Monroe County Historical Museum – Albia, Iowa

MonroeCountyHistorical.gifMonroe County Historical Museum – Albia, Iowa

Visit the Monroe County Historical Museum and the historical setting of stores and homes in the village of Albia, Iowa. The museum has a reconstructed coal mine shaft with authentic equipment and real coal. Also on display are a pair of slippers that were worn on the Ziegfield Follies stage.

Albia is a community that has restored their downtown to it’s original, turn-of-the century elegance. The entire 92 building business district, the courthouse and several homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Monroe County Museum was founded in 1984 by the Monroe County Historical Society. It is located in the "Electric Car Barn" which was used for maintenance of the electric cars for the Albia Interurban Electric Railway. The line, established in 1907, connected the coal-mining communities of Hiteman and Hocking with two depots in Albia. This gave miners an opportunity to trade in Albia. The cars, owned and operated by the Albia Light and Railway Company, transported shoppers and miners until 1928. At that time the building was used for storage and then, in the mid-1970′s, the building was converted for use by the Albia High School for shop classes.

The museum has established four period rooms where you can enjoy a moment in the daily life of a Monroe County pioneer family.
*kitchen – featuring a coal range

*living room – featuring a mechanical record player and 78′s

*dining room – featuring a table and full set of china

*bedroom – featuring a child’s bed, a straw tick adult bed, and a thunder mug

This site is definately one you will want to visit to get a taste of the earlier life of a settler in Iowa.

Location: 114 A. Ave. E., Albia, Iowa

Hours: 1 – 4 on weekends May through October and by appointment.

Phone: 641-932-7046

Admission is free to the public with a free-will donation being accepted. Albia museum train caboose.jpg  This is a picture of photo of the Albia, IA, EJ&E caboose fake painted as CB&Q 13555  real caboose.jpg This is the actual CB&Q 13555 and what it would look like.  Thank you Mr. Kirkpatrick for the photos and the informatuion.



  1. We had a request for a picture of the caboose at the Monroe County Historical Museum, then Mr. Kirkpatrick found one and sent it with a picture of the actual type. I have posted both of them on the site. Thanks Roger!

  2. Barbara says:

    I would love for you to be open during the week for few hours.
    I understand volunteers are needed to accomplish this.
    I am looking for relatives that worked in and around the
    Monroe/Appanoose area. William Chesser was father with
    several children born in this area. I believe they worked
    for the coal mines.

  3. jim seibert says:

    I have a picture of the members of the Albia Fire Department taken in front of the fire station on North main in 1942. It’s a picture of the fire truck with the ladders built above. The picture does not contain names of the members. Where would you suggest I go to locate these men’s names. Thank you.

    Jim Seibert
    Eagle Grove, IA. 50533

  4. Susan Kelly Templin says:

    The building was actually converted for use by the High School for shop classes in the mid-1960′s(not the 1970′s). While in high school, I worked with my father, Jim Kelly, of Kelly Electric, to do the conversion electrical wiring in the new building. I climbed scaffolding clear up to the old high ceilings to run wires, and helped to put together and hang the light fixtures and put in electrical outlets and light switches.
    Later, after the building was opened, I wanted to take the electricity classes that were offered as part of the curriculum. “No,” said school administrators. I would have been the only girl in the building in the fall of 1964 and they did not feel that that was “prudent.” Next spring, in the Senior Class Will, I left my knowledge of electricity to Mr. Kimmel, the electricity class teacher. We felt that maybe he could benefit from my experience.

  5. Beverly Brayton says:


    Volume 1D Page 204
    Born: Tuesday April 30, 1901 at 1 a.m.
    Place of Birth: Knox Township, Brantwood, WI Price County
    Siblings: Jacobina & Majus (sp?)
    FATHER: Rasmus R. West – a farmer
    MOTHER: Petrine (Petrena) Henrickson
    Birthplace of Father & Mother: Denmark

    Volume 41 Page 313
    Born: August 18, 1903
    Father: Albert West
    Mother: Petrine Henrickson West
    Place: Brantwood, WI Price County

    Volume 1F Page 262
    Born: Tuesday June 06, 1905
    Father: Rasmus West
    Mother: Petrine Henrickson
    Siblings: Bina, Marius, Magie, Added (sp?)
    Birthplace of mother & father: Denmark

    No entry for Adeline West – dob 5-26-1902 Price County

  6. Courtney Ring says:

    Might anyone have any information on the Clarkson family that lived in Hiteman and Albia? Philip (1909), Chester (12-5-1910), George (2-23-1913), John (7-27-1915), Louis (1919), and Patricia (1928) were born in Hiteman and Albia. They were the children of John Clarkson (5-4-1886 in Lucas, IA) and Signa Anderson (4-20-1887 in Sweden). I’m looking for any stories, addresses, occupations, or any other information. I would love to visit Albia someday, but funds to not permit it right now. Thanks!

  7. Pam Palmer says:

    We visited the Museum this past weekend (July 30 & 31)! We found so much information and pictures of family members!!! What a fantastic place to visit! They were so pleasant and even the small children had a great time! We will definately be planning a trip back. They made copies of documents for us and allowed us to browse through year books an other directories. We became members for $20/year. We will definately need to visit again so that we can spend the entire weekend there…so much to see.
    Pam Palmer – Mayor of Adamsville, Alabama

  8. lynn west says:

    Looking for info about my gt grnfather joshua west. lived in albia ia in 1900 with his wife margret and 4 children

  9. Cathy Mathias says:

    Looking for any information on the Mathias, Rader, Stocker families from Monroe County including hiteman, hynes, albia, avery, blakesburg. The Mathias family (Lewis, Guy, Joe) and possibly others were coal miners there in the late 18s ealy 1900s. Thanks

  10. Janet Ritchie, Pres. Marion Co. Hist. Soc. says:

    Looking for photo & info on Pete Abington of Lovilia. He had a horse drawn popcorn/peanut wagon that was in Knoxville and is now possession of the Marion Co. Hist Soc. He also had a Model A pickup with box on back for ice cream & popsicles which he kept cold with dry ice. He had lived in Buxton in 1920 census and shows he was the ice deliverer.

  11. Don Wishart says:

    I was born in Melrose in 1940. My mother’s maiden name was Stasia Logan (parents were Pat and Mary). My father’s name was Harlan (Bud) Wishart. The Logan family had in their possession some daily account books from a general merchandise and hardware store operated in Melrose by L.J. Heiserman. Earliest dates I can find on accounts are 1888-89.

    I am willing to donate these account books (three) to the historical museum if there is interest in having such items. The books are in reasonably good condition considering their age, but would not tolerate extreme handling. Most names in the books would be very familiar to Monroe County residents, especially those with Melrose family roots.

    Please contact me if this offer is interesting. Address is 4021 Arkansas Drive, Ames, IA 50014
    Phone is 515-292-4059, cell is 515-708-1468
    (Don Wishart)

  12. Wendy Daniels says:

    I am looking for any information about my Great Grandfather George Thompson (born Leeds England) who is listed as living in Albia Iowa during June 1920. His address is stated as 201 Clinton Street, and occupation Boiler Maker.

    His wife, and my Great Grandmohter, Billie Lyons has a St. Louis MO address listed on my Grandfathers birth certificate. Any information would be greatly appriciated!

    Please contact me at:

    Thank you!

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