On June 30, 1957, Donald Leinen was named the acting postmaster at the Onslow Post Office in Jones County in eastern Iowa. His confirmation as permanent postmaster was sent to the Senate by President Eisenhower, with an official title change coming July 24, 1958. That year, he purchased a lot from the town and built a modern post office building which he leased to the government. The facility featured 111 new lock boxes for patrons, plus the latest government equipment for handling and sorting mail. Leinen served as Postmaster through 1983; the post office continues to operate out of the building today.
The brick Hotel Williams was constructed on Main Street in the Jones County town of Wyoming in 1878. After nearly a half-century of operation, it discontinued operation as a hotel in 1932. The historic building has been repurposed as a local historical museum featuring a wide variety of displays. The collection includes items from early Iowa drug stores, old-fashioned showing machines, farm kitchen items, and a replica dental office and barber shop. It’s open Thursdays through Saturdays, May through September, or by appointment at (563) 488-3975.
Today marks a milestone for the Iowa Backroads project: the final two stops in a 2+ year project to visit and photograph every community in Iowa. Residents of the Jones County town of Onslow, and friends of Iowa Backroads, are invited to join publisher Brian McMillin for a free lunch at the pictured Onslow Community Room today between 11 am and 1 pm. (Map)
By 1933, one prominent storefront on Onslow’s Main Street was showing considerable wear and facing possible condemnation. Mayor Sam Hutton shared the concerns about the building with his wife; the Onslow Centennial Book tells the story:
Mrs. Hutton, being much concerned about this situation, spent a very wakeful night, and the idea came to her mind to purchase it to be used for Community purposes. At the next meeting of the council it was agreed to accept Mrs. Hutton’s idea, so the town bought this run-down building from Mrs. Mary Noonan Jan. 5, 1934, for $75. They took $500 from the Onslow Charity Fund to start repairs.
Through the years, the council and community organizations have contributed toward upkeep and improvements, which included updated wiring, installation of a furnace, and construction of modern rest rooms. The Onslow Community Room has hosted numerous events and at times housed a town library, youth center, and local church services. The community room continues to be a gathering spot and is home to today’s Iowa Backroads celebration.