Return to Intro 1895 Census Instructions
to the Township Assessors
[Comments added in Brackets]
1895 Census Records

Des Moines Iowa, January 1, 1895.

To The Assessor:

In transmitting to you the blanks for the census of 1895, the executive council has completed its preparatory work, and the responsibility now rests with you to make it a success. We are aware of the depressed condition of many Iowa industries, especially those of the farm, owing to the excessive drouth of 1894, which will have a tendency to make a showing below the real prosperity of the state. You are urged to use every effort to procure the data asked for in the schedules, no matter how small may appear the product or its value. A small product from many a farm, mine or factory, will in the aggregate make a commendable showing for the whole state.

Care should be taken to satisfy any who may seem to need assurance, that the information obtained is not to be made public, sof ar as the same relates to any individual, and that the census has no relation whatever to the assessment for taxation.

The blanks of schedule I should be fastened in the covers so as to make two books of equal and sufficient size to contain the names of all the individuals of the whole township or ward, before any writing is done therein. The blanks are so ruled and printed that the folds may be inserted, or placed side by side within the covers.

The census of each ward of cities and towns must be complete by itself, and nothing belonging to another ward must appear therein. When a city or town extends beyond the limits of one township, the schedules for each township should be kept separate.

Some difficulty may be experienced in obtaining the information asked for, especially that relating to mortgage indebtedness, but it is presumed that all enumerators, they being chosen for that duty by the electors of their respective townships and cities, will be competent to fulfill their task creditably, as well as to secure the joint aid of their fellow citizens. Remember that you are clothed with the same authority as census enumerators as your are as assessors.

As soon as you have completed your enumeration, make an exact copy of the same and file both with the county auditor of your county.

Frank D. Jackson
W. M. McFarland
C. G. McCarthy
Byron A. Beeson
Executive Council.


The census is to be of the date of January 1st, 1895, and to include the products, Etc., of the year 1894. All returns are to be make in duplicate to the County Auditor on or before June 1st, 1895.


1. DWELLINGS. -- In this column give the number of dwelling-houses in the order in which they are visited, the first being numbered 1, the second 2, etc. Where more than one family live in one house having separate partitions, walls and separate entrances, they are each to be numbered. Uninhabited houses not abandoned; buildings used in part as dwelling and story or shop, or for other purposes, hotels, poor-houses, jails, etc., are each to be numbered as dwellings.

2. FAMILIES. -- Under this head insert the number of families, as in the case of dwellings. A family may consist of but one person if living separately. Residents of jails, hospitals, etc. should be counted as one family.

3. NAMES. -- In this column write the full name of every person in each family whose home was properly with such family January 1, 1895, whether present or temporarily absent. If any member of the family has died since January 1, 1895, the same should be entered and described as if living. Persons born in the year 1894 and having died before January 1, 1895, should be included and their names enclosed thus: ( ), with "B. D." added, the same entries made in columns 4 to 10 as if living, and a X made in columns 24 and 25. Persons who have died in 1894, and having been born previous to January 1, 1894, should be included and their names enclosed thus ( ), with "D" added, and the same entries made in other columns as if living. No child born since January 1, 1895, should be enumerated.

Enter first the name of the father if living, next that of the mother if living. If both parents be dead or not living with the family, the name of whomsoever is considered the head of the family should be named first. The names of the children should next follow in the order of their ages, from the oldest to the youngest. Next in order should be entered the names of the relatives, lodgers, laborers and domestics. Persons temporarily staying with the family should be enumerated where they consider their homes to have been January 1. Commercial travelers, railway employees and others engaged in like occupations are to be enumerated where they claim a residence. Students attending school away from home should be enumerated at their home residence. The inmates of the Benedict Home, College for the Blind, the three Hospitals for the Insane, Industrial Home for the Blind, Industrial Schools, School for the Deaf, Institution for Feeble Minded Children, the two Penitentiaries, Soldiers' Home and Soldiers' Orphan's Home should not be taken by the assessors, although all officers and attendants of said institutions must be enumerated at their place of residence. Where persons have removed since the first of January, they are to be enumerated where they resided on that day.

4,5,6. AGES. -- Give the age of each person at his or her birthday in 1894. Children born in 1894 should be marked "0." [Column 4: 18 years or over; Column 5: 5 to 18 years; Column 6: Under 5 years.]

7,8. COLOR. -- Mark X opposite name in proper column. [Column 7: White Male; Column 8: White Female.]

9,10. COLORED. -- If negro or mulatto, write "C;" if Indian write "I;" if Asiatic, write "A" opposite name. [Column 9: Colored Male; Column 10: Colored Female.]

11. MARRIED. -- Mark "M" if married.

12. SINGLE. -- If widowed, write "W;" if divorced, write "D;" for all other unmarried persons write "S."

13. If born in the United States give name of the state; but if the state is not known write U.S. If born in Iowa, give name of the county, and if born outside of the United States give name of the country.

14, 15. -- Write opposite the name of each person enumerated N or F in columns 14 and 15, to designate whether their parents were natives or foreign born.[Column 14: Father; Column 15: Mother.]

16. -- Enter the profession, trade or occupation of every person, except female members of the family and children not hired. Women managing their own household affairs in the own families may be designated as "keeping house," but those hired in that capacity should be designated "house keepers." The business in which a person is engaged should be specified as precisely as possible. General terms, as merchants, agents, manufacturers, clerks, etc. should be accompanied by a specification of the particular branch of the business they may be engaged in, as dry-goods merchants, and life insurance agents, etc. Persons retired from business should be so specified.

17. -- By religious belief is meant the particular religious denomination of which church or society the person may be a member, attendant, or toward which his or her preferences incline, (or none.)

18. -- Mark X opposite the name. [Subject to military duty.]

19. -- Mark X opposite the name of all citizens entitled to vote at general elections.

20, 21. -- Mark X opposite name. If the person cannot read English but is able to read any other language in general use, mark G for German, D for Dutch, F for French, S for Swedish, N for Norwegian, B for Bohemian, I for Italian. [Column 20: Can read but not write, over 10 years old; Column 21: Cannot read or write, over 10 years old.]

22. -- Mark X opposite name. [Children over 6 and under 17 years old, not attending any school in 1894.]

23. -- Mark X opposite name. [Foreigners not naturalized.]

24, 25. -- Give the number of births and deaths in their proper columns in figures, opposite the name of the head of the family. [Column 24: Births in 1894; Column 25: Deaths in 1894.]

26, 27, 28. -- Mark X opposite the name. Members of the family in any of the State institutions should not be marked. [Column 26: Deaf and dumb not in State School for Deaf; Column 27: Blind not in State College for Blind; Column 28: Insane not in State Hospital for Insane.]

29 to 34. -- Assessors are requested to not only enter herein the service of all soldiers, sailors and marines, but the regularly enlisted army nurses. [Columns 29 to 32 - Soldiers, Sailors and Mariners in War of the Rebellion; Column 29: Company; Column 30: Regiment; Column 31: State; Column 32: Arm of Service and Rank.][Columns 33 and 34 - Soldiers in Mexican War; Column 33: Regiment; Column 34 State.]



County of ____________________

I hereby certify that the enclosed is an accurate copy of the census of the population of the ___________ of _____________ as taken by me in the year 1895.

Dated __________ 1895 _______________________ [Signature]