is a city in Franklin
Counties of the U.S. state
. The population was 675 at the 2000 census
Dows is located at (42.656882, -93.502175).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²), of which, 0.8 square miles (2.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (3.75%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 675 people, 290 households, and 164 families residing in the city. The population density
was 867.3 people per square mile (334.1/km²). There were 320 housing units at an average density of 411.2/sq mi (158.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.30% White
, 0.89% Asian
, 6.37% from other races
, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 9.19% of the population.
There were 290 households out of which 21.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.4% were non-families. 40.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 26.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,141, and the median income for a family was $35,156. Males had a median income of $22,386 versus $25,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,109. About 8.1% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.
Dows was founded in 1880 and once had a population of nearly 1,500. The community, located two miles west of Interstate 35, maintains a high quality of life with low costs and a friendly environment. The Dows Historical Society and community volunteers have restored several historical buildings, three of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rock Island Depot in Dows was built in 1896. The historical society purchased and restored the depot in 1988 that houses an Iowa Welcome Center and historical railroad and community memorabilia. The Quasdorf Blacksmith and Wagon Museum was built in 1899 and was restored in 1990. This is one of the best equipped blacksmith shops in the Midwest. The Fillmore Building, a large cornerstone building on the south side of Main Street, was built in 1894 and has housed many businesses over the years. In 1987 the building was purchased by the historical society and restored. In 1989, the Dows Mercantile and Crème de la Crème were opened in the building. The Dows Mercantile is an antique mall covering three floors. The Crème de la Crème is a sandwich shop/ice cream parlor.
The Vernon Township Schoolhouse was built in 1887 and is a typical of what one-room, country schoolhouses were like in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The building was moved to town and was restored both inside and out. The schoolhouse is furnished with original desks, blackboards, and books. Another historical building located in the downtown area is the Evans Prairie Home, located across from the Welcome Center.
In 2003 the Dows Community Convention Center was built on Main Street. The building was modeled similarly to the Exchange Block that once stood as the cornerstone building to the north side of Main Street. The building includes a 4,800 square foot convention room and a 360 square foot meeting room. Also included is a large kitchen as well as many tables, internet hook ups, and nice restrooms. The building also houses the city offices.
Dows has many businesses and amenities in addition to the historical sites, many of which are located downtown, that include a weekly newspaper, grocery store, pharmacy and sundries, clothing store, hair salons, TV store, medical clinic, flowers and gifts, insurance, restaurant, legion hall, bank, post office, senior citizens center, full-service gas station and auto repair, library, law offices, seeds, farmers’ cooperative, lawn mower sales, contractor, city park with large shelter, convenience store/gas station, swimming pool, and camping.
Dows Community School District was established in 1880. The high school was located in what is today city park. In 1914 brick school building was built in the northwest side of town, where it stands today. The building is two stories and has a finished basement. In 1935, a two story addition was built to the west that includes the gymnasium, offices, home economics room, and the upper level includes the library media center with two computer labs. In 1954 a one-story addition was built to the west that includes six elementary classrooms, band room, art room, ICN room, and Ag/Shop area. In 1961 an addition was built to the west of the elementary wing and includes four additional elementary classrooms. It was in the 1950’s and 1960’s that enrollment reached record levels of over 530 students. In 1980 a multipurpose room was built to the north of the gym. In the 1980’s and 1990’s a bond issue was passed an extensive renovations were completed to all parts of the building.
Dows maintained a K-12 elementary program, with a community funded preschool program, until 1998. In some of the years leading up to 1998 the district began sharing some of the athletic programs with CAL and Northeast Hamilton. The last class to graduate from Dows High School was in 1998. In the fall of that same year, the district began a whole grade sharing agreement with CAL Community School of Latimer that would last for the next seven years. Dows students in high school attended CAL while CAL students in middle school (6-8) attended Dows. Each district maintained separate elementary programs.
In 2005 the district began a ten year whole grade sharing agreement with Clarion-Goldfield Community School District. Dows maintains it’s own separate P/K-5 elementary school and students in grades 6-12 attend school in Clarion. The districts also share a superintendent, curriculum coordinator, and other staff positions. In 2006, the district began the Tiger Learning Center (TLC), an after school program. In 2008, Dows Elementary School became a multi-age school that combines classrooms for 2nd and 3rd grades as well as 4th and 5th grades. In 2009 a kindergarten/1st grade room will also be added. Dows Elementary offers small class sizes that provide individualized attention and an academic program that can compete with any in the state.
Clarion-Goldfield Community School District has an enrollment of over 950 students and covers an area in Wright, Hancock, and Humboldt counties of 254 square miles. The Dows Community School District covers 101 square miles in Wright and Franklin counties. The district has a certified enrollment of 134 students (2007-08) living in the district in grades K-12 with about 60 students attending Dows Elementary School.
The Dows area has many churches including the First Lutheran Church, United Methodist Church, United Presbyterian Church, Abundant Life Chapel, Sovereign Grace Church (located inside the Presbyterian Church), Morgan Methodist Church, and Vernon Lutheran Church.
Dows Corn Days
The first weekend in August always marks a large celebration, the Dows Corn Days. The festivities include an impressive parade, entertainment in the park, food vendors, inflatable rides, several activities, and a community church service.
Rest Area/Travel Center
A new rest area was built near the interstate with a Civil War theme in 2003. Construction has begun on the “Dows Junction” Travel Center that will include a gas station/truck stop, convenience store, and fast food restaurant (Arby’s). It will also promote the historical sites in Dows, just two miles away. It is hoped the two projects along with the convention center and historical sites will encourage tourism and economic development.