Tag Archives: Jasper County

United Methodist Church (Reasnor, Iowa)

The history of the United Methodist Church in the Jasper County town of Reasnor dates to the founding of the town. Early Reasnor records suggest in 1877 that 24 Methodist men and women were responsible for the initial platting of the town. Services were held at the local railroad depot until the first church was constructed in 1879. The present Reasnor United Methodist Church building was constructed in 1898, though it was originally occupied by the Union Evangelical Church. The church shares a pastor with the church in the nearby unincorporated town of Killduff.

Capitol Theater (Newton, Iowa)

The Capitol Theater debuted in the Jasper County seat of Newton on April 30, 1927 with 995 seats between the main floor and balcony. This number has decreased over the years, including when changes made to show films with sound in 1929, the installation of air-conditioning in 1937, and a new screen for widescreen shows in 1952. In March 1953, the Capitol was equipped to show 3-D movies, but the phenomenon was short-lived and only a few features were shown in 3-D.

In the spring of 1988, an announcement was made that the theater was converted into two separate screening rooms, allowing for a larger number of first-run films to be shown each week. The trend was common nationwide, and construction was completed by the end of the year.

Cemetery (Greencastle, Iowa)

This simple cemetery monument may be the only sign to mark the once-thriving hamlet of Greencastle in rural Jasper County. The village was platted in August 1855, one of the earliest established in the county. Grandeur visions were evident in the town plat, which featured a spacious public square surround by numerous rows of lots. Within two years, a two-story school building was built and the business district flourished with multiple general stores, a blacksmith shop, and a vineyard.

When the railroad was built two miles to the north in 1885, an exodus began. Merchants packed their inventories and moved to the new town of Mingo. A town with fifteen businesses, two churches, five doctors and a large school, Greencastle shrunk as quickly as it grew. By 1895, only a handful of businesses remained, while the post office closed on December 31, 1901. The pictured cemetery monument sits near the entrance of the well-maintained Greencastle Cemetery, which lies in the southwest corner of the area where the village once stood.

Union Chapel (Near Ira, Iowa)

On February 22, 1877, a community meeting was held at the home of William Trammel to discuss the construction of a church on the site of Trammel Cemetery, which was established twenty years earlier. Trammel agreed to donate a plot of land to the east of the cemetery and by June 1877, plans were completed for construction of a $1,600 chapel building. The church was dedicated in December 1877 as the Lynn Grove Chapel, but was renamed Union Chapel the following year. Regular worship services were held until 1898; annual Memorial Day services continued through 1971.

Post Office 50208 (Newton, Iowa)

The first post office in the Jasper County seat of Newton was established in 1847, one year after the new county was commissioned. City delivery was established in 1899, with rural delivery from the Newton Post Office beginning in 1907. After a number of locations, including a rented building which was condemned in the early part of the twentieth century, the current facility was constructed in 1970.

Featuring a large loading platform and truck bed level, the one-story brick building contained over 21,000 square feet of space. The building may have been too big and too soon, as mail that was previously sorted in Newton was redirected to Des Moines around this time. Postal workers employed at the Newton location declined from 50 to 40 within a few years of opening the new building.