Rathbun, Iowa

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Rathbun is a city in Appanoose County, Iowa, United States. The population was 88 at the 2000 census.



Incorporated in 1897,[1] Rathbun was established in 1892 as a mining town. [2] At the end of the 19th century, "the valley of Walnut Creek was one continuous mining camp, known under different names, Jerome, Diamond, Mystic, Clarksdale, Rathbun and Darby" (later known as Darbyville)[3]

The Star Coal Company of Streator, Ill. operated the Rathbun Mine, with an 82-foot-deep (25 m) shaft. This mine was in operation in 1895, and by 1908 it was considered one of the best equipped longwall mines in the county. The Darby mine, operated by the Unity Block Coal Company, was about a mile northeast of Rathbun. This had a 50-foot (15 m) shaft and was nearly played out by 1908. The Evans Mine, about halfway between the Rathbun and Darbyville, formerly operated by the American Coal Company, had already been closed by 1908.[4]


Rathbun is located at 40°48′5″N 92°53′18″W / 40.80139°N 92.88833°W / 40.80139; -92.88833 (40.801375, -92.888296)[5] about a mile west of the confluence of Walnut Creek and the Chariton River, about 2 miles south of Rathbun Dam.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 88 people, 39 households, and 24 families residing in the city. The population density was 408.7 people per square mile (154.4/km²). There were 53 housing units at an average density of 246.2/sq mi (93.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.86% White, and 1.14% from two or more races.

There were 39 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 2.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.80.

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