Harlan, Iowa

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Harlan is a city in Shelby County, Iowa, United States, along the West Nishnabotna River. The population was 5,282 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Shelby County[1].



Harlan was named for one of Iowa's early U.S. Senators, James Harlan. The town was incorporated on May 2, 1879. When Nelson G. Kraschel was elected Governor of Iowa in 1936 he was a resident of Harlan. Harlan is also the home of DeWayne Louis "Tiny" Lund, who won the Daytona 500 in 1963 and former NASCAR racer Johnny Beauchamp (who came in 2nd at the 1959 Daytona 500 to Lee Petty).


Harlan is located at 41°39′17″N 95°19′19″W / 41.65472°N 95.32194°W / 41.65472; -95.32194 (41.654609, -95.322019)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11.3 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 5,282 people, 2,204 households, and 1,498 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,209.8 people per square mile (466.7/km²). There were 2,306 housing units at an average density of 528.2/sq mi (203.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.30% White, 0.08% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.62% of the population.

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