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Gowrie, Iowa
Location of Gowrie, Iowa
Location of Gowrie, Iowa
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Webster
 • Total 1.44 sq mi (3.73 km2)
 • Land 1.44 sq mi (3.73 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,142 ft (348 m)
 • Total 952
 • Density 661.57/sq mi (255.45/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 515
FIPS code 19-31710
GNIS feature ID 0456991

Gowrie is a city in Webster County, Iowa. The population was 952 at the time of the 2020 census. The town has a swimming pool, golf course, athletic stadium, and curb-and-gutter throughout the community.


A post office called Gowrie has been in operation since 1871. The city was named after Gowrie, in Scotland.


Gowrie is located at 42°16′47″N 94°17′29″W / 42.279715°N 94.291520°W / 42.279715; -94.291520 (42.279715, -94.291520).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.45 square miles (3.76 km2), all of it land.


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1880 261 —    
1890 526 +101.5%
1900 681 +29.5%
1910 829 +21.7%
1920 895 +8.0%
1930 1,059 +18.3%
1940 1,028 −2.9%
1950 1,052 +2.3%
1960 1,127 +7.1%
1970 1,225 +8.7%
1980 1,089 −11.1%
1990 1,028 −5.6%
2000 1,038 +1.0%
2010 1,037 −0.1%
2020 952 −8.2%
Source: and Iowa Data Center
U.S. Decennial Census
The population of Gowrie, Iowa from US census data

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,037 people, 442 households, and 281 families living in the city. The population density was 715.2 inhabitants per square mile (276.1/km2). There were 489 housing units at an average density of 337.2 per square mile (130.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.7% White, 1.0% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 442 households, of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.4% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.9% 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 2.88.

The median age in the city was 45.2 years. 25.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.8% were from 25 to 44; 25.9% were from 45 to 64; and 24.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.6% male and 53.4% female.

Arts and culture

Each year, the town hosts the Gowrie 4 July Celebration, which draws thousands of people from around the state for the parade, fireworks, carnival, and bandshell performances. The parade is the longest running consecutive parade in Iowa, beginning in 1873 and continuing each year since. Crowds of 10,000-20,000 are common. Some highlights of the past include a visit by President Richard Nixon's daughter, Patricia, in 1968, the Bill Riley Talent Show for several years, an appearance by the O's Gold Famous 40 Horse Hitch in 1976, and a concert by opera singer Simon Estes in 2011.

Several churches stand in testament to a strong faith community, including both Methodist and Lutheran churches. Zion Evangelic Lutheran Church, a magnificent open-arched structure, was built by hometown business, Johnson Lumber Company, owned by Axel and Carl Johnson, and was completed in March, 1931.


Gowrie is served by 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.

Notable people

  • Darrell Huff, writer
  • Everett Franklin Lindquist, educator and creator of the ACT
  • Ronald H. Lingren, clinical psychologist and member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Carl A. Youngdale, decorated Major general in the United States Marine Corps
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