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Learning about America's 17 Hudsons - Iowa

Published: May 14, 2017 12:03 AM
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Hudson, Iowa is a small suburban community in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area 250 miles west of Chicago. Mayor George Wessel describes Hudson as a "progressive, growing community... where you can have it all." The 8.3 square mile city has nearly 2,400 residents.

Hudson's first house was erected in 1852. The following year two additional homes, a sawmill and a hotel were built. The town's first store opened in 1857 along with a post office. Mail was picked-up weekly from Waterloo. 1857 was also the year that Hudson became a city when "surveyed and platted." Between 1864 and 1867 the "town settled up very quickly." In 1880 the town had 52 residents. By 1900 the farming community's population had grown to 359.

Located in Black Hawk County Hudson has had a long association its neighboring city Waterloo. Located 8 miles to the northeast Waterloo is the seat of county government. Waterloo's population is 68,000. With the adjacent city of Cedar Falls' population of 40,000, that is the basis for the metro area.

The average age in Hudson is 41.9 years. 98 percent of adults have at least a high school diploma. More than 35 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher. The median household income is $80,871. The average home is valued at $165,000 and the cost of living is 7 percent below the national average.

The city functions with a mayor-council form of government. The mayor is elected every two years. The five council members are elected to four year terms. The city has a small police force and a 19 member volunteer fire department. Hudson has a city golf course and "offers a fine park system with parks located in several areas . . . and is connected to the Cedar Valley bike trails and Black Hawk Creek Waterway for kayaks."

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Hudson's first library opened in the Town Hall in 1936. It wasn't until 1999 that the library moved into a new stand alone facility. The Hudson Community School District reaches far beyond the city's boundaries, covering 63 square miles and 3,600 residents. The district's 720 students attend a four building centralized campus.

The city supports a small business district with businesses represented by a Chamber of Commerce. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area offers Hudson residents access to expanded shopping, cultural, health care and educational opportunities. The University of Northern Iowa is located in Cedar Falls. The metro area ranks 113 of 331 for "best living" among emerging metropolitan areas.

The annual "Hudson Days" is held for 4 days each July. The event includes live entertainment, a firemen's dance, car show and kayak float, carnival rides, flea market, a parade and fireworks.

Hudson, Iowa is among the 17 cities and towns in Destination Hudson's ongoing Challenge to visit all 17 in 2017. The Challenge is co-sponsored by the Hudson Hub-Times and Hudson's Restaurant. Challenge information is available at the Visitor Center and Gift Shop located in Town Hall, 27 E. Main St., or at destinationhudson.com.

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