“Our Wilsons & Lincoln” event Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. will salute courthouse statue’s 100 years of inspiration

JEFFERSON, Iowa, Nov. 5, 2018 —  An inspiring story of how the unique statue of President Abraham Lincoln was commissioned, placed and dedicated on the Greene County Courthouse square 100 years ago will be told again on Sunday, Nov. 11, in a 2 p.m. program in the courthouse rotunda here.

“Our Wilsons & Lincoln –100 years later” has been organized by the Courthouse 100 committee, which in the fall of 2017 put together the celebration of the building’s centennial.

In the era 1915-’18, there was not only great pride across the county in the new courthouse, there was also great anticipation for the designation and construction of the new Lincoln Highway on a route taking it on the south side of the square.

All that prompted attorney E.B. Wilson and his wife Minnie, who were community leaders in Jefferson, to decide to order and donate a statue of President Lincoln, whose leadership in the Civil War and subsequent assassination made him an enduring national hero.

The Lincoln statue on the south side of the Greene County Courthouse. The plaque includes an inspiring passage from the president’s second inaugural address.

The statue was actually dedicated on Sept. 22, 1918, and the Jefferson newspapers reported more than 5,000 people attended.

A century later, on this Nov. 11, there’ll be a much smaller, but still meaningful, 100th anniversary celebration.

Courthouse 100 chairperson Don Van Gilder will welcome the crowd, and introduce Rick Morain, the program’s narrator.

Then Allan Sieck, of Rippey, will do a recitation of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” He will be followed by Jefferson native Dean Parr, now of Cedar Rapids, an active leader in both the National and Iowa Lincoln Highway Associations, speaking about the building of that important highway and its impact.

Then there will be a theatrical portrayal of the Wilsons, “reappearing” to tell their own version of the story about their gift of the statue.  They will be portrayed by Don and Jean Van Gilder, who have appeared in several plays together, most often in productions of the Greene County Community Players.

And Tori Riley will conclude the program with an original poem.

The program in the rotunda is free, and refreshments will be, too – apple cider from Deal’s Orchard and donut holes from Dunkers by Matt.

Early community leaders and statue donors E.B. and Minnie Wilson.
Don and Jean Van Gilder, holding a photo of the Wilsons, whom the Van Gilders will portray.
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Recalling Greene County’s political & elections history, when we meet in Scranton Nov. 2

SCRANTON, Iowa, Oct. 25, 2018 — Brothers Rick and Tom Morain will be discussing “Greene County Politics Thru The Years: The Pendulum Always Swings” when the Greene County Historical Society meets on Friday, Nov. 2, at the United Methodist Church in Scranton.

Rick Morain, who lives in Jefferson, is the retired editor & publisher of the Jefferson Bee & Herald, now writing a weekly “Greenery” column for the Jefferson Herald.

Rick Morain

Tom Morain lives in Lamoni in south central Iowa and is a community outreach representative for Graceland University there. He formerly directed Living History Farms, then was administrator of the State Historical Society of Iowa. He is recognized as one of Iowa’s leading historians, and in 2009, the state historical society honored him with its highest designation, the Harlan/Petersen Award for Lifetime Service to Iowa History.

The Morain brothers say their love of local history – including government and politics – traces to boyhood when they’d often open bound volumes of the Bee & Herald newspapers on the ping-pong table of their Jefferson home and read for hours.

After graduating from JHS, Rick in 1959 and Tom in 1965, they went to Graceland when it was a 2-year college, then completed their undergraduate degrees at the University of Iowa. Both went on to earn doctorates, Rick at Yale University and Tom at the U of I, both in American studies.

Three years ago, they co-taught an online Iowa history course for Graceland, and had students enrolled from private colleges across the state.

Rick said both brothers are “probably center-left” on the political spectrum today. In the 1960s and ’70s, Rick was an active Republican “in the Bob Ray wing of the party,” and even served as county Republican chairperson and a member of the state GOP Central Committee. Tom said he hasn’t been as directly involved in politics, although he did some volunteer work for Common Cause, the non-partisan, pro-democracy advocacy group.

“As far as our knowledge of politics and elections in the county, Tom learned it in a much more scholarly way, with oral histories and extensive research,” Rick said. “I’ve kind of lived Greene County political history, with all my time with the newspapers.”

