Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Main Street (2008)
Location of Mount Pleasant, Iowa
|Incorporated||July 15, 1856 |
|• Mayor||Steve Brimhall|
|• Total||8.61 sq mi (22.30 km2)|
|• Land||8.60 sq mi (22.26 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||715 ft (218 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,008.49/sq mi (389.38/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0459328|
Mount Pleasant is a city in and the county seat of Henry County, Iowa. The population was 8,668 in the 2010 census, a decline from 8,751 in the 2000 census. It was founded in 1835 by pioneer Presley Saunders.
In the Union Block building in 1869, Arabella A. Mansfield became the first woman in the United States to be awarded a license to practice law. She had passed the bar exam with high scores and won a court case for entry to the bar. The legislature changed its statute.
The third floor of the Union Block housed the Opera House or Union Hall, a gathering place for the community. It attracted national speakers on tour, including abolitionists Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Anna Dickinson. James Harlan also spoke there, as he was president of Iowa Wesleyan College in the town, and later was elected several times to the United States Senate. This building had been considered one of the most endangered historic sites in Iowa.
The Mount Pleasant Mental Health Institute was built in 1861. However, in 1936, a fire did great damage to the building. The hospital had to be closed, as little of the facility survived the fire.
On December 10, 1986, Ralph Orin Davis, a resident, walked into a city council meeting and shot Mayor Edward King and two council members. Mayor King died of his wounds after being shot point blank in the head. The 69-year-old gunman had attended a couple of previous meetings, complaining about a backed-up sewer and wanting the city to pay for damages to his house. The two council members were seriously wounded. Tom Vilsack was the replacement mayor, later becoming governor for 8 years, and then Secretary of Agriculture for 8 years.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.53 square miles (22.09 km2), of which, 8.51 square miles (22.04 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 8,668 people, 3,127 households, and 1,935 families living in the city. The population density was 1,018.6 inhabitants per square mile (393.3/km2). There were 3,365 housing units at an average density of 395.4 per square mile (152.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.7% White, 4.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 4.4% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 2.4% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.7% of the population.
There were 3,127 households, of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.1% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.94.
The median age in the city was 37.3 years. 21.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 15.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 52.7% male and 47.3% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,751 people, 3,119 households, and 1,940 families living in the city. The population density was 1,137.3 people per square mile (439.4/km2). There were 3,355 housing units at an average density of 436.0 per square mile (168.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.46% White, 3.19% African American, 0.32% Native American, 3.53% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.79% of the population.
There were 3,119 households, out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.01.
Age spread: 22.5% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 110.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,558, and the median income for a family was $46,063. Males had a median income of $31,524 versus $22,628 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,824. About 8.3% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 9.4% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
Mount Pleasant is also home to the Midwest Old Thresher's Reunion which attracts a crowd numbering over 100,000 admissions annually during an extended five-day weekend which ends on Labor Day. The reunion dates back to 1950 and pays tribute to the agricultural heritage of the American Midwest in an extensive, highly interactive manner, with live-action exhibition-style displays centering on restored mechanical equipment, particularly steam engines, farm tractors, stationary gas engines, antique and classic cars, the narrow-gauge Midwest Central Railroad, and electric trolleys. Country music shows featuring top-name performers, an expansive modern campground with transportation to the main grounds, and an extensive food court and numerous other offerings (run entirely by local churches and nonprofit organizations) are some of the amenities Old Threshers guests enjoy.
Mount Pleasant is home to an array of manufacturing, distribution and agribusiness companies. The more prominent businesses are Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Lomont Molding, Innovaire, Continental ContiTech, Ceco Building Systems and West Liberty Foods. Iowa Wesleyan University, Henry County Health Center, the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility and Mount Pleasant Community School District are also larger employers for the city.
The public school system in Mount Pleasant is administered by the Mount Pleasant Community School District. The district oversees the high school, middle school and four elementary schools, Harlan, Lincoln, Salem, and Van Allen. The WisdomQuest Education Center serves as an alternative high school for the district.
