Asbury, Francis, 1745-1816, Methodist bishop in America, b. England. The Wesleyan conference in London sent him in 1771 as a missionary to America, where he promoted the growth of the circuit rider system that proved so eminently suited to frontier conditions. His powerful preaching, his skill in winning converts, and his mastery of organization had, by the end of the Revolution, established Asbury as the leader of American Methodism. In 1784, John Wesley ordained Dr. Thomas Coke as superintendent of the societies in America; Asbury was to be associate superintendent. At the American conference held that year, however, Asbury was the dominant figure and was made superintendent. He then assumed the title of bishop and took steps to institute a centralized church government. Although tormented by ill health, he maintained personal supervision of the expanding church, traveling on horseback over 5,000 mi (8,047 km) each year and strongly entrenching Methodism over the entire area of the new nation. His journal is valuable for its account of contemporary society as well of his personal life.

See his journal and letters (3 vol., 1958).

Asbury is a city in Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, and a suburb of the city of Dubuque. It is part of the Dubuque, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,450 at the 2000 census, but is now estimated to be 3,754 (2007). Asbury is the third-largest city in Dubuque County, but it will likely soon pass Dyersville, Iowa to become the second-largest. The city is largely a bedroom community, made up of spacious, new subdivisions whose residents work in Dubuque or Peosta, Iowa.

Asbury has experienced a 53.3% increase in population from 2000 to 2007, making it the state's 10th-fastest growing city (with 1,000 people or more) during that period.


Asbury was settled beginning in the 1830s, at first by Methodists. The city is named after British-born Bishop Francis Asbury, one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. The city was incorporated in 1933, following the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, which ended prohibition. The city incorporated to gain the legal standing necessary to sell alcohol, as liquor licenses were still forbidden in rural areas.

For most of its history, Asbury was very small, much like hundreds of other towns in rural Iowa. In the 1960 census, Asbury still had only 71 residents. During this time, the City of Dubuque grew immensely, and the sprawl reached the Asbury area beginning in the 1960s. By 1970, Asbury had 410 residents and had grown fast enough to become the fastest growing city in the state of Iowa.

Asbury continues to grow at a rapid pace today, expanding over 50% since the year 2000, and currently (2007) counts 3,754 residents. This number is certain to increase, as an ever-growing number of new subdivisions are being built or planned for the area.

Law and government

Asbury has a mayor-council form of government, employing a full-time city administrator, and part-time city council (mayor and 5 at-large city council members). The city administrator is Beth Bonz, the current mayor is Rick Anderson, and the council members are: Jim Adams, Bob Blok, Craig Miller, Bob Reisch, and Deb Roth. The city council meets at 7 P.M. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at Asbury City Hall.

The city council works on the advice of a number of citizen committees, including the following: Building Code Commission, Park & Recreation Board, Planning & Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and the Water Board. In addition, Asbury sends commissioners to the Eastern Iowa Housing Authority.

Asbury has 3 city departments: Public Safety (police & fire), Public Works, and Parks.

In the Iowa General Assembly, Asbury is represented by Senator Tom Hancock (D-Epworth) in the Iowa Senate, and Representative Steven Lukan (R-New Vienna) in the Iowa House of Representatives. At the federal level, it is within Iowa's 1st congressional district, represented by Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Asbury, and all of Iowa, are represented by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R) and Tom Harkin (D).


Asbury is located at (42.515648, -90.763235).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km²), all of it land.

The city operates three parks and a pedestrian trail. The parks include: Althaus Wetland & Nature Preserve, Asbury Park, and Maple Hills Park. The trail runs from Asbury Rd. to Maple Hills Park, and is part of Asbury's plan for having a city-wide trail network.


Serving primarily as a bedroom community, Asbury has only a small local economy. Most of its residents commute to work in Dubuque. Only a handful of businesses operate within the City of Asbury, however, this number has grown in recent years, along with an expanding population. Most people who do work in Asbury either are employed by the city government, or in the service-related businesses along Asbury and Saratoga Roads.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,450 people, 846 households, and 728 families residing in the city. The population density was 971.8 people per square mile (375.4/km²). There were 867 housing units at an average density of 343.9/sq mi (132.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.49% White, 0.49% African American, 0.37% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.73% of the population.

There were 846 households out of which 44.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 77.8% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.9% were non-families. 11.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 6.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $60,100, and the median income for a family was $64,097. Males had a median income of $41,935 versus $25,337 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,447. About 4.5% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.


All students living in Asbury are zoned to schools in the Dubuque Community School District. Elementary school students living in the central, eastern, and southern parts of Asbury are zoned to Carver Elementary School. Other students in northern, western, and southwestern Asbury (Arrowhead, Brook Haven, Forest Hills, Long Grove, Wedgewood) are zoned to Kennedy Elementary School. Asbury's middle school students are zoned to Roosevelt Middle School, and high school students are zoned to Hempstead High School.

There are no private schools currently operating in Asbury, but many parochial school students attend private schools in Dubuque, as they are open to anyone, regardless of location. Many of these students are enrolled in the Holy Family Catholic School System, and attend nearby Resurrection Elementary School, Mazzuchelli Middle School, and Wahlert High School. There is also a private elementary school serving the Lutheran community in the area, the Dubuque Lutheran School (LCMS affiliated).


Asbury is a city of neighborhoods. Since the city is very young, and much of its growth has occurred only recently, its subdivisions are still clearly identifiable. Generally, eastern and southern parts of the city are older, while northern and western areas are of entirely new construction. Asbury's "main street" is Asbury Road, and most of the neighborhoods branch off of this artery. The city is growing at a phenomenal clip, adding 544 new single-family homes since 2000.


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