Tom Morain

He added their Nov. 2 program “will be more anecdotal than scholarly.”

Would he give us a quick snapshot of the county’s electoral history?

“In general, Greene County has tended to vote with the winner over the years,” Rick said. “So it’s kind of a bellwether, but not as accurate as, say, Palo Alto County usually has been.” He said there is also a “balance” in the county, without any single dominating ethnic group or church denomination, so political leanings are more spread across the spectrum.

There’ll be an $8 lunch at the church in Scranton at 12 noon, with RSVPs for members due with their community contacts by midday Wednesday, Oct. 31. Members of the public who want to eat lunch for $10 should phone vice-president Nancy Hanaman at (515) 436-7684. The 1 p.m. program at the church is free and all are invited.
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Our Oct. 5 meeting in Rippey: Remembering “Agri-rama” and national plowing matches

RIPPEY, Iowa, Sept. 26, 2018 — In the fall of 1966, Greene County hosted a 2-day “Agri-rama U.S.A.” showcasing the newest and best equipment available for farming, as well as enhancements for rural life — and more than 150,000 people attended! There were also plowing competitions, which from the late 1940s to the early 1980s were very popular across the U.S. Farm Belt as well as in other nations where agriculture was big.

Three Rippey-area natives — Roger Norgren, Robert Huber and Steve King — were involved in those events with their families, and they’ll tell their stories when the Greene County Historical Society meets on Friday, Oct. 5, at the Rippey United Methodist Church. Retired journalist Chuck Offenburger, a member of the historical society’s board of directors, will moderate the discussion.

People are welcome to bring photos and memorabilia from those events.

These three will share stories of Greene County’s colorful agricultural heritage when the county’s historical society meets Friday, Oct. 5, in Rippey. Left to right, they are Robert Huber, now of Cedar Falls; Roger Norgren, of Rippey, and Steve King, of Ogden. As Rippey-area farm boys, all were around “Agri-rama U.S.A.,” a huge farm show and plowing competition which, on two days in the fall of 1966, attracted more than 150,000 people to a special exhibition grounds east of Jefferson. Norgren and King went on to become national plowing champions, as did Huber’s father, Lawrence Huber. All three champions at one time or another used this very plow they’re standing with, which the historical society displays at the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Norgren, King and Huber were all introduced to Agri-rama U.S.A. and competitive plowing by Huber’s father, the late Lawrence Huber, who farmed three miles west of Rippey, in the area of Squirrel Hollow Park.

Agri-rama was a promotion by Greene County agricultural and development leaders. It was much like today’s huge Farm Progress Shows, with major displays by ag business companies as well as the plowing competitions and other farming demonstrations. There was live entertainment, even a fashion show, and a visit by U.S. Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey. The event was held on 1,100 acres of land just east of Jefferson, around and across the highway from the Jefferson Municipal Airport, and there was so much airplane and helicopter traffic that the Federal Aviation Administration built a temporary control tower on top of one of the hangars.

The weather was nearly perfect both early-September days of Agri-rama, and the largest crowds ever assembled in Greene County turned out – estimates ranged up to a total of 182,000.

“Those were pretty progressive local leaders who got behind that,” said Robert Huber. “They put together quite a show!”

Lawrence Huber, Norgren and King – all farmers for much or all of their careers – each won a national plowing championship over the decades. Robert Huber, who became a teacher and then guidance counselor in Cedar Falls, didn’t devote as much time or attention to participating in the sport but has always been a fan. Lawrence Huber died in 2012. Today, Norgren still lives and farms near Rippey, King lives near Ogden and is a trucker, and Robert Huber is retired in Cedar Falls.

Another national champion, Dallas Bowman, grew up in the southwest part of Greene County but wound up competing after he was farming in the Adel area.

For the Oct. 5 historical society event, there will be an $8 lunch at the church at 12 noon, with RSVPs for members due with their community contacts by midday Wednesday, Oct. 3. Members of the public who want to eat lunch for $10 should phone vice-president Nancy Hanaman at (515) 436-7684. The 1 p.m. program at the church is free and all are invited.

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U of I Women’s Archives doing 6-on-6 girls’ basketball presentation Sept. 15 in Jefferson

JEFFERSON, Iowa, Sept. 10, 2018 — Small towns across Iowa came to a halt each winter to take in the mesmerizing game of high school girls’ six-on-six basketball.

