Chief Wapello

Chief Wapello

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

Tuesday: 2:00pm – 7:00pm (May 8th – June 12th only)

Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: Noon – 4:00pm

Thursday: Noon – 7:00pm

Special Hours: May 26th & June 9th, from Noon – 7:00pm

Admission $5 for adults, $1 for children (free will donation for admission from May 5th-June 16th for Smithsonian Exhibit)

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