A white frame building constructed in 1884 served as the first Methodist church in the Mills County town of Pacific Junction. In 1921, the building was sold to the local I.O.O.F. Lodge, and a new and larger brick church was constructed. The brick building served the congregation until December 9, 1945, when it was completely destroyed by fire. Services were temporarily held in the Pacific Junction school and gymnasium, until a restaurant building was purchased and remodeled in the fall of 1946. The bell tower was added to the church in 1985. The pastor also serves churches in Silver City and Hillsdale.
Constructed in 1915, the Mills County Jail continues to hold prisoners while serving as the main offices for the Mills County Sheriff’s Department. The first county jail was built in 1853 of logs and heavy planks, secured by heavy spikes driven in at regular distances. In 1869, a second jail was constructed, which served the county until the third and present jail was built. A committee is currently looking at construction of a new Mills County Law Enforcement Center, though previous attempts to issue a bond for new jail construction have failed.
Built at a cost of $320,000, the present-day Mills County Courthouse was officially dedicated on August 29, 1959. The modern building replaced an aging brick courthouse that served the county for the previous 100 years. The prior courthouse served as the home of the county’s first newspaper and as a temporary barracks for Civil War troops in 1961. Located in southwestern Iowa, Mills County has a population of 14,547.
Located on the north side of the square in downtown Glenwood, Iowa, the Rex Theatre has been showing movies since 1909. Originally built as a live performance house, the building was constructed by the local Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1891. Many aspects of the historic building have been preserved, including some of the original hardwood floors and tin and plaster drop ceilings along with the ornate stained glass window on the second floor.
The theatre has been under the same ownership since 2001, when local resident William McGinnis purchased the business after seeing a for-sale ad in the Glenwood newspaper. Movies are shown each Friday and Saturday night, with an occasional Sunday matinée. The theatre caters to families, with no R-rated movies shown and a reasonable $5.00 admission cost. Note the theatre is closed during the winter months to save on maintenance costs; when movies resume, call (712) 527-4433 for showtimes.
The current public library in the Mills County community of Silver City moved to its current location in January 1985, following a two-year fund-raising campaign to construct the new 22 x 56 foot building. Open four days each week, the library serves the 259 residents in Silver City, along with those in nearby rural areas. The library’s small budget is supplemented by an annual Ice Cream Social and fund-raising efforts of the Friends of the Silver City Library committee.