Ackley, Iowa

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Ackley is a city located in Iowa. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 1,809.



Location of Ackley, Iowa

Ackley is located at Template:Coor dms (42.552498, -93.053772)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.4 km² (2.5 mi²). 6.3 km² (2.5 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.21% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 1,809 people, 734 households, and 482 families residing in the city. The population density is 285.1/km² (737.8/mi²). There are 817 housing units at an average density of 128.8/km² (333.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 93.75% White, 0.17% African American, 0.00% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 4.48% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 8.24% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 734 households out of which 29.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% are married couples living together, 7.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% are non-families. 32.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 18.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.32 and the average family size is 2.94.

In the city the population is spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 22.4% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 26.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 44 years. For every 100 females there are 85.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 80.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $36,250, and the median income for a family is $44,200. Males have a median income of $30,428 versus $21,607 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,406. 8.3% of the population and 5.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 11.9% of those under the age of 18 and 2.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

A Short History of Ackley

As early as 1852 immigrants were purchasing farms and settling in this north Hardin County area. Mills were built on the Iowa River south of the community and in 1856 a stage line went through from Cedar Falls to Fort Dodge. Also at this time plans were made for a railroad and surveyors were sent out to map the territory. One of these surveyors was William J. Ackley. he and three other land developers platted the town and filed with the Hardin County Recorder in 1858. Mr. Ackley gave his name to the town but he never lived there.

A few settlers took up residence in Ackley but until the Civil War ended and the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad came through, very little happened. The completion of the railroad in October of 1865 brought on a rush of settlers and businessmen and the town boomed. Elevators for grain storage and shipment were built. Lumber yards provided materials for buildings, grocery stores, hardware and farming equipment was sold, restaurants and saloons sprang up, doctors and lawyers came

By 1870 the town had a brick schoolhouse, five churches, a mayor and council, a newspaper, many stores and dwellings. There was also the promise of a second railroad, running north and south. In the next thirty years the town replaced the frame buildings on Main Street with brick structures, built a waterworks, established a light plant, built hotels, and provided many cultural opportunities for the residents. The population at that time was about 2,000.

There was much excitement over the coming of the automobile. A local mechanic constructed a horseless carriage in 1905 which ran to Spencer and back but was not further promoted. Ackley did go ahead and pave the main streets in town by 1915 and many auto dealers started business.

After WWI a new school was built and Ackley participated in athletic sports, music and academic activities with surrounding schools. It weathered the depression, established a food processing company, a popular ice cream maker, a plumbing and heating contractor with state wide reputation, sent school athletic teams to State Tournaments, won Band awards, built a library and swimming pool.

Today Ackley's population has dwindled somewhat and there are fewer retail stores on Main Street, but it is an active community. Its citizens are active in establishing parks, schools, churches, community events. One of special importance is Sauerkraut Days---an annual celebration started in 1902 and continuing to this day.

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