Van Meter, Iowa

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Van Meter, Iowa
Motto(s): 
"Tradition with a Vision"[1]
Location of Van Meter, Iowa
Location of Van Meter, Iowa
Coordinates: 41°31′53″N 93°57′19″W / 41.53139°N 93.95528°W / 41.53139; -93.95528Coordinates: 41°31′53″N 93°57′19″W / 41.53139°N 93.95528°W / 41.53139; -93.95528
Country United States
State Iowa
CountyDallas
Area
 • Total2.34 sq mi (6.06 km2)
 • Land2.32 sq mi (6.00 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
Elevation
873 ft (266 m)
Population
 • Total1,484
 • Density634.2/sq mi (244.88/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
50261
Area code(s)515 Exchange: 996
FIPS code19-80445
GNIS feature ID0462534
Websitewww.vanmeteria.gov

Van Meter is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, United States, situated along the Raccoon River. The population was 1,484 at the time of the 2020 census.[3] Van Meter is part of the Des MoinesWest Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Van Meter was laid out as a town in 1869.[4] The city was named for Jacob Rhodes Van Meter and his family, Dutch settlers from Meteren, the Netherlands.[5] Van Meter was incorporated on December 29, 1877.[6]

Rock Island Depot, Van Meter, Iowa

The Van Meter Visitor[edit]

In September and October 1903, there were multiple instances of people claiming to have seen a winged, bat-like creature in and around Van Meter. The roughly nine-foot tall being, which has since been dubbed the Van Meter Visitor, was reported to be able to shoot light from the horn situated on its forehead, and be unaffected by bullets. Clarence Dunn, one of the witnesses, had even made a plaster cast of three-toed footprints it left behind. It was sometimes accompanied by a smaller, similar being. After a community-led confrontation, the being disappeared after about four days, supposedly into the nearby coal mine.[7][8] Claims of witnessing bat-like creatures or phenomena have continued, including into the 2010s.[9]

To commemorate the sightings, a Van Meter Visitor Festival transpires annually around the anniversary of the events.[10][9]

Geography[edit]

Van Meter's longitude and latitude coordinates in decimal form are 41.531505, -93.955338).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.30 square miles (3.37 km2), of which 1.28 square miles (3.32 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[12]

Van Meter is situated west of Des Moines, just south of Interstate 80.

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
YearPop.±%
1880376—    
1890467+24.2%
1900407−12.8%
1910386−5.2%
1920358−7.3%
1930400+11.7%
1940436+9.0%
1950364−16.5%
1960385+5.8%
1970464+20.5%
1980747+61.0%
1990751+0.5%
2000866+15.3%
20101,016+17.3%
20201,484+46.1%
Source:"U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-10-26. and Iowa Data Center
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census[13][3]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[14] of 2010, there were 1,016 people, 382 households, and 280 families residing in the city. The population density was 793.8 inhabitants per square mile (306.5/km2). There were 415 housing units at an average density of 324.2 per square mile (125.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.9% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.6% Asian, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.

There were 382 households, of which 45.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.7% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.09.

The median age in the city was 35.5 years. 31.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.4% were from 25 to 44; 26.4% were from 45 to 64; and 8.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 866 people, 326 households, and 237 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,450.3 people per square mile (557.3/km2). There were 342 housing units at an average density of 572.8 per square mile (220.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.15% White, 0.23% African American, 0.69% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.39% of the population.

There were 326 households, out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.5% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $50,625, and the median income for a family was $59,000. Males had a median income of $37,895 versus $26,023 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,272. About 0.8% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

The Bob Feller Museum opened on June 10, 1995, in honor of Bob Feller, a National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and a native of Van Meter.

On November 11, 2006, Veterans Day, ground was broken for an Iowa Veterans Cemetery at a site located near Van Meter. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack was among those who helped dedicate the cemetery.

Education[edit]

The Van Meter Community School District operates local public schools.[16]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City of Van Meter, Iowa". City of Van Meter, Iowa. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "2020 Census State Redistricting Data". census.gov. United states Census Bureau. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  4. ^ The History of Dallas County, Iowa: Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c. Higginson Book Company. 1879. pp. 483.
  5. ^ "Profile for Van Meter, Iowa, IA". ePodunk. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  6. ^ "Van Meter, Iowa". City-Data,com. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  7. ^ Kilen, Mile (July 1, 2015). "Van Meter remembers 1903 visit from winged monster". Des Moines Register. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  8. ^ Lewis, Chad; Nelson, Kevin Lee; Voss, Noah (2013). The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown. On the Road Publishing. ISBN 0982431465.
  9. ^ a b Cole, Clint (October 2, 2017). "Van Meter Visitor festival keeps the hunt alive". Adel News. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  10. ^ "Van Meter Visitor Festival". Travel Iowa. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  16. ^ "VAN METER" (PDF). Iowa Department of Education. Retrieved 2020-08-30.

External links[edit]