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Sioux City ( ) is a city in Plymouthmarker and Woodburymarker counties in the western part of the U.S. state of Iowamarker. The population was 85,013 at the 2000 census; census estimates showed a slight decline to 82,807 by 2008. Sioux City is the primary city of the four-county Sioux City, IAmarkerNEmarkerSDmarker Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a population of 143,053 in 2000 and a slight increase to an estimated 143,157 in 2008. The Sioux City-Vermillionmarker, IA-NE-SD Combined Statistical Area has an estimated population of 156,762 as of 2008. It is the county seat of Woodbury County, in which the large majority of the city lies.

Sioux City is at the navigational head of the Missouri Rivermarker, about north of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. Sioux City and the surrounding areas of northwestern Iowamarker, northeastern Nebraskamarker and southeastern South Dakotamarker are sometimes referred to as Siouxlandmarker, especially by the local media. Sioux City is the second largest city in the Sioux Falls-Sioux City, SD-IA-MN-NE Designated Market Area (DMA),with a population of 1,043,450.

Sioux City is the home of Morningside Collegemarker, Briar Cliff Universitymarker, St. Luke's College and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

In 2005, Sioux City, along with Coon Rapidsmarker and Clintonmarker, was awarded one of the inaugural Iowa Great Places designations.[23155]

In March 2009, the Sioux City metropolitan area was recognized by Site Selection Magazine as the top economic development community in the United States for communities with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 people. The Sioux City metro also received the same recognition by Site Selection magazine in 2008.

Interstate 29 is the major highway in Sioux City and surroundings. It approaches the city from Omaha to the south before curving northwest along the Missouri River near downtown. The highway then enters South Dakota and curves back to the north as it approaches Sioux Falls.


The first people to live in this area were ancestors of those we know today as Native Americans. These inhabitants lived here thousands of years before any explorers from Spain or France arrived.

While the name is not known of the first European man to explore the area which is now Sioux City, it is commonly believed to be an early French or Spanish fur trader. The first documented explorers to record their travels through this area were the Americans Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during the summer of 1804. Their expedition was supported by the federal government. President Thomas Jefferson was eager to hear their report.

Geography and climate

Sioux City is located at (42.497957, -96.395705). Sioux City is at an altitude of above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.0 square miles (144.9 km²), of which, 54.8 square miles (141.9 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.0 km²) of it (2.06%) is water.

Metropolitan area

As of the 2000 census, the Sioux City metropolitan area had 143,053 residents in four counties; the population was estimated at 143,157 in 2008. As defined by the Office of Management and Budget, the counties comprising the metropolitan area are (in descending order of population):

Two of these counties—Union and Dixon—were added to the metro area in 2003. In reality, only Woodbury, Dakota, and Union counties contain any metropolitan character; Dixon County is entirely rural.

Plymouth Countymarker is not considered part of metropolitan Sioux City although the extreme north and northwest sides of the city spill over into Plymouth County.


Sioux City is located very near to the center of the North American continent, far removed from any major bodies of water. This lends the area a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers, cold snowy winters, and wide temperature extremes. Summers can bring daytime temperatures that climb into the 90s Fahrenheit, and winter lows can be well below zero.
Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 71 71 91 97 102 108 108 104 103 94 81 70
Norm High °F 28.7 35 47.3 61.7 73.2 82.5 86.2 83.7 76 63.7 44.8 31.7
Norm Low °F 8.5 15.3 25.7 37.3 49.2 58.5 62.9 60.6 50.1 38 24.8 12.8
Rec Low °F -26 -26 -22 -2 25 38 42 37 24 12 -9 -24
Precip (in) 0.59 0.62 2 2.75 3.75 3.61 3.3 2.9 2.42 1.99 1.4 0.66
Source: [23156]


As of the census of 2000, there were 85,013 people, 32,054 households, and 21,091 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,551.3 people per square mile (599.0/km²). There were 33,816 housing units at an average density of 617.1/sq mi (238.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.23% White, 2.41% African American, 1.95% Native American, 2.82% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.27% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.89% of the population.

