The population has remained near the 1,100 mark for the past thirty years. The 2000 population for Mitchell County is 10,874.
There are at present more than 60 business establishments in St. Ansgar, including a grocery store, auto dealer, attorney law office, bridal fashions, clothing fashions, two chiropractors, fabric shop, hair salons, hardware store and home accessories and gifts, laundromat, massage therapist, newspaper, pharmacy, photography, plumbing and heating, real estate and insurance agencies, tea room, and unique gifts, a bed and breakfast and other retail and service establishments. It also has one of the most modern oat processing plants in North America. New businesses that have come St. Ansgar, are Space Age Tools, Horizon Foods a division of Malt-O-Meal, antique shop, flower shop & fabric shop. Two banks, St. Ansgar State Bank and Farmers State Bank have deposits in excess of 150 million dollars.
Municipal water supply comes from deep wells and has never run low in any dry season. A lagoon type sewage disposal system is maintained. City streets are hard surfaced. Snow removal is prompt.
The St. Ansgar Volunteer
Fire Department operates both city and rural trucks. A new fire
station was constructed in 1979. City hall offices were completed in
1989. Police protection is provided by a city policeman and the
county sheriff's office. Crime and delinquency rates are low. All
county residents are members of "911" emergency
Electric power within the municipality is furnished by Alliant which maintains a branch office here. Heartland Power has an office here and also in Thompson, Iowa which serves the surrounding rural area. Rates are available from both companies on request. A natural gas franchise is granted to Aquila. Iowa Telecom and Omnitel are the areas telephone exchange with 100% digital switch. Omnitel also has the franchise for cable TV.
The St. Ansgar community's most important industry is modern, large-scale agriculture. Corn, soybeans, oats, hogs, beef cattle, milk and vegetables are the chief products. Most vegetables can be raised successfully in the rich soil of the area, with peas, cabbage, onion, and potatoes being the main ones at present.
St. Ansgar has several agricultural industries, which are Grain Millers Inc. and Horizen Foods, a division of Malt-O-Meal. They manufacture an oat blend for human consumption. St. Ansgar Mills, inc. is a third generation grain elevator and mill. B-K Feed Mill produces custom animal feed grinding and mixing. R.A. Wold and Sons specializes in steel products including rim and wheel widening. Croell Redi-Mix is a branch of an area cement contractor. L. R. Falk Construction Company is engaged in production of sand, gravel, crushed rock, lime and limestone. Space Age Tools make various metal custom parts for businesses.
The mechanization of farming and consolidation of farms is steadily releasing skilled men and women for off-the-farm jobs. Experience has shown that workers in the surrounding area will commute willingly. A recent labor supply survey is available upon request.
Various types of sand, gravel and limestone are available locally, in addition to a wide variety of agricultural products, including some hardwood trees.
St. Ansgar is presently served by three concrete highways. U.S. Highway 218, Iowa No. 105 and Iowa No. 9 (via 6 miles of county asphalt paving). There are good paved road connections with the Interstate Highway system. East-West I-90 is north 21 miles; North-South I-35 is 26 miles west of St. Ansgar, and south 21 miles is the Avenue of the Saints.
The nearest public airport
is 12 miles away. Commercial airline service is at Mason City, Iowa
(35 miles) and Rochester, Minnesota (50 miles). Freight service if
offered by five truck lines.
There are several health care professional men and women located here. These include two chiropractors, one physician, two physician assistants, one pharmacist, one dentist (DDS) and two veterinarians (D.V.M.). An excellent 60 bed hospital, Mitchell County Regional Health Center is a Mercy affiliate and is only 12 miles away by paved road. The St. Ansgar Rescue Squad is staffed with highly qualified, especially trained volunteers, is on call for immediate emergency situations serving both city and rural residents.
Samaritan Society of America
The Good Samaritan Center opened in 1965 and provides constant nursing care for the elderly, convalescent and chronically ill residents. There are many activities offered at the center that includes numerous members of the community.
Myle Manor Living Centers/Maple Manor/Senior Saints Center
The Myle Living Centers, bed and board facilities, were established in 1985. Designed to serve retired persons in an elegant simplistic, homey atmosphere. The services provided are three meals a day, laundry, total housekeeping and transportation. Three houses provided residence for approximately eighteen self-sufficient persons desiring quality living in a family like setting with the independence from household chores.
The Maple Manor Apartments, ten modern, individual apartments are available for elderly with fixed incomes.
The Senior Saints Center
gives the elderly of the community a quality meeting and eating
A progressive school system reflects a growing and thinking community. St. Ansgar is justifiable proud of its well rounded education program, which is well staffed and housed in modern and well kept facilities. St. Ansgar is the center of a large, consolidated district and has a total enrollment of 700 students. The voters of the school district have consistently given financial support for facilities and educational programs, including activities for all students and adults in the area. The new middle school opened in 1998 and now all three learning centers are in St. Ansgar.
