Waverly, Iowa: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Waverly Iowa
—  City  —
Waverly, Iowa
Location of Waverly, Iowa
Coordinates: 42°43′36″N 92°28′31″W / 42.72667°N 92.47528°W / 42.72667; -92.47528
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Bremer
 - Total 11.5 sq mi (29.7 km2)
 - Land 11.2 sq mi (28.9 km2)
 - Water 0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2)
Elevation 912 ft (278 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 8,968
 - Density 803.4/sq mi (310.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 50677
Area code(s) 319
FIPS code 19-82875
GNIS feature ID 0462757

Waverly is a city in Bremer County, Iowa, United States. The population was 8,968 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Bremer County[1] and is part of the WaterlooCedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The sister city of Waverly is the German city of Eisenach, which is famous for the Wartburg castle. Waverly is also the home of Wartburg College which is named after this castle.


Early Waverly history


Indian reservation

The first permanent residents of Waverly were settled there against their will. Because of their alleged assistance given to Chief Black Hawk during the Blackhawk War of 1832, the Winnebago were forced to cede their lands east of the Mississippi and to move to Neutral Ground in what is now northeastern Iowa. They were to receive $270,000 ($10,000 per year for 27 years) and were required to surrender several of their tribesmen accused of murdering whites during the war. At that time there were three tribes living in the area, the Winnebagoes numbering about 500, the Mesquakie numbering about 100 and the Pottawattomies numbering about 50. With Iowa statehood in 1846, the Winnebago were moved again. In an 1845 treaty, the Winnebago exchanged their Iowa lands for the 800,000-acre (3,200 km2) Long Prairie (Crow Wing River) reserve in Minnesota and $190,000. In 1848 a detachment of United States troops from Fort Atkinson, Iowa came to enforce the removal. All told, between 1840 and 1863 the Winnebagoes were moved five times. They were pushed first to northeastern Iowa, then to Long Prairie, Minnesota, then to Blue Earth, Minnesota, then to Crow Creek, South Dakota. In 1865, after the constant upheaval cost 700 tribal members’ lives, the current Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska was established by the treaties of 1865 and 1874. The tribe lost more than two thirds of this land in the General Allotment Act of 1887. By 1913, only 120,000 acres (490 km2) of cropland, woodland, and pasture remained. The tribe is federally recognized and organized under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The Winnebago Tribe established a constitution in 1936 which was amended in 1968.


Frederick Cretzmeyer is credited with being the first settler in Waverly, having purchased 160 acres (0.6 km2) in 1852, he built a log hut in on the East side of the Cedar River (or what was once called the Red Cedar River). Soon more homes were constructed as other settlers arrive with some of their later homes built just over the hill, behind what is now the recycling center.

William Patterson Harmon came to Waverly in the spring of 1853 with the idea of establishing a town and a saw mill. He purchased most of what is now Waverly from the United States Government for $1.25 an acre. The area was incorporated as a town April 25, 1859, according to the Library of the State of Iowa. (A centennial celebration was held in August 1956.) Two stories exist on how the town was named. The speaker at the ceremony was said to have been a fan of the Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly Novels and when it came time to name the town (which settlers had wanted to call Harmonville or Harmon) he inadvertently called it Waverly. The myth goes that Jennie Harmon Case later wrote that it was her father who was the speaker and that he made the decision to name the town after the favorite book, instead of the proposed "Harmonville." Coincidentally, Bremer County’s name also honors a person eminent in literature. Bremer was named in 1850 by Governor Hempstead, who was an admirer of the Swedish feminist author Fredricka Bremer.

The first school was started by Charles Ensign in a log cabin in 1854. A stone school house was erected by 1855. Additional schools were needed to be built by 1861 and 1868. The first graduating class of the Waverly High School was the class of 1875 with two students. Wartburg College moved to Waverly from Clinton, Iowa in 1856. The public library was established in 1866.


Waverly is located at 42°43′36″N 92°28′31″W / 42.72667°N 92.47528°W / 42.72667; -92.47528 (42.726530, -92.475366).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.5 square miles (29.7 km²), of which, 11.2 square miles (28.9 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²) of it (2.70%) is water.


