A small circulating library was first organized in the Benton County community of Keystone in the winter of 1914, but was quickly discontinued as usage dropped over the summer months. Several short-lived libraries existed before the current library was established in the basement of the Legion Hall in 1958.
The local Literary Club began an annual bazaar to support the library, and in 1967, the town council began to provide monetary support to the library organization. In 1975, residents Oscar and Alvena Schroeder purchased a cement block building on Main Street that had previously been used as a Laundromat. They donated the building to the town for use as a library. They also funded a large rear addition to the library in 1981; the library is now named in their honor.
In July 1919, 25 men met at the Keystone City Hall to secure a charter for a local chapter of the American Legion. Officers were elected, and the post was named the Merkel Post 107 in honor of Mangus Merkel, the first serviceman from the Keystone area to die in World War I. The name was amended in 1949 to honor Luverne Bockholt, the first area serviceman killed during World War II.
Legion meetings for the Merkel-Bocholt Post 107 were a number of locations before the I.O.O.F. building was purchased in 1951. Over the years, rooms within the large facility have been rented for use as apartments, beauty shops, and a local doctor office.
This modest Post Office building debuted in June 1965 along Main Street in the Benton County community of Keystone. The building featured 688 square feet of interior floor space, and was rented by the U.S. Postal Service for $840 annually from a couple in West Union who constructed and owned the building. The previous Keystone Post Office had 621 square feet of space. Postal service was first established in Keystone on April 18, 1882, one year after the community was settled.
The Palace Theatre in the Benton County seat of Vinton may be the only place in the United States moviegoers can watch a 3-D movie for just $3. The technology came to the theatre in 2010 following an $80,000 fundraising effort led by the local managers and Palace board members. Other upgrades in recent years include a new digital sound system, box office remodeling, and online ticketing capabilities, making the Palace Theatre one of the best entertainment values in the state.
The theatre building dates to 1915, when it was opened as a movie house for silent pictures and live traveling performers. The venue survived a 1932 fire and served area residents for nearly 60 years before closing in 1972. After use as a bakery, gym, and other retail operations, the building was purchased by the community theatre group ACT I, renovated, and reopened in November 1999. The theatre can host both first-run movies and plays from the ACT I group.
Since 2006, Gerald and Marcy Horst have managed the Palace Theatre. Their plans for 2011 include installation of more comfortable seating and enhanced concession options. For current showtimes and more, check out the Palace Theatre website or call (319) 472-9958.