Located adjacent to the high school middle school is the Saints Athletic Field which is a center of activity for adults and youth alike. This ten acre field is a busy, fun filled area the year round. A summer youth recreation program is conducted each year. Asphalt tennis and basketball courts provide entertainment for the active minded. A new aquatic center opened in the spring 2001.
Nissen Public Library has 12,000 permanent volumes. Almost any specific book that is desired can be available in a few days by ordering through the regional library system. Summer reading and art programs are offered for youth in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. A weekly "Story Hour" is available for preschool children. The public may check out entertainment and The "How-To" videotapes. The library provides access to computers and also a fax machine.
St. Ansgar has four active churches, which are Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Other denominations within 15 minutes commuting time include Roman Catholic, United Church of Christ (Congregational), Christian and Missionary Alliance and Community Church.
St. Ansgar has numerous affiliated clubs and organizations including the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Alamo Scouts, County 4-H Clubs, Community Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation, Garden Club, I.C. Club, Cedar River Sportsmans, Lions Club, Questers Club, Senior Saints Club, Stitch and Chat Club, Women's Club, and Saints Booster Club.
The lure of shady trees and sparkling water is an irresistible combination on a hot summer day. Halvorson Park, 1.5 miles south of St. Ansgar, provides just that combination. Ten acres of well kept grounds for spacious picnicking and camping. Six miles of the Cedar River between the park and Mitchell Dam provide excellent facilities for boating and water skiing. Boat docks, launching ramp and ample parking areas are available. Swimming and fishing are also popular entertainment in this area.
Shaded by many majestic trees, the St. Ansgar City Park is another favorite picnic area. Occupying one city block, it is located a block from the business district. Excellent children's playground is provided.
Acorn Park and Golf Course located one-mile northwest of St. Ansgar supplies additional picnic area, park and recreational facilities for young and old alike.
Picturesque Cedar River Sportsman's Park overlooking the Cedar River is two miles southeast of St. Ansgar. It encompasses several acres and includes a clubhouse, shelter house, trap shoot area, picnic tables, camping area, and a spectacular view of the river.
Volunteers of the St. Ansgar area constructed a nine hole municipal golf course, Acorn Park and Golf Course, which opened in 1980. Complete funding of this course was through local donations.
Bowling lanes are located in downtown St. Ansgar with a variety of bowling leagues offered.
Area ringneck pheasant hunting is good enough to attract out-of-state hunters. Duck, rabbits and other small game are also hunted. Local bow hunters enjoy a long season on whitetail deer. Crappies and small mouth bass are the most sought after fish in the Cedar River, but there are also northern pike, catfish and bullheads. A small trout stream at the edge of town is stocked regularly by the Iowa State Conservation Commission. Ice fishing; cross country skiing and snowmobiling are popular winter sports. The Hamlin Garland refuge area provides a scenic nature trail. A walking/biking trail will be completed in the fall of 2008. It is located on the outer perimeter of the High School/Middle School Complex and will be a little over a mile long.
Concert series, lectures,
junior college courses and other cultural activities are available at
each of four nearby larger communities (20, 35, 50, 55 miles). Major
league baseball, football, opera and a large variety of cultural and
entertainment attractions are within commuting distance at
Minneapolis-St. Paul (120 miles) and Des Moines with their variety of
athletic, cultural and enterainment attractions is about 150 miles
south of St. Ansgar.
Although St. Ansgar is a most progressive town it does not forget its rich historical background. One finds true Old World beauty at the Mill Dam. Summer or winter, it maintains a serenity that rests the weary traveler. The mill dam and St. Ansgar Mills building have appeared in several publications. They were featured as one of Iowa's top scenic views in the Sunday edition of Iowa's largest newspaper.
Another place of interest to visitors is the First Lutheran Church. This quaint, old stone church was built over 100 years ago, each stone hand cut and placed. It is the oldest Lutheran church that has been in continuous use west of the Mississippi River.
St. Ansgar's white deer roamed a three-mile square area northwest of town for about nine years. Born in the spring of 1980, she bore a fawn each year and mothered two or three sets of twins. Upon her death on December 13, 1988, she was preserved, mounted in a glassed-in case and is on display at White Deer Park in down town St. Ansgar.
KIMT TV Channel 3 of Mason City, Iowa chose St. Ansgar as the site for its transmitting tower because it is geographically centered in a prime area. Transmission began in 1966 and covers an area of 16,800 square miles with a population of 700,000 people. The local Educational TV Transmitter Station is also located on this site.
Desirable industrial sites are available and new industry is welcomed. For further information write to Chairman, St. Ansgar Economic Development Corporation, P.O. Box 244 St. Ansgar, Iowa 50472, inquire at the St. Ansgar State Bank. or click this link to get to Mitchell County Economic Development.