On a daily basis, we serve Iowa residents and visitors alike. The Hawkeye State was the 29th state to join the union, so please enjoy this list of 29 fun facts about Iowa.
1 – Iowa joined the union in 1846 during the presidency of James Polk. Prior to becoming a state, the region was part of the Iowa Territory.
2 – The state name is derived from the Native American Ioway people.
3 – Iowa is the only state name to start with two vowels.
4 – The largest popcorn processing plant in the nation is located in Sioux City.
5 – President Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch. He was the first U.S. President born west of the Mississippi River.
7 – More hogs are raised in Iowa than in any other state. In fact, hogs outnumber humans 4 to 1.
8 – Lawrence “Waspy” Handlos, and his wife, Doris, are the sole owners of Waspy’s Truck Stop. “Waspy” was raised on a farm outside the small Iowa town of Willey.
9 – Iowa’s state motto is, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”
10 – Farms make up 92 percent of Iowa’s land. Only Nebraska has a higher percentage of farmland.
11 – In 1897, Daniel David Palmer opened the first chiropractic school in the world in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer College of Chiropractic remains the largest chiropractic school in the nation.
12 – In 1933, a young Ronald Reagan worked as a sports announcer for the Des Moines radio station WHO.
13 – The term “Winnebago” is from the Iowa town of Winnebago, where the motorhomes are manufactured. Waspy’s Audobon location offers an RV waste station.
16 – The hottest temperature ever recorded in Iowa was 118 F in Keokuk on July 20, 1934. The coldest temperature ever recorded was -47 F in Elkader, on Feb. 3, 1996.
17 – Iowa ranks third in the nation for the highest percentage of motorcycle ownership. If you’re out for a ride on your bike, stop by Waspy’s gas stations to fuel up.
18 – Best selling author Bill Bryson is an Iowa native. His book, “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” is about his Iowa childhood.
19 – American painter Grant Woods, who is best known for his “American Gothic” painting. The painting is considered one of the most famous images of 20th-century American art.
20 – Better Homes & Gardens magazine is based in Des Moines. Adjacent to the company’s headquarters is its Test Garden, which is open to the public and used as a testing ground for plants as well as a photography studio for the magazine.
22 – Snake Alley, in Burlington, has been named “the most crooked street in the world” by Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
24 – Otto Rohwedder, who was born in Davenport, created the first automatic bread-slicing machine. Pay tribute to the inventor of “sliced bread” by enjoying a meal at The Feed Mill Resturant, in Audubon.
25 – Templeton Rye, a bootleg whiskey made in Templeton during Prohibition, was said to be a favorite of speakeasies in Chicago and Kansas City.
26 – The Red Delicious apple originated at an orchard in Peru, Iowa.
27 – Iowa had the highest percentage of its male population serve in the Civil War. Of a population of just 600,000, a total of 76,534 Iowa men served in the Union.
29 – In 2010, an Oskaloosa man unearthed the bones of a woolly mammoth. At least part of two other mammoths has been discovered at the same site.
If you’re exhausted reading these facts about the Hawkeye State, make a reservation to spend the night at the Blue Grass Inn & Suites, located at Waspy’s Audubon location.
- Waspy’s Kitchens Are Open
- St. Patrick’s Day at The Feed Mill
- We Are Hiring at Blue Grass Inn & Suites
- HELP WANTED at The Feed Mill Restaurant!
- Handlos Couple Receives Audubon Live Large Award
- Let Waspy’s Quench Your Thirst
This post was written by Waspy's Truck Stop