There were 32,054 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,429, and the median income for a family was $45,751. Males had a median income of $31,385 versus $22,470 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,666. About 7.9% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

Neighborhoods, commercial districts, and suburbs

Confluence of the Missouri and Floyd Rivers in Sioux City
Veteran's Memorial Bridge
Sioux City, IA

City neighborhoods

Nearby communities

South Sioux City, Nebraskamarker is directly across the Missouri Rivermarker in Dakota Countymarker. With nearly 12,000 residents, it is by far the largest suburb of Sioux City. It was an All America City in 2003. Two bridges—the Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Interstate 129 bridge—connect Sioux City with South Sioux City.

Dakota City, Nebraskamarker is just south of South Sioux City. It is the county seat of Dakota Countymarker. Large beef-processing plants are located in Dakota City.

North Sioux City, South Dakotamarker is just across the Big Sioux River in Union Countymarker. It is home to a number of casinos. It is also the home to several major industrial concerns, including Iams Pet Food, Interbake Foods, and Gateway, Inc., the computer company.

Dakota Dunes, South Dakotamarker is an unincorporated "master-planned community" just west of Sioux City in the extreme southeast corner of South Dakotamarker. Construction began circa 1989. Expensive new homes, suburban-style office parks, and a country club golf course designed by Arnold Palmer characterize this area.

Sergeant Bluffmarker is a mainly residential suburb adjacent to the southern city limits of Sioux City, less than a mile east of the Sioux City airportmarker.

Parks, recreation, and locations of interest

Stone State Park
Stone State Parkmarker is in the northwest corner of the city, overlooking the South Dakota/Iowa border. Stone Park is near the northernmost extent of the Loess Hills, and is at the transition from clay bluffs and prairie to sedimentary rock hills and bur oak forest along the Iowa side of the Big Sioux River. Popular for decades with picnickers and day hikers, it has been a local hot spot for mountain biking since the late 1980s.

Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is a destination nature preserve for Woodbury County, and is located within the boundaries of Stone State Park. The butterfly garden is unique to the area; wild turkeys and white-tail deer are commonly sighted from the well-marked trails.

Downtown entertainment venues include both the casino and the 10,000-seat Tyson Events Center.

KD Station, once listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was damaged by fire in 2006.

Grandview Park is located north of the downtown area, up from Rose Hill, between The Northside and The Heights. The Municipal Bandshell is located in the park. In summer, Sunday evening municipal band concerts are a longstanding Sioux City tradition. The Saturday in the Park music festival is held there annually. Behind the bandshell is an extensive rose garden with an elaborate arbor and trellises which has long been a popular site for outdoor weddings, prom and other special occasion photographs, and for children to play during the Sunday evening band concerts and other events. Downtown is also home to the largest historic theatre in Iowa, the Orpheum Theater marker.

Pulaski Park is named for the Polishmarker General Kazimierz Pułaski, who fought in the American Revolution. This park features baseball diamond facilities, and is located in western Morningside along old U.S. Highway 75 (South Lewis Blvd.). It is largely built on the filled lakebed of Half Moon Lake, which was originally created in the 1890s by the excavation of fill dirt to build the approaches for the iron railroad bridge spanning the Missouri near the Stockyards. The neighborhood on the bluff overlooking the park was historically settled by Lithuanian and Polish immigrants, many of whom worked in the meatpacking industry during the early 20th century.

Latham Park is located in a residential area of Morningside, and is the only privately owned and maintained open-to-the-public park within the city limits. It was left in trust in 1937 under the terms of Clara Latham's will; her family had built the house on of ground in 1915. The house and grounds are currently being restored by the Friends of Latham Park.

