St. Ansgar has been named the “Garden Spot of Iowa” and rightfully so. Its thriving farmland, stately trees and colorful local gardens lend dignity and charm to this friendly, small town. This proud tradition has been a part of St. Ansgar’s history since it was founded in 1853 by a group of Norwegian immigrant farmers, led by the Rev. Claus L. Clausen a Danish minister. This town is named after a French monk and bishop, who in the 9th century was a missionary to the Scandinavian countries and was made the patron saint of Denmark.
The population has remained near the 1,100 mark for the past thirty years. The 2000 population for Mitchell County is 10,874. There are at present more than 60 business establishments in St. Ansgar, including a grocery store, auto dealer, attorney law office, bridal fashions, clothing fashions, two chiropractors, fabric shop, hair salons, hardware store and home accessories and gifts, laundromat, massage therapist, newspaper, pharmacy, photography, plumbing and heating, real estate and insurance agencies, tea room, and unique gifts, a bed and breakfast and other retail and service establishments. It also has one of the most modern oat processing plants in North America. New businesses that have come St. Ansgar, are Space Age Tools, Horizon Foods a division of Malt-O-Meal, antique shop, flower shop & fabric shop. Two banks, St. Ansgar State Bank and Farmers State Bank have deposits in excess of 150 million dollars.