This modest wooden sign welcomes visitors to the Fremont County town of Thurman, home to 229 residents according to the most recent census. Thurman was founded as Plum Hollow in 1856 by Abraham Fletcher, but later renamed in honor of politician Allen Granberry Thurman. It was officially incorporated in February 1879.
As many as 90 percent of buildings in Thurman were damaged or destroyed by an EF-2 tornado on April 15, 2012. Read more in the Omaha World-Herald.
The Federated Woman’s Club in the Fremont County town of Tabor adopted a project in January 1954 to open a public library for the community. After receiving permission to house the library on the first floor of the Town Hall building, the group collected money and books from local residents, churches, and organizations. A carpenter donated services to raise shelves, and the library opened in July 1956.
In 1975, the city council established regular support for the library, while additional funds were provided by Fremont and Mills County. By the 1980s, the library had outgrown its space and began looking at new locations. An anonymous donation made it possible to move to a home, which had most recently been used as The Brick Inn restaurant. A contractor was engaged, and the building was remodeled for use as the Tabor Public Library. The new location officially opened in June 1987.
Liberty Baptist Church between Thurman and Sidney in Fremont County in extreme southwest Iowa was organized June 27, 1857 with 14 charter members. Meetings were held in private homes before a permanent facility was constructed near Thurman. In 1922, the congregation purchased the former Methodist church building near the defunct hamlet of Knox. Membership peaked at 66 in 1909; the church closed its doors in August 1959.
Fremont County’s first brick courthouse was established in the seat of Sidney in 1860 and served the county for nearly three decades before being destroyed by arson May 16, 1888. Though Hamburg and Farragut attempted to gain county seat status, in November 1888, a majority of county voters approved a property tax increase for funds to construct a new courthouse in Sidney at a cost.
In March 1889, S.E. Maxon of Council Bluffs was appointed the architect and the building contract was awarded to a firm in nearby Nebraska City, Nebraska; construction was completed the following year. The Fremont Courthouse, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, has seen only a handful of modifications since construction.
Organization of the Hamburg Public Library dates to 1886, when the first library was established in the local high school. An 1890 fire destroyed the library, but the community stepped to the plate with money and book donations to rebuild the collection. By 1915, a permanent library space was desired, and Mayor Richards wrote Andrew Carnegie requesting a grant for a new facility. The following year, a $9,000 grant was awarded, and the new library was dedicated in June 1919.