Ankeny, Iowa

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Ankeny is a city in Polk County, Iowa, United States. The population was 27,118 at the 2000 census. A special census taken by the city in 2005 counted 36,161 residents, while the United States Census Bureau estimated that 43,319 residents lived there in 2009.[1][2] It is part of the Des MoinesWest Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Ankeny was founded by John Ankeny in 1875 and was incorporated on February 28, 1903.[3] A railroad link from Des Moines through Ankeny to Ames was completed in 1874 and passenger service established in 1880.[4]

Coal mining became an important activity in the Ankeny area in the early 20th century. The Anderson Coal Company sank a shaft two miles (3 km) southeast of Ankeny in 1908. Enterprise, four miles (6 km) east of Ankeny, was the company town of the Enterprise Coal Company, with two large mines opened in 1903 and 1907.[5] In 1914, the Enterprise Coal Company produced over 100,000 tons of coal, ranking among the top 24 coal producers in the state.[6]

Ankeny started off as just one square mile, and just 445 people. Electricity was first introduced in 1907. Ankeny's first fire department was first established in 1907 and was volunteer based. They had only three ladders and 14 water pails when the department started.[7]

During World War II Ankeny was home to a federal ordnance plant that manufactured ammunition. After the war, Deere & Company purchased the plant for its Des Moines Works, while Iowa State University used the remainder of the land for its research farm. In June 2005 ISU sold the land to the city of Ankeny, which plans to develop it into a mixed-use development known as "Prairie Trail."[8]

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