Our mission: “Keeping Greene County history alive.”    Our motto: “With our programming, museum and special events, we not only preserve the history of our county in west central Iowa, we make that history come alive again!”    Our inspiration: “If you’re going to be presenting history, and you want people to pay any attention to it,” said the late James H. Andrew, “you better make it fun!”
  • Nick Foster, co-owner with his wife Annette Foster of the Mason House hotel in Jefferson IA, shared stories of the historic inn for members and guests of the Greene County Iowa Historical Society at our meeting Friday, June 7, at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson. "It's been bought and sold many times," said Foster, who purchased it a year ago from Dr. Jim & Nancy Teusch, who'd owned it 10 years. "The Teusches deserve a lot of praise. They spent a lot of money on it and they basically saved it." It its 130-plus years, the hotel initially served passengers arriving on the north-south railroad. Today it serves a lot of bicyclists arriving on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, which has been built on the old railroad route. Foster said he and Annette are always on the lookout for stories from the hotel's past. One puzzler -- old newspaper articles seem to indicate that from 1901 to 1904, the facility was apparently owned by Drake University and the Iowa Christian Convention. He said their goal is to renovate "but keep it as close to original as possible. We don't expect to make any money on it -- it's definitely a non-profit business! -- and whatever we do make we'll be putting right back into it."

Stories of the Mason House from the Fosters when our society meets Friday June 7

Nick and Annette Foster, owners for about a year now of the Mason House hotel in Jefferson, will share fascinating stories they’ve learned about their 130-year-old guest house when the Greene County Historical Society meets on Friday, June 7, at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson. Located at 502 E. Lincoln Way, the hotel […]


Our historical society hosts “Iowa History 101” during Bell Tower Festival, plus the art show & spelling bee

JEFFERSON, Iowa, June 1, 2019 — The Greene County Historical Society is participating in the 40th Bell Tower Festival in Jefferson June 7-9 in three ways – hosting a special traveling display on state history on E. Lincoln Way adjacent to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Gardens, hosting the Bell Tower art show at the historical […]


Another inspiring service Memorial Day weekend at Pleasant Hill Church

JEFFERSON, Iowa, May 27, 2019 — On a perfect late-spring morning Sunday, May 26, the Pleasant Hill Memorial Homecoming service & potluck dinner was held in the pioneer Greene County community of Pleasant Hill, five miles southeast of Jefferson. The highlight, just as it’s been every year since 1960, was area native Wallace Teagarden, now 96, […]


Pleasant Hill Church, with new life & spirit, is ready for May 26 Homecoming

By CHUCK OFFENBURGER The annual Pleasant Hill Memorial Homecoming service & potluck dinner will be held on Sunday, May 26, at the 138-year-old pioneer church located about five miles southeast of Jefferson. The event is presented by the Pleasant Hill Memorial Inc. committee, with support from the Greene County Iowa Historical Society. Pleasant Hill Church […]


Churdan High ’49 graduate “Gus” Gustafson’s business career was the talk of the Twin Cities and Las Vegas – while it lasted

CHURDAN, Iowa, April 29, 2019 — Deil O. (“Gus”) Gustafson, who graduated from old Churdan High School in 1949, may have been one of the biggest business success stories ever to come out of Greene County. In the 1960s, he was a lawyer, college professor, and the owner of banks and other businesses in Minnesota. […]


The traditions & adages that guided our pioneers on when it’s planting time

By MARY WEAVER RIPPEY, Iowa, April 23, 2019 — Finally spring has come following the extremely long and rugged winter. It is time to think about our gardens. Knowing when to plant is tricky and very weather-dependent, but to our early Greene County ancestors and pioneers, a garden was the source of 80 percent of […]

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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.”


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