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Chariton, Iowa
City
Lucas County Courthouse in Chariton
Motto(s): 
"Pride in Community"
Location of Chariton, Iowa
Location of Chariton, Iowa
Country USA
State  Iowa
County Lucas
Area
 • Total 3.77 sq mi (9.76 km2)
 • Land 3.77 sq mi (9.76 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
1,040 ft (317 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 4,193
 • Density 1,112.79/sq mi (429.61/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
50049
Area code(s) 641
FIPS code 19-12720
GNIS feature ID 0455350

Chariton is a city in, and the county seat of, Lucas County, Iowa, United States. The population was 4,193 at the 2020 census. Lucas is the primary distribution center for and the former corporate headquarters of the Hy-Vee supermarket chain.

History

Chariton was platted in 1850. Chariton was the name of a French trader.

Hotel Charitone

Designed by local architect William L. Perkins and listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the development of Chariton as a county seat, the Hotel Charitone is listed by the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance as one of the most endangered sites in Iowa. The hotel is currently undergoing restoration with the majority of the hotel being converted into apartments.

Geography

Chariton's longitude and latitude coordinates
in decimal form are 41.016033, −93.307610.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.82 square miles (9.89 km2), all of it land.

Chariton is located at the exact half way point, on US 34 Business (Chariton, IA).svg U.S. Route 34 (runs east and west to each side of the state).

The Lucas County Courthouse is the highest point of elevation in the whole town and is located on the Missouri/Mississippi River Divide.

Demographics

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1860 641 —    
1870 1,728 +169.6%
1880 2,977 +72.3%
1890 3,122 +4.9%
1900 3,989 +27.8%
1910 3,794 −4.9%
1920 5,175 +36.4%
1930 5,365 +3.7%
1940 5,754 +7.3%
1950 5,320 −7.5%
1960 5,042 −5.2%
1970 5,009 −0.7%
1980 5,116 +2.1%
1990 4,616 −9.8%
2000 4,573 −0.9%
2010 4,321 −5.5%
2020 4,193 −3.0%
Source: and Iowa Data Center
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census
CharitonIowaPopPlot
The population of Chariton, Iowa from US census data

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,321 people, 1,861 households, and 1,109 families living in the city. The population density was 1,131.2 inhabitants per square mile (436.8/km2). There were 2,114 housing units at an average density of 553.4 per square mile (213.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.7% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 1,861 households, of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.4% were non-families. 35.9% 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 2.28 and the average family size was 2.99.

The median age in the city was 42.1 years. 24.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 21.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.

Parks and recreation

Red Haw State Park is located a mile east of Chariton. The park offers picnicking sites, shelters that can be reserved, camping and trails. The lake offers un-supervised swimming, fishing and electric trolling motor only boating.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Air Service

Owned by the City of Chariton and located 3 miles west of Chariton on US Highway 34, the Chariton Municipal Airport has served the city and Lucas County since April 1947.

Highways

Chariton is located on US 34 Business (Chariton, IA).svg U.S. Route 34, which runs east and west to each side of the state. The city is also served by Iowa Highway 14.

Education

The Chariton School District is the only school district in the county since 2008, when the Russell School District closed. There are two elementary schools, Columbus Elementary (K-2 grades) and Van Allen Elementary (3–5 grades); one middle school, Chariton Middle School (6–8 grades); and one high school, Chariton High School (9–12). The high school athletic teams are called the Chargers.

Notable people

  • Paul Engebretsen, National Football League player
  • Everett Gendler, rabbi, social activist, and author
  • Theodore Heck, Catholic Benedictine priest, academy president, educator
  • T. J. Hockenson, National Football League player for the Detroit Lions
  • Leo Hoegh, former governor
  • Lyle Tuttle, tattoo artist and tattoo historian
  • Mortimer Wilson, composer
  • Gordon Willey, anthropologist
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