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CB&Q Maloy.jpg
CB&Q Rail Road, Maloy, Iowa
Courtesy of

Although the town of Maloy was orginally named Delphi, many of the locals referred to the town as Foxtown due to the large red fox painted on a storefront in the town's early days. The town was situated in a dense natural grove on the eastern banks of the Platte River. There was a post office which was established in November of 1880. In 1875, the town was designated as a rail town when the Chicago Great Western Railroad came through the western portion of Ringgold County in 1885. The town, renamed Maloy, was platted in 1887. Maloy's early businesses included a tavern, general store, hardware, lumberyard, livery stable, hotel, a dray service, and a blacksmith shop.

Twice-A-Week News in 1896 described Maloy as being located in the middle of "a bounteous eruption of bigorous vegetation." The article stated that the town was an ideal garden spot with "deep, rich, black, loamy soil [which] shows its gladiator strength and richness by the emissions of its prize-winning products." In 1886, Maloy had a population of 250 residents and three hotels.

A petition was circulated around town in 1901 which sought the incorporation of the town of Maloy. The town grew rapidly after it was incorporated.


  Most of the early farmers in Benton Township planted sod corn as their first crop. Later, corn and oats were staple feed for the livestock: hogs, sheep, horses, and cattle. The more successful farmers of Benton Township combied grain with stock raising.

Prior to the arrival of the railroad, the farmers drove their stock to Keokuk for shipment down the Mississippi River. At times the farmers butchered hogs and cattle on the farm, cured the meat, and then transported the meat to market at either Burlington, Iowa, or St. Joseph, Missouri.

When the Leon, Mount Ayr, and Southwestern Railroad arrived in Mount Ayr, Luke SHAY began shipping his livestock from Mount Ayr to Ottumwa, sometimes sending as much as 150 railcars of stock off to market.

In 1887 the St. Paul-Kansas City Railroad began laying a line through the western portion of Ringgold County with settlements vieing for stations and an opportunity to become a railhead. Jerry SHAY and John D. CARTER donated land for a right-of-way through their farms on the condition that a station would be erected in Shay's Settlement.

The station was build and land was platted out on what once used to be Jerry's SHAY's farmland. The town of Shay became a reality with the sale of town lots. Later, the town was renamed to Maloy in honor of David MALOY who owned land approximately five miles south of Shay/Maloy near what was then known as Rooster Bend.

Although most of the early shipments from Maloy consisted of livestock, businesses regularly recieved supplies and goods by rail. Soon passenger trains passed through Maloy, providing transportation to the state capitol of Des Moines. Part of the ride included smoke and cinders blowing into the coaches from opened windows.

Each afternoon Engines No. 54 and No. 5 met in Maloy. One took the siding and the other was destined for either St. Paul or Kansas City. At 9 p.m. every evening, a northbound train pulled through Maloy. In the early morning, its counterpart came through town, headed south.

The depot burned down and was replaced by a small red wooden depot, pictured at right.

"The Bug," a motorized train, was added to the rolling stock during the 1920's. "The Bug," consisting of an engine and two coaches, went south around 7 a.m. and returned to Maloy in the evening. "The Bug" was convenient for local travel however it didn't look like, sound like, or have the smoke and steam whistle of the other trains.

"The Bug" survived long after the other trains stopped coming to Maloy. Ultimately, it became more practical to utilize highways and semi-trucks. The tracks through Maloy were torn up in 1985.

Maloy's post office was discontinued in 1997.

MALOY, circa 1910-15

Raven Angus Ranch was founded in 1955 by Ray and Betty PETERSEK when they purchased 10 registered Angus cows from Robert LYNCH and sons of Maloy, Iowa. The PETERSEKS started out south of St. Charles, South Dakota. In 1961, they purchased land east of Colome, South Dakota which has been the home of Raven Angus Ranch since then. Currently the ranch consists of 450 head of registered Angus cows. For more information, see Raven Angus Ranch. NOTE: This link is off-site from Ringgold County Iowa GenWeb Project.

The Lee SHAY Farmhouse, located 2 miles northeast of Maloy in Benton Township has been added to the National Register of Historical Places. Bob and Kathi SHAY currently own the home.

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, June 18, 1987


Estimates reached as high as 2,500 people swelling the ranks of the 35 every day residents of Maloy as the community southwest of Mount Ayr celebrated its 100th birthday Saturday and Sunday.

One of the games for youngsters at the Maloy Centennial over the weekend was the toilet paper toss. A toilet seat was rigged up and participants had to send duct-taped rolls of paper through the seat to win prizes. No information was available on whether the sport was popular enough to start professional competition yet.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2012

In 1994, Maloy was the site of controversy among its residents which resulted in a news article appearing in The National Catholic Reporter.

The 2000 census population of Maloy was 28.


Ringgold County History, Compiled and written by the Iowa Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Iowa, Sponsored by Ringgold County Superintendent of Schools, Mount Ayr, Iowa. 1942.

Written & Submitted by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

  • Early Settlers of Benton Township & Maloy

  • Maloy Plat, 1887

  • Maloy, 1898

  • Maloy School

  • Maloy High School Graduates, 1920 - 1952

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