Built in 1980 and expanded in 1987, this beautiful limestone structure serves as the center of our complex and a site for community activities. All of the items in the museum have been donated by people from Madison County, or those who have roots in the county.

Some of the articles on display are quilts, glassware, furniture, Indian artifacts, military memorabilia, and even a drum used in the Civil War. The medical bag of Dr. Jessie V. Smith, the doctor who delivered John Wayne, is one of our prized possessions. One room is a local history library. We have a very unique and extensive rock collection. Early Madison County advertising artifacts are housed in several cases. The museum is also home to deer antlers that are the third largest “non typical” rack found in Iowa and the 82nd largest in the world. It is truly a place where one could spend hours!


Transportation through the years on display


Large rock and fossil collection donated by Amel Priest

European Doll Collection
European dolls European dolls

A doll collection brought back from Europe after World War II by Emma Mueller Chaffee is on display with a scrapbook of Emma’s writings describing the horrible conditions of the war.

Military Section

Our extensive military section houses uniforms and other military memorabilia from all branches of the armed forces—even for the women—both contemporary gear and older materials dating back to the Civil War.





  Rediscover a time gone by as you explore the Madison County Historical Complex.



Old-time Ads

Click here to view samples of old-time ads