(OSCEOLA, IA – August 29, 2022)

The Clarke County Historical Society and Museum was recently awarded by Clarke County Development Corp (CCDC) a Community Development Program donation for $500.

The Clarke County Historic Museum is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1971. It is supported solely by community donations. It is not a part of the Clarke county governmental entity. All of the exhibits and artifacts are cared for by a small group of volunteers. Funding sources have been limited to estate donations, free will donations and memberships to the Clarke County Historic Society. Membership cost is affordable at just $20 annually for an individual and $25 for a couple. Currently there are approximately 25 members of the Clarke County Historic Society. The members try to work on one to two projects a year at the museum. The $500 donation from CCDC will be used to purchase mannequins for the military uniforms on display. A previous $500 donation was received by the museum to update their bathroom facility.

The Clarke County Historical Museum is a 10 acre campus located at 1030 S Main street, just south of the 4-corners on Hwy 69. The museum is full of treasures from days gone by. The contents range from beautiful stain glassed windows from the Methodist church to a Civil War era wedding dress. Walking through the doors it is easy to see that Clarke County has a rich history. There is something there for everyone. Antique toys and furniture are on display. So is an old fashioned General Store exhibit full of antique containers used for items like spices and cereal. The documents on display will astound anybody on the museum tour. There is a map from the late 1800s of the City of Osceola that shows the original street names to existing thorough fares. If someone is looking for history on their family in Clarke County or their homestead, chances are there is something in the museum that will reveal a part of their story. Also on display in the museum is a beautiful Lady Liberty statue that stood at the old Clarke County Courthouse from 1892 to 1954. For military enthusiasts there is a variety of uniforms from different eras and branches of the United States military. If quilts are your passion, you will see a variety of quilts created throughout several generations in Clarke County. In the entryway are several horseshow trophies and a large portrait belonging to Dr. E.W. Paul, DDS being presented a trophy from one of the many horseshows he won. The museum campus also has an authentic one room country school house, an 1854 log cabin, an annex full of antique tools from the earliest days of Clarke County and a separate pole barn containing old plows and other horse drawn equipment.

As the society looks to the future, one project at the forefront is the restoration of a civil war era stained glass window which was donated by the Methodist church. The window is in need of repair as it is starting to bow. Another is the restoration of the log cabin. The cabin was built by the George Harlan family and was donated by Joe and Beulah Pollard after they discovered it as being one room of their home during renovations in the 1960’s. A grant proposal is being written to assist with the renovation efforts. The Pollard family donates over $1500 and Clarke Electric Cooperative donated $5000 towards this renovation project as well. Both the log cabin and the stained glass window are in dire need of restoration before the artifacts deteriorate. Bill Trickey, Executive Director of CCDC states,

“There is such an awesome history that has contributed to Osceola’s identity. Remembering what helped create the great community we are today is an important contribution to our future”.

Like many organizations and civic groups are experiencing, it is a challenge to staff the museum so it could be open more than 3hours on Sundays May-October. Currently the museum is open to the public on Sundays from 1-4 PM. The museum is available for tours at additional times upon request. Marie White has been an asset to preserving the rich history of Clarke County. She is a wealth of knowledge about the artifacts in the museum. She would love to share what she knows with anyone interested. If you love history and want to find out more about Osceola and Clarke County, come by the museum and get a tour. You won’t regret it!

If you would like more information on the Clarke County Historic Museum please contact Marie White at (641) 342-4838 or Barry Mateer at (641)342-3194. Additional information can also be found at the Clarke County Historical Society and Museum facebook page. If you have a project you would like considered for the Community Donation Project fund, please contact Elizabeth Simpson, Program Manager of the Clarke County Development Corporation, 115 E Washington St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone:6413422944, or email: esimpson@clarkecountyiowa.com

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