Home of the World’s Great Clay County Fair
Only a 15-minute drive from Iowa’s Great Lakes region and located at the confluence of the Little Sioux and Ocheyedan Rivers, Spencer, Iowa is an enterprising city where country charm and a modern lifestyle go hand-in-hand. In 1859, George E. Spencer allowed his name to be used to form the city and in 1871, Spencer was chosen as the official county seat of Clay County. By 1878, the first railroad was built through the black, fertile prairie to Spencer, and in less than a year, the settlement grew from 300 people to a bustling town of 1,000. The courthouse, built in 1901, still stands today. The Clay County Agriculture Society was organized in 1879 and was significant to the history of Spencer. In 1917, the Clay County Fair Association was formed and since that time it has grown to the greatest county fair in the world. The nine-day fair attracts more than a quarter of a million visitors each year!
With a population today of about 11,300, Spencer was ranked the 10th Best Place to Live in the United States by Relocate-America.com’s, America’s Top 100 Places to Live for 2007. Also listed in The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America, Spencer is a flourishing center for the arts. One of the town’s biggest attractions, Arts On Grand, offers year-round exhibits, classes and special events. Spencer has it all: museums, theaters, sports, shopping and great dining! Plus, residents enjoy a particularly healthy lifestyle, with excellent health care in a beautiful environment that provides biking and skiing trails, picturesque campgrounds, nearby golf courses, and terrific bass fishing in the surrounding lakes! With so much to recommend it, it’s no wonder people are attracted to Spencer!