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Marshalltown, Iowa
Main Street Marshalltown (2011)
Main Street Marshalltown (2011)
Location within Marshall County and Iowa
Location within Marshall County and Iowa
Country  United States
State Iowa
County Marshall
Founded 1853
Incorporated March 5, 1923
 • Total 19.22 sq mi (49.79 km2)
 • Land 19.20 sq mi (49.72 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
942 ft (287 m)
 • Total 27,591
 • Rank 17th in Iowa
 • Density 1,437.18/sq mi (554.89/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 641
FIPS code 19-49755
GNIS ID 0458824

Marshalltown is a city in and the county seat of Marshall County, Iowa, United States, located along the Iowa River. It is the seat of Marshall County and the 16th largest city in Iowa, with a population of 27,591 at the 2020 census. Marshalltown is home to the Iowa Veterans Home and Marshalltown Community College.


Anson Log Cabin Plaque
Plaque marking the location of Henry Anson's log cabin.

Henry Anson was the first European settler in what is now called Marshalltown. In April 1851, Anson found what he described as “the prettiest place in Iowa.” On a high point between the Iowa River and Linn Creek, Anson built a log cabin. A plaque at 112 West Main Street marks the site of the cabin. In 1853 Anson named the town Marshall, after Marshall, Michigan, a former residence of his.

The town became Marshalltown in 1862 because another Marshall already existed in Henry County, Iowa (In 1880, Marshall's name changed to Wayland). With the help of Potawatomi chief Johnny Green, Anson persuaded early settlers to stay in the area. In the mid-1850s, Anson donated land for a county courthouse. Residents donated money for the building’s construction. In 1863 the title of county seat transferred from the village of Marietta to Marshalltown. The young town began growing. By 1900, Marshalltown had 10,000 residents. Many industries began developing in Marshalltown, like Fisher Controls, Lennox International and Marshalltown Company.


Adrian Constantine "Cap" Anson, son of Henry and Jennette Anson, was the first European child born in the new pioneer town and is today known as Marshalltown’s “first son”. Adrian became a Major League Baseball player and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. He was regarded as one of the greatest players of his era and one of the first superstars of the game.

Adrian "Cap" Anson, first baseman, Chicago White Stockings, 1887
Adrian Cap Anson

Baseball steadily became popular as Marshalltown grew in the mid-1800s. Adrian’s brother Sturgis also became a talented baseball player and both went to play on intra-school teams at the University of Notre Dame. Both later returned to Marshalltown to play baseball for the town team. Along with their father Henry, the town’s founder, they put together a team and became the most prominent team in the state of Iowa. The Marshalltown team, with Henry Anson at third base, Adrian's brother Sturgis in center field, and Adrian at second base, won the Iowa state championship in 1868. In 1870 Marshalltown played an exhibition game with the talented Rockford Forest Citys. Although Marshalltown lost the game, Rockford’s management offered contracts to all three of the Ansons. Adrian accepted the contract, which began his professional career in baseball in 1871.

Baseball continued its popularity in Marshalltown. In the early 1880s Billy Sunday played for the town baseball team. In 1882, with Sunday in left field, the Marshalltown team defeated the state champion Des Moines team 13-4. Marshalltown later formed a minor league team naming it after the Anson family, the Marshalltown Ansons. From 1914-1928 the team played in the Central Association and Mississippi Valley League.


Marshalltown is located at 42°2′30″N 92°54′52″W / 42.04167°N 92.91444°W / 42.04167; -92.91444 (42.041742, 92.914580).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.31 square miles (50.01 km2), of which 19.28 square miles (49.93 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water. Neighboring counties include Hardin and Grundy to the North, Tama County to the east, Jasper to the south, and Story County to the west.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 981
1870 3,218 228.0%
1880 6,240 93.9%
1890 8,914 42.9%
1900 11,544 29.5%
1910 13,374 15.9%
1920 15,731 17.6%
1930 17,373 10.4%
1940 19,240 10.7%
1950 19,821 3.0%
1960 22,521 13.6%
1970 26,219 16.4%
1980 26,938 2.7%
1990 25,178 −6.5%
2000 26,009 3.3%
2010 27,552 5.9%
2020 27,591 0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

Marshalltown is notably more ethnically diverse than the State of Iowa overall. In 2019, 85% of Iowans were non-Hispanic whites, compared to just 59.8% of Marshalltonians. Most of this discrepancy can be explained by the sizable Hispanic population in Marshalltown (30.7% in 2019).