It was a sport that captivated thousands and sent scores sky-rocketing over the century mark, creating legends in the smallest of communities.

The University of Iowa Women’s Archives is celebrating the impact of six-on-six basketball in Iowa with a presentation at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution’s “Hometown Teams” exhibit now being displayed at the Greene County Historical Museum in Jefferson.

Iowa Women’s Archives curator Karen Mason and U of I American studies lecturer Jennifer Sterling, who have spent hundreds of hours researching and interviewing former players, will discuss the marvelous history of the sport and its wide-ranging reach across the entire country through “Six-on-six Girls’ Basketball in Iowa: Stories from the Iowa Women’s Archives and Beyond.”

A “Remembering six-on-six” display, prepared by the U of I, is part of the “Hometown Teams” exhibit.

Part of the “Hometown Teams” exhibit at the museum in Jefferson.

Mason and Sterling will begin speaking at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Thomas Jefferson Gardens Welcome Center. Afterward, there will be a chance for locals to share their stories and memorabilia with the researchers. The presenters will scan historical items that people bring on Saturday, for inclusion in their archives, and people can then keep their precious memorabilia.

The “Hometown Teams” exhibit has also visited Mount Vernon, Ottumwa and Guthrie Center. It will travel to Ames and Conrad following its stay in Jefferson.

The operating hours for the exhibit at the museum here, through Sept. 23, are Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For complete details about this program, please contact Peg Raney at Jefferson Matters: Main Street’s office at 110 W. Lincoln Way, call (515) 385-3585 or email director@jeffersonmatters.org.

Part of the six-on-six girls basketball display in the “Hometown Teams” exhibit.

 

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Greene County’s “pioneer cemeteries” and the people who are preserving them

CHURDAN, Iowa, Sept. 8, 2018 — Ada Ross, the secretary of the Greene County Pioneer Cemetery Commission, told stories about the 10 “pioneer cemeteries” in the county when the Greene County Historical Society met Friday, Sept. 7, at historic and beautiful St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar Township west of here.

Those 10 cemeteries are the burial sites of many of the county’s earliest settlers. Although most of them are no longer active cemeteries – in other words, there haven’t been any burials for years – they are still overseen and preserved by the 6-member Greene County Pioneer Cemetery Commission. Those commissioners are appointed by the county’s board of supervisors.

Ross, of rural Jefferson, has been a member of that commission about 10 years, and is now its secretary. Its new president is Peg Semke, also of rural Jefferson.

Ada Ross speaking from the pulpit at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Cedar, located west of Churdan.

The commission was organized in the year 2000, with Valerie Heater Ogren, the county’s longtime champion of local history and genealogy, taking the lead.

“What Valerie saw back then was that many of these oldest cemeteries were in deplorable condition,” said Ross. “The worst was probably Old Franklin in the southeast part of the county. There were cows grazing in it, their residue was in the grass, stones had been knocked over, trees and brush had grown up. It was a mess.”

Ogren told the supervisors back then that the pioneer cemeteries needed “advocates for clean-up and protection,” Ross said. The commission fills that role.
Ada Ross had people asking her questions for 30 minutes after her presentation to the historical society.

“St. Patrick’s, Cedar,” is no longer an active parish in the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City, but funerals and a St. Patrick’s Day mass are still held there. The church has been renovated, improved and is now maintained by a committee of volunteers, who’ve made it a unique historic site in the area.

Ada Ross holding a county map which has the locations of the pioneer cemeteries marked in yellow.

A close-up of the map showing the locations of the pioneer cemeteries in Greene County — they’re marked in yellow.

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Fire up! Fight songs, free sports movies and more will lead up to Smithsonian “HomeTown Teams” exhibit opening Aug. 11

JEFFERSON, Iowa, Aug. 3, 2018 — Several special events next week will kick-off the special Smithsonian Institution’s “HomeTown Teams” exhibit that will open here on Saturday, Aug. 11.

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Farmers Market in Jefferson, the Greene County Singers will be performing fight songs from high schools around Greene County – both past and present – at 5:30 pm on the south side of the courthouse. Those attending will be invited to sing along.

