Tag Archives: Appanoose County

Christian Church (Moulton, Iowa)

Christian Church (Moulton, Iowa)

Construction began on the first Christian Church building in the Appanoose County town of Moulton in 1968. The wood frame building cost $1,000 and was dedicated the following year. A larger church was built in 1890 and served the congregation for 37 years before being destroyed by fire. The Moulton Tribune published this report of the devastating 1927 fire:

Nothing but a mass of ruins marks the place where the Christian Church has stood for the past 40 years. The building caught fire last Friday morning at 11:30 and in spite of the valiant efforts of the firemen, the fire soon was beyond control and efforts were extended to save the surrounding property.

Insurance funds were combined with member contributions to raise the $10,000 required to build the present, brick church building. The cornerstone was laid on November 21, 1927, with dedicatory services held on March 18, 1928. An educational building was added to the church property in 1967.

Former Post Office 52593 (Udell, Iowa)

Former Post Office 52593 (Udell, Iowa)

Postal service was first established in the Appanoose County town of Udell in November 1883. A post office operated for seven years before temporarily closing with mail re-routed to nearby Unionville. Service resumed in March 1893, more than a decade before the town was officially incorporated. Named for a local doctor Nathan Udell, the community’s population peaked in 1920 with 214 residents.

After nearly 120 years of continuous service, the post office closed its doors on September 23, 2011. Udell’s current population numbers 41.

Post Office 52555 (Exline, Iowa)

As the Appanoose County town of Exline began to grow, settlers quickly began to pursue the establishment of a post office. After an unsuccessful first attempt, resident Sarah E. Price began correspondance with the district’s Congressman, Ezekiel Sampson. Her persistence was rewarded, as she was named the first postmaster of the newly-established Exline Post Office in August 1877.

After being housed in a number of storefronts, a modern post office facility was constructed in May 1986. A formal dedication ceremony was held June 28, 1986; an open house followed the dedication.

United Methodist Church (Moulton, Iowa)

Construction began in 1901 on the United Methodist Church in the Appanoose County community of Moulton. Built at a cost of $12,000, the brick church featured ornate stained-glass windows and a 400-seat auditorium. Shortly after the dedication service in March 1902, a Barchhoff manual pipe organ weighing 5,000 pounds was installed. A professional organist from Ottumwa failed to show for the dedication service, resulting in a performance from Cam Marshall, a teenager who watched and helped with the installation of the organ. The organ was hand pumped until electricity became available in 1905.

Former Grace Brethren Church (Udell, Iowa)

During the winter of 1890, the Brethren Church of Udell was organized two-and-a-half miles east of the community. In 1903, the congregation moved to a new building constructed inside the city limits of Udell, near the community school. They relocated again in 1961, this time to the building previously occupied by the Udell Christian Church, which disbanded one year prior.  Purchased at a cost of $200, the building served the congregation for 45 years.

Due to dwindling membership and attendance, regular services ceased in 2006. The church building and its contents were sold in 2009, and today the building is privately owned.