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Anamosa, Iowa
—  City  —
Location of Anamosa, Iowa
Coordinates: 42°6′32″N 91°16′53″W / 42.10889°N 91.28139°W / 42.10889; -91.28139
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Jones
 - Total 2.2 sq mi (5.8 km2)
 - Land 2.2 sq mi (5.8 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 830 ft (253 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 5,494
 - Density 2,453.4/sq mi (947.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 52205
Area code(s) 319
FIPS code 19-01990
GNIS feature ID 0454176

Anamosa is a city in Jones County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,494 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Jones County[1].

Anamosa is part of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area.



What is now Anamosa was founded as the settlement of Buffalo Forks in 1838 and incorporated as Lexington in 1856. Lexington was a very 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 different stories on how Anamosa was chosen as a name, but all center around a local Native American girl named Anamosa, which means white fawn. Interestingly enough, a deaf man who ran, wrote for and edited the local newspaper (The Eureka) was the one who suggested the name Anamosa. His name was Edmund Booth and was a prominent leader in the national deaf community at the time. In Anamosa's early days, many important buildings such as the post office and the church, sat on the street which used to be land Booth owned. When Booth died in 1905, every store in town closed to mourn his death.

The romantic origin of the naming of the town of Anamosa comes from its early history. A Native American family passing through town in 1842. The family stayed at the Ford House. The little girl, named Anamosa, endeared herself to the townspeople and following the family's departure from town, local citizens decided to name their town after her.[2]

Legend of the name of the river that flows through Anamosa—Wapsinicon: A Native American maiden and her lover threw themselves off a bluff overlooking the Wapsipinicon River. Legend has it that one was named Wapsi, the other Pinicon. Origins of this legend are unconfirmed.

Anamosa was named the Pumpkin Capital of Iowa by the Iowa State Legislature in 1993 and subsequently hosts Pumpkinfest, a pumpkin festival and weigh-off, each October.


Anamosa is located at 42°6′32″N 91°16′53″W / 42.10889°N 91.28139°W / 42.10889; -91.28139 (42.108954, -91.281476)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.8 km²), of which, 2.2 square miles (5.8 km²) of it is land and 0.44% is water.

The Wapsipinicon River runs through the city of Anamosa.

Anamosa is served by U.S. Route 151 and Iowa Highway 64.

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. It was established in 1872 and constructed from locally quarried white 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. Since 1979, it has been the birthplace and home of J&P Cycles, a company which sells aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories through catalogs, the internet, and its Anamosa retail showroom. Anamosa is also home to the National Motorcycle Museum, which features many vintage motorcycles, including the only original Captain America bike from the movie Easy Rider.

Anamosa was the birthplace of the regionalist artist Grant Wood; he is buried there as well, in Riverside Cemetery, under a large monument of a recumbent lion. Customers can purchase reproductions of his work or 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. Numerous historic buildings built of local stone are still standing.

Wapsipinicon State Park is located on the southwest edge of the city.

As of March 8, 2006, 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.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 889
1870 2,083 134.3%
1880 2,083 0%
1890 2,078 −0.2%
1900 2,891 39.1%
1910 2,983 3.2%
1920 2,881 −3.4%
1930 3,579 24.2%
1940 4,069 13.7%
1950 3,910 −3.9%
1960 4,616 18.1%
1970 4,389 −4.9%
1980 4,958 13.0%
1990 5,100 2.9%
2000 5,494 7.7%
Total Population of Iowa's Incorporated Places 1850-2000

As of the census[4] 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/sq mi (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.

In the city the population was spread out with 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.


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.[5] In 2007, city residents voted to end the system of wards; since 2008, all city council elections have been at-large.[6]

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ History of Jones County: Past & Present, Iowa By Robert McClain Corbit, Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1910
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ Roberts, Sam. Census Bureau;s Counting of Prisoners Benefits Some Rural Voting Districts. The New York Times, 2008-10-23. Accessed 2009-12-03.
  6. ^ Phillips, Michelle. Voters Eliminate Wards in Anamosa Election. Anamosa Journal-Eureka, 2007-11-08. Accessed 2009-12-03.

External links



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