Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum
Contact the Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum:
West Clark Street
PO Box 61
Clarinda, IA 51632
- Sunday 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Other times by appointment
Nodaway Valley Museum
Contact the Nodaway Valley
P.O. Box 393
Clarinda, IA 51632
Tuesdays - 9:00 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Wednesday - Sunday 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
(May through September)
Wednesday - Sunday 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
(October through April)
Come in and see the unique history of Southwest Iowa with many
different exhibits and buildings including:
Birthplace of 3H and 4H
Follow the work of Jessie Field Shambaugh who was superintendent when Page
County was recognized as "The Best Rural Schools in America."
She pioneered the Boys' Corn Club and the Girls' Home Club which developed into
3H and 4H.
Reminisce at the Goldenrod School where Jessie Field Shambaugh taught the basics
and established after school groups for Boys and Girls on alternate days to
teach corn germination testing techniques and domestic skills. This school
is on the National Registry of Historic Places and remains much the same as it
did in 1901.
The Page County Orphan Train
The greatest children's migration in the history of the United States
took place during the seventy-five years from 1854-1929. Orphan and
impoverished children were transported from the overcrowded eastern cities to
the vast midwestern farmlands. A young minister named Charles Loring Brace
and the Children's Aid Society of New York City pioneered the "placing out
movement" which sought to place deserving, healthy orphans into nurturing
farm homes. There they would be welcomed and given a good upbringing in a
proper moral setting. The Society specified that the children were to be
housed, fed, clothed, educated and given religious training. Clarinda and
dozens of other Iowa towns became known as the "Orphan Trains."
Nearly 10,000 children found new homes in Iowa before the Depression and
changing laws ended the migration.
Very little is know about the first Society placing out in this area.
Willie "The Kid" Moran arrived in Clarinda in March of 1881. The
12 year old was placed with G. A. Miller where he worked on the farm for several
years. Willie left the farm to travel in the far west, returning in
1897. Tragically, Willie spent the next seven years here in the State
Hospital. His later life is unknown.
Sarah Hunt, (1894-1990) an Orphan Train Rider to Sidney, Iowa in 1904, became
the wife of Hal Maxwell and step-mother to Hollywood Actress, Marilyn Maxwell. She was a Western Union telegrapher in Clarinda for nineteen
An orphan train from the Children's Aid Society came to Clarinda December 15,
1922 with a precious cargo of twelve sleepy children led by Miss Clara Comstock,
the Society's Agent for the state of Iowa. The Clarinda Herald reported
that at the appointed time the children were taken to the Methodist Church to be
introduced to an eager crowd. One little boy, asked why he came said,
"To find a mamma." Arthur Fields "was bundled up tightly to
go to a home north of Clarinda" to the Worley Smith home on North Twelfth
Street where he found a new brother, Cecil and was later adopted.
The Colowski brothers were fortunate to find homes. Alexander (1916-1988)
was adopted into the Harry Douthit family and was called Alexander Douthit.
Walter (1918-1950) was adopted by the Roy Beavers family. He was called
Harold R. Beavers, became an army captain and was killed in Korea.
The placements of some of the other children were temporary and little is known
about them: Howard Blizzard (6) and Ethel Blizzard (12) went to the
Armstrong home - near Blanchard. Bryon Stevens to the Schoonover's - near
Clearfield. Mary and Anna Brodie to the Hoyt home - to Clarinda.
James Leroy Smith to the Scroggs home - in Clarinda. Carrie Adams to Roy
Baker's home - west of Clarinda. Isabel and Harry Adams to the Swanson
home - east of Stanton. In 1987 Mary Ellen Johnson, established The Orphan
Train Heritage Society of America, Inc., to gather and preserve the stories of
orphan train riders nationwide. The Society is located at: 614 E. Emma
Ave. Suite 115 Springdale, AR 72764-4634, Tel. (479) 756-2780
Presented as a memorial to the
memory of these orphan train riders.
Page County Courthouse Clock
Listen and watch the same clock and bell that called the children to classes at
the Clarinda South School Building in 1875. The School was razed in 1922
and the clock was and the clock was placed in the Page County Courthouse until
the tower was removed in 1951. After forty years in storage it has been
put back into working order for our visitors enjoyment. Plan to be in the
museum on the hour or on the half hour to see the mechanism work.
See that changes in our habitat have been as dramatic as our cultural and
political heritage. Using the Page County History of 1880 as a basis, our
display shows the fauna and flora of southwest Iowa and emulates the results of
man's use to the land. Animal Mounts from other areas are also displayed.
Page County Band
The love and enthusiasm for music was instilled to three generations by Maj.
George Landers as he taught and organized musical groups throughout the community.
Towns nationwide today benefit from his foresight in authoring the Iowa Band Law
which enables municipality to provide for summer band concerts and lessons.
Wheels of Progress
The modes of transportation and use of agricultural machines have changes from
horse-drawn to power driven equipment. From the first sod breaker called
the "Clarinda Queen" made in 1856 by a local blacksmith to
ninety years of fire-fighting equipment, our exhibits show the remarkable
ingenuity of man.
Clarinda A's Baseball
Experience college-level baseball played by the A's as part of the National
Baseball Congress. Memorabilia of the 1981 National NBC Champions is
displayed. See the beginning of outstanding careers for Ozzie Smith, Von
Hayes, Bud Black, and Mark Williamson who are some of the Clarinda A's who play
in the big leagues.
of Glenn Miller
Three generations of the Miller family lived in the Clarinda vicinity
before Alton Glenn Miller was born in 1904. Family memorabilia as well as
reminders of the Big Band Era of the 1930s and 1940s are displayed by the Glenn
Miller Birthplace Society at the Museum. The birthplace home is located on
South 16th Street between the museum and the town square.
can also research the following here at the Nodaway Valley Museum:
Genealogy - family and community histories
Marriage, birth & death
Newspapers, pictures & tapes