Iron County Historical Society

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April 23, 2024 By: John Abney
Museum Building Repairs Fundraiser
Whether you look at our website or our Facebook page, I think you would be able to count on the fingers of one hand how many times that we have done a direct appeal for fundraising.  As most of you already know, we are a small non-profit, all volunteer organization.  We are thankful for our many generous members and patrons whose donations through the years have gone a long way to meeting a significant portion of our annual expenses.
This is a fundraising appeal, but it’s for a special cause and all donations that we receive will be forwarded to the owners of our building, Our Town Tomorrow, which is the non-profit wing of the Arcadia Valley Chamber of Commerce.  We’ve been in this building for over 15 years and this year has proven to be extremely challenging thus far.  Our sewer line became blocked back in February, and it was finally fixed earlier this month.  That fix required cutting through miles of red tape, multiple entities including MoDOT and Union Pacific, as well as thousands of dollars in deposits and repairs.  While Our Town Tomorrow had some funds set aside for the station, this setback has pretty much cleaned out that money. 
As we lease our space in the building, we aren’t on the hook for any of the cost related to the repairs.  That said, we would like to help.  That’s where this fundraiser comes in and where you can help.   If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of these repairs you can do so, securely at our website by clicking here.  You can either donate on-line through PayPal (no account is needed) or by filling out the form and mailing it to us at: Iron County Historical Society, P.O. Box 183, Ironton, MO 63650.  In the Donor Comments box, please enter the words, “Station Repairs” .  You can also just send us a check without filling out the form, but again, we would ask that you write “Station Repairs” in the memo portion of the check.  All funds (100%) received for station repairs will be forwarded directly to Our Town Tomorrow. 
As always, we appreciate your support and we look forward to your visiting the museum!
April 21, 2024 By: John Abney
Annual Meeting Today - 4/21/2024
Just a quick reminder about our Annual Meeting.  It's today, Sunday, April 21, 2024  at 2p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Ironton located at the corner of Reynolds and Knob streets in Ironton.  Prior to the meeting, Charlie Brooks will share his story of how he took up the hobby of toy making. Charlie's "new" hobby began at Christmas of 1994 when his daughter, Melanie gave him a book titled "How to Make Animated Toys".  
According to Charlie, “It looked was not.  I had no tools, no lumber.  Just the book.  After  that worked and looked like the ones in the book, 28 years later and nearly 400 toys later, my hobby keeps me busy year round.  I will always thank my daughter Melanie for that book.  I still have it.  Many smiles and memories over the years make the effort rewarding.”
As always, the public is invited and encouraged to attend our meetings.  We hope to see you there!
April 15, 2024 By: John Abney
Tell Me a Story
October is Family History Month and we will once again be devoting most of our Fall Newsletter to Family History related articles. Anything related to family history is acceptable, but should, if possible have an Iron County connection. Articles should be no more than three pages in length and should use the Times New Roman Font and Font Size 11. Photos are also welcome.  Note that only electronic submissions will be accepted. If we receive too many submissions, those articles will be published in later newsletters. Questions and / or submissions can be sent to John Abney at and articles must be received no later than September 1, 2024.

It can be a story about your family's history, your memories growing up in Iron County, a particular story from an ancestor's life, a family member's life or your own. I look forward to reading and sharing yours! 
April 9, 2024 By: John Abney
2024 Annual Meeting & Elections Reminder
Just a reminder our Annual Meeting and Elections will be held on Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 2 p,m.  The meeting will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Ironton located at the corner of Reynolds and Knob Streets in Ironton.
Charlie Brooks will give his program on his hobby of toymaking prior to the start of the meeting and will have examples of his work on display.
We have four vacancies to fill in the upcoming elections.  These positions include those of Vice President and three positions on our Board of Directors.  The three positions on the Board are for one each for one year, two years, and three years.  Our normal term for Board members is three years, but one of these positions of for a director that moved out of state and another is for a director who is stepping down to fill another position in the historical society's leadership.  While not yet vacant, the Newsletter Editor and Webmaster positions are also available to anyone interested.  Our historical society, along with its museum, performs an important function in our community.  We need your help to make sure it can continue to achieve its mission of preserving and sharing Iron County's rich history.  If you have any questions about these positions, you can email us at or talk to any current officer or board member.
April 4, 2024 By: John Abney
Civil War Living History Event
If you have never been to one of these and, even if you have, the Turner Brigade does a wonderful job in bringing Civil War history alive. Come and see what daily life was like for our Civil War ancestors who served in the military.  The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, April 20th and 21st, 2024 at the Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site in Pilot Knob, Missouri.
April 3, 2024 By: John Abney
Extended Museum Hours - Eclipse Weekend
The historical society's museum will be operating on extended hours this weekend.  We will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (April 6, 2024 - April 8,2024).  
March 4, 2024 By: John Abney
The Importance of Caring for Cemeteries

