In the early 1900s, council members in the Tama County town of Vining held many meetings in the city jail, since the city hall building was not heated during winter months. This changed in 1962, when a 1,000-square-foot combination fire station and town hall building was dedicated. This served council members until 1972, when the old, one-stall fire station was remodeled to serve as city hall. The building remains functional today.
The City Hall in the Howard County town of Elma was constructed at the base of the water tower in the 1910s. The building’s basement houses the pump for the water tower well, and once was used as the city jail. The steps were added in 1969, replacing a ramp that used to lead to a garage door and the local city fire truck. The city hall continues to serve as the location for monthly council meetings, but most city business takes place in a separate office.
The Monona County town of Castana was established by the Western Town Lot Company in July 1886. The reason for the town’s name is unknown, but two of the theories noted in A Dictionary of Iowa Place-Names by Tom Savage are below:
One story about the town’s name was that a Mr. Day thought that the oak trees growing in the area resembled chestnuts, so he called the site Castana. He thought the name was the Latin term for chestnuts… Another story is that the name came from a place in Asia Minor.
The town was incorporated on March 3, 1891. Construction began on the pictured town hall building in 1936; work completed and the building opened the following year.
The Mitchell County town of Carpenter was platted in 1871 and incorporated eight years later. The first town hall was located over a local lumber company office building; the space was used for anything from council meetings to mayors court for local offenders. The council later met in the back of a bank building before moving to their current hall when it was built in 1947.
A map of the Linn County town of Walker was first produced in 1874, but the community was not officially incorporated until 1891. Following incorporation, the town moved to establish a water works system, construct a town hall and jail, and construct cement sidewalks in the early 1900s. Electricity was brought to the town in 1917, while residents saw street paving begin in 1931. The city hall currently meets in this modest brick building on Rowley and Park Streets in downtown Walker.