The Sierra Community Theatre Board is sponsoring two free sports-related movies during the week. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, Aug. 6 and 7, “A League of Their Own” will be presented at 7 p.m. And that movie will also be shown in a matinee at 2 p.m on Tuesday.  On Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 8 and 9, “Field of Dreams” will shown at 7 p.m.  That movie will also be shown in a matinee at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

A photo op with authentic Greene County sports uniforms will be available at the Farmers Market on Tuesday, Aug. 7; again at the “Hot August Nights” car show around the square on Thursday, Aug. 9; also at the first Greene County High School football scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 17, and finally at the high school sports “Pep Rally” on Tuesday, Aug. 21.

The location for the Smithsonian traveling exhibit will be inside the Greene County Historical Museum at 219 E. Lincoln Way.

The exhibit will be open on Saturday, Aug. 1, and go through Sunday, Sept. 23.

Hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays from 1 to 6 p.m., and Thursdays from 3 to 9 p.m.

The exhibit will be staffed by volunteers.

School tours for Greene County Community Schools and Paton-Churdan Schools have been scheduled. Other school tours or group tours can be scheduled by emailing director@jeffersonmatters.org or calling (515) 386-3585.

 

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History at the fair: Storytelling, “old iron,” country school lessons – and ice cream!

JEFFERSON, Iowa, July 9, 2018 — The Greene County Historical Society joins in at the Greene County Fair here later this week with two days of storytelling in “history chats,” displays of classic farm equipment and the humble accessories of early rural life, tours and explanations of a historic one-room schoolhouse, and a free ice cream social late each afternoon.

The society’s exhibits building on the fairgrounds will be open Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“The displays at our historical building at the fair showcase the agriculture of Greene County in the early to mid 1900s,” said Roger Aegerter, executive director of the society. “There are displays of hand tools used around the farm to plant and harvest crops, maintain equipment, and tools that are used in the farmhouse to produce hearty meals for the family and farm hands.

“There are also much larger machines that trace the historical rise of crop production in Iowa,” he continued. “Plows, combines, tractors, steam engines, and a variety of machines that many people remember using in their early years. A slow walk through and around our building will take you back to times that have been described as both ‘better’ and ‘much harder’.”

In addition, the “Bristol No. 7” country schoolhouse next door on the fairgrounds will be staffed those same days by Marilynn Hoskinson and Becki Cunningham, portraying early teachers, with explanations of what rural education was once like in the county. They’ll be there from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Both Hoskinson and Cunningham attended country schools.

Becki Cunningham and Marilynn Hoskinson are presenters in the old country schoolhouse on the fairgrounds.  Hoskinson, who is 90, has portrayed a school teacher for years at the fair, telling fair goers what education was like in the one-room schoolhouses.  She says she’ll bow out of the role after this year’s fair. 

The schoolhouse was built in 1874, restored by the historical society in 1967 and repaired again in the last two years by the organization. It is also known as the “Minnihan Schoolhouse,” after the family that owned surrounding land and donated the building for re-location to the fairgrounds.

In special programming, the historical society will sponsor “History Chats” for a fourth consecutive year. There will be six different chats on topics of local history, with moderators Chuck Offenburger and Jerry Roberts, both retired journalists, asking questions of a small panel of people with expertise on each topic. Questions and stories from the audience will be encouraged, too.

“For each of these history chats, we hope people with some knowledge and stories about the topic will attend for these discussions, which will be more like conversations than interviews,” said Offenburger. “We’ll sit in a circle of chairs, Jerry and I will get the chat started, and we’ll do our best to draw stories out of the people there. One reason we like to do this is because we usually hear about historical moments or incidents we’ve never known before – and that sometimes leads us to full-blown programs later on for the historical society.”

A discussion during one of the “History Chats” at the 2017 Greene County Fair — this one about the Hornick brothers of rural Churdan who operated a private bank to help their neighbors and some businesses.

Here are the days, times and topics for the history chats:

Friday, July 13

11 a.m. – Greene County Fair general history
1 p.m. – History of the community of Rippey.
3 p.m. – The Jim Doran story, profiling one of Greene County’s greatest athletes, a native of the Paton area, with his son Jim Doran Jr. as special guest.

Saturday, July 14

11 a.m. – History of the community of Churdan.
1 p.m. – History of the community of Scranton.
3 p.m. – History of the community of Grand Junction.

