One rural Iowa town wants to grow. So, it’s building its first child care center.

15 Mar 2022


At city hall in Marcus, Darrell Downs flips through a blue binder labeled “successes."

With each flip of the page, photos gradually shift from black and white to color. Downs himself ages in the pages – his hair turning from brown to gray as he poses at groundbreakings of dentist offices, nursing homes and banks.

At 84 years old, Downs has spent most of his life working to grow his town of a little more than a thousand people in northwest Iowa. First, as mayor for 18 years and, now, as economic development director. He said he can always tell what the community needs to grow by the questions prospective businesses ask.

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