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Clinton, Iowa
Top row: Eagle Point Park, Clinton County Courthouse; Second row: Mark Morris Memorial Bridge, Third row: Clinton Riverfront, Clinton Area Showboat Theatre; Bottom row: Gateway Bridge behind the Clinton Railroad Bridge
Top row: Eagle Point Park, Clinton County Courthouse; Second row: Mark Morris Memorial Bridge, Third row: Clinton Riverfront, Clinton Area Showboat Theatre; Bottom row: Gateway Bridge behind the Clinton Railroad Bridge
So many things to do - With a river view!
Location in the State of Iowa
Location in the State of Iowa
Clinton, Iowa is located in the United States
Clinton, Iowa
Clinton, Iowa
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Clinton
Incorporated January 26, 1857
 • Total 38.46 sq mi (99.62 km2)
 • Land 35.60 sq mi (92.20 km2)
 • Water 2.86 sq mi (7.42 km2)
600 ft (185 m)
 • Total 24,469
 • Rank 18th in Iowa
 • Density 687.33/sq mi (265.38/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
52732-52734, 52736, 52771
Area code(s) 563
FIPS code 19-14430
GNIS feature ID 0455480

Clinton is a city in and the county seat of Clinton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 24,469 as of 2020. Clinton, along with DeWitt (also located in Clinton County), was named in honor of the sixth governor of New York, DeWitt Clinton. Clinton is the principal city of the Clinton Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is coterminous with Clinton County. Clinton was incorporated on January 26, 1857.


Clinton Iowa and Fulton Illinois
View of Clinton on the left side of the Mississippi river and its neighbor, Fulton, Illinois on the right side of the river as seen from 35,000 feet

Among the first settlers of European origin in the Clinton area was Elijah Buell, who built a log cabin on July 25, 1835 and established the town of Lyons, named after the French city of the same name. Lyons later merged with Clinton.

Clinton was platted as the town of New York in 1836 by Joseph Bartlett. In March 1837, Noble and Sarah Gregory Perrin purchased 136 acres (0.55 km2) of land in what is now Clinton and raised their family in a cabin located approximately at the foot of the railroad bridge. Their oldest daughter, Valeria, married Dr. Augustus Lafayette Ankeny, who participated in the Blackhawk war and came to Lyons in April 1850.

Mary Perrin, born September 26, 1837, was the first female child of European ancestry born in Clinton County. In 1839, as in most early river towns, the town consisted of a sprinkling of cabins, two stores and a tavern. In 1855, the Chicago, Iowa, Nebraska Railroad announced it would cross the river at Little Rock Island adjacent to Bartlett's settlement. The Iowa Land Company was organized on May 26, 1855 and on July 4, bought Bartlett's tract and renamed it Clinton, in honor of DeWitt Clinton, two-time governor of New York and one of the driving forces behind the construction of the Erie Canal.

On November 10, 1855, the first plat of the city of Clinton was signed. On January 26, 1857 the city was granted a charter and on March 7, the charter was adopted. On April 5, 1859, the amended charter of the city was adopted, which lasted until a general charter was adopted in 1867. In June 1859 the railroad line was completed to Cedar Rapids. The first train crossed from the Illinois shore to Little Rock Island at noon, January 9, 1860, and was ferried from there to the Iowa shore. In January 1864, construction was started on the span from Little Rock Island to the Iowa shore and was completed on January 6, 1865. The original single track railroad bridge was replaced by a double track bridge that was completed in 1909.

The first public school in Clinton was conducted in a log house near the W.J. Young upper mill. It was erected in the winter of 1855-56 and Isaac Baldwin was its first teacher. St. Irenaeus School was opened in 1852.

Wagon Bridge Fulton Illinois 1891
Wagon Bridge, 1891

The original Lyons-Fulton Bridge was constructed in 1891 (replaced by the Mark N. Morris Memorial Bridge in 1975), followed by the Clinton High Bridge in 1892 (replaced by the Gateway Bridge in 1956).

