The first library in the Tama County town of Garwin opened its doors on August 29, 1936, with teas and wafers served throughout the afternoon to celebrate the occasion. Sharing space with a local dentist office, the library’s collection grew to 1,600 books within seven months with as many as 65 books checked out each day. The library was run exclusively by volunteers for over two decades, until a part-time librarian was hired in 1958. The library moved to its present location in March 1960. It continues to serve the community, open five days each week.
Postal service was established in the Tama County town of Vining in the spring of 1882, with resident Joseph Simon appointed as the first postmaster. He setup the post office inside his mercantile business store in time for the first piece of mail to arrive on May 1, 1882. Since January 1995, the post office has operated out of a back room of a private residence.
In the early 1900s, council members in the Tama County town of Vining held many meetings in the city jail, since the city hall building was not heated during winter months. This changed in 1962, when a 1,000-square-foot combination fire station and town hall building was dedicated. This served council members until 1972, when the old, one-stall fire station was remodeled to serve as city hall. The building remains functional today.
A community meeting was held on September 28, 1970, when two-dozen residents met to discuss the formation of a public library in Chelsea. A library committee was created shortly after the meeting, and fundraising began to establish a new library. After two years in a temporary location, the committee purchased the Chelsea Savings Bank building for use as a library when the bank decided to construct a new facility. An open house was held in the new library/city hall on June 10, 1973.
In June 1882, the town council in the Tama County town of Gladbrook began discussing digging a well and constructing a water tower for use for municipal water supply and fire protection. After a six-plus month hiatus, the issue was brought to an election, with voters overwhelmingly approving. In 1916, the town bought a Ford car and equipped it with chemical to fight fires. Construction began on the current fire station in the fall of 1962, with work completed by June 1963. The station was built entirely by donated labor at a cost of $12,000.