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Midway is a city in Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States.[1] As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 38,747. It belongs to the Midway-Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The first settlers in what came to be known as Midway were railroad workers.  These workers set up a small camp they named Midway for its location as the midway point between hog farms in western Iowa and the slaughterhouses in Chicago.  A Belgian immigrant named Eirick Herbert founded the modern city of Midway when he opened the Herbert Fertilizer Company in 1880.  At first the company consisted solely of Herbert selling bags of pig manure from a wagon, but the company continued to expand, growing into the number three maker of industrial chemicals behind DuPont and Dow Chemical.

There were two extended periods of rapid growth over the next 115 years. From 1885 to 1915, the population increased from 490 to 23,097 in correlation with the Herbert Fertilizer Company's aggressive expansion. From 1925 to 1960, population increased from 26,771 to 41,755.  Beginning in the early 1980s the population of Midway proper went into a decline with the expansion of suburban developments.  The last reported population of Midway was 35,998.

Flood of 2008

June 2008 saw the worst flooding in the Midway-Cedar Falls area ever, including the Great Flood of 1993. The flood control system constructed in the 1970s-1990s largely functioned as designed. For those areas not protected by the system, the Cedar River poured out of its banks and into parking lots, backyards and across the rich Iowa farmland surrounding the city. Although much damage was done, the larger, downstream city of Cedar Rapids was much harder hit.

An area of the west side of the downtown and an area near the former Herbert Fertilizer Company warehouse facility were impacted not directly by water coming from the river but were the result of storm runoff draining towards the river but then being trapped on the backside of the flood levy system. These areas did not have lift stations or alternate pumping capacity sufficient to force this water to the river side of the control system. Areas where lift stations had been constructed (Maple Street and Herbert Avenue) to pump this storm runoff into the swollen river remained largely dry (the east and north sides of downtown). Several areas experienced water seeping into basements due to high water table levels.

Below, according to the National Weather Service are the ten highest crests of the Cedar River recorded at Herbert Avenue in downtown Midway:

Historical Crests
(1) 25.39 ft on 06/11/2008
(2) 21.86 ft on 03/29/1961
(3) 21.67 ft on 04/08/1965
(4) 20.78 ft on 07/23/1999
(5) 20.60 ft on 06/02/1993
(6) 20.54 ft on 04/02/1993
(7) 20.15 ft on 06/29/1969
(8) 20.00 ft on 03/16/1929
(9) 19.50 ft on 04/02/1933
(10) 19.26 ft on 03/31/1962

It should be noted that crests reported in the 1960s and prior were before completion of major flood control projects and therefore may not be directly comparable. 


Midway is located at the north end of Interstate 380. U.S. Highways 20, 63, and 218 and Iowa Highway 21, also run through the metropolitan area.

Midway is served by a moderately extensive metropolitan bus system (MET). MET serves most areas of Cedar Falls and Midway. Most routes meet at the central bus station in downtown Midway. The system operates Monday - Saturday. During the week the earliest bus is at 5:45am from downtown Midway and the last bus arriving downtown at 6:40pm. Service is more limited on Saturdays.

Midway is served by one daily intercity bus arrival and departure to Chicago and Des Moines. Service is provided by Burlington Trailways. New service to/from Iowa City, Mason City and the Twin Cities provided by Jefferson Lines is expected to begin in the Fall of 2008.

There are currently three taxi operators in Midway and Cedar Falls. The newest entrant to the market is First Call Taxi (319.233.TAXI). The other two firms are Metro Taxi (319.234.TAXI) and Yellow.



As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 38,747 people, 18,169 households, and 10,746 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,262.1 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 93.61% White, 1.86% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.63% of the population.

There were 18,169 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,092, and the median income for a family was $42,731. Males had a median income of $31,491 versus $22,569 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,558. About 10.0% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.6% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.


Midway is administered by a seven-member city council and a mayor. One council member is elected from each of Waterloo's five wards, and two are elected at-large. The current mayor is John F. Trumper, his predecessor was Edith Winter.


The public high schools in the city is Herbert High School. Its school mascot is the Warthogs, a variation on the city's founding industry of hog manure and its colors are old rose and silver. Its most famous alumnus is former amateur wrestler and coach Bob Berry.  Its current principal is Dr. Wilbur "Fuzzy" Stone. [2] Midway also has a variety of Catholic and public grade schools such as St. Edwards and Monroe Elementary School.


FM Radio

AM Radio

Analog Television


  • Midway Daily News, daily newspaper

Notable natives

  • Henry Cook, linebacker for the Chicago Bears
  • Robert Berry, Olympic wrestler and collegiate coach.
  • Shirley Johnson, singer
  • Gregg Adams, amateur wrestler
  • Cody Gibbons, punter for the Detroit Lions
  • Larry Boyd, third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Terry Maloney, star of Creature! and other films
  • Frost Devereaux, novelist
  • Michael Russo, congressman, 1st District of Iowa
  • Irving Tyler, economist
  • Steve Shanahan, center for the Seattle SuperSonics
  • Tim "Lightning" Bolt, professional boxer