At 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, there will be free “Hanamans’ Historic Homemade Ice Cream,” made by historical society president Dale Hanaman and vice-president Nancy Hanaman. Cookies, too.

In another of the “History Chats” at the 2017 Greene County Fair, KGRA radio sports director Doug Rieder tells favorite sports stories from his long career here.  Looking on from the left are Brandon Hurley, sports editor of the Jefferson Herald, Chuck Offenburger and at the right Jerry Roberts.  Offenburger and Roberts are co-hosts of the history chats.

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Don Orris speaks Friday on unique heritage & impact of local archery program

JEFFERSON, Iowa, May 30, 2018 — Don Orris, of Jefferson, learned archery from his hometown heroes 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist Doreen Wilber and her husband Skeeter Wilber. And Orris has been teaching it ever since, now in the “Gang Greene” youth archery program that has evolved from one that he, the Wilbers and Phil Siglin founded in the early 1980s.

He will talk about the Wilbers and the impact that the archery program has had when he presents a program for the Greene County Historical Society on Friday, June 1, at the First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson.

The story of Doreen Wilber’s rise to Olympic gold when she was 42 years old at the games in Munich, is now well-portrayed on the Doreen Wilber Olympic Plaza, in Jefferson, which was completed in 2011 after a fundraising campaign and construction that Orris led. She died in 2008 at the age of 78. Skeeter Wilber, now 89, still lives in Jefferson but is in fragile health.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the story about how Doreen Wilber, who’d never been an athlete, got started in archery. One of the customers at Skeeter’s automotive garage traded him a bow & arrow for some car repair work.

Don Orris, with his archery coach and hero Doreen Wilber in the background.

Orris’ start in the sport was also unusual.

“I suppose it was in the late 1970s, and I was working with my dad in our hardware store,” Orris said. “Doreen came in one morning to buy something. Here she was, the champion in the Olympics, and just in conversation I said, ‘Doreen, when are you going to teach me how to shoot?’ She said, ‘Well, I’ve got some time this afternoon – come on over.’ I walked into the backroom and said, ‘Dad, I’m taking the afternoon off.’ ”

He recalls that earlier in her career, if the weather was adverse, Doreen would sometimes practice indoors in her home in Jefferson.

“She’d be at the back wall of her kitchen, and by positioning herself just right, she could see through a couple doorways to the wall on the far end of the living room – about 50 feet away,” Orris said. “The way the angles were, she had about a 4-inch clearance for an arrow to go through the doorways, but she was already so good she could shoot right through that.”

In many lessons with the Wilbers, and then as a competitive archer himself, Orris began to understand how strong and focused Doreen was when she was shooting.

“I remember one time she told me that when she was in competition, she’d totally block out all the noise and other distractions around her,” Orris said. “She said she’d get so focused that when she aimed, ‘the target seems to come toward me.’ Later, that happened to me a few times and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is what she felt!’ ”

Orris said that in the early ’80s, he, his high school classmate Siglin, and the Wilbers did some planning, won grants for equipment, and taught a Junior Olympic Archery Development program in Jefferson “for 15 to 20 years,” until about the year 2000. Then they “had a hiatus” for about five years before re-starting the program with the Jefferson parks & recreation program. Orris and Siglin continue to teach in it now.

He estimates 400 to 500 young archers have gone through the program in the past 35 years.

With Orris’ June 1 presentation for the historical society in Jefferson, there will be an $8 lunch at the Presbyterian church at 12 noon, with RSVPs for members due with their community contacts by midday Wednesday, May 30. Members of the public who want to eat lunch for $10 should phone vice-president Nancy Hanaman at (515) 436-7684. The 1 p.m. program at the church is free and all are invited.

The well-equipped archer.
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Memorial homecoming tradition is growing at old Pleasant Hill Church — service Sunday features speakers, brass band, 21-gun salute & a fried chicken potluck dinner like the pioneers had

JEFFERSON, Iowa, May 22, 2018 — The annual Pleasant Hill Memorial Homecoming will be held this Sunday morning, May 27, at historic Pleasant Hill Church located five miles southeast of Jefferson.

It’s a Memorial Day weekend tradition in what was one of Greene County’s early settlements.

