Charles City is a city in Floyd County, Iowa, United States. The population was 7,652 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 160, or 2%, from 7,812 in 2000. It is the county seat of Floyd County. Charles City is a significant commercial and transportation center for the area, located on U.S. Routes 18 and 218, Iowa Highway 14, and the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railroads.
Located on the site of a Winnebago Indian village, Charles City was originally named "Charlestown" for the son of the first-known white settler to the area, Joseph Kelly. Upon his 1851 arrival to the area, Kelly envisioned the site, with its ample supply of water from the Cedar River and adjacent timberland, as an ideal location for a town. By 1852, twenty-five other settler families had joined Kelly in that vision and a community was born. The town name changed, first to "St. Charles" and then to "Charles City," to avoid duplication of other Iowa town names.
Charles City became the county seat after Floyd County was established in 1851 and officially organized in 1854.