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Emmetsburg, Iowa
—  City  —
Location of Emmetsburg, Iowa
Coordinates: 43°6′40″N 94°40′55″W / 43.11111°N 94.68194°W / 43.11111; -94.68194
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Palo Alto
 - Total 3.9 sq mi (10.2 km2)
 - Land 3.8 sq mi (9.8 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 1,237 ft (377 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 3,958
 - Density 1,046.9/sq mi (404.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 50536
Area code(s) 712
FIPS code 19-25590
GNIS feature ID 0456375

Emmetsburg is a city in Palo Alto County, Iowa, United States. The population was 3,958 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Palo Alto County[1]. Emmetsburg is home to a campus of Iowa Lakes Community College. Emmetsburg was named one of the top 100 places to live in the United States by's "America's Top 100 Places to Live for 2007." Emmetsburg is located around the southern bay of Five Island Lake. The community is served by KEMB-LP FM, a low power community radio station.



Five Island Lake at sunset

Emmetsburg is located at 43°6′40″N 94°40′55″W / 43.11111°N 94.68194°W / 43.11111; -94.68194 (43.110996, -94.681921)[2].

The city lies just to the east of the Des Moines River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.2 km²), of which, 3.8 square miles (9.8 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (4.06%) is water.

Government and politics

Early mayors of Emmetsburg: M.L. Brown, E.J. Harthorn, Geo H. Carr, F. Joyce, J.C. Davies, A.L. Ormsby, Thos. Moncrief, B.E. Kelly, E.S. Ormsby, C.E. Cohoon, T.J. Prouty, J.S. Atkinson, L. Stuehmer, Thos. Shea.[1]

The current mayor is John Schad.[3]


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 3,958 people, 1,620 households, and 941 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,046.9 people per square mile (404.3/km²). There were 1,831 housing units at an average density of 484.3/sq mi (187.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.59% White, 0.08% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.13% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.

There were 1,620 households out of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 13.9% from 18 to 24, 21.6% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 22.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,520, and the median income for a family was $44,554. Males had a median income of $29,830 versus $20,800 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,599. About 6.9% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.

Irish heritage

Emmetsburg was named after Irish nationalist Robert Emmet[5] and is a Sister City to Dublin, Ireland due to its rich Irish history. The city hosts many festivities the weekend of or following St. Patrick's Day, including a parade, and a member of the Irish government. The St Patrick's Day celebration is the largest celebration of the entire year.

Notable natives


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ Welcome from Mayor, Emmetsburg. Accessed 2008-08-11.
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ "A Small Town Struggles to Preserve Its Irish Heritage". Irish America Magazine Sept/Oct. 1993.  

External links

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