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Denison, Iowa
City
Downtown Denison
Downtown Denison
Location of Denison, Iowa
Location of Denison, Iowa
Country USA
State  Iowa
County Crawford
Area
 • Total 6.57 sq mi (17.03 km2)
 • Land 6.55 sq mi (16.96 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
Elevation
1,283 ft (391 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 8,373
 • Density 1,278.91/sq mi (493.80/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
51442
Area code(s) 712
FIPS code 19-19945
GNIS feature ID 0455880

Denison is a city that is part of Denison Township and East Boyer Township in Crawford County, Iowa, United States, along the Boyer River. The population was 8,373 at the time of the 2020 census. It is the county seat of Crawford County.

History

Denison was laid out in 1856; the town was incorporated in 1875. Denison was named for its founder, J. W. Denison.

Geography

Denison, Iowa aerial 02A
Aerial view of Denison from the southwest, 2012

Denison is located at 42°1′2″N 95°21′4″W / 42.01722°N 95.35111°W / 42.01722; -95.35111 (42.017187, −95.351124).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.57 square miles (17.02 km2), of which, 6.54 square miles (16.94 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1870 326 —    
1880 1,441 +342.0%
1890 1,782 +23.7%
1900 2,771 +55.5%
1910 3,133 +13.1%
1920 3,581 +14.3%
1930 3,905 +9.0%
1940 4,361 +11.7%
1950 4,554 +4.4%
1960 4,930 +8.3%
1970 6,218 +26.1%
1980 6,675 +7.3%
1990 6,604 −1.1%
2000 7,339 +11.1%
2010 8,298 +13.1%
2020 8,373 +0.9%
Source:
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census
DenisonIowaPopPlot
The population of Denison, Iowa from US census data
Denison, Iowa aerial 02A
Aerial view of Denison from the southwest, 2012

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 8,298 people, 2,816 households, and 1,866 families living in the city. The population density was 1,268.8 inhabitants per square mile (489.9/km2). There were 2,968 housing units at an average density of 453.8 per square mile (175.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.6% White, 2.3% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 23.0% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 42.1%.

Of the 2,816 households 38.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.7% were non-families. 28.1% of households were one person and 13.7% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.36.

The median age was 32.6 years. 29% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.5% were from 25 to 44; 21.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.9% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.7% male and 49.3% female.

The book on Denison

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dale Maharidge depicts a changing Denison in the early twenty-first century in his book Denison, Iowa: Searching for the Soul of America Through the Secrets of a Midwest Town. This book features photographs by Maharidge's photographic partner and fellow Pulitzer-winner, Michael Williamson.

National Register of Historic Places


Education

The Denison Community School District operates area public schools.

Notable people

  • Kyle Borland, NFL player
  • Charles Congden Carpenter, naturalist and herpetologist
  • Clarence Duncan Chamberlin, aviation pioneer
  • James Perry Conner (1851–1924) five-term US Representative from 1900–1909
  • Chuck Darling, member of 1956 Summer Olympics basketball gold medalists, First team All-American at University of Iowa
  • Arthur C. Greene (1881-1958), member of the Iowa House of Representatives
  • James E. Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Donna Reed, Academy Award-winning actress; Donna Reed Foundation's headquarters are in Denison
  • Brandon Scherff, offensive tackle for the NFL's Washington Commanders
  • L.M. Shaw (1848–1932) 17th Governor of Iowa and United States Secretary of the Treasury
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