Exploring Austinville, an unincorporated farming community in Butler County

March 28, 2019

I do not know how many communities in Iowa are legally unincorporated but still have their own zip code. There's at least one because on a recent Saturday, I spent some time exploring Austinville (zip code 50608).

Despite no longer being a town, I found that it's still a well kept community. That's not the case with some other unincorporated towns in our state, unfortunately.

And, like nearly all aspects of rural Iowa, agriculture is the leading economic driver of the area.

 

Austinville is home to an impressive grain elevator that is part of the Innovative Ag Services network. I am sure they offer other agriculture input services as well, such as selling feed, dealing seeds, and offering agronomy assistance.

 

 

 

 

There's operational railroad tracks that goes right next to the grain elevator.

Near the elevator is another business, Voss Studio. From their website, they appear to be a photography business.

I also found a repair shop business. There was a school bus parked next to it.

There is a beautiful old bank building that now a museum. I would love to come back sometime and look through that a little more. They don't make buildings like this anymore. Larry Bolhuis, the President of the Austinville Historical Society, e-mailed me to let me know that they have a weekly coffee every Tuesday morning from 9 am to about 10 am in the building. He also mentioned that the bank was one of the most robbed banks in Iowa in its day. This one was robbed seven (7) times at this location!  Wow.  

There is one of those small free libraries in front of it.

There is a set of mailboxes near this bank building and I spotted another row as you enter the town on the east side.

On the other side of town, I found the Austinville Christian Reformed Church. They are still an active congregation. The big white house next door is the parsonage.

 

Near the church is the old school building. It is no longer used as a school but I am unsure if it is being used for another purposes these days.

 

 

 

 

There are a couple of other buildings in town that are of varying stages of use and condition.

 

 

 

I found a couple of really stately looking homes.

Though I'm not sure, based on the windows, if this house (pictured below) is currently in use. I think it needs to be restored if it's not. (After initial publishing, it was pointed out that the house is going to be demolished after suffering a serious fire).

There is a small but peaceful cemetery on the south side of town.

 

This was my first foray into Butler County (for this blog) and I know there is a lot more to see and do in the area. I look forward to coming back to do some more adventuring. In the meantime, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Butler County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.

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