This concrete block building was constructed near the base of the water tower after the city water system was completed for Lovilia residents in 1957. While the building now exclusively is used for the water system, a portion of the building was originally used to store fire equipment. It also housed the city hall for several decades.
Residents of the Monroe County town of Lovilia were taken by surprise on June 30, 1976, when two men robbed the local branch of the State Bank of Bussey at gunpoint. The event was captured in detail in the Lovilia History Book published two years later:
One of the most exciting events to ever happen in Lovilia was a real live bank robbery in 1976. It was broad daylight, about 11:15 a.m. on June 30, 1976, when two men entered the Lovilia branch of the State Bank of Bussey. One man pulled a gun on bank manager Ed Beary, and the robbers took $1,400.
By the time the two robbers had fled and escaped through the wooded area behind the school. Sheriff and patrol cars, flashing lights, sirens and uniformed law officers soon appeared on the scene and a stunned crowd of people stood by.
The next 24 hour were filled with continued excitement. The search was underway for the culprits. Plane spotters were in the sky, falling over this area. Rumors were running wild and all possible connections were checked. Doors that previously had not been locked were secured that night; few people were on the streets after dark.
The book notes law enforcement officers arrested the two robbers in a barn near Marysville the following morning; the gun was found and money recovered.
Susie O’Bryan began her tenure as postmaster in the Monroe County town of Lovilia in 1926. When the post office moved to a a new office building a few years later, O’Bryan made her living quarters in the two back rooms. In Lovilia’s 1978 history book, the authors cite memories of picking up their mail during meal time and enjoying the delicious aromas from the postmaster’s cooking. O’Bryan served as the Lovilia postmaster through 1935.
The present brick post office building was constructed and dedicated in 1961.
By the end of 1919, school attendance in the Monroe County town of Lovilia had grown to the point classes were held in five different buildings labeled as “fire traps and unsanitary” by the Lovilla Press. Residents rallied around the issue and overwhelmingly passed a $42,000 bond issue to begin construction on a new school. Featuring modern brick and a full basement, the two-story, 60 x 90 feet building was completed in the fall of 1920.
In 1956, the Lovilia School District had 305 students, including many from students in Marysville and Hamilton, communities in adjacent Marion County. When the Marion county school board mandated students attended schools within their own county, Lovilia’s enrollment declined and plans were developed to consolidate schools in Melrose, Lovilia and Albia to a single district. Despite meetings and protests, reorganization went into effect with the last Lovilia High School class graduating in 1962.
Despite assurances that eight grades would remain in Lovilia, by 1977 only students through fourth grade remained in Lovilia. The school was shuttered entirely shortly after, with all students bussed to Albia. The school building today is privately owned.
If you’re looking for a quality steak, one of the best Southeastern Iowa destinations is Bogie’s Steak House.
My wife and I almost always order the extraordinarily tasty steak sandwiches, along with a baked potato and can of Coke. For an extra couple bucks, you can take a plate through their reasonably-well-stocked salad bar.
Even though I have always enjoyed dining at Bogie’s, I’m obliged to note it isn’t for everyone – vegetarians would have minimal choices and the atmosphere leaves something to be desired if you’re on a romantic date. Nonetheless, for hearty home-cooked meals, a trip to this Albia, Iowa, eatery is highly recommended.
Continue reading Feature: Bogie’s Steak House (Albia, Iowa)