About This Place
Boone is a city in and the county seat of Des Moines Township, Boone County, Iowa, United States. It is the principal city of the 'Boone, Iowa Micropolitan Statistical Area', which encompasses all of Boone County. This micropolitan statistical area, along with the 'Ames, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area' comprise the larger 'Ames-Boone, Iowa Combined Statistical Area'. The population of the city was 12,803 at the 2000 census.
Coal mining played an important part in the early history of the Boone area. Local blacksmiths were already mining coal from the banks of Honey Creek south of what would become Boone in 1849.
Boone was platted as a town in 1865, and incorporated the following year. The Chicago and North Western Transportation Company reached Boone in 1866. In 1868, it was chartered as a city. Commercial mining was spurred by the arrival of the railroad. In 1867, Canfield and Taylor opened a mine just west of town. Their mine shaft was 242 feet deep, and they hauled coal to the railroad by wagon. In 1874, a railroad spur was built to the mine. This mine was taken over by the railroad, and operated for 30 years. There are two coal seams in the Boone area, the upper vein, about 3 feet thick, was always worked using longwall mining, while the lower vein was always mined using room and pillar mining. In 1912, United Mine Workers Local 869 in Boone had 554 members, close to 10% of the population at the time.