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ROAD TRIP, August 6th & 7th, 2009

URBANA SCHOOL No. 9, Poe Township

The Urbana School, located on its original site is four miles south of the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 169. The schoolhouse is stucco, perhaps the only stucco rural schoolhouse in Ringgold County.

WALNUT VALLEY SCHOOL No. 7, Washington Township

The Walnut Valley School No. 7, located two miles north of Mount Ayr on Highway 169, then two miles west on a gravel road (sits on the north side of the road) was closed in 1954. It is still on its original site. The school was used for storage. It has sustained tornado damage on the east side of the building.

Diagonal School

The Diagonal Community School was built in 1915.


100 E. 1st Street, Diagonal, Iowa

One of Ringgold County's gems is the Diagonal Printing Museum, located at the south end of Main Street.

The Diagonal Reporter was founded by Carson WILLIAMS when he closed out the Cash Grocery store and purchased printing equipment from Kansas City. WILLIAMS set up shop in what would later become the funeral home. On January 29, 1922, Thomas "Tom" WAFFLE of Lorimor purchased The Diagonal Reporter, owing it until his death in 1934. WAFFLE bought the Dr. A. E. JESSUP building in 1922 and moved the paper into this building. Harold TURNBULL joined WAFFLE as an apprentice in 1922. WAFFLE bought a linotype in 1924, which is on display at the museum. After WAFFLE's death, The Diagonal Reporter went into an estate which was managed by TURNBULL for three years until he purchased the paper on January 14, 1937. Mildred, Harold TURNBULL's wife, joined the paper staff in 1940. After a period of fifty years with The Reporter, Harold retired due to health reasons. Helen TERRY of Mount Ayr purchased the paper and ran it for seven years before the publication ceased.

The Mergenthaler linotype which WAFFLE purchased in 1924 is still in operating conditon, housed on the first floor of the museum. Other smaller presses are on display along with cases of hand type and a Chandler-Price hand-fed press.

The second floor of the museum houses several displays, including items of the Bohemian settlers and residents of Ringgold County. Several items from Diagonal Community School and World War I uniforms are also on display.

Also housed on the second floor of the museum is a diorama of the town of Knowlton. The diorama was created from known photographs of the town.

Hours for Diagonal Printing Musuem are from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The museum is also open by appointment, phone (515) 734-5540. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.

Betty Jo RUBY will conduct genealogical research. She may be reached at the following address:
202 Adams Street, Diagonal, Iowa 50845-1001


The First Baptist Church of Delphos was constructed in 1921, using materials from the Maloy Baptist Church which was being torn down at this time. The bell behind the Delphos Church came from Maloy's Church. The cornerstone of Delphos' First Baptist Church was laid on November 7, 1921. Dedication Day was on Sunday, May 14, 1922. There haven't been any services at the church for some time.

There is a mini-museum housed within the First Baptist Church of Delphos. The little museum includes a post office display, trophies won by Delphos high school teams, and photograph albums. Marilyn JOHNSON and Viriginia STEPHENSON are working to turn the church into a museum. They have applied for a grant which was denied. Marilyn and Virginia work with what they have and would appreciate donations of Delphos items. The museum is open by appointment.
Contacts: Marilyn JOHNSON (641) 785-2358  Virginia STEPHENSON (641) 785-2317

Some of Delphos High School's Trophies


The Heritage House, a restored one-room schoolhouse, has been converted to a convention center and meeting hall is available for rent, for functions and gatherings and can serve parties of up to sixty individuals. Lesanville Pavillion has been added to the little community and is located near the main barn. This facility can be used for weddings, reunions, and large gatherings.


There is a small museum and genealogical center housed in the back of the Benton Community Center. Benton School's trophies and class composite photographs are on display. There are photographs of Benton families, Benton School annuals, plat maps and atlases. The community center is open by appointment. It is also open every 2nd Saturday of the month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the town's Breakfast for Supper during which biscuits and gravy, ham, eggs, pancakes, and sausage are served for the price of a free-will donation.


The Foland School, a one-room schoolhouse, was moved from Richland Township, Decatur County, to the schoolgrounds at Kellerton in the early 1960's and used as a band and chorus room. Upon the closing of Grand Valley Community School in the 1990's, the schoolhouse was moved uptown and slated to become a museum. The trophies, class composite photographs, and school memoriabilia for Kellerton School and Grand Valley High School are housed here along with copies of the "Tomahawk" and "Tiger Rag" school annuals. The encyclopedia from the high school library is also in the museum. Open by appointment only. Contact Kathy STILL or Jan HOLMES
103 W. 9th Avenue, Kellerton, Iowa 50133  (641) 783-2123

As a result of this road trip, a new page for Ringgold County's nuggets of history and genealogical resources has been created. Here is a listing of publications that are still in print and where to find them.

A very special thank you to Mike Avitt who served as my tour guide. Without his help this and Ringgold's 'nugget' page would not have been possible.

Photographs & submission by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2009

To contribute to Ringgold County's church pages, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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