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Lancaster School Celebration
Contact: Gain Weber
Phone: 641-622-1037
Address: 22786 264th Street, Sigourney, IA, 52591  
Date: September 19, 2021

At the location of the Church -

The Lancaster School, located in southeast Keokuk County, is an Iowa jewel. Listed on the National Register of Historic places, it is believed to be the only surviving two-story wood frame school in Iowa.

Situated on a major wagon route, the pioneer town of Lancaster served as the county seat for Keokuk County from 1846 to 1856. Much of the town was destroyed by fire in the mid-1800s; this misfortune, coupled with the political decision to relocate the county seat to Sigourney, sealed the fate of the community. Today, only a handful of houses, the Christian Church, and the Lancaster School remain to commemorate the site.


Lancaster School, 2nd floor classroom

Lancaster School was built in 1881 and served the needs of Lancaster Township’s children until 1964. The buildings and grounds, owned by Keokuk County, have been lovingly restored and are maintained by Lancaster Heritage, Inc., a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the history of the school and the community it served.


Open for visitors by appointment only, you can visit the grounds anytime, or plan to attend the annual Open House, usually held in September. They’ll even let you ring the school bell!

If your ancestors attended school here, this can be a wonderful resource for reconstructing their life story. Although records are not formally organized for researchers, visitors and inquiries are welcome.