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Bedford, Iowa
Bedford, IA.jpg
Location of Bedford, Iowa
Location of Bedford, Iowa
Coordinates: 40°40′6″N 94°43′16″W / 40.66833°N 94.72111°W / 40.66833; -94.72111Coordinates: 40°40′6″N 94°43′16″W / 40.66833°N 94.72111°W / 40.66833; -94.72111
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Taylor
Area
 • Total 1.61 sq mi (4.17 km2)
 • Land 1.60 sq mi (4.15 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
Elevation
1,129 ft (344 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 1,508
 • Density 936.65/sq mi (361.63/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
50833
Area code(s) 712
FIPS code 19-05365
GNIS feature ID 0454471
Website http://www.bedfordia.org/

Bedford is a city in Taylor County, Iowa, United States. The population was 1,508 at the 2020 census. It is the county seat of Taylor County. Lake of Three Fires State Park is located a few miles northeast of Bedford.

History

The community is believed to have gotten its name from Thomas J. Bedford who was the first west bound Pony Express rider to deliver the mail on its final leg from Benicia, California to Oakland, California on April 23, 1861. Bedford is believed to have operated Bedfords Store and Trading Post in 1848 within the city limits. He moved to California later that year in the California Gold Rush.

The community was called "Grove" when a post office was established on June 30, 1855. On June 24, 1856 it was changed to Bedford. Other histories have noted possible other sources of the name:

The community was formally established as the county seat of Taylor County by a legislative act in 1853. The town was formally laid out on lots sold on July 4, 1853 (which at the time identified the community as "Bedforde"). According to town legend a barrel of whiskey was placed on the grounds and lots sold for $10 to $20 - although none of the lots were paid for at the time.

The present Taylor County Courthouse was built in 1893.

Geography

Bedford is located at 40°40′6″N 94°43′16″W / 40.66833°N 94.72111°W / 40.66833; -94.72111 (40.668317, -94.721092), along the East Fork of the One Hundred and Two River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.61 square miles (4.17 km2), of which, 1.60 square miles (4.14 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

Demographics

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1870 720 —    
1880 1,763 +144.9%
1890 1,643 −6.8%
1900 1,977 +20.3%
1910 1,883 −4.8%
1920 2,073 +10.1%
1930 2,100 +1.3%
1940 2,151 +2.4%
1950 2,000 −7.0%
1960 1,807 −9.7%
1970 1,733 −4.1%
1980 1,692 −2.4%
1990 1,528 −9.7%
2000 1,620 +6.0%
2010 1,440 −11.1%
2020 1,508 +4.7%
Source: and Iowa Data Center
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census
BedfordIowaPopPlot
The population of Bedford, Iowa from US census data

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,440 people, 614 households, and 382 families living in the city. The population density was 900.0 inhabitants per square mile (347.5/km2). There were 730 housing units at an average density of 456.3 per square mile (176.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.4% White, 0.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 614 households, of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.8% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 43.9 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.6% were from 25 to 44; 25.4% were from 45 to 64; and 23.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.

Education

It is within the Bedford Community School District.

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