fayette county iowa historical and genealogy society

You can visit in person M-F, open at 10am.
Call 563-422-5797 for information or help.

Location:  100 North Walnut Street, West Union, Iowa  52175.   Off the SW corner of the Courthouse Square in downtown West Union.
Phone:  563-422-5797.  Emailinfo@wuhistorical.com  Wireless is available.

Summer hours:  May 1-Oct 31, 10am-4pm.
Winter hours:  Nov 1-Apr 30, 10am-3pm.  Also open by appointment.
Meetings:  Annual Meeting is the 4th Monday in April.  In December, a pot luck is scheduled.  The Board meets monthly.
Newsletter:  Sent out monthly.

Entry and sign in:   Sign-in office is inside and to the right of the entry door, where you can request information and assistance.
Membership:  yearly $10 (Jan-Dec), life $100. 
Researching in person:  Members have access to all records without a fee.  Non-members $5/day.
Research Fees:  Researching can be done by center volunteers upon request (no guarantee of positive information):   The fee is $5 per surname or request, to include reviewing available surname files, census records, cemetery index, historical books and other files in the center.
Additional fees per surname or request: microfilm research $5/hr; Fayette Co. Courthouse office visited $10/hr; $5 per cemetery researched; $5 per copy of a vital record; $10/copy of a certified vital record;  any charges from the County Recorder are added, plus cost for photocopies, photos, postage and handling.

Work area: 
...There is a large room with tables available near the office, including air conditioned, power outlets, good lighting, restrooms nearby. 
...Building services:  restroom handicap accessible; elevator has limited access.  Wireless is available.
...For Sale:  1976 and 1996 History and a few other books, cemetery listing booklets, books of poetry, note cards, post cards, calendars and a few other items.

Genealogy and History Resources:  7000 surname and/or family history folders,  cemetery listings, census records from 1850-1925, 1850-1930 census on microfilm, newspapers from 1861,  microfilm of the Fayette County Union (West Union paper) to 1972, genealogy blanks, indexed scrapbooks, Fayette County histories, all available plats and atlases, rosters of Civil War Veterans, numerous other resource books.
Hardware Resources:  microfilm reader and printer, copy machine (25c per page).  No computer services or wireless are available.


Museum:  donated artifacts and historical items are housed on second floor.  The second floor as well as other parts of the building are being partially reconditioned utilizing some funds left to the building by an estate.  The museum area will be reorganized in the coming year(s). 


Steve Story, long time Fayette County volunteer and historian.

July 2010 visit photo album:  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette_county_iowa/fayette-co-ia-hist/historical-society-/  Work is being done on the upstairs museum area and other parts of the building, which will be put back in order as time allows (Note: Fall of 2012, Fotki lost servers during Hurricane Sandy, thus there are huge gaps in fotki.com.iowaz photo albums.  Fotki has been assuring pics would be reloaded but that has not happened, so many Fotki members assume they have permanently a large number of pics.  Fotki.com.iowaz will likely not reload any of the older albums unless working again on some project.)
Aug 2010 visit photo album:    http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette_county_iowa/fayette-co-ia-hist/historical-society--1/    Much of the upstairs reconditioning work has been completed and reorganization of donated museum items has started.  


Society President, Fran Bowden

Historical Society President is Fran Bowden:
"Fayette County, Iowa, has a proud, rich and varied past. The mission of your Historical Society is to preserve the past, learn from it, and pass it along to future generations.  Please feel welcome to visit the museum and use the available records. You will find your historical staff knowledgeable and helpful.  Fayette County is located in beautiful northeast Iowa. It was founded in 1837, and named after the marquis de La Fayette, French general and politician and named Major General of the Continental Army of the Revolutionary War.  According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has 731 square miles. Because a large portion of the northern part of the county was in the Neutral Land set aside to divide the Sioux to the north and Sac and Fox to the south, final platting was not completed and settlement did not begin in a majority of the county until in the 1840ís.  Among the river systems that drain the rich farmland of Fayette County are the Turkey, Volga, Wapsipinicon, and Maquoketa Rivers. These areas also offer recreational opportunities   It is important to the Historical Society to collect, preserve and interpret the treasures and stories of the families of Fayette County. We rely on memberships and donations to meet operating expenses and make capital improvements. A yearly membership is $10. Please consider becoming a life member of the Historical Society for a donation of $100. Or consider making an investment in the future of the Society by sending a check as a charitable donation or as a memorial to someone special. Members have access to all research materials at no charge. Non-members are charged a $5 research fee.  The Historical Center and Museum office is totally staffed by volunteers. Join with us as a volunteer with your time and talents. There is always need for docents to escort visiting groups through the museum. Any assistance will help us to continue to honor our past and provide a service to our present and future generations."  Sincerely, Fran Bowden

