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Ottumwa, Iowa is a unique city…with an intriguing name. “Ottumwa” is said to be derived from an Algonquian (indigenous) word meaning “rippling waters”. We are a community on the banks of the Des Moines River. Ottumwa is one of Iowa’s many railroad and coal boomtowns that weathered the storm and survived. Today, Ottumwa’s economy is more closely aligned with its agricultural roots- livestock and machinery- with healthcare, higher education, financial services, and advanced manufacturing also contributing to the community’s economy.
From single artisan workshops to full scale mass production, Ottumwa boasts a diverse business climate. In the 19th century, Ottumwans manufactured cigars, mining equipment, and world-class violins. Today, small businesses, large retailers, and major factories co-exist to support a nearly $4 billion economy.*
*2018 total sales for all industries in Wapello County, based on NAICS description (Emsi complete Class of Worker dataset).