Smiling Water Tower – Adair, Iowa

Adair water tower.jpg

Smiling Water Tower – Adair, Iowa

When you are driving down I-80 headed toward Omaha or coming from Omaha toward Des Moines you will be greeted in this little town with the big Smiling Water Tower.  You can see if for miles leading you to the village. 

Along with the Smiling Water Tower Adair is also know as the site of nearly the first train robbery in the west which was committed by the James Gang on July 21, 1873.  The train wasn’t moving, the James Gang derailed the train, killing two people and injuring several others.  Two of the gang got onboard the train and then they discovered that the safe they forced the guard to open contained only $2,000 instead of the $75,000 they were expecting.  They then stole from the passengers another $1,000 and escaped.

To remember the event the site holds the wheel and plaque as well as a few feet of the original train tracks.

Location of the Robbery site: take exit 75 off I-80 and turn on County Road G30.  You’ll see it on the left.

Phone: Adair County Conservation Board: 641-743-6450

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