Welcome to Villisca.com
- Villisca is a small, rural community nestled in the hills of southwest
A Look at our Town
In many ways Villisca is typical of many of the small rural communities that dot the
While we have many similarities to other rural communities, like our name, in many ways, there is only one Villisca. We are a community of people with diverse interests and backgrounds; a community of individualists; and certainly a community with a unique history. We have a story to tell.
days of dual-income households, Villisca is a great location geographically. We
are equidistant from
If by chance you are an entrepreneur, an artisan, a business owner seeking a place to start, expand, or relocate your business or work for a business that has embraced telecommuniting, we want you to know that Villisca is a perfect place to grow a business.
We have experienced changes in the past several decades with changes in agriculture, an ever expanding global economy and an aging population. Where businesses once had to be located in metropolitan areas to experience success, the growth of technology and the Internet is allowing businesses to locate in small communities, places with a higher quality of life, safer neighborhoods, a sense of community.
Villisca Community School District
The mission of the Villisca Community School District is to provide a safe, nurturing and educational environment in which effective teachers and staff provide challenging curriculum through which each student can achieve his/her maximum potential while developing the ability to become lifelong learners and a productive member of society. The teachers are creative in looking for new and innovative ways to make the curriculum live for their students.
the challenges of small schools in rural communities, the school board and the
administration work to provide education opportunities beyond those classes
available in Villisca, including Advanced Placement and Post Secondary
Educational Opportunities (PSEO) online courses and ICN classes. In the school
year 2013-14m Villisca began whole grade sharing with the
The culture and arts curriculum and extra-curricular activities in the school system give students the opportunity to discover and develop talents that will enhance their adult lives. Unlike many urban schools, students are able to participate in as many of the activities as they choose - arts, music, sports, speech, and drama.
The Villisca community is supportive of the education system in a variety of ways and through a number of groups. Many residents show up at school events just to show their support for the students. The number of local scholarships that have been established - 25 to date - is an example of Villiscans wanting to see that students reach their fullest potential. The newly formed Villisca Alumni and Friends Association was formed with the specific purpose of supporting the school system and providing full educational opportunities for Villisca students.
The faith community in Villisca is highlighted with the churches working together through the Villisca Interchurch Council. The churches in Villisca are the Advent Christian Church,
Interchurch Council oversees the community Food Pantry, the Good Samaritan
Commitment to Country
The VFW, the VFW Auxilliary and the American Legion are active in the Villisca community.
The high school government teacher, Melissa Feilmeier, has worked to assure that our students understand the gift of freedom. From the 2006 Veterans Day presentation by her class the students told the story of some of the WWII veterans. One portion read "Insignia of rank and memories of war resurrect tales of courage and bravery that we have neglected teaching to younger generations. Tales of heroism have been buried with these brave soldiers and with the loss of the uniform is the loss of the soldier who transforms into a humbled veteran and continues about their daily routine as if their contribution were insignificant, as if they didn't help materialize a vision of freedom into a reality for all of us to enjoy."
There is a
memorial to those who have served our country in the
Parks and Recreation
The Villisca Swimming Pool was built with WPA funds in the 30s. The community has maintained it since that time. It's operation is under the direction of the City of
expansive playground at the
The Harris Harmony Trail sits on property owned by the school. Again, community residents have over time made this walking trail a joy for walking in summer and winter.
Villisca has a number of programs for young people elementary age up. They include: 4-H clubs, FFA (Future Farmers of America), Youth Sports programs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Kids and Kinship Mentoring Program, fall and spring play productions and Cindy's Dance Studio.
The Rialto Theatre
Villisca has the services of medical clinics locally and is within 15 to 17 miles of three full service hospitals in Red Oak, Clarinda and
The Villisca Business Community
As the agricultural industry and the traditional ways of farming changed, so did the landscape of rural
Our Senior Citizens
To many the 1912 Unsolved Axe Murders are synomous with the name Villisca. And there is no doubt that the murders are a part of the fabric of Villisca. As Carolyn Gage, then editor of the Villisca Review wrote in 2000, "On Sunday night, or early on the morning of Monday, June 10, 1912, Villisca was the scene of one of the most vicious crimes in all the history of the world. While the city lay sleeping, following a peaceful Sabbath, some fiend incarnate entered the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Moore on
"As is evident, time did not ease the memory of the crime nor did it quiet the gossip. No one was ever convicted of these crimes; this certainly altered the lives of all those who were close to the incident. Even now, 88 years later, there is speculation.
"While it is not pleasant for Villisca to be remembered as the site of these murders, it is foolish to ignore what happened. History, no matter how painful, should never be rewritten." Villisca Review © copyright 2000
Villisca was also the scene of the Pulitzer Prize winning photo "The Homecoming."
As reflected earlier, Villisca has a strong military history going back to the early 1800s.
The Villisca Historical Society, Inc. was formed in 2006 by a group of people who want to preserve Villisca's History. There are some very serious pieces in Villisca's history and then there are a number of quirky stories to be told.
Villisca Heritage Days is a summer celebration of Villisca's history, its present and its future. Heritage Days was started in 1987 by Carolyn Gage, the owner the Villisca Review, and Susie Enarson, then mayor of Villisca and Elinor Brown, the City Clerk, worked together in carrying off the Heritage Days Weekend. This team of three planned the Heritage Days weekends for a number of years. More recently, the Villisca Chamber of Commerce has sponsored Heritage Days. In 2005 and in 2009, an All-Class Reunion was a part of Heritage Days.
Governed by a mayor and five city council members. Our city employees include a public works director and a city clerk. The city supports, along with the Villisca Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Initiative. The public works department oversees the water and sewer plants and a public cemetery. Villisca's police protection comes from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department with one individual dedicated to protection in Villisca.
Public Library, which is housed in a Carnegie building, falls under the City of
Villisca Municipal Power Plant
After 14 years of litigation with the former Iowa Nebraska Light and Power, the power plant produced its first electricity in November 1931. The plant now operates on a stand-by basis with power purchased from area cooperatives. The power plant is governed by a board of trustees and has a superintendent to oversee daily operations.