|Motto: Families Come First|
Location of Sheldon, Iowa
|• Mayor||Katricia Meendering|
|• Total||4.50 sq mi (11.65 km2)|
|• Land||4.50 sq mi (11.65 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,427 ft (435 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||5,119|
|• Density||1,152.9/sq mi (445.1/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0461558|
|Website||City of Sheldon|
History and culture
Sheldon had its start in the year 1873 by the building of the Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad through that territory. It was named for Israel Sheldon, a railroad promoter. It was early a strategic location on the rail for businesses from as far away as Minneapolis and Omaha.
Today, the city is at the crossroads of Iowa Highway 60 and U.S. Highway 18. The city's first financial institution, the Sheldon State Bank, closed in 1903. In 1961, the city made headlines when it was revealed that Burnice Geiger had embezzled more than two million dollars from the Sheldon National Bank, operated by her father. Geiger worked there as a cashier and was the bank's largest stockholder. She was sentenced to fifteen years in prison in the same year, but paroled in 1966. Today, the city is most known for its annual display of marigolds and the moniker of its local schools' athletic teams - the Orabs. The name stands for the school colors orange and black. Sheldon High School also hosts the Sheldon High School Summer Theatre program. Sheldon is the home of Northwest Iowa Community College and the Carnegie Library, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
In popular culture
Sheldon, Iowa was briefly mentioned in the Jack Kerouac novel On the Road. (Shelton, Iowa is mentioned on page 18 as the place that Eddie hates ever since he stepped out on the platform to smoke, and references Davenport and the Rock Island train, so this is most likely a fictional town near the Quad Cities.) Sheldon was also mentioned on page 13 of the Tim O'Brien book If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home: "Together we watched trombones and crepe-paper floats move down mainstreet. The bands and floats represented Sheldon, Tyler, Sibley, Jackson, and a dozen other neighboring towns".
Ken Snyder, pastor of the Parkview Assembly of God in Sheldon, self-released a record album entitled Ken: By Request Only in the 1970s. The record jacket—featuring Snyder in outdated hair and clothes—has made the LP popular on websites that highlight unusual-looking album covers.
Sheldon is located at (43.181180, -95.848123).
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,188 people, 2,213 households, and 1,300 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,152.9 inhabitants per square mile (445.1/km2). There were 2,365 housing units at an average density of 525.6 per square mile (202.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.7% White, 0.6% African American, 1.1% Asian, 3.7% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.5% of the population.
There were 2,213 households of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.3% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.96.
The median age in the city was 39.4 years. 23.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.1% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 18.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.7% male and 49.3% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,914 people, 2,006 households, and 1,285 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,119.6 people per square mile (432.2/km²). There were 2,126 housing units at an average density of 484.4 per square mile (187.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.48% White, 0.43% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.77% Asian, 0.81% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.56% of the population.
There were 2,006 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.96.
Age spread: 23.6% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,058, and the median income for a family was $43,346. Males had a median income of $31,026 versus $20,604 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,254. About 3.6% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.
Sheldon is served by the Sheldon Community Schools, which include Sheldon High School. There are two private schools, both of which offer preschool services through the eighth grade, the Sheldon Christian School and the St. Patrick's Catholic School.
- William D. Boies, lawyer and politician
- Tom Brands (born 1968) gold medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Olympic Games, head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa
- Terry Brands (born 1968) bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Olympic Games
- Eugene Burdick (1918–1965) writer
- A.G. Kruger (born 1979) competitor at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games
- Dennis Marion Schnurr (born 1948) Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio
- Michael J. Streit (born 1950) former Iowa Supreme Court justice
- George Kelly (psychologist) (1905–1967) American educational and existentialist psychologist.
Iowa Information, Inc., publishers of the Sheldon Mail-Sun and The NorthWest Iowa REVIEW. The NW Iowa Review has been named the state's Newspaper of the Year 13 times, and named the best weekly in the United States by the National Newspaper Association from 2000 to 2005, and again in 2007.
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- Past and Present of O'Brien and Osceola Counties, Iowa, Volume 1. B. F. Bowen. 1914. p. 356.
- History of Western Iowa, Its Settlement and Growth. Western Publishing Company. 1882. p. 359.
- "Sheldon (Iowa) State Bank Suspends.". New York Times. November 5, 1903.
- "Demolished bank holds story of great American heist". KTIV. February 28, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
- Moody, Sid (February 22, 1961). "Burnice Geiger's incredible lie, and how she lived with it". Ocala Star-Banner (Google News). Retrieved August 5, 2014.
- Janson, Donald (January 20, 1961). "COMPANY STUDIED IN IOWA SHORTAGE". New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
- "2-MILLION THEFT SHUTS IOWA BANK;". New York Times. Associated Press. January 18, 1961. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
- "IOWA EMBEZZLER IS GIVEN 15 YEARS". New York Times. February 18, 1961. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
- "Iowa Woman Who Robbed Father's Bank to Be Paroled". New York Times. July 1, 1966. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
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- "Sheldon Community Schools". Sheldon Community Schools. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "Sheldon Christian School". Sheldon Christian School. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "St. Patrick's Catholic School". St. Patrick's Catholic School. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "NWICC". Northwest Iowa Community College. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "William Dayton Boies". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- Kreidler, Mark (March 19, 2008). "Iowa wrestlers complete long journey to the top". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Robbins, Liz (June 24, 2000). "OLYMPICS; Wrestler Two Victories From Dream". New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "PAPERS OF EUGENE L. BURDICK". University of Iowa Libraries. c. 2003. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- Pautsch, Brad (August 3, 2012). "Kruger finishes 25th in Olympic hammer throw". KTIV. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Moss, Meredith (December 24, 2009). "Schnurr succeeds Pilarczyk as archbishop". Springfield News-Sun. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "Judicial Branch Chapter 3" (PDF). Iowa Government. p. 7. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- "George Alexander Kelly". JRank Psychology Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
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