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Adair, Iowa
Adair Iowa watertower.jpg
Location in the State of Iowa
Location in the State of Iowa
Country  United States
State  Iowa
Counties Adair, Guthrie
Incorporated August 20, 1872
 • Total 2.23 sq mi (5.78 km2)
 • Land 2.21 sq mi (5.74 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
1,460 ft (445 m)
 • Total 791
 • Density 357.11/sq mi (137.89/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 641
FIPS code 19-00370
GNIS feature ID 0454088

Adair is a city in Adair and Guthrie counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 791 at the 2020 census.


The Rock Island Railroad was built through the area in 1868. This led to the area being known as Summit Cut. This is in reference to the ridge that forms the watershed divide between the Missouri River and the Mississippi River. The town officially became Adair on August 20, 1872 when it was incorporated with the county. The town is named after General John Adair, a general in the War of 1812 who later became the 8th governor of Kentucky. Adair was the scene of the first successful train robbery in the American West when on July 21, 1873 the James-Younger Gang (led by Jesse James) took US $3,000 from the Rock Island Express after derailing it southwest of the town. The derailment killed the engineer.

A rare F5 tornado occurred near this town on June 27, 1953.

Adair is recognizable from Interstate 80 by its tall yellow "smiley-face" water tower. Humorously known as "the happiest town on Earth", its roadsign warmly greets visitors with, "Welcome to Adair; it'll make you smile". Some of the local businesses incorporate the smiley-face tower image into their company logos.


Adair is located at 41°30′0″N 94°38′38″W / 41.50000°N 94.64389°W / 41.50000; -94.64389 (41.500094, -94.643839).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.22 square miles (5.75 km2), of which, 2.20 square miles (5.70 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.

Adair, Iowa City Hall
Adair City Hall


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1870 306 —    
1880 722 +135.9%
1890 879 +21.7%
1900 900 +2.4%
1910 952 +5.8%
1920 950 −0.2%
1930 874 −8.0%
1940 827 −5.4%
1950 742 −10.3%
1960 750 +1.1%
1970 883 +17.7%
1980 894 +1.2%
1990 894 +0.0%
2000 839 −6.2%
2010 781 −6.9%
2020 791 +1.3%
Total Population for Iowa's Incorporated Places: 1850-2000
U.S. Decennial Census
The population of Adair, Iowa from US census data

The Guthrie County portion of Adair is part of the Des MoinesWest Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 781 people, 361 households, and 208 families living in the city. The population density was 355.0 inhabitants per square mile (137.1/km2). There were 403 housing units at an average density of 183.2 per square mile (70.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.1% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 361 households, of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.4% were non-families. 38.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.88.

The median age in the city was 41.9 years. 23.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.8% were from 25 to 44; 26.9% were from 45 to 64; and 17.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.


Adair is in the Adair–Casey Community School District, and houses Adair–Casey Elementary School and AC/GC Junior High School. Students attend AC/GC High School in Guthrie Center, a school of the Guthrie Center Community School District, under a grade-sharing arrangement.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Adair (Iowa) para niños

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