kids encyclopedia robot

Cass County, Iowa facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Cass County
Cass County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Cass County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Iowa
Founded 1851
Named for Lewis Cass
Seat Atlantic
Largest city Atlantic
 • Total 565 sq mi (1,460 km2)
 • Land 564 sq mi (1,460 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (2 km2)  0.1%
 • Total 13,127
 • Density 23.234/sq mi (8.971/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Cass County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census, the population was 13,127. Its county seat is Atlantic. It was named to honor Lewis Cass, who was the 1848 Democratic nominee for president.


Cass County is named in honor of Lewis Cass, a Michigan senator and an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the presidency in 1848. The county was established within its present boundaries in 1851 and originated in 1853. Religious persecution was responsible for bringing the first people of European ancestry to Cass County. The Mormons, fleeing from Illinois, were the earliest settlers, and established a community at Indiantown in 1846.

At Indiantown, two of the three commissioners selected to locate a county seat were chosen. The site they chose was one mile (1.6 km) from Indiantown and named Lewis. Most of the people and businesses in Indian Town moved to Lewis shortly after it was laid out. In 1856, a frame courthouse was built, and eight years later a small stone building was completed for the county treasurer's office. In 1857, there was an attempt to relocate the county seat to Grove City; it was unsuccessful. On October 20, 1869, after a due canvass of the vote on the re-location of the county seat, the Board declared the city of Atlantic the county seat and ordered the county officers to that place.

In 1872, the first courthouse built in Atlantic was completed. Until it was completed county offices were held in various empty buildings. Ten years later the county built its second courthouse at Atlantic. The $65,000 building was destroyed by a fire in 1932. The fire started in the clock tower and gutted all of the second floor. Most of the county records and equipment were saved.

The present, fourth, courthouse was completed in 1934. While it was being built, county offices were located in the Atlantic Motors building, where an attempted robbery of the treasurer's safe took place. The robbers were interrupted and escaped, but without any money. The final cost of the fourth courthouse was $130,000: $65,000 came from a county bond issue, $46,500 from insurance and the remaining was covered by a Public Works Administration federal grant. The concrete and brick building is three stories high. It was dedicated on December 26, 1934, with the main speaker being the Governor of Iowa, Clyde L. Herring. The Board of Supervisors approved a new jail addition, which was dedicated in 1984.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 565 square miles (1,460 km2), of which 564 square miles (1,460 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (0.1%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-80.svg Interstate 80
  • US 6 (IA).svg U.S. Highway 6
  • US 71 (IA).svg U.S. Highway 71
  • Iowa 48.svg Iowa Highway 48
  • Iowa 83.svg Iowa Highway 83
  • Iowa 92.svg Iowa Highway 92
  • Iowa 148.svg Iowa Highway 148
  • Iowa 173.svg Iowa Highway 173

Adjacent counties

2010 census

The 2010 census recorded a population of 13,956 in the county, with a population density of 24.745/sq mi (9.554/km2). There were 6,591 housing units, of which 5,980 were occupied.

2000 census

USA Cass County, Iowa age pyramid
2000 Census Age Pyramid for Cass County

As of the census of 2000, there were 14,684 people, 6,120 households, and 4,094 families residing in the county. The population density was 26 people per square mile (10/km²). There were 6,590 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.84% White, 0.21% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.34% from two or more races. 0.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,120 households out of which 29.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.10% were non-families. 29.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 24.80% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 20.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,922, and the median income for a family was $40,564. Males had a median income of $29,736 versus $20,108 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,067. About 7.20% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.40% of those under age 18 and 10.10% of those age 65 or over.




Cass County is divided into sixteen townships:

  • Bear Grove
  • Benton
  • Brighton
  • Cass
  • Edna
  • Franklin
  • Grant
  • Grove
  • Lincoln
  • Massena
  • Noble
  • Pleasant
  • Pymosa
  • Union
  • Victoria
  • Washington

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Cass County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Atlantic City 7,112
2 Griswold City 1,036
3 Anita City 972
4 Lewis City 433
5 Massena City 355
6 Cumberland City 262
7 Marne City 120
8 Wiota City 116


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,612
1870 5,464 239.0%
1880 16,943 210.1%
1890 19,642 15.9%
1900 21,274 8.3%
1910 19,047 −10.5%
1920 19,421 2.0%
1930 19,422 0.0%
1940 18,647 −4.0%
1950 18,532 −0.6%
1960 17,919 −3.3%
1970 17,007 −5.1%
1980 16,932 −0.4%
1990 15,128 −10.7%
2000 14,684 −2.9%
2010 13,956 −5.0%
2020 13,127 −5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018
Population of Cass County from US census data

2020 census

The 2020 census recorded a population of 13,127 in the county, with a population density of 23.2868/sq mi (8.9911/km2). 96.75% of the population reported being of one race. 92.23% were non-Hispanic White, 0.22% were Black, 2.33% were Hispanic, 0.19% were Native American, 0.27% were Asian, 0.59% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 4.17% were some other race or more than one race. There were 6,398 housing units of which 5,818 were occupied.

2010 census

The 2010 census recorded a population of 13,956 in the county, with a population density of 24.745/sq mi (9.554/km2). There were 6,591 housing units, of which 5,980 were occupied.

Notable people

  • Edwin Perkins, inventor of Kool-Aid
  • Ed Podolak, a former running back for Kansas City Chiefs
  • Earl Caddock, a champion amateur and pro wrestler of the 1910s and early 1920s.
  • Steve H. Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, adviser to presidents, currency reformer, and commodity and currency trader

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Cass (Iowa) para niños

kids search engine
Cass County, Iowa Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.