Waspy's Shares Fun Iowa Facts - Waspy's Truck Stop

At Waspy’s, we’re proud to be a part of Iowa. We have gas stations and truck stops in both Audubon and Templeton.

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 Iowa facts.

Iowa state flag featuring a blue, white and red stripe with a bald eagle holding a banner in the center.
Iowa’s state motto is, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

Iowa Facts

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.

Street and brick buildings and Iowa State University
Iowa State University is the oldest land grant college in the nation.

6 – Iowa State University is the oldest land grant college in the nation.

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.

Iowa state capitol building in Des Moines.
Des Moines became the capital of the state in 1855. 

14 – Iowa City was the capital of the state until 1855 when it was relocated to the more centralized city of Des Moines.

15 – The Iowa State Fair attracts more than a million visitors every year. In 1987, the fairgrounds were named to the National Register of Historic Places.

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.

American Gothic painting by Grant Wood
The painting “American Gothic” is one of the most famous images of 20th-century American art.

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.

21 – Albert, the World’s Largest Bull statue, is located in Audubon, Iowa, just down the road from Waspy’s Truck Stop.

22 – Snake Alley, in Burlington, has been named “the most crooked street in the world” by Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Images of first ladies Mamie Eisenhower and Lou Hoover, both born in Iowa.
First Ladies Mamie Eisenhower, left, and Lou Hoover were both born in Iowa.

23 – Two U.S. First Ladies were born in Iowa. Lou Henry Hoover was born in Waterloo in 1874, and Mamie Doud Eisenhower was born in Boone in 1896.

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.

28 – Classic film stars Marion Morrison and Donna Mullenger were both born in Iowa. Although both later changed their names and are better known today as John Wayne and Donna Reed.

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.

We hope you have enjoyed these fun Iowa facts! While you are on your road trip through Iowa, we hope you will stop by and see us! We are here for you with a helpful smile.

This post was written by Waspy's Truck Stop