Jessica Rundlett, director of special projects and outreach for the State Historical Society of Iowa, presented her "Iowa Culture Trivia Challenge" to about 50 people at the Greene County Historical Museum in Jefferson on Monday afternoon, Feb. 24. She asked her audience trivia questions about historic spots, iconic artwork (like the huge "Dala horse" in the southeastern town of Swedesburg) and quirky claims to fame, and she often showed photos for the correct answers. WHO-TV roving Iowa reporter Roger Riley covered Rundlett's presentation and turned it into a delightful story on the Channel 13 news in Des Moines. The program was co-sponsored by the historical society and the Jefferson Public Library.
Jed Magee gave a very informative and entertaining reflection on the life and career of President Abraham Lincoln when the Greene County Historical Society had a "Lincoln Lunch & Birthday Party" on Feb. 12 -- the president's 211th birthday. Magee, a former Iowa District Court judge, has been collecting Lincoln memorabilia most of his life, and has donated much of his collection to our Greene County Historical Museum.
Have we ever had as much laughter at a meeting of the Greene County Historical Society as we did on Friday, Nov. 1, in Scranton? The program was a celebration of the 70 years of Scranton's Varceis Club, which raises money for scholarships and community projects, mainly with a big salad luncheon and often-crazy skit every September. At our meeting, they re-created scenes from some of those skits, including having the club's "chefs" roll in this huge 70th birthday cake. The surprise was when Roberta Brown Henning, 89, the only original member of the Varceis Club still living, popped up in the middle of it. "Isn't it fun being a little crazy?" she said afterward. The program also featured a round-up of the histories of other women's clubs in Greene County.
At our Oct. 4 meeting and program at the United Methodist Church in Rippey, we learned about the state programs to honor historic farms. Nancy Hanaman, of Rippey (second from left) coordinated the program, in which stories of their families' farms were told by (left to right) Roy Bardole, of rural Rippey; sisters Linda Young of Brookfield, Ill., and Mary Ann Young Miller, of Perry; and Joanne Jones, of Perry. The Bardole and Young farms are in the Rippey area, and the Jones farm is near Dana. There are 278 "Century Farms" in Greene County, meaning they've been owned by the same family for at least 100 years, and 10 "Heritage Farms" here -- those have been in the same family for at least 150 years.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, members of the Greene County Historical Society and others from the public welcomed a motor tour that traveled across the county on the Lincoln Highway. There were about 40 cars on this trans-USA tour, which is being sponsored by the Lincoln Highway Association. We hosted a "museum party" at our building in Jefferson. The tour is commemorating the centennial of a U.S. Army convoy, with Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower as one of its ranking officers, that traveled the Transcontinental Highway in 1919. On August 24, a convoy of restored military vehicles came through Greene County in a similar commemoration.
When Grand Junction celebrated its sesquicentennial on August 2-4, one of the highlights was a big parade that had several generations participating -- and watching, too. We caught up with these two pals watching rom the shaded front entrance of Kennedy's Museum. They are museum owner Jerry Kennedy and his great-granddaughter Edynn Smith, of Paton.
Museum will remain closed at least through June, and June 5 program canceled
JEFFERSON, Iowa, May 21, 2020 — The Greene County Historical Museum in Jefferson will remain closed at least through the month of June, historical society president David John announced today. The governor of Iowa has authorized the re-opening of museums beginning on Friday, May 22. Museums have been among the public facilities that have been […]
His research stalled when he became absorbed in what Jefferson was like back in the year 1876
By ROGER AEGERTER JEFFERSON, Iowa, April 8, 2020 — There is a group of women in Jefferson, “Why Not Us,” who are coming together to bring the business “Angie’s Tea Garden” back to life. The Centennial Block building, which houses or did house the Tea Garden on the northwest corner of the Greene County Courthouse […]
At the centennial of women receiving the right to vote, a look back at the battle in Greene County
By MIKKI SCHWARZKOPF JEFFERSON, Iowa, March 30, 2020 – This year marks the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote. Nationally, the amendment came after approximately 60 years of effort. And Greene County had its share of heated controversy and debate, both pro and […]
Greene County Historical Society programs thru early May postponed due to corona virus
The Greene County Historical Society announced Monday that all its programs scheduled between now and early May are postponed, as a precaution during the nation’s battle to control the spread of the corona virus. Historical society president David John, of Jefferson, said there were five programs on the schedule from now through May 1, and […]
Come join live “Skype” chat with fascinating diplomat Michael S. Owen, a Lincoln Highway explorer & author
JEFFERSON, Iowa, Feb. 24, 2020 — Retired U.S. ambassador Michael S. Owen said after extensively traveling the roads of a half-dozen African nations, Pakistan, Ireland and India in his 30 years as a career diplomat, he was thrilled to explore his American homeland by driving the historic Lincoln Highway in recent years. That’s brought him […]
Iowa trivia expert brings “Iowa Trivia Challenge” to museum on Monday
JEFFERSON, Iowa, Feb. 19, 2020 — We’ll find out how well everybody knows their Iowa history and culture on Monday, Feb. 24, when Jessica Rundlett of the State Historical Society of Iowa brings her “Iowa Culture Trivia Challenge” to Jefferson for a free program at 2 p.m. at the Greene County Historical Museum. The program […]
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How many courthouse structures have been built on the site of the current Greene County Courthouse?
There have been three courthouses built where the Greene County Courthouse stands today. Ground was broken on the current courthouse in November of 1915, the cornerstone was set in May 1916 and the new building was dedicated in October of 1917. The centennial celebration of the courthouse is already underway, with events being planned by the “Courthouse 100” committee, with support from the Greene County Historical Society. You can learn more about the courthouse history and the celebration plans on the Facebook page “Courthouse 100: Greene County, Iowa.”