In 1874, a Methodist church was established in a country school building one-half mile south of the present Ringgold County town of Redding.By the turn of the century, a new building was constructed within the Redding city limits, with a significant remodeling project completed in 1905. In 1912, the church was raised and a basement was added, while a kitchen was added to the lower level in 1954.
On October 29, 1879, the post office at Cross was discontinued and Postmaster Fred A. Brown was moved to work at the newly-established Kellerton Post Office. Service started in the postmaster’s home and changed locations several times before 1931, when then-Postmaster Smiley B. Hedges purchased the former Ringgold County Savings Bank building for use as the post office. The present brick Kellerton Post Office facility was built in and dedicated in the fall of 1961.
Postal service was established in the Ringgold County seat of Mount Ayr in August 1855. Like many towns in Iowa, the first Post Office was located within the postmaster’s home, and shifted to many residential and commercial locations over its first eighty years. In August 1939, plans arrived to construct a new post office of brick and yellow monsota stone on the northwest corner of the town square. Featuring two stories, marble interior accents, and a colored terrazzo floor, construction cost for the new facility totaled $75,000.
The new Mount Ayr Post Office was formally dedicated August 22, 1940, with the superintendent of schools serving as master of ceremonies. A highlight of the historic post office is a 6-foot 8-inch by 11-foot mural in the lobby titled “Corn Parade.” Painted by local artist Orr C. Fisher, it’s one of 36 murals painted in the state from funds via the Works Progress Administration.
The Hazel Glen one-room schoolhouse was originally constructed in 1912 to serve students in Washington Tonwship in western Ringgold County. When the county school was closed, the building was moved to the school grounds in the county seat of Mount Ayr where it was used as a classroom until 1979. The century-old school has since been restored and is now part of the Pioneer Museum complex in Ellston. It’s open summer Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 or by appointment at (641) 464-2140.
By 1921, poor quality of the brick walls and a lack of drain tiles caused dangerous cracks in the forty-year-old Ringgold County Courthouse. That year, it was condemned as unsafe for use by the state architect and county offices were forced to move to a garage building located on the northwest side of the square. The condemned courthouse was demolished and voters were asked to approve construction of a new courthouse in the seat of Mount Ayr.
Five votes were required before a bond issue of $150,000 was approved by voters, with a vote of 2,295 to 1,703. Construction started in September 1926, and the first county offices moved into the new facility in October 1927. Constructed of brick and reinforced concrete, the three-story Ringgold County Courthouse was formally dedicated November 12, 1927. Speakers included Iowa Governor John Hammill, with several Iowa Supreme Court Justices and other state officers present.
Minor changes have been made since the building’s construction, the most notable being the installation of aluminum windows and doors in 1975.