Between the 1850s and 1900, the cities of Lyons and Clinton quickly became centers of the lumber industry and were regarded as the "Lumber Capital of the World." Huge log rafts were floated down the river from Wisconsin and Minnesota, cut into lumber at Clinton, then shipped to the growing communities via the river and the railroads. Companies owned by the W.J. Young, Chancy Lamb, George M. and Charles F. Curtis (Curtis Bros. & Co), David Joyce, Silas W. Gardiner Lyons, and Friedrich Weyerhäuser families soon became among the largest in the nation. In the 1880s and 1890s Clinton boasted 13 resident millionaires, more millionaires per capita than any other town or city in the nation.

In 1877 the noted pianist Carl Lachmund founded the German Conservatorium of Music in Clinton.

The largest, most elaborate party ever held in Clinton celebrated the debut of Emma Lamb and the twentieth wedding anniversary of her parents, Artemus and Henrietta Sabrina Smith Lamb on October 13, 1885. Fellow lumber baron F.C. Weyerhauser, his wife and daughter attended together with several hundred guests all attired in formal wear.

The era of opulence came to an end by 1900, as the northern forests were depleted. The sawmills closed, but the railroad and river, providing economical transportation in all directions, attracted manufacturing and heavy industry. The city still boasts a number of magnificent Victorian mansions, including the Curtis Mansion, now the home of the Clinton Women's Club.

The American Protective Association (APA) was founded in Clinton on March 13, 1887 by Attorney Henry Francis Bowers.

In 1941, with Howard Judd as coach, Clinton High School won the first of its 11 state championships in swimming. This string included five straight championships between 1954 and 1958 and produced 39 individual All Americans and 14 Individual All American Relay Teams (The Howard Judd Story Reception Program June 5, 1966). Clinton’s athletic successes were added to in 1953 when St. Mary’s won the state basketball championship.

Clintion, Iowa
View of downtown Clinton looking north

Other great athletic triumphs were achieved by the 1964 Clinton High School boys’ baseball team winning the State Championship, the 1991 Clinton Giants winning the Midwest League baseball championship and by the 1992 Clinton High School boys’ basketball team (referred to as the '92 Crew) winning the State Championship.

On April 27, 1951, the Mississippi crested at 20.7 feet (6.3 m); then on April 26, 1952, it crested again at 20.9 feet (6.4 m). All of that was an exercise compared with the crest on April 28, 1965, which at 24.85 feet (7.57 m) was the highest ever recorded.

Construction of the Gateway Bridge (Illinois-Iowa) was started in August, 1954, was finished in May 1956. It opened on July 1, 1956.

In 2005, Clinton, along with Coon Rapids, Iowa and Sioux City, was awarded one of the inaugural Iowa Great Places designations. This award brought to Clinton a $1 million state budget allocation for cultural and landscape improvements along the city's riverfront.

In 2008, the Archer Daniels Midland corn processing plant added a cogeneration plant to provide for its electrical needs, which burns coal and leftover corn for the energy.

In January 2011, Clinton opened the world's first-ever site of noted rapper Flavor Flav's fast food chain, Flav's Fried Chicken. This was due to the fact that Flav's business partner, Nick Cimino, is a Clinton native and felt that the restaurant's opening would be good for the community. The restaurant was closed down after a mere four months due to low staff retention and bad checks, among other concerns. Rapper Flav has gone on record stating "that restaurant manager Nick Cimino wasn't running the business right.".


Clinton is located at 41°50′49″N 90°12′26″W / 41.84694°N 90.20722°W / 41.84694; -90.20722 (41.846863, -90.207330).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 38.01 square miles (98.45 km2), of which 35.15 square miles (91.04 km2) is land and 2.86 square miles (7.41 km2) is water.

Clinton is on the western shore of the Mississippi River and is the easternmost city in Iowa. The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge passes through Clinton along the river.

The pool of the Mississippi River above Lock and Dam No. 13 is the widest section of the river at 1.8 miles (2.9 km) across.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 6,129
1880 9,052 47.7%
1890 13,619 50.5%
1900 22,698 66.7%
1910 25,577 12.7%
1920 24,161 −5.5%
1930 25,726 6.5%
1940 26,270 2.1%
1950 30,379 15.6%
1960 33,589 10.6%
1970 34,719 3.4%
1980 32,828 −5.4%
1990 29,201 −11.0%
2000 27,772 −4.9%
2010 26,885 −3.2%
2020 24,469 −9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
The population of Clinton, Iowa from US census data

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 26,885 people, 11,246 households, and 6,889 families residing in the city. The population density was 764.9 inhabitants per square mile (295.3/km2). There were 12,202 housing units at an average density of 347.1 per square mile (134.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.0% White, 4.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.

