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Boone, Iowa

Boone, Iowa
Stoll Bottling Works Building in Boone
Stoll Bottling Works Building in Boone
Location of Boone, Iowa
Location of Boone, Iowa
Country USA
State  Iowa
County Boone
Township Des Moines
Incorporated 1849
 • Mayor John Slight
 • Total 9.02 sq mi (23.36 km2)
 • Land 9.02 sq mi (23.36 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 1,135 ft (346 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 12,661
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 12,546
 • Density 1,403.7/sq mi (542.0/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 50036-50037
Area code(s) 515
FIPS code 19-07480
GNIS feature ID 0454753

Boone ( ) is a city in Des Moines Township, and county seat of Boone County, Iowa, United States.[4] It is the principal city of the Boone, Iowa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Boone County. This micropolitan statistical area, along with the Ames, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area comprise the larger 'Ames-Boone, Iowa Combined Statistical Area. The population of the city was 12,661 at the 2010 census.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Transportation 4
  • Economy 5
  • Notable people 6
  • Traditions 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Map of the Boone area from 1908, showing the railroads and coal mines (shown in red) of the region.

Coal mining played an important part in the early history of the Boone area. Local blacksmiths were already mining coal from the banks of Honey Creek south of what became Boone in 1849.

Boone was platted as a town in 1865 by John Insley Blair. It was incorporated the following year, when the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company railroad station was built there. The town was originally named "Montana";[5] it was renamed to Boone in 1871.[6] The nearby town of Boonesboro was also chartered in 1866; Boonseboro was annexed to Boone in 1887.[6]

Commercial mining was spurred by the arrival of the railroad. In 1867, Canfield and Taylor opened a mine just west of town. Their mine shaft was 242 feet deep, and they hauled coal to the railroad by wagon. In 1874, a railroad spur was built to the mine. This mine was taken over by the railroad, and operated for 30 years. There are were coal seams in the Boone area, the upper vein, about 3 feet thick, was always worked using longwall mining, while the lower vein was always mined using room and pillar mining.[7] In 1912, United Mine Workers Local 869 in Boone had 554 members, close to 10% of the population at the time.[8]

The first Casey's General Store was also founded in Boone, Iowa in 1968.

The "Twister Hill" scene where Bill Harding and Jo Harding try and drop Dorothy amid a tornado in the Warner Bros. 1996 film Twister was filmed here.


Boone is located at (42.061127, −93.886057).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.02 square miles (23.36 km2), all of it land.[1]

Ledges State Park is located four miles south of Boone and is a popular destination.


2010 census

At the 2010 census,[2] there were 12,661 people, 5,380 households and 3,278 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,403.7 inhabitants per square mile (542.0/km2). There were 5,917 housing units at an average density of 656.0 per square mile (253.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.7% White, 0.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.

There were 5,380 households of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.1% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age was 38.1 years. 23.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25% were from 25 to 44; 26.1% were from 45 to 64; and 16.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.

2000 census

At the 2000 census,[12] there were 12,803 people, 5,313 households and 3,363 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,433.9 per square mile (553.6/km²). There were 5,585 housing units at an average density of 625.5 per square mile (241.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.34% White, 0.32% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.35% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.

There were 5,313 households of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% 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 2.94.

24.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median household income was $43,256. Males had a median income of $32,106 and females $22,119. The per capita income was $22,611. About 5.4% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.


Boone is located on US Highway 30. The original Lincoln Highway ran through the center of town, but a new 4-lane highway was built in the late 1960s that bypassed the center of Boone to the south. There is also a network of paved country roads radiating out in all directions.

Boone is served by the mainline of the Union Pacific Railroad which purchased the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad (C&NW) in 1995. Boone was a division and crew change point on the railroad under the Chicago & Northwestern and some of that business remains today. There is a moderate-sized rail yard to the east of the downtown area. The locomotives no longer sound their horns in the town proper.

Boone was also the exact midpoint on the Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern Railroad, an electric interurban line converted to diesel in 1955 after a flood on the Des Moines River devastated the Fraser hydroelectric power plant that supplied power to the railroad. It connected with the C&NW downtown. It was purchased by the C&NW in 1968 and subsequently abandoned. The western part of the line to Fraser has been resurrected as the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad, a tourist line.

The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad also ran a branch line into Boone from the southeast. It likewise connected with the C&NW. The line was trimmed back to Luther in the late 1960s and completely abandoned a few years later.


The grocery chain Fareway is based in Boone.

  • Unemployment rate
4.3 (7.8% USA)
  • Recent job growth
-0.48% (-0.12% USA)
  • Future job growth
33.14% (31.25% USA)
  • Sales taxes
7.00% (6.80% USA)
  • Income per capita
$23,283 ($27,067 USA)
  • Household income
$46,749 ($52,954)[13]

Notable people


Pufferbilly Days, an annual event celebrating Boone's railroad heritage, is held every year the week after Labor Day and is one of Iowa’s top five community festivals.


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Bird's eye view of the city of Montana, Boone Co., Iowa 1868". Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "County History". Boone County, Iowa. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ James H. Lees, History of Coal Mining in Iowa, Chapter III of Annual Report, 1908, Iowa Geological Survey, 1909, pages 575–579.
  8. ^ Tally Sheet, Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Convention of the United Mine Workers of America Jan. 16 – Feb. 2, 1912, Indianapolis; Volume 2, page 182A.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  13. ^ [2]

External links

  • Official Boone City website
  • Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
  • magazine photosVintage Life
  • City Data Detailed statistical data and more about Boone

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