Introduction to Spencer, Iowa

Spencer, Iowa, in Clay county, is located 77 miles NE of Sioux City, Iowa (center to center) and is 136 miles N of Omaha, Nebraska. Approximately 11,317 people live in Spencer.

Spencer History

Spencer was first settled in 1866. The city was named in the honor of Senator George E. Spencer. In 1871, the city became the county seat of Clay County, which was organized in 1858 and was named after Henry Clay, Jr. who was a colonel in the Mexican - American War. Originally, Peterson was the county seat. The first railroad entered the city of Spencer in 1878. The courthouse of city was constructed in 1901.

Spencer and nearby Attractions

  • Parker Historical Museum of Clay County
  • Adams - Higgins House
  • Wanata State Park
  • Lost Island Lake
  • Abbie Gardner State Historic Site
  • Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum

Things To Do In Spencer

Spencer offers easy access to Clark Museum of Area History, Parker House Museum, Fort Defiance State Park, Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes, and Gull Point State Park. The local parks include the Stolley Gravel Pit Park, Fairview Park, Waterway Park, and Sunset Park. Golf enthusiasts can visit the Spencer Municipal Golf Course and Spencer Country Club. The Ranch Amusement Park is also ideal for a family day out. The Southpark Mall and Gateway North Shopping Center are the local shopping centers.

Spencer Transportation

Air transportation is available from Fort Dodge Regional Airport.

Spencer Higher Education

Buena Vista University, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Iowa Central Community College, and many other colleges and universities offer facilities for higher studies.


Total Population 11,177
Male Share of the Population 47.8%
Female Share of the Population 52.2%
Senior Citizens 20.5%
Employed Population 16+ 5,617
Age of the Population 42


% of people married 54.9%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 18.3%
Median Earnings25+ $32,468
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $19,407
Median Earnings With High School Degree $27,351


Median Family Income $61,841
% Above Poverty Level 88.5%
% Below Poverty Level 11.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 15 minutes
% Working from Home 4.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.5%
% Using Public Transportation 0.6%


People Living Alone 32.1%
Median Gross Rent $588
Median House Value $110,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 11.6%
US/American 0%
English 7.6%
Irish 13.2%

Spencer Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 77 miles NE of Sioux City, Iowa (center to center)
Nearest Large City 136 miles N of Omaha, Nebraska
County Clay
Standard Zip Codes 51301, 51343
Phone Area Codes 712
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 43.141
Longitude -95.144

Spencer Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station SPENCER 1 N
Distance 1.8 miles
Jan Temp 5 to 24 F
Apr Temp 35 to 58 F
Jul Temp 62 to 84 F
Oct Temp 37 to 61 F
Annual Precip 28.6 inches
Distance 17.2 miles
Jan Temp 6 to 25 F
Apr Temp 35 to 59 F
Jul Temp 61 to 84 F
Oct Temp 37 to 62 F
Annual Precip 31.3 inches
Distance 26.5 miles
Jan Temp 3 to 22 F
Apr Temp 34 to 56 F
Jul Temp 62 to 82 F
Oct Temp 37 to 60 F
Annual Precip 28.3 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Dickens 176 $42,500
Everly 530 $58,516
Fostoria 124 $75,417

Spencer Public Libraries

Spencer Public Library
21 E. 3RD ST.
Spencer, Iowa
(712) 264-7290
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Spencer Hospitals

(Government - Local)
(712) 264-6198
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Spencer High Schools

800 E 3RD ST
Serves 708 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.3

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