There were 11,246 households, of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.0% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.7% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 40.4 years. 23.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.6% were from 45 to 64; and 17.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.

Parks and recreation

Eagle Point Park
Panoramic view of the Mississippi River from Eagle Point Park
  • The most notable parks are Eagle Point Park and Riverview Park.
  • Other parks are Dewitt Park, Root Park, Southside Park, Edwin P Neubauer Park, River View Stadium, and Four Square Park.
  • Clinton has the First White Settler in Clinton County Historical Marker.
Tourist attractions
  • The Bickelhaupt Arboretum is a non-profit arboretum with one of North America's largest collections of dwarf conifers.
  • Felix Adler Children's Discovery Center a non-profit children's center to explore science, the arts and culture.


June 23, 2006 657 2
Balloons in June

U.S. Route 30 (Lincoln Highway), U.S. Route 67 (Great River Road), and Iowa Highway 136 pass through Clinton.

For air travel, the Quad City International Airport, which is about 40 miles away in Moline, Illinois, is the closest commercial airport and can be reached in less than one hour by car. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is about 140 miles east, and can typically be reached in less than three hours by car.

Clinton has a municipal airport (Clinton Municipal Airport, KCWI) that serves the general aviation community. There are two runways, 3-21 which is 5,200' long, and 14-32 which is 3700' long. Numerous instrument approaches are available.

Major railroads include the Union Pacific Railroad and the Canadian Pacific.

A national U.S. recreation trail, the Mississippi River Trail passes through Clinton.

Clinton MTA bus
Clinton, Iowa MTA Bus 1048. Used for showing new buses bought using federal aid money after 2008 financial crisis Posted on their facebook page.

For intracity transit, residents can rely on the MTA's (Municipal Transit Authority) 6 bus routes that run throughout the city. Disabled residents can rely on the MTA's para-transit service.

Culture and institutions

Eagle Point Park 2
Castle at Eagle Point Park
  • Ashford University (formerly The Franciscan University and Mount St. Clare College)
  • Bickelhaupt Arboretum 340 S. 14th St.
  • Clinton Community College
  • Clinton LumberKings, see [1], a Class A minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Seattle Mariners, that plays in the Midwest League. The LumberKings play their home games at Ashford University Field.
  • Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, see [2]


The Clinton County Courthouse
The Clinton County Courthouse, National Register of Historic Places
Clinton Public Library
The Clinton Public Library, National Register of Historic Places

National Historic Landmark

Buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Clinton County Courthouse, constructed from 1892-1897 by architects Stanley Mansfield and Josiah Rice in Romanesque Revival style. Exterior walls are of red sandstone and granite and the tower is of copper which has weathered to a bright green color. Noted architect Claire Allen from Jackson, Michigan also worked on this building.
  • Clinton Public Library, financed by Andrew Carnegie and built 1903-1904 from the design of the Chicago architectural firm of Patton & Miller. Beaux Arts Neoclassica; style with a monumental entry with processional steps and flanking paired columns. Symmetry of design and borrowings of Greek and Roman inspired elements complete the composition. Exterior walls of cut and dressed limestone.
  • Lafayette Lamb House (YWCA), constructed in 1877 by architect W.W. Sanborn and rebuilt in 1906. Originally built in the Second Empire style, the 1906 'modernization' converted it to more of the Georgian Revival style.
  • City National Bank (First National Bank), designed by John Morrell & Son in the Neoclassical style and constructed in 1911-1912
  • Howes Building, constructed in 1900 for Edward Madison Howes by architect Josiah Rice in Renaissance Revival style, featuring engaged pilasters with Ionic capitals. The exterior street facades of the building are of red face brick with decorative accents of red terracotta. The fourth floor added in 1905 by architect John Morrell.
  • Ankeny Building, constructed in 1930, designed by Chicago architect Harold Holmes in "Moderne" or Art Deco style. The building street facades are clad with cream-colored terracotta panels. Upper story windows are steel and glass in a stylized "Chicago window" expression. The Clinton Herald Monday December 8, 1930 p. 8, The Clinton Herald Saturday December 13, 1930 p. 5, The Clinton Herald Monday December 15, 1930 p. 16, The Clinton Herald Tuesday December 30, 1930 p. 5, The Clinton Herald Tuesday, January 6, 1931 p. 5, The Clinton Herald Thursday, January 8, 1931 p. 5, The Clinton Herald Thursday May 21, 1931 p. 11.
  • Moeszinger-Marquis (Armstrong) Building, designed by Josiah Rice and constructed in 1891 by William Bentley for the Clinton Produce Company. In 1907 the Baldwin Bros. acquired the building for its wholesale hardware business, which in turn passed to its successor company, the Moeszinger-Marquis Hardware Company in 1912. In 1941 the building was acquired by R.W. Armstrong, who also conducted a wholesale hardware business from the premises.
  • George M. Curtis Mansion (Women's Club), constructed in Queen Anne style in 1883-1884
  • Castle Terrace Historic District, Originally platted in 1892. The project was a promotional effort to show developers, architects, and builders the application and products of the Curtis Company. The architectural design is highly eclectic, with Tudor Gothic the primary style utilized. [3]
  • Cherry Bank, Built 1870-1871, the Dr. A.L. Ankeny/Lindmeier/Cottral house is two stories high with walls of red brick with buff-colored brick used for quoins at the corners and for the window arches. A cornice, hip roof, and widow's walk cap the building
  • Saint Irenaeus Church, was designed by W.W. Sanborn and was constructed from 1864-1871. The parish was found in 1852 in Lyons. It merged with the other four Clinton parishes in 1990 to form Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish. The parish continued to use the St. Irenaeus Church building until 2008 when a new church was built near the Mill Creek Parkway.

