Clarinda, Iowa

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Clarinda is a city in and the county seat of Page County, Iowa, United States.[1] The population was 5,690 at the 2000 census.



Clarinda was founded in 1851. Many stories are told of such notables as Jesse James frequently passing through. In 1884, the citizens rallied to build the third mental hospital in the state of Iowa. Today, the Clarinda State Hospital is known as the Clarinda Treatment Complex and the hospital is located on the north end of the city. Clarinda also holds a state prison called the Clarinda Correctional Facility.

It is named for Clarinda Buck who according to legend had carried water to the surveyors when Page County was first being surveyed.[2]

In 1943 during World War II, an internment camp designed for 3,000 prisoners of war with 60 barracks and a 150 bed hospital was built in Clarinda. German prisoners were the first to arrive in Camp Clarinda followed by Italian and Japanese POWs in 1945.[3]

Camp Clarinda was located by what today is the town's municipal airport Schenck Field (named for aviator/farmer Ray Schenck who built the original Clarinda airport on the location).

Clarinda's southeast area of town was named Gun Town and is still known today by that name. A noted author wrote "In the twenties and thirties Clarinda seemed to be two separate towns; Guntown and Uptown. In the middle of the square, was and still is, the Courthouse. The four blocks surrounding it are filled with businesses. Guntown was a town all its own. The 700 block of East Garfield was a solid block of businesses. Grocery stores, barber, a Guntown Chinaman had a restaurant, another corner restaurant, rug factory, large grocery, Swifts packing plant, railroad tracks with freight depot and roundhouse to turn trains around." ("Gun Town My Hometown" by Juanita Seeley)


Clarinda is located at 40°44′15″N 95°2′9″W / 40.7375°N 95.03583°W / 40.7375; -95.03583 (40.737599, -95.035928)[4] along the West Nodaway River just north of the confluence of the East Nodaway River.

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