Sergeant Floyd Monument
The Sergeant Floyd Monumentmarker commemorates the burial site of U.S. Army Sergeant Charles Floyd, the only man to die on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is a National Historic Landmark, with its prominent obelisk situated on of parkland, high on a river bluff with a splendid view of the Missouri Rivermarker valley.

First Bride's Grave is tucked in a corner pocket of South Ravine Park, lies a series of paths, trails, and steps leading to the First Bride of Sioux City’s Grave. Her name was Rosalie Menard and she was born in 1838. She was one of seven children that her father, Louis Menard, and mother, Klanhaywin Menard, had together. She had two sisters and four brothers. Some time in 1852, her family moved into the area of Perry Creek and the Missouri River. There, is where they became acquainted with Joseph Leonais. He was a French/Canadian fur trapper like Louis Menard, and he had decided to make his home in the area.Rosalie and Joseph were married by a traveling Catholic Priest in 1853, while she was in her teens, and he was about twenty-nine years old. They had a total of four children; Joseph II, Josephine, Rosalie, and William. At the beginning of their marriage, they lived in the cabin he had built near Perry Creek; close to what is now 2nd and Water Street. They later moved to a farm along the Floyd River. In 1865, shortly after giving birth to her youngest son, William, she died at the age of twenty-seven. She was the first bride of a non-native American to be wed in Sioux City, Iowa, thus receiving her title.

War Eagle Park is named for the Yankton Sioux chief Wambdi Okicize (d. 1851) who befriended early settlers. An impressive monument overlooks the confluence of the Big Sioux and Missouri Rivers; the sculpture represents the chief in his role as a leader and peacemaker, wearing the eagle feather bonnet and holding the peace pipe.

Riverside Park is located on the banks of the Big Sioux River. One of the oldest recreational areas of the city, it is home to the Sioux City Boat Club and Sioux City Community Theater. The park is on land that once belonged to the first white settler in the area, Theophile Bruguier; his original cabin is preserved in the park.

Bacon Creek Park is located northeast of Morningside and features fishing, canoe rentals, and a scenic walking trail.

Chris Larsen Park, informally known as "The Riverfront", is the launching point for the riverboat casino and includes the Anderson Dance Pavilion, the Sergeant Floyd Riverboat Museum and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, opened in 2004. Massive Missouri River development began in 2005 with the opening of the MLR Tyme Marina area, which includes Beverly's, an upscale restaurant.

Golf courses, city parks, and aquatics: Sioux City is also home to several municipal public golf courses, including Floyd Park in Morningside, Green Valley near the Southern Hills, Sun Valley on the northern West Side, and Hidden Acres in nearby Plymouth County. Sioux City also has a number of private golf clubs, including Sioux City Country Club, Southern Hills Country Club, and Whispering Creek Golf Club. The city has over of public parkland located at 53 locations, including the beautiful riverfront and many miles of recreation trails. Five public swimming pools/aquatics centers are located within Sioux City neighborhoods.

The Sioux City Public Museum is located in a Northside neighborhood of fine Victorian mansions. The portico-and-gabled stone building was originally the home of the banker, John Peirce, and was built in 1890. The museum features Native American, pioneer, early Sioux City, and natural history exhibits.

The Sioux City Art Centermarker was formed in 1938 as part of the WPA’s support of the arts. The Art Center is committed to supporting artists from Iowa and the greater Midwest. Also, the Center has a general program of acquisition of work by national and international artists, including important works by Thomas Hart Benton, Salvador Dalí, Käthe Kollwitz, Robert Motherwell, Claes Oldenburg, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and Grant Wood. It is located Downtown.

The Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and The Sioux City Municipal Band

The Woodbury county courthousemarker

The Orpheum Theater marker

The Sioux City Community Theatre

The Sioux City Lewis And Clark Interpretive Center is about the Lewis and Clark Expedition in what is now Sioux City.