Notable businesses, past and present

  • The Becker Seed Company located at 250 Main Ave began in 1856 by Fredrick Becker Sr. and operated by William August Becker until approx 1980.
  • Gray & Lunt, 1857, saw mills and lumber concerns
  • C. Lamb (lumber), c. 1857–1868, saw mills and lumber concerns
  • W. J. Young and Company, W.J. Young, c. 1858–1892, saw mills and lumber concerns, sawmill said to be the largest in the world
  • Claussen, Thornburg & Smith, c. 1866, a small sash and door factory
  • Curtis, Hemingway & Co., Charles F. Curtis and W.G. Hemingway, 1866–1868, manufacturing of sash and door woodwork
  • Curtis Bros. & Co, George M. and Charles F. Curtis, 1866–1966, producer of doors, sashes, pre-glazed window units, blinds and general house finishings
  • Lamb, Byng, & Co., Chancy Lamb, John Byng, Artemus Lamb, c. 1868–1874, saw mills and lumber concerns
  • Joyce & Smith, David Joyce, S.I. Smith, W.T. Joyce, c. 1869–1873, 1873–1895, 1895-?, major lumber interest, town of Lyons, and Clinton
  • Mississippi River Logging Company, Friedrich Weyerhäuser, F.C.A. Denkmann, et al., 1870–1909, forestry land ownership, logging, timber transport
  • C. Lamb & Sons, Chancy Lamb, Artemus Lamb, Lafayette Lamb, c. 1874-?, saw mills and lumber concerns
  • Ellis & McCoy, 1880s, law firm
  • Clinton Produce Company, c. 1891, wholesale hardware business, in the current Moeszinger-Marquis (Armstrong) Building
  • Baldwin Bros., c. 1907, wholesale hardware business, in the current Moeszinger-Marquis (Armstrong) Building
  • Moeszinger-Marquis Hardware Company, c. 1912, wholesale hardware business, in the current Moeszinger-Marquis (Armstrong) Building
  • Van Allen and Company Department Store, c. 1912–1914, in the Van Allen Building
  • One-In-Hand Tie Company, Joseph W. Less and brothers, c. 1930s-1950s, inventors and men's clothing manufacturers
  • R.W. Armstrong, c. 1941, wholesale hardware business, in the current Moeszinger-Marquis (Armstrong) Building
  • Clinton LumberKings, 1937–present, Class A minor league Midwest League team affiliated with the Miami Marlins
  • Clinton Herald, 1855–present, daily newspaper now owned by Community Newspaper Holdings


Clinton Community College is in the community.

Clinton Community School District operates public schools, including Clinton High School.

Clinton Public Library is the local public library system.

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See also

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