Waverly Historical Population
Year Pop.  %±
1870 2,291
1880 2,345 2.4%
1890 2,346 0.0%
1900 3,177 35.4%
1910 3,205 0.9%
1920 3,352 4.6%
1930 3,652 8.9%
1940 4,156 13.8%
1950 5,124 23.3%
1960 6,357 24.1%
1970 7,205 13.3%
1980 8,444 17.2%
1990 8,359 −1.0%
2000 8,968 7.3%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov.  

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 8,968 people, 3,238 households, and 2,143 families residing in the city. The population density was 803.4 people per square mile (310.3/km²). There were 3,394 housing units at an average density of 304.0/sq mi (117.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.11% White, 1.05% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.61% of the population.

There were 3,238 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 20.4% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,587, and the median income for a family was $52,656. Males had a median income of $36,369 versus $22,031 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,285. About 2.1% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.0% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.


A Statue of St. Francis at Wartburg College‎

Wartburg College, maintained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a four-year liberal-arts college in Waverly that opened in 1852. As of the 2006–2007 school year, the college had an enrollment of 1,800 students.[4]

Waverly-Shell Rock School District is made of seven schools including five elementary schools, a junior high and a high school. The district strives "to create a passion for learning that will sustain students for a lifetime". In the 2005–06 school year this district had 2,020 K-12 students of whom 1,823 were regular education students and 197 special education students. Thirty-four of the special education students are served in Greenview High School, an alternative high school program. Waverly-Shell Rock Senior High completed building of a new auditorium and gymnasium in 2008.

Saint Paul's Lutheran School "is committed to providing quality education in an environment where Christian faith is taught, learned and lived." In the 2007–2008 school year 161 students were enrolled in K-6 and 57 students in preschool. More than half of our students come from neighboring congregations and assistance is given to families who demonstrate financial need. The school offers a Gifted and Talented program, a "Partners in Education Program" which allows students and residents at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community to work together, and several several unique opportunities in the fine arts.


The City of Waverly has a Mayor Council form of government. The City has a professional City Administrator that is hired by the City Council. There is a 7 member City Council: 5 elected members from wards, 2 members elected at-large. The Mayor is elected by all citizens.

Health Care

Waverly Health Centeris a 25-bed critical access hospital in Waverly. Waverly Health Center provides inpatient care, ambulatory surgery, outpatient services, specialty clinics and emergency room care to area residents. More than 50 health care providers and visiting specialists care for patients at Waverly Health Center, allowing area residents local access to specialized care. Waverly Health Center is accredited by the Joint Commission. .[5]

Public service

Waverly's police department consists of sixteen officers, divided into several units: bike patrol, identification, investigation, patrol, and swim patrol.[6]

The fire department is a volunteer fire department.[7]

Renewable energy

Waverly is a leader in the use of renewable energy. In 1993 Waverly Light & Power Company became the first public power system in the Midwest to own and operate wind generation. The Zond 80 kW turbine was installed on a farm just outside of the city. In 1999 two 75 kW turbines were added near Alta, Iowa. They are part of the 259 turbines on a wind farm near Storm Lake. In 2001 the first turbine was replaced by a [1] 90 kW turbine which as produced 111,000kwh in 15 days. WLP has set a goal known as "20 by 20-20" which means they are striving to generate 20% of its energy with renewable sources by the year 2020. The latest step in reaching that goal is to build a new ISEP energy park in Dallas County.

Waverly Light & Power has also been instrumental in development of soybean based transformer oil.

Arts and entertainment

The Wartburg Community SymphonySince 1952, Waverly has been one of the smallest communities in the country to support a semi-professional symphony orchestra. Over the past few years, that support has mushroomed, with membership in the Wartburg Community Symphony Association experiencing substantial growth in all levels, including corporate support

Wartburg Artist SeriesEach year Wartburg College offers a diverse arts program for the campus community and surrounding area.

The Wartburg Players The Wartburg Players is a drama organization designed to promote active participation on stage and off. All students are welcome and encouraged to participate and will receive information regarding plays and other acting/entertainment opportunities. The local community is welcomed to attend productions.

