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Callender, Iowa
Location of Callender, Iowa
Location of Callender, Iowa
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Webster
 • Total 0.53 sq mi (1.36 km2)
 • Land 0.53 sq mi (1.36 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,152 ft (351 m)
 • Total 368
 • Density 699.62/sq mi (270.37/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 515
FIPS code 19-09955
GNIS feature ID 0455056

Callender is a city in Webster County, Iowa, United States. The population was 368 at the time of the 2020 census.


Between 1866 and 1870 the Des Moines Valley Railroad Company constructed tracks between Des Moines and Fort Dodge. The other end of the line originated at Keokuk, Iowa (at the confluence of the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers). As a result, several small towns were created by the railroad along the line to support track maintenance and to grow business. At 7 to 10 mi (11 to 16 km) intervals were 38 stops between Keokuk and Fort Dodge. Kesho, town that would become Callender, was the 36th stop.

According to the County Assessor’s records, the town of Kesho began south of the road (Thomas Street) on the east side of the railroad tracks. There, Gurmond and Thora Bean had established a store in 1867–68. The store was operational when the Des Moines Valley Railroad made it to Kesho in December 1869; however, a November 24, 1870 newspaper article from the Iowa Northwest Newspaper reads, “The city has disappeared from the face of the earth—not like Pompeii—but it has gone off on wheels. First the horse barn fell down, then the hotel was taken to pieces and moved off, and lately the depot has been hoisted on wheels, moved 9 miles (14 km) up the road and landed near the Sioux City Junction (Tara). Kesho is now inhabited by muskrats alone.” A new depot replaced the old one that existed until it was demolished in 1972. Post office records indicate that there was a post office in Kesho from 1873 until 1877.

In 1875 the town was renamed Callender in honor of Agnes and James Callender of Brooklyn Heights, New York City, New York who owned all of the land on the west side of the railroad tracks and much of the surrounding area—Webster’s Prairies. The Callenders donated land to the town for churches, the school, City Hall and the City Park. A second depot was built on the west side of the track, north of Main (Thomas) Street. The existing town retains much of the 1875 town form, including the donated properties.


Callender is located at 42°21′45″N 94°17′36″W / 42.36250°N 94.29333°W / 42.36250; -94.29333 (42.362592, -94.293268).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.52 square miles (1.35 km2), all of it land.


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1880 50 —    
1900 399 +698.0%
1910 321 −19.5%
1920 376 +17.1%
1930 349 −7.2%
1940 377 +8.0%
1950 387 +2.7%
1960 358 −7.5%
1970 421 +17.6%
1980 446 +5.9%
1990 384 −13.9%
2000 424 +10.4%
2010 376 −11.3%
2020 368 −2.1%
Source: and
U.S. Decennial Census
The population of Callender, Iowa from US census data

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 376 people in 162 households, including 111 families, in the city. The population density was 737.3 people per square mile (284.8/km2). There were 178 housing units at an average density of 349.0 per square mile (134.8/km2). The racial makup of the city was 98.7% White, 0.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, and 0.8% from two or more races. Of the 162 households 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 28.4% of households were one person and 15.4% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.85.

The age distribution was 23.4% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 20.2% from 25 to 44, 29.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% 65 or older. The median age was 42.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.


Callender is currently part of the Prairie Valley Community School District, which formed on July 1, 1993 with the merger of the Cedar Valley Community School District and the Prairie Community School District.

The elementary school for the school district was in Callender from 1994 until 2010. The middle school was near Farnhamville and the high school was in Gowrie. Before that, Callender was the elementary and middle school for Prairie Community, a consolidated school district including Moorland, Callender, Gowrie, and Lanyon. From 1962 until 1974 Callender, Moorland and Gowrie each had elementary schools. Callender also had a junior high school and Gowrie also had a high school.



Callender is at the intersection of County Roads P33 (Fairbanks Ave) and D43 (295th St).

The Union Pacific Railroad is on the east end of town

The Fort Dodge Regional Airport is located 20 miles northwest of town. It is primarily a general aviation airport, but it does have commercial links from Great Lakes Airlines.

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