Historical Society of Marshall County
The Historical Society is exclusively funded through the Sower Trust, membership dues, and private donations. We receive no financial support from any municipal, county, or state source.
Our organization has been enriching the lives of Marshall County residents and visitors in countless ways since 1908. Examples of our benefits are:
- Preserving and protecting artifacts for future generations.
- Our wonderful Museum, open 30 hours per week and by appointment. Visitors are given tours and provided assistance with historical and genealogical research. All Marshalltown 3rd grade students tour the Museum.
- Central Iowa Genealogical Society’s library is housed in the Museum, and assists guests with research.
- We maintain the Glick-Sower Victorian house museum. All Marshalltown 3rd grade students tour the house.
- We maintain the 1913 Taylor #4 Country School which provides free, full-day reenactments for all Marshall County 4th grade children.
- We oversee the Edel Blacksmith Shop in Haverhill.
- We give free monthly programs on historical topics at our Museum.
- We provide speakers for other community organization events.
- The Museum is available to the public for private meetings and catered events.
Our Historical Society is in its 108th year of operation. Please help us continue to keep history alive in Marshall County. We need your ongoing support in order to sustain this very important community-dedicated organization. We would be very grateful for your tax-deductible gift.
To become a member or donate, you can mail your check to the address below, or click on the link to donate through PayPal. Thank you for your support!
Historical Society of Marshall County
202 East Church Street, Marshalltown, IA 50158
From The State Historical Society of Iowa...Help us preserve Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop!
The Legacy of Blacksmith Matthew Edel
When you step into the Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop in Haverhill, Iowa, you’re transported back to the turn of the 20th century. Matthew Edel was a German immigrant who owned the shop from 1883 until his death in 1940, when the shop and all its contents virtually froze in time. He was a wagon maker, a wheelwright and a farrier. He registered patents for a number of machines and tools. He even made beautiful iron crosses to mark cemetery graves.
The Challenges and the Project
The Edel family donated the shop to the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1986, and the contents of the shop were catalogued according to museum standards of the time. Since then, it has become apparent that the original documentation of the site’s 4,486 artifacts is incomplete. What’s more, being in their original setting, the collection is exposed to light, humidity and the cycle of Iowa’s hot summers and cold winters. This environment has left a number of the artifacts showing symptoms of severe deterioration.
With your help, we’ll be able to conserve the Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop for future generations. This can be achieved by conducting a thorough inventory of all the artifacts and applying modern conservation techniques to the collection. These efforts will provide researchers and the general public a deeper understanding of the collection as well as better online access.
The Family’s Vision
The Edel family continues to play an important role in the shop’s preservation and educational programming. And now, Matthew Edel’s great-great-grandson has generously offered to match up to $10,000 of all the funds we can raise for the new project! All donations made by Dec. 20, 2016, were included in the matching campaign.
Future contributions can be made online at iowaculture.gov/support or by mailing a check made out to the Iowa Historical Foundation, at 600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA, 50319. Please note in the check’s memo line that the donation is for the Matthew Edel project.
We thank the Edel family for their ongoing contributions to keep the shop’s history alive, and we thank you for your support.
Susan Kloewer - Administrator
Jen Bancescu - State Historic Sites Manager
State Historical Society of Iowa