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Moville, Iowa
Location of Moville, Iowa
Location of Moville, Iowa
Coordinates: 42°29′18″N 96°4′12″W / 42.48833°N 96.07000°W / 42.48833; -96.07000Coordinates: 42°29′18″N 96°4′12″W / 42.48833°N 96.07000°W / 42.48833; -96.07000
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Woodbury
Incorporated August 13, 1889
 • Total 0.95 sq mi (2.46 km2)
 • Land 0.95 sq mi (2.46 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,178 ft (359 m)
 • Total 1,687
 • Density 1,776.1/sq mi (685.77/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 712 Exchange: 873
FIPS code 19-54930
GNIS feature ID 0459367

Moville is a city in Woodbury County, Iowa, United States. It is part of the Sioux City, IA–NESD Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,687 in the 2020 census, an increase from 1,583 in 2000.


John B McDermott is credited with naming the town of Moville after his birthplace in Moville, Ireland (County Donegal). In 1868, he and other men from the area established a post office at the McDermott home. Because McDermott and his wife Martha housed the post office, they chose to name their new town "Moville." Only two Movilles exist in the world. In Iowa, it is pronounced "MOH ville" while in Ireland it is pronounced "Moe-Ville."

On April 23, 1887, the West Town Lot Company filed at the Woodbury County Courthouse a platted map to be known as the town of Moville, Iowa. Moville citizens approved incorporation of the town in a special election held Aug. 10, 1889. The Articles of Incorporation were filed and approved on Aug. 13, 1889 by the clerk of district court, Woodbury County. Townspeople celebrated its centennial June 19–21, 1987 and celebrated its quasquicentennial (125 years) in 2012.


Moville is located at 42°29′18″N 96°4′12″W / 42.48833°N 96.07000°W / 42.48833; -96.07000 (42.488210, -96.069997).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.89 square miles (2.31 km2), all of it land.

Moville is located just north of the north lane of Highway 20, approximately 15 miles (24 km) east of Sioux City, Iowa.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 296
1900 507 71.3%
1910 552 8.9%
1920 878 59.1%
1930 911 3.8%
1940 973 6.8%
1950 964 −0.9%
1960 1,156 19.9%
1970 1,198 3.6%
1980 1,273 6.3%
1990 1,306 2.6%
2000 1,583 21.2%
2010 1,618 2.2%
2020 1,687 4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

For comparison, in 1895, shortly after the town officially incorporated, there were 95 dwellings, 92 families, 2 foreigners, 15 births (1894), 4 deaths (1894), 1 blind, 201 males, 198 females, 168 married, 231 single, 12 widowed and 3 divorced.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,618 people, 643 households, and 460 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,818.0 inhabitants per square mile (701.9/km2). There were 669 housing units at an average density of 751.7 per square mile (290.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.7% White, 0.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 643 households, of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.8% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.5% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the city was 38.7 years. 28.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.9% were from 25 to 44; 25.8% were from 45 to 64; and 15.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.

Parks and recreation

Moville is home to three parks within city limits and one just north of town.

  • Moville City Park (built in 1916)
  • Memorial Park (built in 1942) includes a shelterhouse and a children's play area in its shady location just up the hill east from the town's swimming pool. Following WW2, the American Legion set and dedicated the memorial boulder in recognition of the town's servicemen and women. The Moville Woman's Club installed drinking fountains, and churches contributed the pillars that mark the entrances into the park. A fireplace was built in remembrance of a well-revered scoutmaster.
  • Veterans Park (built 2005) is a block south of Main Street and its landmark flagpole.
  • Midway Park (built 1955) is the site of an abandoned state gravel pit situated about midway between the towns of Moville, Kingsley, Iowa and Pierson, Iowa. The north pit was once safe for swimming, so a sandy beach was formed, lifeguards were put on duty, a bath-house was constructed and trees were planted. The south side of the gravel pit was for fishing, boating and picnicking. In the early 1980s, the park was turned over to the direction of the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors; it is no longer a swimming area but is used for ice fishing, and summer picnics and fishing.
  • Jack Haskell Swimming Pool

Arts and culture

  • Woodbury County Library dates back to 1929 when it was organized by the Moville Woman's Club and called the Moville Public Library. By 1943, the library was developing so rapidly that its board of directors asked the Moville Town Council to assume full responsibility for it. On Nov. 3, 1948, the Woodbury County Library was voted into existence, and established its headquarters in Moville in August 1950. In 1954, it merged with the Woodbury County Library and added its book collection of approximately 4,000 volumes, many of which came from the personal libraries of members of the Moville Woman's Club as well as other local citizens. Once merged with the county library system, the circulation of the Woodbury County Library during its first year was 22,422. By 1961, it had increased to a circulation of more than 125,000 (30,000 volumes) in its county-wide system. By 1987, the library included more than 60,000 volumes and 1,000 film strips, with a circulation of more than 90,000 among the 12,000 residents it served. Board members include a person from each of the following towns in Woodbury County: Lawton, Moville, Hornick, Danbury, Anthon, Bronson and Pierson. In July 2006, the library moved from its former location in downtown Moville into the newly built Moville Community Center, located on land donated by Robert L. and Carol Logan of Moville.

Annual events

Moville is home to the annual Woodbury County Fair, which attracts visitors and exhibits from all around Siouxland. Grandstand events attract the largest crowds, and include a tractor pull, musical performances, and demolition derby.

The town also hosts an annual Moville Days celebration, usually around the beginning of June.


Post office in Moville, Iowa
Post office in Moville, Iowa
  • Woodbury County REC (Rural Electric Cooperative) was incorporated as a private corporation under the laws of the State of Iowa on July 19, 1938. In 1956, power became available on a wholesale basis from the Bureau of Reclamation (and generated at the dams on the Missouri River in South Dakota). The REC receives its power from five substations, and by 1987, it had approximately 1,054 miles (1,696 km) of line in operation, serving 2,598 locations. The cooperative is strictly nonprofit and all revenue above the cost of delivering power to members is pro-rated back to these members on the basis of their business done with the cooperative.
  • Meadows Country Club Public Course is a medium-length regulation 9-hole golf course and driving range. It includes three sets of tee boxes for an enjoyable but challenging (somewhat hilly) golf experience on about 70 acres (280,000 m2). Designed by Martin Johnson, the bluegrass course was built in 1967–68 on land donated by Charlie and Helen Logan of Moville; its clubhouse is a former two-story barn (60 ft X 100 ft) built in 1917 for the purpose of breeding, raising and showing draft horses raised by Helen Logan's father: W.W. McElrath. Back tees: Par 36, 3,388 yards, USGA course/slope ratings: 71.8/115. It was named Iowa's "9-Hole Course of the Year" in 2014.
  • Moville Elderly Housing
  • MCDAI (Moville Community Development Action Inc.) was incorporated in July 1961 for the town's Jubilee in 1962. An annual meeting is held each October 1. Its purpose is to raise monies to create, update and add to community projects to benefit its citizens. MCDAI has been instrumental in bringing a doctor into town, adding to its volunteer ambulance and fire departments, and promoting housing.
  • Senior Center of Moville


Moville is home to the Woodbury Central Community School District, and home of the Woodbury Central Wildcats.

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