The historic community of Earlham, Iowa is approximately 30 miles west of Des Moines, just south of Interstate 80, and on the northern edge of Madison County. Our population in the most recent census was 1,450.
Perhaps our greatest claim to fame is Marion Michael Morrison, a.k.a. John Wayne, who lived in Earlham as a boy in the early 1900s. He attended school in the Earlham Academy Building that is now owned by the Earlham Historical Society, and his father, Clyde, owned a pharmacy in Earlham until poor health forced the family to move west.
Today, Earlham is a thriving small town with all the benefits of a peaceful, rural landscape near one of the country’s most desirable cities. Businesses in Earlham provide all the important conveniences of dining, banking, grocery shopping, health care and more, including an excellent school system with a new, state-of-the-art track. The completion of the Bricker-Price Block project, the rehabilitation of a historic two-building complex now underway in the town center, has gained national attention and promises to bring even more amenities to our community.
Then and now, Earlham welcomes all!
Earlham ranked #14 as the Best Small Towns in Iowa in 2020 by HomeSnacks!