We've been talking a whole lot about small towns here in the Hawkeye State.

Recently, a study came out that determined that Iowa had some of the best small towns in the entire Midwest.

You can read more about them here!

Another website put together a list of some of the one hundred best small towns in America, and Iowa cracked the list...of course!

Unfortunately, no Iowa town ranked in the top ten, but there's always next year, right?

See which small towns made the list here!

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Now, I'm not trying to go after these writers who compiled the lists, but I feel like these towns are not necessarily "small."

Don't get me wrong!

They are charming and picturesque and don't have a huge population like Chicago or Los Angeles; but they don't match up with my definition of "small."

When I think "small town" I'm thinking a place with one stoplight and a gas station (if the locals are lucky).

A place that people call a one horse town.

What Exactly Is A “One Horse Town?”


According to dictionary.com, a “one horse town” is a small and unimportant place.

This phrase was apparently first recorded way back in 1857. It was a reference to a town that “a single horse would suffice for its transportation needs.”

Iowa is chuck full of these "one horse towns."

Like Beaconsfield, which is located just north of the Iowa/Missouri border. It has a population of five, according to reports.

Established in 1881, the town is the site of the very first Hy-Vee and the home of astronaut Peggy Whitson.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Here is a full list of the towns in Iowa with the smallest population in the entire state, otherwise known as one horse towns.

Smallest Populations In Iowa

Smallest Populated Towns In Iowa

Gallery Credit: Gabe Glidden

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Gallery Credit: Kerri Mac