Founded in 1849 as the county seat, its name was taken from a newspaper account of a Texas town of the same name. The economy is based on feed milling, diversified manufactures (agricultural supplies, plastics, automotive accessories, and optical equipment), and Simpson College (founded there in 1860 as Indianola Seminary). Lake Ahquabi State Park is nearby. Indianola is the site of the National Balloon Classic, held annually in late July or early August, and is home of the National Balloon Museum, which has exhibits on the history of ballooning. The Des Moines Metro Opera, headquartered in Indianola, performs three grand operas there every summer. Inc. 1863. Pop. (2000) 12,998; (2010) 14,782.
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