Cemeteries often conjure up images of quiet contemplation and remembrance. They serve as the final resting place for loved ones, offering a space for families to grieve and honor their memory. But beyond this primary function, cemeteries hold a deeper significance, acting as:

  • Preservers of history: Cemeteries are like open-air museums, holding the stories of individuals and communities. Headstones and memorials document lives lived, offering glimpses into the past and shaping our understanding of local history.
  • Sanctuaries of peace and reflection: In our fast-paced world, cemeteries provide a haven of tranquility, allowing visitors to find solace and connect with their inner selves. The serene atmosphere fosters reflection and remembrance, offering a space for quiet contemplation and emotional processing.
  • Havens for wildlife: Contrary to popular belief, cemeteries can be crucial ecosystems for various wildlife species. Mature trees and diverse plantings provide valuable habitat for birds, butterflies, and other creatures, contributing to the ecological balance of urban areas.

Therefore, caring for our cemeteries goes beyond maintaining a respectful environment for the departed. It's about preserving our heritage, fostering well-being, and protecting the natural world. Here's how we can all contribute:

  • Supporting cemetery upkeep: Many cemeteries rely on donations and volunteer efforts to maintain their grounds. Contributing financially or volunteering your time can make a significant difference.
  • Practicing respectful visits: Be mindful of others while visiting a cemetery. Follow designated pathways, keep noise levels low, and dispose of any trash properly.
  • Documenting family history: Take the time to record family stories and information about those buried in cemeteries. This helps preserve personal histories and ensure their legacy is passed on to future generations.

By recognizing the multifaceted value of cemeteries and taking an active role in their care, we can ensure these sacred spaces continue to serve our communities for generations to come.  As we near Spring, the historical society invites all of those that manage or care for our local cemeteries to reach out to us with information regarding upcoming events for your cemetery, e.g., annual meetings, clean-up days, etc.  You can email us at and please include the following in your email:

  • Cemetery name and location
  • Date and time of event
  • Point of Contact to include name and either email address or phone number
March 1, 2024 By: John Abney
School Records Project - Update
With the creation of the master indexes for students and teachers, the first phase of the School Records Project is now complete!  Phase I of the project includes the Iron County Superintendent of School's Consolidated School Records covering some 39 rural school districts in Iron County from the 1939-1940 school year through the 1953-1954 school year.   To read more about this phase of the project go to our Superintendents Records page.  To read more about the entire project and all three of its phases, go to our School Records page.
February 22, 2024 By: John Abney
Museum is OPEN
We are happy to announce that we have resumed our normal operatiing hours.  We are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.  
A couple of things to note.  First, the museum will close from approximately 11:55 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 24. 2024 so that our volunteer working that day can attend the historical soceity' annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.  Second, our restrooms are still closed and will remain closed until the the problem with our sewer line is fixed.
We apologize for any inconvenience that our being closed has caused.
February 17, 2024 By: John Abney
Scam Alert - Bank Accounts
One thing that never seems to stop is thieves coming up with new ways to separate you from your hard earned money.  This post from KHMO Radio deals with criminal attempts to gain access to your bank account information.  
The bottomline remains, when it comes to sharing personal information, TRUST NO ONE!