Executive Board:  President Frances Bowden, Vice President Beverly Baker, Secretary Steve Story, Treasurer Phillis Holmstrom, Administrator Phyllis Holmstrom.
Board Members for 2011:  Frances Bowden, Tex Heyer, Don Illiff, Bob Zurbriggen.
Board Members for 2012:  Beverly Baker, Bill Moellering, Vernon Oakland, Jeri Watson.
Board Members for 2013:  Dave Moore, Dennis Pixler, Richard Smith, Kathryn Weidemann.
Newsletter Editors:  Mary Richmond, Betty Cline.

Phyllis Holmstrom, a researcher,  manages the front desk and office.
A call (563-422-5797) will often be answered by Phyllis.

Phyllis nee Pape Holmstrom, long time volunteer is office manager.  She was raised on a farm near West Union and graduated from West Union High School in 1950. 
Laura Janssen of Arlington is working on organizing artifacts and sorting files in the Heritage and Archives Rooms. 
Doris Howard of Elgin works at the Center on Mondays and heads the Museum.
Steve Story of West Union is very active  with the Pioneer Cemetery group plus volunteers at the Center and is working on the newly refurbished upstairs library.
Terry Landsgaard volunteers on Fridays and is a resource for NE Iowa history.
Gay and Fran Bowden take an active part with the ongoing renovations.
Volunteers are always critically needed at the Center.


 Iowaz Index Page
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Last uploaded:  Aug 9, 2010

Fayette County Iowa Links:
County web page with town links:   http://www.fayettecountyiowa.org/index.html 
County Historical Center link:  http://www.fayettecountyiowa.org/HistoricalCenter.html
Fayette County IAGenWeb Page:   http://iagenweb.org/fayette/

My photo hosting site contains a large about of material regarding history, maps, genealogy of Fayette County  Iowa.  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/  You will just have to browse for photo albums of interest.  Needed pics can be saved by clicking a thumb to open a medium pic, then clicking the 'get original uploaded photo' link under the medium pic open a larger version, which can be right clicked and saved.

Note: Fall of 2012, Fotki lost servers during Hurricane Sandy, thus there are huge gaps in fotki.com.iowaz photo albums.  Fotki has been assuring pics would be reloaded but that has not happened, so many Fotki members assume they have permanently a large number of pics.  Fotki.com.iowaz will likely not reload any of the older albums unless working again on some project.

Photo Folders of possible interest with resources:

History, Maps and other things:   http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette_county_iowa/
Cemeteries:   http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette_county_iowa-1/
Grandview Cemetery at Fayette:  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette_iowa_cemete/
Old Thresher Reunions and Pioneer Life:   http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/old_thresher_reunio/
Andrea's 1875 Atlas (counties around Fayette):  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/iowa-andreas-1875-atlas/

Fayette, Iowa, village history:  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette_iowa_histor/
Fayette High School Cardinal Reunions:   http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette_iowa_high-1/
Fayette High School Annuals and Classes:  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette_iowa_high/
Upper Iowa University:  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/fayette-ia-upper-io/

Bremer County, Iowa:  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/bremer-co-iowa/
Clayton County, Iowa:  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/clayton-county-iowa/
Winneshiek County, Iowa:  http://public.fotki.com/iowaz/winneshiek-co-iowa/







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Barry Zbornik
Hannibal, MO 


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