kids encyclopedia robot

Knoxville, Iowa facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Knoxville, Iowa
"Knoxville" sign found on the north side along IA 14
"Knoxville" sign found on the north side along IA 14
Location of Knoxville, Iowa
Location of Knoxville, Iowa
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Marion
 • Total 4.62 sq mi (11.97 km2)
 • Land 4.62 sq mi (11.96 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
909 ft (277 m)
 • Total 7,595
 • Density 1,644.65/sq mi (635.03/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
50138, 50197, 50198
Area code(s) 641
FIPS code 19-42015
GNIS feature ID 0458137
Main Street, Knoxville, Iowa, 1945

Knoxville is a city in Marion County, Iowa, United States. The population was 7,595 at the time of the 2020 census, a increase from 7,313 in the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Marion County. Knoxville is home of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, located next to the famous Knoxville Raceway dirt track.


The site for the future county seat of Marion County was selected because it was within a mile of the geographic center of the county, reasonably level and near a good source of timber. The first town lots were sold in 1845, and the town was named after Knoxville, a small town in Iowa which was created in 1845 to be the county seat for Marion County.

Marion County, Iowa Courthouse
Marion County Courthouse

In early 1853, the citizens of Marion County created a committee to attract railroad development to the county and to Knoxville, promising to buy shares in any railroad that reached town. The first contender was the Muscatine, Oskaloosa & Council Bluffs, proposing an east-west line that would pass through Knoxville, the line being suggested in January of 1868 by the proposed Muscatine, Oskaloosa & Council Bluffs. By 1875, when this line reached Knoxville, it was the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. The second railroad to reach Knoxville was the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, which completed a line from Oskaloosa in 1876, it being the second railroad to reach Knoxville, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific which completed a line from Oskaloosa in 1876.

Systematic coal mining in Marion County began with the Union Coal Company's mine in Flagler, 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Knoxville in around 1874 or 1875. For several years, the Number 5 mine in Flagler was one of the most productive in Iowa, employing around 150 men and working a coal vein over 8 feet (2.5 m) thick. The Oak Hill coal company also had mines in Flagler. Systematic coal mining Marion County Union Coal Company Flagler mine productive Iowa employing 150 Coal Company Knoxville, Systematic coal mining Marion Iowa County Iowa Iowa Coal Flagler 1874 or 1875 Knoxville Raceway dirt track mining.

Shortly after the railroad reached Knoxville, J. T. James opened a coal mine in town just 8 blocks north of the courthouse. This mine continued in operation until 1890. 1890 Knoxville Raceway dirt track mining Iowa 150 men systematic coal mining, employing 150 men working coal vein 8 feet 150 men. Oak Hill thick mines dirt track mining. A second mine nearby was operated by W. A. Gamble. In the 1880s, the White Breast Fuel Company opened the Number 11 mine at Flagler. This mine operated in a coal vein that was locally up to 14 feet thick, but only locally. Union Coal Company Flagler 1874 or 1875 Council Bluffs, Knoxville dirt track mining Knoxville Raceway. The mine continued operating until 1892, working in progressively thinner coal as it expanded.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,124
1870 800 −28.8%
1880 2,577 222.1%
1890 2,632 2.1%
1900 3,131 19.0%
1910 3,190 1.9%
1920 3,523 10.4%
1930 4,697 33.3%
1940 6,936 47.7%
1950 7,625 9.9%
1960 7,817 2.5%
1970 7,755 −0.8%
1980 8,143 5.0%
1990 8,232 1.1%
2000 7,731 −6.1%
2010 7,313 −5.4%
2020 7,595 3.9%
Iowa Data Center

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 7,313 people, 3,169 households, and 1,925 families living in the city. The population density was 1,579.5 inhabitants per square mile (609.8/km2). There were 3,527 housing units at an average density of 761.8 per square mile (294.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.9% White, 1.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 3,169 households, of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.3% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 41 years. 24.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.5% were from 25 to 44; 26.4% were from 45 to 64; and 19.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.


Knoxille is located in the South central portion of the State.Knoxville is located 2 miles (3.2 km) east of White Breast Creek and 6 miles southwest of the confluence of White Breast Creek and the Des Moines River in Lake Red Rock, at 41°19′9″N 93°6′5″W / 41.31917°N 93.10139°W / 41.31917; -93.10139 (41.319096, -93.101509).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.63 square miles (11.99 km2), all of it land.


The Knoxville Community School District operates local public schools.

Notable people

  • Robert L. Burns, member of the Los Angeles City Council (1929–1945)
  • George Kruck Cherrie, naturalist and explorer, born in Knoxville
  • James Fee, photographer
  • Dixie Cornell Gebhardt, designer of the Flag of Iowa
  • Joseph P. Graw, Minnesota state representative and businessman
  • Edward R. Hays, U.S. congressman (1890–1891)
  • James Mathews, U.S. congressman; professor at Iowa State College.
  • Howard B. Myers, economist
  • Frank Steunenberg, governor of Idaho (1897–1901); assassinated in 1905
  • Edward C. Stone, director of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1991–2001); professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology
  • William M. Stone, governor of Iowa (1864–1868)
  • William Corwin Stuart, attorney and jurist
  • Jon Thorup, member of the Iowa House of Representatives
  • Henry Carroll Timmonds, Missouri state representative and judge in late 1800s
kids search engine
Knoxville, Iowa Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.