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West Union, Iowa
West Union Heiserman Library
West Union Heiserman Library
Deeply connected
Location of West Union, Iowa
Location of West Union, Iowa
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Fayette
 • Total 2.75 sq mi (7.11 km2)
 • Land 2.75 sq mi (7.11 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,188 ft (362 m)
 • Total 2,490
 • Density 906.44/sq mi (350.02/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 563
FIPS code 19-84765
GNIS feature ID 0462922
Downtown, West Union, Iowa 1910

West Union is a city in Fayette County, Iowa, United States. The population was 2,490 at the time of the 2020 census. It is the county seat of Fayette County.


Originally called Knob Prairie, it was founded by William Wells, naming it for his hometown, also called West Union, in Ohio.


West Union is located at 42°57′43″N 91°48′36″W / 42.96194°N 91.81000°W / 42.96194; -91.81000 (42.962035, -91.810055).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.78 square miles (7.20 km2), all of it land.

The city lies at the junction of U.S. Route 18 with Iowa Highways 56 and 150.

West Union is the home of the North Fayette Valley Community School District, which comprises the communities of West Union; Clermont; Elgin; Wadena; Hawkeye; Fayette, the unincorporated town of Alpha and the surrounding rural areas. North Fayette and Valley Community Schools combined services in 2013 with the high school in West Union and the middle school in Elgin. The new school's mascot is called the Tigerhawks, due to the merging of the schools mascots, the Valley Tigers and the North Fayette Hawks. This agreement came about as a result of low enrollment and less state aid. This agreement will last until the 2015-2016 school year, unless the two districts' school boards decide to end it early. At the end of the 2015-16 school year, the school boards can decide to either: continue the whole-grade sharing agreement, end the agreement and go back to the North Fayette and Valley school districts, or officially consolidate the two districts.


West Union historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1870 1,489 —    
1880 1,551 +4.2%
1890 1,676 +8.1%
1900 1,935 +15.5%
1910 1,652 −14.6%
1920 1,777 +7.6%
1930 2,056 +15.7%
1940 2,059 +0.1%
1950 2,141 +4.0%
1960 2,551 +19.1%
1970 2,624 +2.9%
1980 2,783 +6.1%
1990 2,490 −10.5%
2000 2,549 +2.4%
2010 2,486 −2.5%
2020 2,490 +0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,486 people, 1,106 households, and 626 families living in the city. The population density was 894.2 inhabitants per square mile (345.3/km2). There were 1,240 housing units at an average density of 446.0 per square mile (172.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.4% White, 1.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.

There were 5,106 households, of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.4% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.80.

The median age in the city was 42.4 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.1% were from 25 to 44; 24.9% were from 45 to 64; and 22.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.


West Union is a part of the North Fayette Valley Community School District. It was previously a part of the North Fayette Community School District, which merged into the North Fayette Valley district on July 1, 2018.

Notable people

  • Lucien Lester Ainsworth (1831–1902), U.S. Representative from Iowa's 3rd congressional district
  • George Willis Botsford (1862–1917), classical scholar and history professor at Columbia University
  • Robert B. Kamm (1919–2008), former President of Oklahoma State University–Stillwater
  • Addie Dickman Miller (1859–1936), College founder and inventor
  • Paul Peek (1904–1987), Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

See also

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