Iowa’s Best Kept Secret!!

Population: 264


RAGBRI, the oldest, largest and longest multi-day recreational bicycle touring event in the world will be passing through Rowley this year on Thursday, July 29th, 2021.

Rowley City Government

Mayor: Sue Webster

City Clerk: Deb Hemsath

City of Rowley, City Hall
PO Box 96
Rowley, IA 52329
(319) 938-2636

City Council Meets the second Thursday each month, at 7:00 pm at the Rowley Community Center

City Council Members:

  • Karen Wilharm
  • Matt Platte
  • Lisa Parizek
  • Terri Janaszak
  • Kathy Hemsath

Rowley Community Club

Public Services

Call 911 for Volunteer Fire Dept

Non Emergency
Call Buchanan County Sheriff
(319) 334-2568

Leading Employeers


The Independence Community School District includes the communities of Rowley, Brandon and Independence. The communities are proud of its strong school district and the dedicated staff who work here. School to work program provides vital linkage between community and school, there are favorable pupil/teacher ratios, and ACT composite scores regularly above state averages. In addition, unique partnership provides preschool services on school grounds.

Independence Community School District (K-12)
(319) 334-7400

Religious Institutions

United Methodist Church
Service at 10:30AM on Sundays

Presbyterian Church of Rowley
Service at 9:30Am on Sundays
Sunday School at 10:40AM

History of Rowley

The City of Rowley is located in south central Buchanan County. It is located approximately seven miles south of U.S. Highway 20 and five miles north of the Benton County Line. Rowley is on County Road D-47, two miles east of Highway 150. The county seat, Independence, is only a nine-mile drive north of Rowley. Five of Iowa’s major cities are within easy driving distance: Waterloo/Cedar Falls – 35 minutes, Cedar Rapids – 40 minutes, Iowa City – 60 minutes, and Dubuque – 60 minutes. Easy access to these metropolitan areas provides many cultural, recreational, and shopping opportunities for the citizens of Rowley.

Rowley was founded in 1873 as a community prepared to provide its citizens with basic needs. During the first half of the twentieth century, Rowley had it all: a railroad, grocery stores, a lumber yard, a hotel, a hardware store, implement dealers, service stations, a creamery, a bank, a public school, a dentist, and churches. Changing times have affected all small Iowa communities, and Rowley is no exception. Many businesses closed or migrated to larger markets after the railroad removed its tracks through town. Yet the basic reason for Rowley’s existence providing basic needs remains at the heart of Rowley. People in Rowley know and care about each other. Need help, help is there. The city’s heartbeat continues and can be found in the following: a post office, a meat locker, an elevator, and a volunteer fire department.

In September 1996, a one room school house was moved to and restored near the elementary school. 1,200 people attended the dedication. Governor, Terry Branstad, at the dedication said, “We have the responsibility to build an even better future for the generation to come” . . . . “It is great to be in Rowley”! . . . “and it is evident that the people in this area have a lot of pride in this area”. Yes, we do. We look to a bright future for Rowley in the 21st century.