Town Sign Project: Franklin County

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
Franklin County Courthouse

The Franklin County Freedom Rock is in Coulter. There is no nudity, but there is a dog:

Franklin County Freedom Rock

Franklin County Freedom Rock

Franklin County Freedom Rock

Franklin County Freedom Rock

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
Franklin County Photo Map – Boundaries are not close.

With Franklin County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project - 16 Counties

16 counties completed. 16.2% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the Franklin County signs:

Hampton, Iowa
Hampton, Iowa
Welcome to Hampton – The Heart of Franklin County
Population: 4,461

Ackley, Iowa
Ackley, Iowa (Mostly in Hardin County)
Population: 1,589

Sheffield, Iowa
Sheffield, Iowa
Sheffield – Est. 1876 – “Just a good start!”
Population: 1,172

Dows, Iowa
Dows, Iowa (Mostly in Wright County)
Welcome to Dows – A Friendly Community
Population: 538

Latimer, Iowa
Latimer, Iowa
Latimer – A Progressive Community
Population: 507

Coulter, Iowa
Coulter, Iowa
Welcome to Coulter – A Nice Place to Call Home – Population 282
Population: 281

Alexander, Iowa
Alexander, Iowa
First Reformed Church of Alexander – Welcome
Population: 175

Geneva, Iowa
Geneva, Iowa
Welcome to Geneva
Population: 165

Bradford, Iowa (Census Designated Place)
Bradford, Iowa (CDP)
Gorder’s Cafe & Car Wash – Bradford
Population: 99

Hansell, Iowa
Hansell, Iowa
Hansell —–>
Population: 98

Chapin, Iowa (Census Designated Place)
Chapin, Iowa (CDP)
Chapin – Established 1872
Population: 87

Popejoy, Iowa
Popejoy, Iowa
Velkommen to Popejoy
Population: 79

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, Iowa
Popejoy – Best in Show – Franklin County

A couple of Franklin County signs had alternate signs:

Popejoy, Iowa
Popejoy Alternate

Popejoy, Iowa - Backside
Back of Popejoy Sign

Popejoy, Iowa
Popejoy Alternate

Coulter, Iowa
Coulter Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County


Ricketts, Iowa
#10. Ricketts

Dexter, Iowa
#9. Dexter

Menlo, Iowa
#8. Menlo

Templeton, Iowa
#7. Templeton

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#6. Farnhamville

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#4. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#3. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#2. Coon Rapids

Ackley, Iowa
#1. Ackley

The next time we travel the muddy backroads of Iowa for THE TOWN SIGNS PROJECT, we will visit Madison County.

One thought on “Town Sign Project: Franklin County”

  1. I agree entirely with Popejoy. Sheffield’s also sounds like it’s apologetic – “we’re trying, and off to a good start.”

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