Historical society to try a new way of exploring Greene County’s history

JEFFERSON, Iowa, Nov. 7, 2022 — There are many different ways to explore history, and the Greene County Historical Society is trying out a new approach this Saturday afternoon, Nov. 12, at the museum in Jefferson.  Up to 25 people are invited to take part.

They’re calling it “Leafing Through Greene County History,” and it’s set for 2 p.m.

The free event has two parts, program director Margaret Hamilton explained.

“First, we’ll sit in a circle, and four members of the historical society will share interesting artifacts from the museum’s collection,” she said. “Everyone can look at the items they’ll display and get some new insights into the museum and our county’s history. There’ll also be time to share your own memories – not required – on the topics we’ll discuss. We’ll follow that with a tea – with scones, clotted cream, jam, tea sandwiches and cookies”.

There will be four presenters who will pick some museum artifact or document, and start the conversations.  The four, all from Jefferson and all active members of the historical society, know the museum’s collection well.  They are:

–Mikki Schwarzkopf, who will discuss Greene County diaries and autograph albums, as well as a registration book from the old Head House Hotel.

–Jed Magee will talk about the Greene County Courthouses.

–Mike Piepel will share newspapers, posters, yearbooks and atlases.

–Dianne Piepel will talk about historic homes.

Magee said the idea for sharing history this way popped up after a conversation the four of them and Hamilton had one at the museum one lazy afternoon this past summer.

“We were sitting by the bookshelves, and one of us had pulled out a ring binder of historical information,” Magee said. “I think it was either about local theaters or movies that had played here.  All of us were telling related stories we knew, and I think we were all surprised how interesting it was.  Then we realized that doing this kind of thing would help people understand just how much we have in the museum, and learn more about all of it.”

He encourages everybody to give it a try.  “If this first ‘Leafing Through History’ approach seems successful, I’m sure we’ll do another one, probably next spring,” he said. “And remember, you don’t have to be an expert at all – just curious about the things you can find in the museum.”

Because the discussions on Saturday will happen in a circle, the event is limited to 25 actual participants. If you want to be involved, RSVP to reserve your seat, either by emailing Hamilton at hami0017@hotmail.com or calling (515) 386-4408.


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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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