These welcome signs are located along State Highway 3 on the edge of the community of Meriden in Cherokee County. Now home to 184 residents, the community’s origins can be traced to December 1869 when railroad construction from Sioux City stopped there for the winter. A small grocery store business grew into a town, originally called Hazard, one of several area communities named for early settler John Blair. According to the WPA Guide to 1930s Iowa, “townspeople had no love for Mr. Blair” and the town was renamed Meriden in 1878. No evidence remains as to why the Meriden name was chosen.