Remsen was platted by the Iowa Falls and Sioux City Railroad Town Land and Lot Company August 28th, 1876, and was incorporated in the spring of 1889. The population in 1885 was given at 650, of which 400 were American born.
Remsen was settled by mostly Luxembourg immigrants. Plagued by religious persecution, unwelcome Prussian military conscription and economic limitations, the early immigrants left their native land to start a new life in the land of opportunity now called Remsen.
Remsen citizens retained their Luxembourg traditions of deep religious faith, and loyal, energetic, hard working, and fun loving style. At the same time they contributed to their share in the building and development of America and were quick to respond whenever Uncle Sam called on his citizens for a service, always eager to do something for the land which gave them the opportunity to raise their families as free and independent American citizens.
These early independent settlers and their neighbors of German, Irish, and Scandinavian decent, developed this area into one of the most beautiful and prosperous areas in the state of Iowa.
There were 671 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, and 24.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,950, and the median income for a family was $48,250. Males had a median income of $32,841 versus $21,094 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,465. About 3.3% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.