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Altoona is a city in Polk County, Iowa, United States, and is a part of the Des Moines–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 14,541 at the 2010 census.
Altoona is home of Adventureland, an amusement park, Prairie Meadows, a horse racing track and casino, and a Bass Pro Shops retail store, the first one in central Iowa.
Anthony Yant first settled in what is now Altoona in 1854, the same year Gilbert T. Taylor settled there. The land was originally surveyed in 1847 and put up for sale by the US government in 1848, but it took six years to sell. After many sales between different families, the Davis family ended up with the land on February 1, 1868.
The Davises hired surveyor Juian B. Bausman to lay out the city. He is also credited for giving the city the current name. Altoona is named for the Latin word for "high," altus, after surveyor Julian B. Bausman discovered Altoona was the highest point on the Des Moines Valley Railroad between Des Moines and Keokuk.
The plot was recorded on July 30, 1868, and the Post office opened the next day. When the Rock Island Railroad came to Altoona in September of that year, they referred to Altoona as Yant, the city's original name.
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