The former Methodist church, which dates to 1881, has not been an active congregation since 1966, but a group of people from the area formed a non-profit group Pleasant Hill Memorial Inc. and have maintained the church building and grounds. You’ll see this weekend that in recent weeks, the interior has been repainted by Steve Bosshart, the ash floor is being refinished by Stewart French, and other improvements have been made.

Steve Bosshart is shown here repair cracks in the Pleasant Hill church plaster, before he painted the interior. That’s his dog “Tank” assisting.

The Greene County Historical Society co-sponsors the Memorial Day weekend event.

“It’s a quiet, pastoral place,” said David Yepsen, the Jefferson native and Iowa Public Television “Iowa Press” host who will be the featured speaker on Sunday. “It’s a perfect place for prayer or reflection.”

Pleasant Hill activities on Sunday morning begin with a 9:30 a.m. church service by Central Christian Church, from Jefferson, following the theme of “Old Time Revival,” and lasting until about 10:30 a.m. The Central Christian Brass will be performing.

Outdoors at 10 a.m., there will be juice, coffee and Iowa State Fair champion cinnamon rolls by Marianne Coon Carlson, and brass band music. Freewill donations will be accepted.

David Yepsen

At 11 a.m., the traditional Pleasant Hill Memorial service begins in the church, featuring Yepsen’s remarks.

“I want to encourage people to think about ways we can honor those who sacrificed and how we can do that every day and not just Memorial Day,” he said. “To me, getting involved in politics, civic and community life is one good way. Soldiers sacrificed to protect our freedoms, we take those for granted now, and we all need to renew our obligations as Americans, especially in this important election year.”

There will also be songs by an ensemble of the Greene County Singers and members of the choir from First United Methodist Church in Jefferson.

Another traditional part of the service is a patriotic oration by Wallace Teagarden, now 95, a native of the area who lives in Ames. He recites (without notes) excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address.

“I learned those in seventh grade, back in about 1937, and I’ve been reciting them ever since,” said Teagarden. “I’ve recited them at Pleasant Hill at the memorial service consecutively since 1960. So, yes, I’m going to be practicing and try to do it again this year. Of course, at my age, you never know!”

As always, the service will close with the congregation singing “Little Brown Church in the Vale.”

At 12 noon, there will be a 21-gun salute in the church yard by the Kinkead-Martin Legion Post No. 583, of Rippey, with Wayne Lautner, of Jefferson, playing taps.

Then, in a return of a favorite Pleasant Hill Church tradition of years ago, there will be a community potluck dinner — with fried chicken provided and you bring the side dishes and tableware. Freewill donations will be accepted.

Finally, at 1 p.m., the annual meeting of Pleasant Hill Memorial Inc. will be held in the church building.

People who attended the homecoming a year ago may remember that the historical society commissioned acclaimed Iowa artist Zack Jones to do an oil painting of Pleasant Hill church during that gathering. The society has had high-quality canvas prints made of that painting, and a framed one will be presented to Pleasant Hill Memorial Inc. on Sunday. Other canvas prints will be sold for $50 each, beginning Sunday, in a fundraiser for the historical society.

Wallace Teagarden is shown here doing his “oration” at the Pleasant Hill Memorial Homecoming last year.

This photo shows the new paint on the interior walls of Pleasant Hill Church, and the refinishing work that is underway on the floor.
Roger Aegerter, executive director of the Greene County Historical Society, shows a print on canvas of the oil painting that artist Zack Jones did of Pleasant Hill Church during the memorial homecoming last year. The prints will be for sale at this year’s gathering and then in the future at the Greene County Historical Museum in Jefferson.
Wayne Lautner is shown here playing “Taps” after the 21-gun salute at the conclusion of the 2017 memorial service.
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Our museum has started its regular hours, opening Wednesday afternoons & Saturday mornings

JEFFERSON, Iowa, May 3, 2018 — The Greene County Historical Society’s museum has now started its summer hours of operation, being open to the public on Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m. and on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.  The museum will continue to observe those open hours thru September.

You or your group can also arrange to see the museum by appointment by calling at (515) 386-8544.

The museum is located at 219 E. Lincoln Way in Jefferson, two blocks east of the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower.

Admission to the museum is free, although free will offerings are accepted.

The front of the Greene County Historical Museum in Jefferson.
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How many courthouse structures have been built on the site of the current Greene County Courthouse?

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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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