Postville, Iowa

Postville is a city in Allamakee and Clayton Counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. It lies near the junction of four counties and at the intersection of U.S. Routes 18 and 52 and Iowa Highway 51, with airport facilities in the neighboring communities of Waukon, Decorah, Monona, and Prairie du Chien. The population was 2,273 at the 2000 census. The city is located in the southwestern corner of Allamakee County and the northwestern corner of Clayton County in a quad county or four corner region where four counties meet in the same spot. Winneshiek County is just to the west, and Fayette County is located just to the southwest of Postville.


The population of Postville was predominantly German and Norwegian for much of its existence. In 1987, a group of Hasidic Jews of the Lubavitch movement from New York purchased a non-Kosher slaughterhouse, refurbished it according to Hasidic Law and named the facility Agriprocessors. Since then, Postville has seen an influx of people, including Ukrainians, Russians, Mexicans, Guatemalans and Filipinos.

The interaction of long time Postville residents with newcomers was the subject of a book about the town, Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America (ISBN 0-15-100652-0), written by Stephen Bloom, a professor at the University of Iowa.

Postville was also the boyhood home of 1946 Nobel laureate John R. Mott.

The name of the Orthodox synagogue in Postville is Congregation Achdut Israel. The main Latino restaurant is Sabor Latino. The only Roman Catholic Church is St. Brigit's.


Postville's growth during the last 15 years has been due to the presence of two large meat processing plants, Agriprocessors and Iowa Turkey Products. Agriprocessors, the kosher meat plant, is the largest of its type in the world, which as of February 2008 employs about 900 people and purchases $100 million worth of livestock annually. Iowa Turkey Products, which burnt in December 2003, was another major employer in the community. The plant has since rebuilt in Marshall, Minnesota. Postville also is the home to a plastics factory, Norplex.


Postville is located at (43.085102, -91.569515).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,273 people, 792 households, and 548 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,093.6 people per square mile (421.9/km²). There were 824 housing units at an average density of 396.5/sq mi (153.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.59% White, 0.62% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 17.03% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.63% of the population. Estimates of the Hasidic population range from 150 (American Jewish Year Book) to more than 300.

There were 792 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,667, and the median income for a family was $40,125. Males had a median income of $22,083 versus $16,596 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,264. About 9.4% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.


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