Dickinson County Courthouse, Spirit Lake, Iowa

Rural Addressing

Dickinson County established a system of rural addressing in the early 1990s when 911 service began in the county. The system uses a grid with east-west roads labeled as streets and north-south roads labeled avenues. The avenues start at the Osceola County line with 100th Avenue and end at 340th Avenue on the Emmet County line. Streets begin with 100th Street on the Minnesota border and end with 270th Street on the Clay County line.
Homes and other structures were given four or five-digit house numbers that are also a part of the grid system. For example, if you live on 230th Avenue between 170th Street and 180th Street, you would live in the 1700-block of 230th Avenue and your house number would start with 17. House numbers get larger as you travel south and east. Odd numbers are on the west and south side of the road; even numbers are on the east and north sides.
At the advent of the system, all homeowners had house number signs installed. It is imperative that home owners maintain their signs and make sure they are clear of any obstructions such as trees or bushes. They should be plainly visible from both directions and reflect well at night. If your sign is missing, damaged or is no longer reflective at night, please call 712-336-3987 or complete our online form for a replacement sign. Law enforcement officers, EMT's, and fire departments rely heavily on these signs to find your home in an emergency. Keeping the signs well maintained and visible means a quicker response to you in an emergency.
In 2015, Dickinson County 911 began installing new house marker signs that include the road name. These new signs are phasing out the older signs that are damaged, missing, or starting to lose their reflectivity due to age. The older signs will be replaced over a period of several years as funding allows.
If you have any questions about the addressing system in Dickinson County, need an address, or an address sign, call 712-336-3987 or email mike@dcem.us. You can also download the address request form, fill it out and return it to the 911 Administration Office in the Courthouse.