Former Iowa Governor William and Anna Larrabee spent many years studying school buildings before creating plans to build a state-of-the-art school facility in their hometown of Clermont. Groundbreaking began on the $100,000 brick building in May 1912. The Clermont website details interior features:
The floors of the vestibule and halls are terraza with wainscoting of white Rutland marble with sufficient veins of red and green to show warmth. The stairs also have marble treads and metal railings finished in dark green. All glass is plate – with nearly 5 ton in the entire building. Each classroom has blackboards of extra heavy Pennsylvania slate. The Auditorium… walls and ceiling are white, decorated with staff and bead and rosette designs.
The Larrabee Building served as a community school until 1990. When classes were consolidated to a single school building constructed between Clermont and nearby Elgin, the building was repurposed to serve the community. The public library moved in in 1991. The building also houses city offices, the police department, and the Sheehan-Olson American Legion Post.
The Church of Christ was organized by seven families in 1858 in the Fayette County town of Arlington. The first church building was constructed at a cost of $2,000 seven years later, with a bell added for $500 in 1876. When a new building was constructed in 1896, the bell was moved to the new facility, which still is active in the community today.
The First Baptist Church in the Fayette County seat of West Union was organized by 11 people on October 23, 1852. Services were held in homes and an old log schoolhouse until 1853, when a small standalone church facility was constructed. The present building was completed in 1867.
Bethel Presbyterian Church in the Fayette County seat of West Union was officially organized in June 1867 with 12 charter members. The congregation first met in an old church facility and then the Fayette County Courthouse before a new brick building was constructed and dedicated in 1872. The first church was remodeled in 1893, but plans for an addition were interrupted when the building was destroyed by fire on February 11, 1922.
Prompt action was taken to construct a new church on the site of the old one, with the cornerstone laid on September 17, 1922 and dedication services held the following year. A basement was added in 1951, while an education wing was added (in the lighter brick) in 1961.
The first account of library services in the Fayette County of Arlington dates to 1883, when resident O.H. Osborne made his personal collection of books available to readers within the town’s post office. Books were later stored in a downtown jewelry store before the community came together in 1928 to remodel a room for library use in the City Hall. The present building was constructed in 1982 at a cost around $62,000. A grant covered one-third of the cost, with the remaining funds raised from donations by local citizens and organizations. The 1,800-square-foot building was dedicated November 21, 1982.