Another installment in the occasional series of looking for hidden genealogy gems:
Knoxville Public Library
213 East Montgomery
Knoxville, Iowa 50138
Library phone: 641-828-0585
The genealogy collection housed here belongs to the Marion County Genealogical Society and is one of my favorites. Over the years I’ve researched here a number of times tracing several ancestral family members who lived in Marion County prior to 1900. I have always been very impressed by the large amount of material packed into a very tiny room.
Upon arrival, I immediately noticed that the room looked awesome, as it is much better organized than I have ever seen it before. Just as we were beginning to look more closely at the collection, the president of the genealogy society happened to stop by to do a look up. We had a nice conversation. She explained their society is small, but active and that last April the handful of members totally reorganized the tiny room and made a complete inventory. She showed me a red notebook tucked away on a shelf with the list.
Besides an older microfilm reader that is sometimes a little touchy, they also have a film/computer reader/printer. The president told me the society is trying to bring the newspaper microfilm up to current. She also mentioned that the group would like to update its cemetery book and asked how my home county (neighboring Warren County) is doing ours.
Are any genealogical gems hiding here? Yes, this place has them; the collection is inclusive. The microfilm collection (inc. court records, wills, probates, guardianships, divorces, equity, etc. to about 1920), deed records and mortgages, and the newspaper collection are mostly detailed on lists on the Marion County USGenWeb page. The newspaper collection, however, is more current than indicated on those lists. The open shelves include funeral home records, obituaries, local histories, and family histories. In addition, I saw some books of Iowa interest here that I typically only see at the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI) and perhaps the Iowa Genealogical Society (IGS).
A brochure available for researchers in the genealogy room only gives a postal mailing address for the society:
Marion County Genealogical Society
PO Box 385
Knoxville, Iowa 50138-0385
Why didn’t I think of this prior to visiting? I should have brought a couple of my published articles to give to them, as they relate to people I researched here. (Note to self: assemble copies and prepare to give to them; I anticipate we’ll be travelling back through Knoxville in the near future as we continue our hidden treasure search.)
Anyway, it was good to visit this collection again, though I didn’t have any specific research to do on this day.