Ankeny, IA, is located six miles north of the state capital Des Moines. It is located 145 miles east of Omaha, Nebraska. It is located along Interstate 35.It was started by John Fletcher and Sarah Ankeny on July 11, 1874. The town was laid out by the couple and the first three plots were recorded on April 22. Mr. Fletcher had been instrumental in the election of President Abraham Lincoln's election campaign. Upon arrival in Iowa, John Fletcher opened a general store and then started the post office. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Minnesota Narrow Gauge Railroad, which arrived in Ankeny in 1874. The railroad was made wide gauge in 1879. Passenger trains began using the tracks on July 11, 1880, with Riley Van Horn serving as the first station master. Life was far from easy for early pioneers who depending on their abilities to raise sorghum for molasses and raised hogs. The hogs had to be walked to Keokuk, Iowa for market, a trip that required seven days.
Coal mining was important to the area with the Anderson Coal Company operating two nearby mines. By 1940, the population of Ankeny, Iowa, was 750. Then in 1941, the United States government opened a federal ammunition plant bringing in 19,000 employees. After the war, John Deere purchased the ammunition plant. John Deere began production there in October, 1947, producing harvesting equipment for corn, cotton, sugar beets, and potatoes. The company also produced grain dryers and crop sprayers. The factory known as John Deere Des Moines Works is still in operation today and still producing harvesting equipment at the factory. To find out more about businesses in Ankeny, Iowa, consult the Ankeny, IA yellow pages or the Ankeny, IA business directory.The most snowfall in Ankeny, Iowa, fell during 1953, when the area received 24.4" of snow. The hottest month on average is July with an average monthly daytime temperature of 85.3 degrees. The coldest month on average is January with an average monthly daytime temperature of 27.7 degrees. The wettest month is usually July, with an average rainfall of 5.1 inches of rain.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan