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IOWA PARK, TX

IOWA PARK, TEXAS. Iowa Park is on State Highway 370 five miles west of Wichita Falls in central Wichita County. D. C. and A. J. Kolp founded the community in 1888 on the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway. The settlement was called Daggett Switch and grew rapidly. After the townsite was laid out, the Texas Panhandle Company organized an immigration train from Iowa to the area. A post office opened in Iowa Park in 1888. A plan for the first addition to the community was filed in August 1889. Iowa Park incorporated in 1891, and that year a fire destroyed much of the town. The community developed into an agricultural marketing center, making use of its rail connection to ship wheat and cotton produced on area farms. Drought and the panic of 1893 ushered in difficult times in the 1890s, but by 1900 Iowa Park had a population of 792. The population level fell slightly before World War I, but the discovery of oil just south of town before the end of the war introduced a period of growth. Between 1914 and 1926 the population increased from 602 to 2,041. By 1927 a concrete highway connected Iowa Park with Wichita Falls, and a new high school had been constructed. In the mid-1930s Iowa Park reported 2,009 residents and ninety businesses; in the late 1940s it had 1,980 residents and fifty businesses. Probably because of the expanding postwar economy and the development of nearby Sheppard Air Force Base, the town again entered a period of growth during the 1950s. Iowa Park became an oil, grain, and cotton center, with two grain elevators, two banks, some eighty businesses, and, by the late 1950s, a population of 2,110. After that time Iowa Park grew dramatically. Although rail service to the community ended in the late 1960s, the city at that time had a population of 4,995 and around 155 businesses. By the mid-1970s its population had reached 6,233, though the number of businesses reported there had dropped to ninety-two. In 1990 Iowa Park had 6,072 residents and ninety businesses, including plants that manufactured fertilizers and oilfield equipment.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Louise Kelly, Wichita County Beginnings (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1982). Wichita Falls Times, May 15, 1957.

Brian Hart

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Brian Hart, "IOWA PARK, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hfi02), accessed July 10, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.