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Adel is a city along the North Raccoon River in Dallas Countymarker in the U.S. state of Iowamarker. The population was 3,435 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Dallas Countymarker and the birthplace of 1939 Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick.

Adel is part of the Des MoinesmarkerWest Des Moinesmarker Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Adel Mill & Dam, 1937
Originally called Penoach, Adel was Incorporated in 1847, and changed its name sometime in 1849, although no specific information can be located within the city records. The town is situated on the west bank of the North Raccoon River, and at the time of its founding, along the only county road, making Adel the oldest town within Dallas County.

In 1855 there were about twenty-five houses in Adel, and only three stores. From that time onward, the city began to grow at a faster rate.

Situated along the river, Adel had a good supply of water-power for a flour mill. It was to be situated on a section of property owned by Noeingerl Cantrel & Co. J. H. Strong of Des Moines, and H. H. Moffatt built the mill in 1856-57 at a cost of $20,000. The dam was constructed with about eight feet of head water.

The mill was kept in good repair, able to average from twelve to fifteen bushels per hour, with a capability of thirty per hour.

Adel Bank, scene of 1895 robbery
An item of historical interest occurred on March 6, 1895. Two men entered town in a buggy and attempted to rob the bank. They shot a teller, who, though wounded, managed to close the vault and turn the tumblers, preventing the thieves from taking off with a substantial amount. George Clark, a lawyer, had an office on the second floor. As Clark descended the stairs, a robber fired his gun. However, the weapon misfired, sparing Clark's life, who went on to be elected as lieutenant governor for four years and governor from 1913-1917.

Dallas County Courthouse, circa 1910
Adel's history was enhanced when the city decided to keep its brick streets. In addition, the Dallas County Courthouse, an edifice dedicated in 1902 at a cost of about $109,000, sits center stage, dominating downtown Adel. The image to the left gives a good view of the French architecture with the accompanying rounded corners and windows.
“In that era it was a competition almost between the counties to erect an edifice that would be of importance and of character to their becoming of age.” Mark A.
Hanson, Dallas County Supervisor


Adel is located at (41.616773, -94.021731) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²), of which, 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²) of it is land and 0.30% is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 3,435 people, 1,369 households, and 898 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,050.1 people per square mile (405.6/km²). There were 1,419 housing units at an average density of 433.8/sq mi (167.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.76% White, 0.15% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.52% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population.

There were 1,369 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,423, and the median income for a family was $47,065. Males had a median income of $34,234 versus $26,516 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,743. About 3.1% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable natives

See also


  1. pgs.435-450 - 1879 History of Dallas County, Iowa
  2. Adel Bank Robbery
  3. George Clark
  4. Out and About Iowa - Adel » The Iowa Journal » Iowa Public Television

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