Television stations

Radio stations

FM stations

AM stations


  • Sioux City Journal, daily newspaper serving the Sioux City metro area east into Western Iowa and north to the South Dakota border
  • Dakota County Star, weekly newspaper serving northeast Nebraska
  • Sioux City Hispanos Unidos, bi-weekly Spanish readers paper
  • The Weekender, weekly arts and entertainment magazine serving the Sioux City metro area east into Western Iowa and north to the South Dakota border


The Sioux City Bandits are an arena football team in the Indoor Football League in the United Conference. The Bandits play their home games at the Tyson Events Center. They have been to the Indoor Football League playoffs five times.

The Sioux City Explorers are a non affiliated baseball team playing in American Association of Independent Professional Baseball league. The Explorers play their home games at Lewis and Clark Park. They have been to the League playoffs four times.

The Sioux City Musketeers are a junior hockey team based in Sioux City. They play in the United States Hockey League(USHL) conference. They play their home games at Tyson Event Center. Their first year of hockey was in 1972. The Musketeers have won the gold cup in the 1985-1986 season, the National Runner-up twice(93-94,95-96), the Anderson Cup twice(81-82,85-86), the Clark Cup three times(81-82,85-86,01-02), and were the West Division Playoff Champions for the 2004-2005 season.

Notable natives

  • James Gable "Jim" Aton. 1925-2008. Attended East High School (class of 1943) and Morningside College. Bassist, pianist, singer, composer. First jazz bassist to work professionally with the legendary Bill Evans. Accompanist to singers Billie Holiday, Mavis Rivers and Anita O'Day, and was O'Day's road bassist for 9 years. Original bassist with legendary Chico Hamilton Quintet in mid-1950s. Staff bassist at famed Gold Star Studio in Hollywood for 5 years. Numerous recordings and film appearanced to his credit. Elected to membership in American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) for his compositions, including Debbie Reynold's superhit, "Love Is A Thing." Frequent appearances on ABC-TV "Stars of Jazz" television program.
  • John W. Aldridge, grew up in Tennessee, literary critic, author in 1951 of After the Lost Generation: A Critical Study of the Writers of Two Wars
  • Dave Bancroft, Major League Baseball Hall of Famemarker shortstop. Nicknamed "Beauty."
  • Ben Bernstein, noted jazz, bluegrass and rock bassist, including as a member of New Monsoon
  • Joe Bisenius, Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher and graduate of Bishop Heelan High School.
  • Johnny Bolin, moved to Boulder, Colo., in his teens; rock drummer for Black Oak Arkansas and brother of Tommy Bolin. Is now living in Sioux City as of 2008.
  • Tommy Bolin, Moved to Boulder, Colo., in his teens, virtuoso rock guitarist, a member of Deep Purple and The James Gang, and who also had a solo career.
  • Brandon Brooks, Leading professor in Quantum Mechanical Phenomena, coined the phrase "Qubits" in article for SIAM Journal on Computing.
  • Mildred Brown, African-American journalist, lived here while working as a teacher, before moving to Omaha and founding the Omaha Star with her husband E. Gilbert
  • Macdonald Carey, actor. The longtime patriarch on Days of our Lives.
  • Eric Carter, member of Kansas House of Representatives.
  • Matt Chatham, Born in Newton, Iowa, New York Jets linebacker.
  • Colonel George E. "Bud" Day U.S. Air Force, Vietnam POW, recipient of the Medal of Honor is the United States' most highly decorated officer since General Douglas MacArthur. The Sioux City Airport is named Colonel Bud Day Field in his honor as is 6th Street (Honorable Bud Day Street).
  • W. Edwards Deming, 1900–1993, Raised in Polk City, Iowa, American statistician and quality-control expert - Deming helped to improve Japan's quality control and management processes.
  • Sharon Farrell, prolific film and television actress (real name Sharon Forsmoe).
