low Moor. The 9 through 12 classes were moved to the new High School on the east side of DeWitt. Kindergarten through 4th remained at the Elementary School in DeWitt. DeWitt students of 5th or 6th were bussed to either Grand Mound or Welton. If a student was at either Grand Mound or Welton, they were bused to the other school for the other. This was changed so the student would go the same school for the 6th grade. After the new elementary school was opened in DeWitt in 1970, students stayed in their local school until 6th grade. The older DeWitt Elementary becoming a jr. high with 6 through 8th grades. The outlying schools were closed by the late 1970s. St. Joseph Catholic Church operates a K-8 school. The Junior and High School portions was closed in the 1960s. The mascot for St. Joseph School is the Eagle.

Ekstrand Elementary[edit]

Ekstrand Elementary School is located in DeWitt and serves students in pre-kindergarten through grade 3. Built in 1970, the school is named for former principal and district superintendent Carl Ekstrand.[14]

Central Intermediate School[edit]

Located in DeWitt and attached to the middle and high school. The middle school was built in 2011 as part of an extensive expansion project to the high school. The Intermediate School houses grades 4-6.

Central Middle School[edit]

Located in DeWitt, and attached to the high school and intermediate building, the middle school houses grades 7 and 8.[15]

Central High School[edit]

Located in DeWitt, the present Central DeWitt High School houses grades nine through twelve.[16] The first high school in DeWitt was built in 1928 and was a total of 3 stories tall with the cafeteria and school gymnasium on the basement level, teachers lounge and offices on the first level, the majority of classrooms on the second level, and a few minor classes and equipment storage on the third level. When a new school was planned and built in the autumn of 1959, the three story building was reconfigured into a junior high. By the late 1980s it was decided that the junior high school building was becoming too costly to maintain and was too expensive to bring up to code. It also lacked certain necessities including handicap accessibility. The school also posed a danger due to the presence of asbestos throughout the building. It was demolished by 1995 after a new junior high/intermediate school was built adjoining the high school. The new school's need for increased space has resulted in a recent $1.891 million addition. Construction of the new facilities began in November 2007, and includes a new cafeteria, remodeled kitchen space, and new alternative classroom. In 2010-2011, another expansion project was started, creating a new middle school, new high school offices, several new classrooms, renovation of the old high school, a new library that attaches to the Intermediate, Middle and High school, a world-class performing arts center, and new athletic facilities.[17]


Central DeWitt High School won state championships in boys basketball in 1981, girls basketball in 1994, girls track and field in 1990 and 2002,[18] and boys cross country in 2000 and 2001. During that two-year stretch, the Saber Boys' Cross Country team went 254-0, winning the team championship in an incredible 20 consecutive meets.[19] They have a great rivalry with the Maquoketa Cardinals, especially in football. The school's mascot is the Saber, represented graphically by a shield, two swords, and a saber-toothed tiger.


The DeWitt Observer serves as DeWitt's primary local newspaper. In addition to DeWitt, The Observer also serves much of rural eastern Clinton County.[20]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  4. ^ Wolfe, Patrick B. (1911). Wolfe's History of Clinton County, Iowa, Volume 1. B. F. Bowen. p. 311. 
  5. ^ Pratt, LeRoy. "The Counties and Courthouses of Iowa". Clinton County IaGenWeb. IAGenWeb. Archived from the original on 9 September 2004. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  6. ^ 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. 64. 
  7. ^ Tom F. Wright (2013). The Cosmopolitan Lyceum: Lecture Culture and the Globe in Nineteenth-Century America. University of Massachusetts Press. p. 7. 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ City of DeWitt Elected Officials, 2008, accessed 2008-12-22.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Central Community School District Home Page
  14. ^ Ekstrand Elementary Home Page
  15. ^ Central-Clinton Middle School - Home Page
  16. ^ Central-Clinton High School - Main Page
  17. ^ Central will show off new high school addition
  18. ^ "Track Records" (PDF). Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. IGHSAU.ORG. 
  19. ^ A Look Back at 10 Years of Observer Sports
  20. ^ The DeWitt Observer

External links[edit]