Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Main Street (2008)
Location of Mount Pleasant, Iowa
|Incorporated||July 15, 1856 |
|o Mayor||Steve Brimhall|
|o Total||8.61 sq mi (22.30 km2)|
|o Land||8.60 sq mi (22.26 km2)|
|o Water||0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||715 ft (218 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||1,008.49/sq mi (389.38/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|o 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.
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.
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.