  • Zeron Flemister, NFL player, Oakland Raiders.
  • Esther and Paulline Friedman, better known as Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren. Graduates of Central High School.
  • "Sioux City" Rick Moore, Dan "Dar" Loofe, Jarrod Paulsen Members of the Rock/Metal band Ghostship.
  • Peggy Gilbert, jazz saxophonist and bandleader.
  • Dan Goldie, former tennis player, winner of 2 ATP singles titles
  • Fred Grandy, Graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and Harvard University, actor, congressman, former CEO of Goodwill; currently morning drive-time color jock for WMAL Radio, Washington, D.C.
  • Dick Green, Raised in Rapid City, S.D., Former MLB second baseman with the Kansas City and Oakland Athletics.
  • William L. Harding, Born in Sibly, Iowa, Governor of Iowa (1919-1921).
  • Jules Harlow, conservative Jewish rabbi and liturgist.
  • Scott Hesse, noted jazz guitar player and bandleader.
  • Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls guard.
  • Noah Holcomb, Professional Cyclist.
  • Harry Hopkins, Secretary of Commerce, Moved to Council Bluffs shortly after birth, advisor to FDR during World War II.
  • Kathryn Kleinhans, a religion professor at Wartburg Collegemarker and daughter of Luther dedicatee T. J. "Clancy" Kleinhans
  • George Koval, 1913-2006, Moved to Soviet Union at age 18, Soviet atomic spy "Delmar" and only Soviet Agent to infiltrate the Manhattan Project[23157]
  • Robert Lowry, Classical clarinetist.
  • Al McIntosh, Born in Park River, N.D., distinguished newspaper editor whose columns are featured in Ken Burns' The War.
  • Jerry Mathers, Moved to California as a child, Beaver Cleaver on TV's "Leave It To Beaver".
  • Daniel Matousek, lead singer and guitarist for The Velaires. Graduate of Central High School.
  • John Melcher, United States Senator from Montana from 1977 to 1989
  • Grant Mickelson, lead guitar player for Taylor Swift.
  • Rex Peer. Morningside College Conservatory graduate. Jazz trombonist with Benny Goodman, recording prolifically, and with Goodman on European, Russian and Asian tours in the mid-1950s. To New York City in late 1950s, where he recorded with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, and appeared on first-ever Afro-Cuban Jazz album with Candido Camero 1958. Moved to Nashville 1970s where he appeared on albums with Bob Dylan, Sam & Dave and many others.
  • Lori Petty, Born in Chattanooga, Tenn. Actress best known for her starring role opposite Geena Davis and Tom Hanks on "A League of Their Own".
  • Frances Rafferty, Moved to Los Angeles, Calif., when she was nine, MGM actress of the 1940s & early TV star best known for playing opposite Spring Byington on the sitcom December Bride.
  • Ann Royer, painter, sculptor.
  • Laurens Shull, All-American football player killed in France during World War I
  • Edward J. Sperling, Born in Slutzk, Belarus, Jewish writer and humorist.
  • Morgan Taylor, Set 400-meter hurdles Olympic record while winning gold medal in 1924.
  • Morgan Thomas. Jazz trombonist with Louis Prima Orchestra. Recorded prolifically with Prima and Keely Smith in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Ted Waitt and Norman Waitt, co-founders of Gateway, Inc.
  • Brian Wansink -- Cornell University Professor and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
  • Pierre Watkin, talented and prolific character actor in radio, films and TV from 1930s-1950s, most famously portrayed Daily Planet Editor Perry White in the original Superman serials and the Banker in the 1940 W.C. Fields film, "The Bank Dick."
  • Don Wengert, former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1995-2001.
  • Paul Kirkland Webber, Nebraska State Pickle Eating Champion 2002-2009, Voted 'Most Important Human Being 2008'
  • Adam Liudahl, KA at Vanderbilt University and medical student at the University of Iowa
  • Ryan Kisor, jazz trumpeter


  2. Sioux City History, accessed March 2008

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