This modest community center anchors a well-maintained park in the unincorporated Jasper County town of Ira. The town dates to 1883, after a plat was drawn to coincide with the Chicago and Great Western Railroad’s placement of a depot and water tank. Owner William F. Rippey proposed the new town be named after him, but a community of the same name already existed. After a second choice (Millard) was also rejected, Ira was agreed upon, and in 1884, a post office opened under that name. The reason for Ira’s name is now a mystery: some suggest it was named of a railroad superintendent while others attribute the name to a local resident.