While the rural Wapello County hamlet of Christiansburg saw its restaurant, gas station and general store shutter after Highway 34 was rerouted in the early 1960s. While only a few homes remain, the unincorporated village has been home to a United Methodist Church since 1850.
In that year, three families gathered at James M. Chisman’s home for worship services led by Reverend W.A. Nye. Services were later moved to the the log school before the present building was constructed in 1886. In 1928, the building was raised to allow the addition of a full basement. Electric lights were added in 1946, while 1962 brought running water to the church facility.
Postal service was established in Wapello County seat of Ottumwa in January 1844, nearly two years before Iowa became the 29th state of the union. In 1912, the post office temporarily operated from the old armory while a new stone Federal Building was constructed in downtown Ottumwa. The three-story building housed postal services until the 1964, when the post office was moved to its current location.
The first post office in Wapello County was established in the community of Sac and Fox Agency on December 23, 1843. By 1849, the name of the office was changed to Agency City, with the word “City” officially dropped from the name in 1883. Since 1938, the Post Office has been located in a two-story brick building which houses the City Hall, Public Library and Olive Branch Masonic Lodge #21.
The Christian Church in the unincorporated Wapello County hamlet of Bladensburg was dedicated July 3, 1904, less than a year after the previous church building was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire. In 1951, the building was raised for construction of a basement, along with the installation of an updated furnace, kitchen utilities, and front doors. A pastor is shared with a Christian Church in Ottumwa.
A new Lutheran Church was organized in 1856 in the hamlet of Munterville, located 10 miles west of Ottumwa in rural Wapello County. Twenty-two Swedish families were charter members of the church, which met in homes until the first church was constructed in 1865. Services were initially held only in Swedish, but the arrival of English-speaking residents led the church to limit and ultimately end Swedish language services.
The present church building was dedicated in 1901; it was renovated and significantly expanded in 1956.