Racial Composition 2019 2010 2000 1990
White 81.1% 84.8% 86.8% 97.1%
—Non-Hispanic 59.8% 70.3% 83.6% 96.6%
Black or African American 1.6% 2.2% 1.3% 1.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 30.7% 24.1% 12.6% 1.0%
Asian 5.2% 1.7% 1.0% 1.1%

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 27,552 people in 10,335 households, including 6,629 families, in the city. The population density was 1,429.0 inhabitants per square mile (551.7/km2). There were 11,171 housing units at an average density of 579.4 per square mile (223.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.8% White, 2.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 7.9% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.1%.

Of the 10,335 households 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.9% were non-families. 29.8% of households were one person and 12.6% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.18.

The median age was 37.3 years. 26.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.1% were from 25 to 44; 24.9% were from 45 to 64; and 16.7% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.



US 30.svg U.S. Route 30 bypasses the town to the south, while Iowa 14.svg Iowa Highway 14 runs through the center of town. An expressway, Iowa 330.svg Iowa Highway 330 connects Marshalltown to Des Moines.

Marshalltown has bus (Marshalltown Municipal Transit or MMT) and taxicab services. It is also served by Trailways Coach Nationwide.

A municipal airport serves the county, approximately four miles north of town. The closest commercial airport is Des Moines International Airport, 53 miles (85.3 km) miles to the southwest.

There currently is no passenger rail service.

Sister city relations

  • Russia Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai, Russia.
  • Japan Minami-Alps, Yamanashi, Japan


Local businesses

  • Marshalltown Company, a manufacturer of American tools for many construction and archaeological applications, is based in Marshalltown.
  • The Big Treehouse, a large tourist attraction located outside of Marshalltown.

Top employers

According to Marshalltown's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 JBS USA (formerly Swift & Company) 2,270
2 Emerson Electric - Fisher Flow Controls 1,135
3 Marshalltown Community School District 950
4 Lennox Industries, Inc. 915
5 Iowa Veterans Home 865
6 UnityPoint Health 400
7 Hy-Vee 340
8 Walmart 300
9 Marshalltown Community College 245
10 City of Marshalltown 199
11 McFarland Clinic PC 185
12 Marshall County 183


Marshalltown Community School District serves Marshalltown.

The first schoolhouse in Marshalltown was a log cabin built in 1853. The building stood on Main Street between Third and Fourth Streets. Neary Hoxie served as the first teacher.

In 1874, high school classes were held in an old building on North Center Street. The high school had 45 students and C.P. Rogers served as the school's superintendent.

In 2020, there are multiple schools in Marshalltown, Iowa. There are 5 elementary schools, one intermediate school, a catholic (PREK-6) and Christian school (1-8), and a middle school (7-8). There is also Marshalltown High School, with over 1,000 students.

East Marshall Community School District serves small portions of the Marshalltown city limits. The district was established on July 1, 1992 by the merger of the LDF and SEMCO school districts. The BCLUW Community School District serves some rural areas nearby Marshalltown.

Notable people

  • Wynn Speece (1917–2007), "Neighbor Lady" on WNAX (AM) for 64 years
  • Billy Sunday (1862–1935), Major League Baseball player and Christian evangelist of early 20th Century
  • Henry Haven Windsor (1859–1924), author, magazine editor, publisher, founder and first editor of Popular Mechanics
  • Michelle Vieth, Mexican-American actress, born in Marshalltown
  • Peter Zeihan (1973–), geopolitical strategist, author, and speaker

See also

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