Spencer, IA

A Great Place to Call Home!

From your first drive down beautiful Grand Avenue you'll know you're in a special town. Spencer is home to 11,233 residents and is well known as the home of the Clay County Fair, held annually in September. The fair averages over 300,000 visitors each year. Spencer is fortunate to have much more to offer, such as outstanding health care facilities, great schools, walking trails, a historic business district, Spencer Community Theatre, Arts on Grand, a newly renovated YMCA, Spencer Family Aquatic Center, and one of the nicest and most affordable golf courses in Iowa. Add these great amenities to the access of being just 15 miles from the Lake Okoboji area and what more could we ask for?

History of Spencer & Clay County

In 1855, the first settlers discovered this fertile northwest Iowa terrain as a suitable place to establish their homes. Clay County, officially organized in 1858, found the majority of its early settlers in the southwestern corner. In May 1860, Peterson was selected as the county seat. The rolling hills in the southern portion of Clay County, however made travel difficult for many. In 1866, the first settlers made their way to flat prairie area which is now known as Spencer. As more settlers followed this northern trek, it was petitioned and agreed to relocate the county seat to Spencer. In 1871, Spencer was officially settled as the county seat of Clay County. The courthouse, built in 1901, still stands today. Within only 30 years of existence Clay County was gifted to have 84 schools throughout the county and the population had blossomed to over 1,500.

In 1859 George E. Spencer gave his name to the City of Spencer. In 1878, the first railroad was built through town and in less than a year the settlement grew from 300 people to a bustling town of 1,000. 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.

Growth resulted in spite of the disastrous Spencer fire in July 1931. Most of the business district went up in flames when a youngster dropped a burning sparkler into a box of fireworks. The keen civic spirit, predominant still, flourished as Spencer merchants rebuilt the business district in the midst of a major depression into one of the most attractive in Iowa.

Thanks to the Spencer, Iowa Chamber of Commerce for information provided.

Contact Us

Spencer Golf and Country Club
Pro Shop: (712) 262-2028
Upcoming Events
December 31

Outstanding Golf...Quality Dining...Lifelong Friends