The United Methodist Church in the Wapello County community of Kirkville can trace its history to 1844, when a group was organized by Rev. T.M. Kirkpatrick, based in nearby Eddyville. After meetings in homes and a local schoolhouse, a new church building was constructed and dedicated in 1853. The present church was constructed around the turn of the century; in 1917, a basement was added and the sanctuary was reconfigured.
Established in 1855, the rural Wapello Community hamlet of Bladensburg was once a bustling community. At its prime, Bladensburg was home to 200 residents, three general stores, two blacksmith shops, a sawmill, flour mill and school. When the railroad lines and highways bypassed the town, residents left and businesses shuttered; the post office was closed in 1916. The pictured Community Hall is one of a handful of remaining buildings in Bladensburg. It was originally constructed as a Methodist Church, which was dedicated in January 1870.
In 1851, the first Catholic Church was constructed in the Wapello County seat of Ottumwa, in the downtown district north of the Des Moines River. A second church was constructed on the south side of the river 1883, with the pictured Sacred Heart Catholic Church constructed at the eastern end of the city in 1897. The parish operated for a century before closing in 1997.
The public library in the Wapello County town of Agency first opened on March 6, 1940. Volunteer workers from the local PTA and newly-formed library board created the library’s first card catalog. The library is located in a two-story brick building on Main Street, between the community’s City Hall and Post Office. It’s open 7 days a week; for updates, check out its Facebook page.
On April 26, 1866, a meeting was held in the now non-existant Wapello County hamlet of Competine to establish a new Baptist Church. The meeting was initiated by twelve former members of Baptist churches in the nearby towns of Martinsburg and Fremont, and charter members totaled 27. After a few meetings in the local school house, a permanent church was constructed in June 1867. After burning to the ground in 1891, a committee was appointed to solicit funds for a new building. The new and larger church building was dedicated December 11, 1893.
By June 1908, church members determined the church would be better suited in the growing (but unincorporated) community of Farson, one mile to the west. full basement and foundation was put into place and in October 1908, the church was moved via horses and rollers to its new location. The first meeting in Farson was January 2, 1909, and the church was rededicated on January 24. The church has seen a few changes over the years, including the removal of the steeple and creation of a ground-level entryway. The original steeple bell is mounted on a brick foundation in front of the church.