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Marshalltown, Iowa
—  City  —
Location in Iowa
Coordinates: 42°2′30″N 92°54′52″W / 42.04167°N 92.91444°W / 42.04167; -92.91444Coordinates: 42°2′30″N 92°54′52″W / 42.04167°N 92.91444°W / 42.04167; -92.91444
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Marshall
 - Mayor Gene Beach (R)
 - Total 19.04 sq mi (46.7 km2)
 - Land 19.04 sq mi (46.7 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 942 ft (287 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 26,009
 Density 1,344.4/sq mi (519.09/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 50158
Area code(s) 641
FIPS code 19-49755
GNIS feature ID 0458824

Marshalltown is a city in Marshall County, Iowa, United States. It is the county seat of Marshall County[1] and the home of Marshalltown Community College. The population was 26,009 at the 2000 census.



Founded in 1853 by Henry Anson[2], it was named after Marshall, Michigan. Because a Marshall, Iowa already existed, the town was named Marshalltown.


Marshalltown is located at 42°2′30″N 92°54′52″W / 42.04167°N 92.91444°W / 42.04167; -92.91444 (42.041742, 92.914580)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.04 square miles (46.7 km²) in Central Marshall County. 19.0 square miles (46.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.11%) is water. Neighboring counties include Hardin and Grundy to the North, Tama County to the east, Jasper to the south, and Story County to the west.

Marshalltown Community College is located at the southern edge of town near the junction of US Highway 30 and Iowa Highway 14.


U.S. Highway 30 bypasses the town to the south, while Iowa Highway 14 runs through the center of town. An expressway, Iowa Highway 330, runs to Des Moines.

Marshalltown has a local bus service (Marshalltown Municipal Transit or MMT), taxicab services, shuttle car service to Des Moines International Airport[citation needed], and is also served by Trailways Coach Nationwide.

A municipal airport serves the county approximately four miles north of town. The closest commercial flights are in Des Moines, 53 miles to the southwest.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 981
1870 3,218 228.0%
1880 6,240 93.9%
1890 8,914 42.9%
1900 11,544 29.5%
1910 13,374 15.9%
1920 15,731 17.6%
1930 17,373 10.4%
1940 19,240 10.7%
1950 19,821 3.0%
1960 22,521 13.6%
1970 26,219 16.4%
1980 26,938 2.7%
1990 25,178 −6.5%
2000 26,009 3.3%

As of the Census[4] of 2000, there were 26,009 people, 10,175 households, and 6,593 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,442.7 people per square mile (557.0/km²). There were 10,857 housing units at an average density of 602.2/sq mi (232.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.79% White, 2.34% African American, 0.37% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 10.57% from other races, and 7.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 30.55% of the population.

There were 10,175 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 23.0% 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 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,688, and the median income for a family was $45,315. Males had a median income of $32,800 versus $23,835 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,113. About 8.8% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.




  • Fakespace (A Mechdyne Company) - immersive, networked and collaborative visualization systems
  • Fisher Controls - manufacturer of process control valves and accessories
  • Lennox - manufacturer of furnaces and air-conditioners
  • The Marshalltown Company - manufacturer of American tools for many construction and archaeological applications
  • RACOM Corporation - Wireless voice, data and video communications for the Public Safety Industry
  • Swift & Company - meatpacking plant
  • Wolfe Clinic - Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists

Sister Cities

Marshalltown has two official sister cities. These are Minami-Alps in the Yamanashi prefecture of Japan and Budyonnovsk in Stavropol Krai, Russia.

