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Clinton County Historical Society 

Established in 1965 to preserve, promote, and display the history of the residents as they lived, played and worked. The museum building is a historical landmark dating from 1858. Originally used as a Commission House for steamboats, it was sold to the Oakes family in 1880 for their lumber yard. The operation continued until 1983. In 1995, the building was purchased by the CCHS to develop into a museum.

The Clinton Co. Historical Museum and Library is in downtown Clinton at 601 South 1st Street. It is one half block west of the southern end of Riverview Dr.

Hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturdays by appointment and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Special tours at other times by prior arrangement.

The purpose of the Museum is to preserve and interpret historical artifacts which have been donated to the museum by the public. Included in the collection are many historical documents and photographs along with items used in various exhibits.

The CCHS is an all-volunteer organization. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed. Please contact the us at 242-1201 for more info.

Research Library

The Clinton County Historical Museum has a research library which is open to the public during Museum hours. Information and photographs of Clinton County history are available. Research requests are always welcome and will be answered in the order they are received. We do not charge for our research, however, we request a donation for copies, postage and time spent. The donations are appreciated and help keep the museum open and running.

Naturalization Records. 

The museum has received the courthouse's Naturalization records and are in the process of indexing them to make the information available for genealogists to use.  Indexing is complete for all the books!   Inquiries are welcomed and will send the information as they come upon it as indexing occurs. Each inquiry will receive a certificate matching the information found for that person.  Each certificate will be available for $5 for each certificate for members or $10 for non-members.


The Friends of Clinton County Family History have walked almost every cemetery in the county and have donated copies of their findings to the research library of the Clinton County Historical Society.  They have graciously let us put info for each cemetery online.

Also available is a wonderful card file donated by a member of the American Legion.  Each card has info on military burials in the county.

Vital Records

The library has many of Clinton county's vital records available.  They have recently purchased a microfilm reader and have films of marriage, birth and death records.  Info on these microfilm include delayed births and info from 1921-1941.

You will also find the original will books that were donated to the Clinton County Historical Society by the courthouse, along with many other pre-1900 books.

The libraryalso has a card catalog which contains many obituaries from the Clinton area.

School Info

  • Yearbooks from Clinton High 1900-1986
  • Lyons Yearbooks
  • All yearbooks from Wartburg College
  • Some yearbooks from the OLA (Our Lady of Angels) Girls School. 
  • They also have material from the Scovill Business School.
  • They have many large, beautiful class pictures on display.

Oral Histories

The Clinton County Historical Society has over 100 oral histories on cassette and fully transcribed. Following is a list of those who have given interviews. Carol has also made a complete index of every name and place mentioned in the interviews.

We would Love to add Your interview to the list! Please contact us at or give us a call to set up an interview. (We would also love to interview military veterans - those tapes would also be sent to the Library of Congress for their Veteran's History Project.)

Other things

  • County Assessor Books
  • An 1871 Historical Sketch of Clinton County by George Allen (indexed).  This is the earliest known history written about CC.  They are currently preparing to re-publish this book.  If you would like to let them know that you would be interested in purchasing a copy, please email Jan at  
  • Township and county histories
  • Many Atlases.  They are getting an 1865 map of CC with names of the farmers written on it.  It is very large and they can't wait to display it.  I can't wait to see it!!
  • They also have a lot of Plat Maps and Farm Directory books. These list land owners and sometimes renters as well. Many of them are indexed by name.
  • They have minutes from the German Ladies Auxiliary meetings which include member's names, dues, etc.
  • Lots of cookbooks done over the years by various organizations.  (Can you imagine the thrill of finding Grandma's recipe?!)
  • And the photos!  So many photos  of people and places.  (I just love pictures!) Most they have identified but some they have not.  Maybe we will get some of those online and you can help tell us who they are.  
    • Pioneer Certificate family group sheets, indexed.  There was a gene society which offered Pioneer Certificates if you sent in family group sheets.  The Historical Society has these group sheets and the names are all indexed.
    • Lots of military info including Civil War & GAR.

    Family Histories

    They have the following family histories which are either published book type things or submissions by regular Joes like you and me:

    • Ross
    • Hansen
    • Byron R. Pinney Family
    • 87 Year True Life History of T. H. J. Leckband
    • The Shaff Family: 150 Years in Iowa

    There is so much more at the Clinton County Historical Society.  I hope to list more items here.  There are also lots of items that they haven't been prepared for public viewing yet, another whole room full.  They hope to have this done and open soon.   I will be working to get some of it online.  I tried to get Jan to rent me a room there so I would never have to leave!  I'd probably end up without a job or husband, so it's probably a good thing she said no!

    Research Requests should be mailed to:

    Clinton County Historical Society Museum
    Dept IAGW
    PO Box 2435
    Clinton, IA 52732

    OR Email Jan at

    Please join them on FaceBook as well.