The city is home to Iowa Wesleyan University, which, founded in 1842, ranks as the oldest coeducational college/university west of the Mississippi River. The P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international philanthropic organization for women, was founded on the campus in Mount Pleasant by seven Iowa Wesleyan students.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Mount Pleasant, operating its California Zephyr daily in both directions between Chicago, Illinois, and Emeryville, California, across the bay from San Francisco.
U.S. Route 34 bypasses Mount Pleasant to the north, while U.S. Route 218/Iowa Highway 27 bypass the city to the east. These highways' former routes through the city are now designated as business routes.
The Mount Pleasant Municipal Airport (FAA Identifier: MPZ) is at an elevation of 730 ft (222.5 m) and is located 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of the city. The airport started operations in March 1945. As of May 2014[ref] it has 2 runways: Runway 15/33 is hard surfaced (asphalt) and is 4001 ft long × 75 ft wide (1220 m × 23 m) with runway edge lights; Runway 03/21 is turf and is 1965 ft long × 120 ft wide (599 m × 37 m) marked by yellow cones.
- James Van Allen (1914–2006) – considered one of the country's foremost space scientist.
- Warren Wallace Beckwith (1874–1955) - athlete, husband of Abraham Lincoln's granddaughter.
- Belle Coddington (1842-1920), American Civil War nurse, teacher in Mount Pleasant
- Susan Frances Nelson Ferree (1844-1919), journalist, temperance worker, suffragist, and women's rights activist
- Tom Vilsack – former Mount Pleasant mayor, former governor of Iowa, and current United States Secretary of Agriculture.
- Arabella Mansfield (1846–1911) – first female lawyer in the United States.
- James Harlan (1820–1899) – politician, president of Iowa Wesleyan College.
- Mary Eunice Harlan (1846–1937) – daughter of James Harlan; wife of Robert Todd Lincoln.
- Dana Holgorsen – head coach for the University of Houston football team.
- Leigh S. J. Hunt (1855–1933) – Superintendent of Schools in the 1880s.
- Jessie Wilson Manning (1855-?) - author, lecturer
- Carolyn Pendray (1881–1958) - first woman elected to the Iowa General Assembly.
- Ab Saunders (1851–1883) - Wild West cowboy and outlaw.
- Frederick A. Shannon (1921–1965) – herpetologist.
- Henry Krieger-Coble (born 1992) – NFL tight end.
- Ricky Phillips (born 1952) - rock bassist, currently with Styx; formerly with The Babys and Bad English
- Harry F. Olson
- "City Data". Hospers. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved 2011-07-08.[dead link]
- "Data from the 2010 Census". State Data Center of Iowa. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "Mt. Pleasant, Iowa". Amtrak. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- The History of Henry County, Iowa: Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c. Western Historical Company. 1879. pp. 504.
- Wikisource:''Popular Science Monthly''/Volume 19/September 1881/"Sketch of James Craig Watson"
- It reopened in August of 2014 housing businesses on the first and second floors. The ballroom was restored and updated on the third floor making it a beautiful hall used for a variety of community gatherings, events, and private parties. "2008 Most Endangered Properties" Archived 2016-01-05 at the Wayback Machine, Preservation Iowa,
- "Mayor killed, 2 hurt in meeting gunfire", Kentucky New Era, 6 December 1986
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2011-02-20. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Mt. Pleasant Community School District". Homepage. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- "KMPZ Mount Pleasant Municipal Airport". AirNav, LLC. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- Van Allen, James A. "What Is A Space Scientist? An Autobiographical Example (Parentage, Boyhood, and Early Education)". Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- Okamoto, Lynn (2009-10-15). "Vilsack biography". Des Moines Register. Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- "JRank". Arabella Mansfield - A Commanding Presence. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- Hickman, Dave (December 15, 2010). "At previous stops, Holgorsen's impact has been felt right away". Charleston Gazette. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- "Oklahoma State University". Athletic Department. Archived from the original on 2010-09-07. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- Frommelt, A.G.; Elijah, Earl; Long, Irving D. (1959). "Senator Carolyn Campbell Pendray". Iowa Legislature.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mount Pleasant, Iowa.|