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Burr Oak, Iowa
Masters Hotel – The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Masters Hotel – The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
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Coordinates: 43°27′29″N 91°52′6″W / 43.45806°N 91.86833°W / 43.45806; -91.86833Coordinates: 43°27′29″N 91°52′6″W / 43.45806°N 91.86833°W / 43.45806; -91.86833
Country United States
State Iowa
County Winneshiek
Area
 • Total 0.69 sq mi (1.79 km2)
 • Land 0.69 sq mi (1.79 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 166
 • Density 240.6/sq mi (92.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central
(CST)
)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)

Burr Oak is an unincorporated community in Winneshiek County, Iowa, United States, very close to the Minnesota state line. Burr Oak is a census-designated place and the population was 166 in the 2010 census.

History

Burr Oak was platted in 1855.

The village is known as one of the former homes of Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of the Little House on the Prairie books) (1876–1877). This is where Grace Ingalls, the youngest of the Ingalls children, was born in 1877. There is a Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in the local Masters Hotel. Burr Oak is the missing link in the Little House series, as Laura never published a book about her stay there (although Old Town in the Green Groves book by Cynthia Rylant describes this missing year).

Demographics

As of the census of 2010, there were 166 people, 70 households, and 43 families residing in the town. The population density was 240.6 people per square mile (92.9/km2). There were 80 housing units at an average density of 115.9 per square mile (44.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.0% White, 0.6% Asian, and 2.4% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 70 households, out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out, with 24.1% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.2 years. The gender makeup of the city was 52.4% male and 47.6% female.

Education

The community is within the Decorah Community School District. The schools are in Decorah, and Decorah High School is the zoned high school of the district.

Previously Burr Oak was within the North Winneshiek Community School District. The school building was 3 miles (4.8 km) from Burr Oak. North Winneshiek CSD operated all grade levels until 2001, when it ended its high school program. According to district agreements, students in the district could attend Decorah High or the high school program of Mabel-Canton Public Schools in Mabel, Minnesota. Effective July 1, 2018 the North Winneshiek district consolidated into the Decorah district. North Winneshiek School closed its doors at that time.

In 2018 the combined interim board of Decorah CSD and North Winneshiek CSD approved an agreement with Mabel-Canton schools, effective for five years, to allow students in the former North Winneshiek district boundary to attend Mabel-Canton if they choose. The agreement applies to any post-merger Decorah CSD resident who is geographically closer to Mabel than to Decorah.

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