Marieta's Retirement Ramblings

Appanoose County Genealogical Society at Drake Public Library, Centerville, Iowa


Another installment in finding Iowa’s genealogical treasures.

Appanoose County Genealogical Society
PO Box 684
Centerville, Iowa 52544-0684


When I sent an email to prepare for my visit, the response was pleasantly prompt. I was impressed!

Most societies would be very envious to have access to a room like this. However, at one time in the past the spacious room had lent itself to mischief. Probably twenty years ago, the entire microfilm collection was stolen! The current genealogy “brain-i-ac” (description by the librarian at the front desk when we visited) was a dispatcher for the local police department and was doing research for the department when the film disappeared. The police department raised the money to replace the collection! The microfilm no longer resides in the spacious room, but is under the watchful eye of the librarian.

In addition to the film being housed close to the librarian, several valuable genealogy books are stored under the librarian’s desk, out-of-sight of the casual browser.

All that still does not detract from the resources in the genealogy room. I was impressed by the many binders of photocopies of local records. Most of these weren’t transcriptions (prone to possible error), but copies, probably from microfilm, of the records. Yes, researchers could look at the microfilm, but many still like paper! Below is a list of many records reflected in this collection:

    *Adoption Records Index 1850-1926
    *Birth Records photocopies 1880-1934; index only 1937-1981
    *Burial Permits (late 1880s and 1890s)
    *Circuit-District Court Records (microfilm index)
    *Civil War Discharges 1861-1865
    *Death Records photocopies through Book 5 (1935); index only through Book 10
    *Declarations of Intent & Naturalizations
    *Divorce Records 1906-1971
    *Early Pioneer Stores (photocopies of stories from local newspapers)
    *Funeral Home Records (1893-1917)
    *Marriage Records
    *Miscellaneous Early 1900s Bonds (microfilm index)
    *Old Age Assistance Tax Records
    *Persons Subject to Military Duty (1877, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 89, 90, 91, 96 & 99)
    *Postoffices and Postmasters of Appanoose County, Iowa 1846 to 1988
    *Probate Index 1852-1988
    *Veterans Grave Registrations

When I checked the USGenWeb site for Appanoose County, I found that the society has several of the above publications available for purchase.

I saw a book that I wish I had in my library… it would be a good reference book. I’m fairly confident this book has not been digitized because it has been reprinted and is available on for purchase:

    Ingersoll, Lurton Dunham. Iowa and The Rebellion. A History of the Troops Furnished by the State of Iowa… Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott & Co., 1866.

A book that I was not familiar with would make interesting reading, but I wonder about its credibility:

    Kirkland, Frazar. The Pictorial Book of Anecdotes of the Rebellion or the Funny and Pathetic Side of the War. Hillsdale, Michigan: W. E. Allen & Co., 1888.

I enjoyed digging through the shelves here and wished I had ancestors to research in these records. The depth of the county records collection was beyond what I often find as I visit repositories.