Lucas County Historical Museum – Chariton, Iowa

Lucascountyhistorical.jpgLucas County Historical Museum – Chariton, Iowa

This museum is housed in a 1900s home decorated in turn-of-the-Century fashion and contains memorabilia of the Chariton area. The museum house was built by A. J. Stephens, Chariton contractor, in 1907-09 for the family home. The Lucas County Historical Society purchased the home in 1966 for $10,500. All restorations and additions were supported by contributions.

The Lucas County Historical Society Museum campus in west Chariton includes the restored 1908 A.J. Stephens house, John L. Lewis exhibit and administration building, Otterbein Church, Puckerbrush School, pioneer log cabin, authentic pioneer barn, Swanson technical gallery and a blacksmith shop. Tours begin in the Lewis Building.

Some items to look for: 90 year old piano… Chippendale mirror… walnut cradle and homespun cloth… 100 year old rocking chair… Raspberry Cluster tea set that is over 150 years old… pie safe… cooking utensils and much more.

Nearby in the complex are located an 1850 log cabin, 1800s barn, schoolhouse, and church. The John L. Lewis building contains memorabilia from early mining days in and around Chariton and Lucas.

Admission – Free

Directions –217 N. 17th

Hours – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday Memorial Day weekend through September 30; by appointment at other times.

Phone – (641) 774-4464 

E-mail address:



  1. Hugh Wallace says:

    I have an old sketch of the Otterbein Church done by an Elizabeth Tuttle, I grew up south of chariton, on the New York Road, at the time this church was on 14 south of town on the west side of the road facing east. the sketch of the church shows no windows, which is not how I or another person who as a kid (daughter of Cliff Sellers) went to that church remembers it, I understand the church is now with the museum and wondered if it has windows, would you happened to have photos of the church, thanks for whatever info you might be able to provide
    Hugh Wallace Watervliet, NY, 12189,

  2. Good morning Hugh,
    I have forwarded your inquiry on to the Chamber of Commerce in Chariton and requested they forward it to the appropriate person at the museum to respond to you.

    Thank you for contacting

  3. Doug Shuman says:


    I have read that Chariton used to be a jewelry and watch making town. I collect watches and have a very nice antique pocket watch movement marked “A. N. Wright, Charotin, IA”. I believe that A. N. Wright was a jeweler and watchmaker there around 1900. The movement is in perfect condition, runs when wound and keeps good time. The porcelain dial says “Hampden Watch Co.” so I would guess that A.N. Wright bought movements from Hampden and engraved his company name on them and made the gold cases.

    I would be willing to donate this watch movement to the museum there if they want to display it.

    Best Regards,

    Doug Shuman

  4. Good evening Doug,
    Since the Lucas County Historical Museum does not appear to have an email address I have forwarded your most generous offer to the Chamber and requested they have the museum contact you directly.
    What a wonderful offer. I hope you hear from them soon.

    Pat Watson, Editor

  5. Barbie-Lew says:

    Lois Dawson
    426 S. 7th
    Chariton, Iowa

    I note the above because I bought a craft booklet or mini magaziine dated November 1956. Lois Dawson was the addressee.

    The craft magazine was called The WorkBasket.

    Anyway, in the minute chance finding the original owners of this booklet. Might be interesting to find out how it ended up in St. Louis.

    Or…best luck… The family of Lois Dawson who lived at ^ address.

  6. I have forwarded your information on to the Lucas County Historical Society so you should receive a response from them. Good luck.

  7. I have an old plate of the May Church of Chariton, Iown organized in 1890. My grandmother Golda Barger (Adcock) attended the church as a child around 1900-1915. It has a description of the history of the church on the back and an image of the church on the front. It states the church was open from 1891 to 1962.

    Do you have any interest in this plate?

  8. I have forwarded your inquiry on to the Chariton Chamber of Commerce and requested that they get it to the right person to respond to you.
    It is very nice of you to offer the plate to the museum.


  9. Shari Robinson says:

    I’m seeking information about my family who lived in Chariton and Lucus County. E D Robinson and his wife Julia Ann Shamburg Robinson. They had several children. Glenn, Ralph, Miles, Dora, Clyde, Blanche. I am hoping to find someone who has some information about any of them.
    At one point they ED owned a house on Roland Ave. Julias Father was Daniel Shamburg her Mother was Regina Shamburg.
    If you have any information about any of these people Please contact me. I was born in Chariton and hope to visit there in 2011.

  10. I have forwarded your request to the Lucas County Historical Museum for a response.

  11. Duane Shamburg says:

    Shari Robinson. I am descended from Daniel Shamburg and Regina and have lots of information on the family. You can contact me at thanks

  12. Just a note letting everyone know that I’ve updated the Lucas County Historical Museum page on

  13. Phil Bown says:

    My father Dean Bown was prominent horse dealer across America in the 1930s-1960s. He also sent horses to Israel and there is a large photo my younger brother came across in cleaning out his basement the other day. It shows horses he shipped being locked on seaside dock.We would like to donate this photo with frame to the Historical Museum. Some 20 years ago, a lady contacted me asking if I had any thing of interest. I feel this would be perfect addition to your museum collection. I plan to visit Chariton over next Memorial Day weekend in May since I live in Dayton Ohio area. My brother now lives in Twin Cities area and occasionally visits in Des Moines area where his wife is from. I have not seen the picture and frame in some time but believe it to be in good condition. It would probably be best to contact my brother John at (763)553-1020. My email address is and home phone is (937)426-1501.

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