Christmas With WartburgThis musical celebration provides a fitting opportunity for Wartburg, as a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, to proclaim the Good News of Christ’s birth in word and song. It involves a substantial commitment at the busiest time of the academic term for more than 200 student musicians. It showcases the talents of the Wartburg Choir, Castle Singers, and Wind Ensemble, which tour annually and travel abroad every third year. The four-concert series includes a performance at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, the Des Moines Civic Center, and two performances in Neumann Auditorium on the Wartburg campus.

The Waverly Municipal Bandis made of community members of all ages and presents a weekly concert on the lawn of the Bremer County Courthouse during early summer months and participates in local parades.


The Wartburg-Waverly Sports and Wellness Center (locally known as "The W") is a joint venture between the college and community which offers one of the largest NCAA Division III facilities of its kind in the nation. The 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) expansive facilities include gyms, tracks, tennis, a swimming pool with slides and 0-grade entrance, a climbing wall, racquetball court, a large fitness room, child care area, a large selection of classes, and a coffee shop, "the Zesty Orange".

Waverly is the site of the annual Bremer County Fair held in early August at the county fairgrounds.

The Waverly Rail Trail is one of Northeast Iowa's finest and Bremer County's only scenic bike trail. The 10-foot (3 m) wide asphalt trail is 7.5 miles (12.1 km) in length beginning on the west side of the Cedar River in Waverly, heading southeast, crossing a spectacular 500-foot (150 m) bridge over the Cedar River through the downtown area. The Trail connects Waverly to Denver IA.

The City of Waverly Parks and Recreation Department maintains 19 city parks including Memorial Park with a swimming pool, mini-golf, a large playscape called Kids' Kingdom, and a skate park; Three Rivers Parkwhich offers a boat dock and Kohlmann Park which offers ice skating.

The Waverly Golf Course is an 18-hole public course. The Waverly Golf Course was named 18 hole golf course of the year for 2003 by the Iowa Golf Association.

Centennial Oaks Golf and Country Club This private 18 hole "links" British style course features five tee boxes on every hole to allow each golfer to play the course according to their individual expertise.

Waverly offers two disc golf (a.k.a frisbee golf) courses; one on the campus of Wartburg College and one at Riverside Park.

Libraries, museums, and galleries

The Waverly Public Library offers a large collection of books and periodicals, and electronic media as well as drive-up check out, web based catalog, free WiFi internet access, fax services, interactive video conferencing, community meeting rooms, and a butterfly garden. In celebration of the library's 150th year a local newspaper, The Courier, produced a video about the library.

The Vogel Library located at Wartburg College offers a large collection and all the services one would expect of a college library. The front of the library includes the Konditorei Coffee Shop.

The Bremer County Museum is located in the Waverly House at 402 West. Bremer Avenue. This site is on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum occupies a roadside inn, built in 1864 from native timber and brick from a local kiln and includes an authentic 1873 drugstore, model railroad display, and Native American artifacts. Open May 3 through October. Monday through Saturday, 1:30 to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 2-4 p.m.

Waldemar A. Schmidt Gallery 222 Ninth St. N.W. The gallery is located within the Fine Arts Center. Exhibits are composed of work from local, national and international artists. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during the academic year. Exhibits requiring additional security have reduced hours.

The Schield International Museum was established in 1969 and is located directly across from the Wartburg College campus at 805 West Bremer Avenue features the treasures collected by the late Waverly industrialist Vern Schield on his world travels. Also on display is the first Bantam dragline, designed and built by Schield in 1942 as a prototype for the original Schield Bantam Company, now part of the Terex Corporation. Directly across from the Wartburg College campus. Hours are 1-5 pm Tuesday through Sunday, May through August. Special tours can be arranged by calling the Wartburg College at 319-352-8318.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Waverly may have the highest national per capita concentration of ordained Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) clergy. One estimate in the 1990s suggested Waverly had 37 ordained ELCA clergy, with a population of about 9,000. This estimate was made during the days preceding the ELCA decision regarding Called to Common Mission. If accurate, this would equal a ratio of 1 clergy member for every 243 people. ELCA institutions in Waverly include:

Waverly is also home to St. John Lutheran Church, which is affiliated with the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

Notable natives

Sister Cities


External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address