Residents of the Hardin County town of Alden were first introduced to postal service on June 30, 1855. The post office operated from a number of storefronts before a modern, standalone facility was constructed in 1968. The new building opened for service on November 25, 1968, with a formal dedication ceremony held the following year.
Plans for a library in the Hardin County town of Steamboat Rock were made in 1958 when members of the community progress club collected books and funds. The first library opened the following year within a room in the town hall, where it remained until for three years. At that time, the old telephone company building was donated for use as a library, with an open house held on June 25, 1962.
Upgrades were made to the interior in 1968, while in 1974, the front of the building was renovated with the addition of brick facing and a front porch for a cost of $5,000. The building continues to serve as the library today; it’s open six days each week.
On December 7, 2000, a natural gas leak at a plumbing company sparked an explosion that tore through the business district of the Hardin County town of Hubbard. While there were fortunately no serious injuries, every downtown business was damaged and windows were broken in nearby homes. The heaviest damage was caused to Peet’s Plumbing, where the explosion originated, but other buildings saw collapsed walls, broken glass, and damaged signs. The Hubbard Post Office was the least damaged of the buildings on Main Street and was back in operation just three weeks following the explosion, the first business on the block to resume normal operation.
Constructed in 1914, the dark red brick Iowa Falls Post Office is one of 31 properties in Hardin County on the National Register of Historic Places. The building stands on a foundation of North Carolina granite and features four marvelous columns 30 inches in diameter and 22 feet high. The 450-square-feet lobby retains much of its original white oak woodwork, marble terrazo floor, and vaulted ceiling. Postal service was first established in Iowa Falls in February 1856.
Successful businessman Eugene S. Ellsworth contributed much of his wealth toward the advancement of the Hardin County community of Iowa Falls. Beginning with the construction of a magnificent opera house in 1899, Ellsworth spent the final eight years of his life improving the community. His credits included major contributions to the 1902 hospital building, the establishment of Ellsworth (Community) College, and a land donation for the construction of the Carnegie-Ellsworth Public Library in 1902.
Additional funds for the library were received in 1903, when Carnegie awarded the community of Iowa Falls with a $10,000 grant. Now home to the city Chamber of Commerce, Main Street, and Development organizations, the library was one of the more elaborate of its size and type and features a number of distinctive architectural features. The Iowa Falls Public Library is now located in a modern, 15,000-square-foot building located along the Iowa River, a few blocks southwest of the Carnegie location.