The earliest settlers to the Page County village now known as Shambaugh faced a 120-mile round trip tor each the nearest post office in Savannah, Missouri. The trip took two to three days each way, due to the absence of paved roads and bridges. Settlers took turns going in for the mail and brought provisions in large quantity. The trip was made shorter when an office was established 35 miles away in Marysville, Missouri, and again in April 1870, when a location was established five miles south of town by the name of Nodaway Mills Post Office.
The Nodaway Mills location was moved to the north and renamed as the Shambaugh Post Office on January 23, 1880. The post office has been located in its current building since 1957.
In spring 1981, the Henderson and King families donated a large collection of books to the Page County community of Coin to be used to establish a public library. In May, Coin Mayor Mike Irvin appointed a committee to serve as board members for the library; they worked quickly, and the Coin Public Library was established the following month. After quick stints in an old schoolhouse and local church, the library was moved to its present building on Main Street.
Clevia Williams, a retired school teacher, Coin councilwoman and self-taught librarian, was very instrumental in developing, expanding, cataloging and organizing the early library collection. Her work is memorialized with a special bookshelf within the library. While the library is stocked primarily with donated books, memorials and gifts have allowed a few new books to be purchased each year.
The Coin Public is staffed entirely by volunteers, with financial support for utilities and other maintenance expenses coming from the city, county, and annual fundraising events. To contribute to the small library, funds or books can be mailed to 115 Main Street, Coin, Iowa 51636. The library is open six days weekly.
The first Methodist church was organized in the Page County town of Shambaugh in 1885, following a successful revival meeting held in the community. Work completed on the first church building in 1891, a frame structure measuring 30 x 44 feet constructed at a cost of $1,000. The present church was moved to its present location in 1917, which featured a new basement containing a furnace room, kitchen and fellowship hall. The church was dedicated at its new site in 1918.
On February 15, 1939, members of the Page County community of Essex met in the city hall with the goal of establishing a city library. A library board was created, and in their next meeting determined to make a house-to-house canvass of the town seeking donations and books. Their efforts were quickly rewarded, and a library opened within the city hall building in April 1939. By 1956, the library moved from its city hall space to a portion of a local bank building. The most recent move was a decade ago, when the library moved to a new 5,000-square-foot facility in downtown Essex. The design features ample natural lighting, exposed wood trusses, and the ability to expand by up to 30% within the new building.
Further Reading: Read more about the Lied Foundation, which provided significant funding for the library project, in this article from the Lawrence (Kansas) World-Journal.
Interest in a Methodist Church in the Page County town of Braddyville began as early as 1840, coinciding with the community’s first settlers. In the 1860s, a circuit was formed, with a minister traveling by horse to hold church services in Braddyville and surrounding hamlets. As the town grew, so did the congregation of the Methodist Church, and in 1900, the church building was significantly expanded in 1900. Major improvements continued with technology advances, such as the installation of electric wiring and the installation of a new coal furnace.
In 1947, the growing youth group worked with Pastor Clarence Wollard to raise funds to add a basement to the church. Money came in quickly, and soon dirt was moved beneath the church to make way for the basement, which has been remodeled and enlarged twice since. A major remodeling project began in the sanctuary in 1961 with the installation of a new alter, refinished pews, and new carpet. A dedication service was held in June 1963.
While a March 29, 1979, tornado caused significant damage, the sanctuary remained intact and became a gathering center for clothing, food, and household goods. The basement was used to feed volunteers who helped with town cleanup and served as the headquarters for the Salvation Army’s presence in Braddyville. Improvements to the church continued, with new stained glass windows in 1984, new siding in 1992, a new roof in 1998, and new front doors in 2001.
Two pastors serve the Braddyville church along with others in Blanchard, Coin, Locust Grove, Northboro, Norwich, and Shambaugh. The church has about 40 members with Sunday attendance averaging 20.