In 1853, two brothers, James and John Dunkerton, walked from Dubuque, Iowa, to stake out a claim of land near Lester. This claim became the town known as Lesterton, and later Dunkerton. In 1854, John died and was buried in the small cemetery which now holds 4 generations of Dunkertons. James remained and built up his land. On December 25, 1854, he married Christiana Hodges. At 60 years of age, James and his eldest son, sold a portion of their land to the railroad, requesting that the railroad be extended to Iowa. This act enabled the present City of Dunkerton to be established.
The Dunkerton Bridge is a piece of history, spanning over Crane Creek from the city to the Charma Park. The pedestrian bridge, built in 1909, is still usable today.
In honor of Dunkerton's Veterans, the city has put up a brand new memorial. It is located on Canfield Rd. and Main St. and is the beginning to the city project of turning the flood zone into beautiful park areas.
Dunkerton celebrates "Dunkerton Days" in late July, with a car show, a parade, mud volleyball tournament, fishing derby and bike races among other local activities. The highlight of Dunkerton Days is the fireworks show which brings many people from surrounding areas.
After many years of city planning and fundraising, the Dunkerton Public Library was rebuilt out of the flood zone and opened its doors in December, 2010. The new facility includes computers, expanded inventory, and a special children's section.
Dunkerton is located at 42°34′6″N 92°9′36″W (42.568329, -92.160075).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.99 square miles (2.56 km2), of which, 0.98 square miles (2.54 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 852 people, 327 households, and 237 families residing in the city. The population density was 869.4 inhabitants per square mile (335.7/km2). There were 338 housing units at an average density of 344.9 per square mile (133.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.1% White, 1.1% African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.
There were 327 households of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 27.5% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.13.
The median age in the city was 35.3 years. 29.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 10.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 749 people, 269 households, and 206 families. The population density was 792.9 people per square mile (307.6/km²). There were 292 housing units at an average density of 309.1 per square mile (119.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.26% White, 0.13% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 1.34% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other races, and 0.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.80% of the population.
There were 269 households out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.2% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.4% were non-families. 19.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.18.
Age spread: 29.0% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,771, and the median income for a family was $48,229. Males had a median income of $31,083 versus $24,167 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,863. About 4.4% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.2% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.