Osceola, Iowa

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Osceola is a city in Clarke County, Iowa, United States. The population was 4,659 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Clarke County[1].



Osceola is located at 41°2′3″N 93°46′6″W / 41.03417°N 93.76833°W / 41.03417; -93.76833 (41.034179, -93.768354)[2], at the junction of Interstate 35 and U.S. Routes 34 and 69. It lies 35 miles (56 km) north of the Missouri border.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.0 square miles (15.6 km²), of which, 5.8 square miles (15.1 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (3.31%) is water.


Osceola was named after a Seminole Indian leader of the same name. Osceola is an anglicised form of Asiyahola; assi, from a ceremonial yaupon holly tea or "black drink" and yaholi, the name of a Creek god intoned when the drink was served.

The Masonic Building stands on the public square in Osceola. Built in 1872, this Italianate building were used by Osceola Lodge No. 77 of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, and the main floor was a bank and hardware store. This building has been placed on the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance’s Most Endangered list because of its poor repair and lack of preservation plan.[3][4]

Nearly seven years ago the citizens of Osceola voted 'Yes' on a referendum that allowed a Casino boat to be established on their West Lake. The boat has since been taken over by Terrible's Herbst, and is now called Terrible's Lakeside Casino & Resort. A bright and gaudy 132 ft., $1 million, cowboy was erected on the sight to make the boat's presence known.

More recent developments include the building of a Wal-Mart department store which is located near Interstate 35 and Highway 34, and the opening of a new Dollar General Store which is located on Highway 69 where the old Boyt building once stood. This is part of a general economic upswing for Osceola that has accompanied the casino's advent.


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 4,659 people, 1,945 households, and 1,229 families residing in the city. The population density was 798.2 people per square mile (308.0/km²). There were 2,118 housing units at an average density of 362.9/sq mi (140.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.73% White, 0.11% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.75% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.25% of the population.

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