We’re going to showcase a great era of history — from the 1950s thru the ’70s — global & Greene County!


JEFFERSON, Iowa, March 18, 2021 — As the Greene County Historical Society looks to the future and what it might look like, the board of directors and a handful of volunteers feel that it is an appropriate time to change, update and add to some of the historical displays at the museum in Jefferson.

One of the new displays that we feel is needed, and overdue, is a new historical display on the decades of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. If you are my age, it might be hard to believe that these three decades would be listed in the historical category. But, remember, we are talking 50 to 70 years ago! I am not here to make you think about how old you are but I am asking for your help.

The museum has very few items from these decades, but you do. We need items that represent your early and middle years of life. Things that you think represent how life unfolded in these three decades. Could be personal items, business items, things that represent these 30-odd years, and by odd I really don’t mean “ODD.”

Photos with this story are icons from the 1950s thru the 1970s, the era in which the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower was built and opened on the Greene County Courthouse square in Jefferson.

You also have a choice. You can straight out donate your items to the museum, making them ours to keep and use as we see fit. Or you can loan your item to the museum; the length of the loan will be at least through the summer of 2021, and possibly the summer of 2022.

The museum will be open to drop off these display items on Wednesdays from 1-to-4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-to-12 p.m. for the next three weeks. That’s on the Wednesdays and Saturdays, March 24 through April 10.

Please think of the things you might have, in boxes in the basement or attic, in your grown-up child’s room, or maybe even on top of the buffet, but you have thought about moving it to the basement for years but never had the urgency to do that. The museum would like things that represented your life and times.Meantime, let our vintage photos here stir your thoughts about that special era of history — from global to Greene County!

Roger Aegerter, who wrote this story, is executive director of the Greene County Historical Society.  You can write him by email at roger.aegerter@gmail.com.

Jefferson’s Doreen Wilber, winner of the Olympics gold medal for archery in 1972.
Rock ‘n’ roll was born.
The world was shocked when Roswell Garst, of neighboring Coon Rapids, invited and hosted Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the enemy Soviet Union, for a visit to the Garst farm.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement.
Jack Oatts, “the father of high school jazz in Iowa'” directed great bands at Jefferson High School.
Governor Robert D. Ray became the most popular governor in Iowa history.
The Barbie doll emerged as the most popular toy in history.
The Beatles transformed not just rock music, but culture.
Saddle shoes truly became popular.
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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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