Coalville, Iowa

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Coalville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Webster County, Iowa, United States. The population was 591 at the 2000 census. The community is located on U.S. Route 20 near Fort Dodge's large gypsum mines.



Coalville takes its name from the coal mines of the area. It began as one of the northernmost coal mining towns in Iowa. Early settlers were mining coal from outcrops along the Des Moines River by 1860, and in 1870, a mine was opened on Holiday Creek, about a mile east of Coalville, with a 3-mile tramway to the Dubuque and Sioux City Railroad (later the Illinois Central). Later in 1870, a shaft was sunk at Coalville. The Fort Dodge Coal company took over these mines and opened several more in the Coalville area. By 1880, manual labor was being augmented with machinery in these mines. In 1883, the Fort Dodge Coal company employed 350 miners to produce 30 carloads of coal daily.

The Pleasant Valley Coal Company sank a 105 foot shaft in Coalville in 1895, employing 100 men to mine a 6-foot coal bed. This was mined out in the early 20th century. The Gleason Coal Company sank a shaft in 1899 that operated until 1907, producing 200,000 tons of coal over its lifetime. Gleason sunk a new shaft in 1908.[1]


Coalville is located at 42°26′37″N 94°07′43″W / 42.443522°N 94.128558°W / 42.443522; -94.128558 (42.443522, -94.128558).[2] on the west bank of the Des Moines River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.6 km2), all of it land.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 591 people, 238 households, and 167 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 273.4 people per square mile (105.6/km2). There were 293 housing units at an average density of 135.5/sq mi (52.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.95% White, 1.69% African American, 0.34% Native American, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.85% of the population.

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