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Adel, Iowa
Aerial View of Adel
Aerial View of Adel
Official seal of Adel, Iowa
Location of Adel, Iowa
Location of Adel, Iowa
Detailed map of Adel
Detailed map of Adel
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Dallas
Incorporated 1847
 • Type Mayor-council government
 • Total 5.36 sq mi (13.88 km2)
 • Land 5.34 sq mi (13.83 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
892 ft (272 m)
 • Total 6,153
 • Density 1,152.25/sq mi (444.90/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 515
FIPS code 19-00505
GNIS feature ID 0454097

Adel ( AY-dəl) is a city in, and the county seat of, Dallas County, Iowa. It is located along the North Raccoon River. Its population was 6,153 at the time of the 2020 Census.


Adel is the oldest town within Dallas County. Originally called Penoach, Adel was incorporated in 1847, and changed to its current name in 1849. In 1855, there were about twenty-five houses in Adel and three stores. From that time onward, the city began to grow at a faster rate.

Situated along the river, Adel had a good supply of water-power for a flour mill. It was to be situated on a section of property owned by Noeingerl Cantrel & Co. J. H. Strong of Des Moines, and H. H. Moffatt built the mill in 1856–57 at a cost of $20,000. The dam was constructed with about eight feet of head water. The mill was kept in good repair, able to average from twelve to fifteen bushels per hour, with a capability of thirty per hour, but was destroyed in 1913.

Railroad reached other towns in Dallas County before Adel, and the town was threatened with losing the county seat. Adel business owners backed the Des Moines Western Railroad Company, which was soon renamed as the Des Moines, Adel, and Western. A narrow gauge railroad was built in the 1870s. The line was rebuilt as standard gauge after the Milwaukee Road purchased the line in the 1890s. Passenger service to Adel was discontinued in 1952, and the line was abandoned in 1987. The line has been repurposed into the popular Raccoon River Valley Trail.

Adel Bank, scene of 1895 robbery

The Adel bank was robbed on March 6, 1895. Two men entered in a buggy and shot a teller, who, though wounded, managed to close the vault and turn the tumblers, preventing the thieves from taking off with a substantial amount. Future Governor of Iowa, George W. Clarke, had a law office on the second floor. As Clarke descended the stairs, a robber fired his gun. However, the weapon misfired, sparing Clarke's life.

The Dallas County Courthouse, was completed in 1902 at a cost of about $109,000, dominates downtown Adel.

“In that era it was a competition almost between the counties to erect an edifice that would be of importance and of character to their becoming of age.” Mark A. Hanson, Dallas County Supervisor


Adel's longitude and latitude coordinates in decimal form are 41.616773, -94.021731.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.28 square miles (8.50 km2), of which, 3.27 square miles (8.47 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1860 466 —    
1870 711 +52.6%
1880 989 +39.1%
1890 995 +0.6%
1900 1,213 +21.9%
1910 1,289 +6.3%
1920 1,455 +12.9%
1930 1,669 +14.7%
1940 1,740 +4.3%
1950 1,799 +3.4%
1960 2,060 +14.5%
1970 2,419 +17.4%
1980 2,846 +17.7%
1990 3,304 +16.1%
2000 3,435 +4.0%
2010 3,682 +7.2%
2020 6,153 +67.1%
Source: and Iowa Data Center
U.S. Decennial Census
The population of Adel, Iowa from US census data
Adel Bank, scene of 1895 robbery
Dallas County courthouse, 1911

Adel is part of the Des MoinesWest Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,682 people, 1,489 households, and 943 families living in the city. The population density was 1,126.0 inhabitants per square mile (434.8/km2). There were 1,579 housing units at an average density of 482.9 per square mile (186.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.6% White, 0.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.

There were 1,489 households, of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.5% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.7% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.06.

The median age in the city was 37.6 years. 26.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 27% were from 45 to 64; and 12.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.


Stine Seed, the world's largest private seed company, is based in Adel. It has 15,000 acres of Iowa farmland and is almost entirely owned by Harry Stine and his four children.


Adel is within the Adel–De Soto–Minburn Community School District. The district formed on July 1, 1993, as a result of the merger of the Adel–De Soto Community School District and the Central Dallas Community School District.

Notable people

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