The unofficial sister city of Marshalltown is Villachuato, Mexico. There is a symbiotic relationship between Marshalltown and Villachuato. Villachuato supplies about half of the workers to the Swift meatpacking plant.[5] In 2001, then Mayor Floyd Harthun of Marshalltown saw firsthand the degree of interdependence between the two communities when he visited their sister city Villachauto. In the mayor's words, "I was being self serving. We need people." In addition to noting that about a third of the license plates in Villachuato were from Marshall County, Iowa, he also learned of the essential role of money sent by Villachuatans living in Marshalltown in providing electricity, underground water, road paving projects, and in restoring the town church and town plaza.</ref>


Notable residents

Illegal Immigration and the Swift & Company Plant

In 1996, the Swift meatpacking plant was raided by the INS and 148 Latino undocumented workers were arrested and deported.[5][9]

On December 12, 2006 the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) staged a coordinated predawn raid at the Swift & Co. meat packing plant in Marshalltown and at 5 other Swift plants in western states, interviewing workers and removing hundreds in buses.[10]

The raid stemmed from a months long investigation into identity theft by illegal immigrants centered around the plant.[11] Of the 90 workers arrested by ICE in Marshalltown, 2 were charged with identity theft.[12] The rest were charged with administrative violations of immigration laws and 65 people were charged for identity theft and forgery.[13]


Marshalltown has 6 public elementary schools — Anson, Fisher, Franklin, Hoglan, Rogers, and Woodbury. St. Mary's and St. Henry's Schools (Marshalltown Area Catholic Schools, and Marshalltown Christian School also provide private, religious elementary school education from preschool through 6th grade[14]. Lenihan Intermediate School houses 5th and 6th graders; Seventh and 8th graders attend Miller Middle School. Marshalltown High School is home to the city's roughly 1700 9th through 12th grade students.

Fisher Elementary enrolls 346 students anywhere from K-4th grade. They currently employ 51 staff members.

Franklin Elementary was built in 1913. They currently enroll 400 students. They currently employ 60 staff members.

    • Note, the original Franklin Elementary was built in 1913 as stated above, however, that building was destroyed and

another was made in its place, also called Franklin Elementary. This building was built in the early 1990s and was opened in the 1995-1996 school year.

Lenihan Intermediate was built in 1965 originally as a Catholic high school. Construction cost $775,000. It was designed to house 300 students. After five years in operation the administrators of Lenihan High School found it was financially impossible to continue providing quality education for their young people. At the same time the public school in Marshalltown was overcrowded with students at the junior high level. The solution decided upon by both parties was to sell Lenihan to the public school and to make the school a 7, 8, 9 junior high. The transaction was completed and Lenihan Junior High became a reality in the fall of 1970. The Catholic school name, mascot and school colors were all retained in the new public junior high school.

The need for additional space at Lenihan Junior High resulted in the construction of six rooms on the east side of the building in 1975. The addition consisted of three regular classrooms, an art room and two industrial arts facilities.

In the late 1970’s Lenihan Junior High’s enrollment was in the 470’s but then declined to a total of approximately 400 students. In 1984 the 6th grade was added to the school which briefly put the enrollment over 500. However, with declining enrollment the school housed between 400-450 students in grades 6-9 in the later part of the 1980’s. In the spring of 1988, the school board voted to close Lenihan at the end of the 1989 school year. An increase in population coupled with troubles equally distributing resources between two middle schools—Miller Middle School and Anson Middle School—led to a reorganization and unification of grades 5 and above within the city. Anson Middle School was closed as a school and now houses the district's Building and Grounds Department. Lenihan Junior High after its closure had served in various administrative functions, but was renovated to become Lenihan Intermediate School which opened for the 2006-2007 school year.[15]


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ SR 19 ...honoring the City of Marshalltown on its sesquicentennial
  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. ^ a b "Unofficial sister cities: Meatpacking labor migration between Villachauto, Mexico, and Marshalltown, Iowa" Mark A. Grey and Anne C. Woodrick
  6. ^ McMahon_and_Judge
  7. ^ Dorsett, 15; Knickerbocker, 26-7.
  8. ^ "Cap Anson". Society for American Baseball Research Baseball Biography Project. Retrieved on 2009-06-01.
  9. ^ Preparing the Way: Hispanic Ministry and Community transformation in Marshalltown, Iowa Anne C. Woodrick
  10. ^ "U.S. Raids 6 Meat Plants in ID Case", article New York Times by Julia Preston, December 13, 2006
  11. ^
  12. ^ ID theft probe began in MarshalltownPHILIP BRASHER, Des Moines Register, December 13, 2006
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links


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