Chief Wapello

Chief Wapello

The Museum is open to the public on the following days:

Wednesday – Saturday: Noon – 4:00pm

Admission $5 for adults, $1 for children

Job Opening

The Wapello County Historical Society is accepting applications for ‘Museum Coordinator’. Pay will be determined based on work experience. The hours will be during all museum open hours, including Saturdays and an additional Tuesday each week for exhibit maintenance. Please send resume to the Wapello County Museum address at 210 W Main St, Ottumwa, IA 52501. Please call President Becky Freuh at 641-682-3481 or Vice President Lisa Kent at 641-680-1237 with further questions. Applications are due on Sunday August 19th.

History of the Wapello County Historical Society

The Wapello County Historical Society was organized October 14, 1959. The Grand Opening at the present location at 210 W. Main St., Ottumwa, Iowa, was held June 11, 1988. As there was no elevator to the second floor, $55,000 was raised within a year and an elevator was in operation by September of 1989. Ottumwa comes from the Sauk word “Au-tum-way-e-naukor” meaning “land of the rippling waters”.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Wapello County Historical Society is to identify, collect, and preserve the manifestations of Wapello County History, including but not limited to, documents, printed materials, images, and artifacts, in order to increase and enrich, through educational programs, printed materials, and exhibits. The public knowledge of Wapello County history.

Check out our new image archive

One of previous board members scanned in photos submitted by the public.  There are approx 5000 images of historical people and places here in the Wapello County area.

Click HERE to View photos.


Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation
Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

Private Donors.
Member Iowa Museum Association