Genealogy society move

Items from the Wapello County Genealogy Society library are loaded onto a moving truck Thursday. The organization was moving into its new space at the Wapello Building.

OTTUMWA — The Wapello County Genealogy Society has found a new home for its library, and members were busy moving items to it Thursday.

Bill Hansen, newsletter editor for the society, said the group has found space in the Wapello Building on West Main Street.

By the afternoon, most of the items had been moved from the former space Wapello County Historical Museum, and it was time to start getting things organized.

“We have three rooms there. Now it’s a matter of fitting everything from one big room into three smaller rooms, but I actually think we have more space now,” Hansen said.

When the need to move came about due to a rent increase — from $125 to $300 per month — the organization sought help in finding anew location.

“We’re a very low-cost, low-budget organization. It was just at the point we couldn’t afford that,” he said.

After looking at a few options that didn’t quite fit the needs, Hansen said the Wapello County Board of Supervisors thought they might have a space, and the rental agreement was recently approved at a board meeting.

“We’ll pay a little more than we did at the historical society, but it’s within our budget,” he said.

A moving company was brought in to help with the move, Hansen said, due to the average age of the members. "There was now way we could move ourselves. It will stretch our budget, but we'll survive."

As items were moved Thursday, members expressed excitement for the new location and an eagerness to see how it all comes together. There was talk about the possibility of new hours to fit around the schedule of county offices located in the same building. One even mentioned the possibility of an open house once they get settled.

“We’re talking about it,” Hansen said. “We don’t know how long it will take use to pack away all this material. It’s going to take awhile, so we don’t want to set any dates yet.”

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at


Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.