photos around Carson, IA

History of Community

In 1853, a mill was erected by Joseph Losh on the west side of the West Nishnabotna River, west of Carson’s present location. Several families built homes on the hill near the mill. Gradually, people began building on the east side of the river. In 1880, the Burlington and Rock Island Railroad began to provide transportation access to settlers.  During this time the first passengers and freight were unloaded in a field until a depot was built a few years later. 

With direct access to the railroad, plans began for the settlement and the City of Carson was officially given its present name and incorporated in 1881 with a population of 240 residents. The town was named after a railroad officer.  The first newspaper, The Carson Fairdealer, lasted about a year. The Carson Criterion, later called the Carson Critic, was started in 1881. The first bank, “The Trader’s Bank,” was established in 1882 and a year later the Bank of Carson was opened. In 1884 the population was 600 and the real estate assessed value was $43,140.

The business places on Broadway burned on July 6, 1889 and in November 1894 the south side was destroyed by fire. Ten acres of ground was donated to the town by Alva Burton, in the late 1800’s for the Carson cemetery. The first theatre, Cozy Theatre, was started by Frank Smith in 1921 and was later renamed the Dreamland Theatre. The first telephone system was installed by W.J. Way and the dial system was installed in 1947. City Hall was built in 1962 and Mill Stone Park was established in 1974.

Since its incorporation in 1881, the City of Carson has continued to grow and prosper. By 1990, the City had reached a population of 705 residents. With the incorporation of 3 new housing subdivisions the population had grown to 812 by the census of 2010.  To accommodate this population growth that has occurred over the past century, the City has acquired several commercial and governmental operations to service the residents of Carson.  Some of these operations include two banks, post office, convenience store, restaurants, and several local churches. In 2006 the City completed construction on a new 11,000 square foot community center at 316 S. Commercial St.  The center houses City Hall, a Fitness Center, a Community Hall, and several smaller meeting rooms. 

Official Website of the City of Carson, IA.
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