Exira is a city in Audubon County, Iowa, United States, along the East Nishnabotna River and U.S. Route 71. The population was 840 at the 2010 census.
The oldest town in Audubon County, Exira was founded in 1857. The town was named for Exira Eckman, daughter of Judge John Eckman from Ohio, who agreed to purchase a lot of property in the town if the town was named for his daughter.
The main industries in and around Exira are agriculture and agribusiness. Exira has an elementary school, built in 1913, and a high school, completed in 1959. There are four churches in the town.
On July 2, 1958, Exira was ravaged by the flooding of the East Nishnabotna River. Nineteen persons in the area lost their lives, 75 homes were destroyed and almost 20 businesses in the western part of Exira were damaged.
Exira is well known for its Fourth of July celebrations, which have been celebrated since 1861. The morning parade and the evening fireworks draw thousands of visitors to the town. Another attraction is Littlefield Recreation Area, 6 miles (9.7 km) southeast of Exira, which features a 70-acre (280,000 m2) lake, prairie restoration area and a live bison pair.
City of Exira, Ia. 50076
Darrell & Vi Kilworth have been working on a couple of things about the Flood of 1958. One thing Darrell has done is set up a number (712-764-1958) with Marne Elk Horn Telephone so you can hear 5 stories from survivors. Hear what they remember of the frightening & devastating night in July 1958.
Darrell is working on more interviews, so more stories will be added.
Darrell is also working on getting the map that Tony Kommes drew of west town and where people lived and worked, to have all that wash away during the flood, and also a map that Ken Akers has spent time getting of those who were swept away in the Nishnabotna River from Hamlin to Griswold. Nineteen lives were lost during the flood. Tony's and Ken maps we hope will become a feature in the Flood Park on Washington Street.