Chariton is the County Seat of Lucas County with an approximate population of 4575 and total county population of 9179. Chariton is located approximately 60 miles South of Des Moines along Highway 34. It is only 30 miles east of Interstate 35.
Chariton Community Schools consists of 4 locations with Columbus Elementary housing grades kindergarten through 2nd grade. Van Allen Elementary houses grades 3 through 5. The middle school has grades 6 through 8 with each grade in its own pod system. The high school has grades 9 through 12 with an attached Community Center and auditorium.
The Lucas County Health Center is a full service hospital with surgery, obstetrics, including new labor and delivery suites, therapy, and specialty clinics. They are also affiliated with Mercy Life Flight facilities.
Chariton is home to the primary distribution center of Hy-Vee Food Stores, Inc. Hy-Vee Food Stores operate more than 220 retail stores in eight Midwestern states. Johnson Machine Works, Inc. is another longtime employer, a company which manufactures fabricated steel products for clients around the world.
The Chariton area has several forms of recreation including an aquatic center complete with water slide, the Country Club/Golf Course overlooking West Lake, the Cinder Path going from Chariton to Humeston for biking and walking. Red Haw State Park with camping facilities, fishing from the lake, walking trails, and shelter houses provide an array of outdoor activities. Lake Rathbun, the location of Honey Creek Resort State Park, Iowa's new outdoor destination, is an easy drive from the Chariton Area.