Defiance, IA

Established in 1882 • population 346

“Pulling Together to Make Things Happen”


    In Shelby County, Iowa, located on Hwy 59  in the heart of southwest Iowa’s picturesque countryside.Utility & Telecommunication providers

    Water: Municipal

    Gas: MidAmerican Energy Company

    Electricity: MidAmerican Energy Company

    Phone Service: Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Co. serves a 580 square mile area in West Central Iowa including Defiance. Paging, voice mail, calling cards, cellular service along with 100% digitally switched calling is provided. FMTC also offers free custom calling features such as call forwarding, call waiting, speed dialing, three‑way calling and equal access for all long distance calling.

    Internet Service: Farmers Mutual provides 56kbs & DSL from 128 kps to 8 mbs.

    Cable Service: Farmers Mutual provides 38 channels.

    Cellular Service:  Cellular One, Verizon & FMCTC wireless.

Municipal Services

    Council/Mayor government

    Comprehensive city plan: yes

    City zoning ordinance in effect: yes

    County zoning ordinance in effect: yes

    Subdivision ordinance with design

         standards in effect: yes

    Number of volunteer fire department personnel: 22

    Fire insurance class in city: 8

    Fire insurance class outside city: 9

    Police protection: Shelby County Sheriff’s Dept.

    Industrial waste pickup service: yes

    Percentage of city streets hard surfaced: 100%


    Youth attend either the  Harlan Community Schools  (K-12), Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla (K-12)  or the Shelby County Catholic Schools (preK - 8). Shelby County schools are among the State’s leaders in combining a top-quality academic education, with a wide variety of successful extracurricular activities.  For more information see the Quality of Life tab in your resource guide.

Business & Industry

    Defiance is home to over 40 businesses and features five industry leaders: Clean Air Filter, Defiance Telephone Co., Steve's Repair & Machine, Smitty Bee Honey and Defiance State Bank.


    St. Peter’s Catholic Church & United Methodist Church.

Bragging Rights

    Defiance is centrally located only a short 15 minutes from Denison and Harlan with rail service provided in this well-kept community. It's also proud of Smitty Bee Honey, home of the live bee hive and a nationally-recognized producer of farm fresh honey.


        The Patterson House - built in 1899 of bricks from a Defiance brickyard, the three‑story home is one of the town’s oldest houses and was constructed with double brick walls. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

        The Grotto, “Our Mother of Perpetual Help” - located between the St. Peter's Catholic Church and parish house is 32 ft.  long, 10 ft. high and 14 ft. deep. It has 245 tons of material in it with a base of 5 1/2 ft. of concrete weighing 60 tons. The right side of the grotto contains a table in memory of World War II Veterans. The grotto contains lighting effects which make it especially beautiful after dark.

        Community Hall - in 1935, when the streets of Council Bluffs were reconstructed, volunteers carried the street cobblestone to Defiance to erect the Community Hall. The building was planned and blueprinted by the resident Catholic priest, Fr. Emil Schumann. It opened in 1936 with a dance, and later served as host for countless big bands including Bob Crosby and Lawrence Welk. Also hosted were appearances from the Harlem Globe Trotters basketball team and All‑Star Wrestling.

        St. Peters Catholic Church and Parish Picnic - Defiance's first Catholic services were held in 1883 and in 1928, the current St. Peter's Catholic Church was built. The parish picnic is held annually in June.


    The arrival of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway through the north and west parts of Shelby County in 1881-82 gave rise to the platting of Defiance on February 20, 1882 by the Milwaukee Land Company.



Comment Here