City Hall (LeRoy, Iowa)

City Hall (LeRoy, Iowa)

This modest City Hall is one of only a few remaining buildings in the tiny Decatur County community of LeRoy, Iowa. The population indicated on the City Hall sign dates to 1990; by 2010, the number had diminished to 15, a drop of nearly 95% from the peak population count a century earlier. Like many other small towns in the state, LeRoy experienced a gradual decline over many years: in 1946, the railroad halted service. In 1971, the post office closed shop, while the school discontinued operations ten years later.

While an active Presbyterian Church still holds services each Sunday morning, the community is slowly fading to ghost town status. The graveled streets are growing grass, the street signs are hand-made from peach-painted wood, and empty lots outnumber standing structures. This postcard, dating to the early 1900s, shows LeRoy’s once-vibrant downtown.

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