A couple weekends ago I hit the open road to harvest the town signs of Franklin County that I was missing. There are 10 towns in Franklin County and 2 Census Designated Places.
Here are some facts about Franklin County:
+ The population is 10,680.
+ The county seat is Hampton.
+ The largest city is Hampton.
+ The county was formed on January 15, 1851 and named after Benjamin Franklin.
+ Major highways include I35, US65, IA3, and IA57.
+ Adjacent counties are Cerro Gordo, Butler, Hardin, Wright, and Grundy.
+ The population peaked in 1930 at 16,382.
Franklin County, thankfully has a beautiful courthouse.
Franklin County Courthouse
The Franklin County Freedom Rock is in Coulter. There is no nudity, but there is a dog:
The veteran’s memorial park that houses the Freedom Rock is pretty neat. There will be pictures of it at a later date.
Here is the Franklin County Photo Map:
Franklin County Photo Map – Boundaries are not close.
With Franklin County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:
16 counties completed. 16.2% of the Cyclone State conquered!
Here are the Franklin County signs:
Welcome to Hampton – The Heart of Franklin County
Ackley, Iowa (Mostly in Hardin County)
Sheffield – Est. 1876 – “Just a good start!”
Dows, Iowa (Mostly in Wright County)
Welcome to Dows – A Friendly Community
Latimer – A Progressive Community
Welcome to Coulter – A Nice Place to Call Home – Population 282
First Reformed Church of Alexander – Welcome
Welcome to Geneva
Bradford, Iowa (CDP)
Gorder’s Cafe & Car Wash – Bradford
Chapin, Iowa (CDP)
Chapin – Established 1872
Velkommen to Popejoy
I have decided to no longer pursue Census Designated Places. While it is true that both of the Census Designated Places in Franklin County had sigs, (sorta) it most don’t. So I’m throwing Census Designated Places into the same pile as unincorporated communities. If I stumble across one I will have a look, but I won’t pursue them.
I’ve also decided to no longer use Wikipedia as the arbiter of what towns are in a county. I am now going to us the Iowa Department of Transportation. Their website has a great list of the nearly 900 towns in Iowa and a map of every single one.
Now down to business. What town has the worst town sign in Franklin County. I’m going to let Bradford off the hook, since it isn’t a town, it is a CDP. I’m going to go with Alexander. It isn’t really a town sign. It is the local church welcoming you because the town itself is too lazy to do such things.
But here is the moment of controversy. Who wins Best in Show for Franklin County? Ackley and Dows are really mostly in other counties, so they aren’t even eligible. Coulter’s is cutesy, but the design leaves much to be desired. Hampton’s is okay, but it really is being propped up by the surroundings. It really comes down to two towns for me. Popejoy and Sheffield. They are both great in completely different ways. Sheffield’s sign as a cutesy slogan and is near a sign bragging about past high school sports accomplishments. However, I’m going to give it to Popejoy because Sheffield looks a bit to much like a hotel sign.
Popejoy – Best in Show – Franklin County
A couple of Franklin County signs had alternate signs:
Back of Popejoy Sign
Here is the current list of Best in Shows:
Best in Show – Audubon County
Best in Show – Boone County
Best in Show – Carroll County
Best in Show – Crawford County
Best in Show – Dallas County
Best in Show – Franklin County
Best in Show – Greene County
Best in Show – Guthrie County
Best in Show – Hamilton County
Best in Show – Hardin County
Best in Show – Jasper County
Best in Show – Marshall County
Best in Show – Polk County
Best in Show – Story County
Best in Show – Webster County
Best in Show – Wright County
No change to the BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:
#4. Pilot Mound
#2. Coon Rapids
The next time we travel the muddy backroads of Iowa for THE TOWN SIGNS PROJECT, we will visit Madison County.