Earling, IA

Established in 1882 • population 471

"Progress is our Future"



    Earling is located in SW Iowa in Shelby County at the intersection of State Highways 191, 37 & County Highway M-16. The topography consists of gently rolling hills sprinkled with abundant farms.

Utility & Telecommunication providers

    Water: Municipal.

    Gas: MidAmerican Energy Company.

    Electricity: MidAmerican Energy Co.

    Phone Service: Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Co. serves a 580 square mile area in West Central Iowa including Earling. 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: CellularOne, Verizon & FMCTC Wireless.

    Rail: Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad service.

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: no

    Number of volunteer fire department personnel: 20

    Fire insurance class in city: 8

    Fire insurance class outside city: 9

    Police protection:  Shelby County Sheriff’s Department

    Industrial waste pickup service: yes

    Percentage of city streets hard surfaced: 100%


    Youth attend either the  Harlan Community Schools  (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

    Approximately 30 business are located here including a  nursing home, a locally owned bank, elementary school, tractor repair business, 2 car service stations, meat locker, local cafe, two  bars, grain elevator, two feed stores, ag-chemical store, grocery store, beauty shops and retail shops.  

    Little Flower Haven - Earling's largest employer, has a 52-member staff which cares for 62 residents. This State of Iowa licensed intermediate care facility, opened in 1964, is recognized for its warmth and the comfort of its homelike atmosphere.


    St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Bragging Rights

     There was an exorcism in Earling in 1928. It has been officially documented by Papal officials in Rome. The subject was a young lady who was not from the community. Today, the exorcism is a matter of controversy and curiosity, but for the folks of Earling in 1928, it was a frightening experience. Two books, "BE GONE SATAN" and "THE DEVIL ROCKED HER CRADLE," have been written about those fateful days in 1928.   Founded in 1881, Earling was a railroad town made up primarily of German immigrants.

100 Station Call Center -  a 4,800 sq. ft. custom designed office building.

       Amenities include: completely finished turnkey 4,800 sq. ft. office building is located in a beautiful rural setting with all utilities in place, 10’ ceilings and has over 30 parking stalls available on freshly laid asphalt. Conference room, manager’s office, break room, computer room, and expansive work area capable of accommodating 100 work stations. Five year triple net lease of only $6.50 per sq. ft.


    St. Joseph Catholic Church - is a must-see for visitors coming to Earling. The circa 1882 Church with its soaring 150' steeple and Gothic-styled architecture is breathtaking. Its numerous stained glass windows illuminate a spacious interior that is both enthralling and inspiring. Newly painted statues depicting the saints and the Stations of the Cross decorate the wall and the columns of the church. A visit to St. Joseph Catholic Church will never be forgotten. 

    St. Joseph's Parish Picnic -  a two day picnic celebrated on the 2nd weekend of July. The festivities consist of a demolition derby, sand volley ball tournaments, carnival rides, games, and plenty of food and beverages. 


    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 Marathon on August 21, 1882 by the Milwaukee Land Co. The town was originally known under the name of Marathon, but later adopted the name for the then head of the railroad, President Earling. Also located five miles west of present-day Earling was the original county seat, Shelbyville. In 1859, voters decided to move the Courthouse to Harlan and all that remains of Shelbyville is a plaque placed by the Shelby Co. Historical Society in 1983.



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