Villisca has a fascinating history, a blend of history~~mystery. This self-guided tour starts at our community square and takes you around town, highlighting some of the major pieces of our history along with some quips that, well, are just fun to share. If you are interested in particular pieces of our history, we also give you the choice of a tour by subject - the 1912 Unsolved Axe Murders, our military history, the story of the Pultizer Prize Winning Photo, the important place of the Railroad in our story, historical moments recorded in our cemetery, ....
Our story is reflected in the unsolved 1912 axe murders, in patriotism illustrated by those who have stepped forward time and time again to answer the call of their country to serve in the military, which was memorialized in a Pulitzer Prize winning photo, to everyday people distinguishing themselves with academic, business and cultural accomplishments. Historically, Villisca provides an environment in which people flourish. It is a community of people with diverse interests and backgrounds; a community of individualists. As Liz Murray noted in Homeless to Harvard, "History - It is each of us - it is all of us."
story expresses some of the endearing qualities that makes living in Villisca
forever an adventure. In many ways Villisca is typical of many of the small
rural communities that dot the
So, let's get started. The basics: Villisca means beautiful land between two rivers.
Villisca was platted in 1858 and was only a ‘paper town’ until the first railroad went through in 1869 when Villisca was legally declared a town. Villisca is located at 40°55′45″N 94°58′41″W / 40.92917°N 94.97806°W / (40.929115, -94.978162).
The Ioway Indians camped between the forks of the Nodaway Rivers, south of town, with that land being their hunting ground with millions of buffalo.
The Ioway Tribe was a friendly tribe, unlike the Sioux, who were also in our area. They would send smoke signals from the hill north of town on the west side of the road, the road that goes past the cemetery. Numerous battles were fought with the Sioux. Chief Mahaska, rather than being taken by the Sioux tribe, was killed by his own tribe and buried north of Tenville. His grave was destroyed when the river was straightened. The remainder of the Ioway tribe resettled near Indianola, Iowa.
Villisca was platted in 1858 and was only a ‘paper town’ until the first railroad went through in 1869 when Villisca was legally declared a town.
Before the railroad came to Villisca, the first clocks came to Iowa when the railroad ended at the eastern edge of the state, according to John Gourley. Some entrepreneur bought a large number of clocks back east, shipped them to Burlington, loaded them into a wagon and set off across the state. The early settlers didn't have any cash, so he bartered his clocks for livestock. John said his family traded a steer for one of them.
In 2007 the Villisca Chamber of Commerce had a competition for a logo and a tagline. The logo and tagline they decided on was created by Donna Williams.
We begin our Tour on Villisca’s square.
All the north and south streets are named Avenues and the east and west streets are named Streets.
In the mid 1800s, the farmers and ranchers would drive their cattle to town with horses, sometimes at night so that the cattle would not get too hot and loose weight. They would take them right through town, from whichever direction they came, to get them to the railroad. In 1882, an ordinance was passed by the City Council preventing the running of livestock through the town proper and residential areas. The cattle would be held down by the railroad tracks until time for them to be shipped out.
Villisca’s square, Company F Memorial Park, with its lush field of grass and abundance of trees, is set between 3rd and 4th Avenues and 3rd and 4th Streets. In 2000, the Villisca City Council named the square Company F Memorial Park. As it happens, the northeast corner of the square is the intersection of 3rd Street and 4th Avenue and 3rd Avenue and 4th Street intersect at the southwest corner. On November 11, 2001, the Red Bull Memorial Monument was dedicated in the Park. The flagpole from the Armory was installed near the monument. At the base of the flagpole is a representation of the stars that were on the airplanes in WWII. Between the points on the star are the names of the branches of the military. The American Legion sold bricks with the names of veterans which were set in a design of the outline of the State of Iowa. More bricks are displayed on the Veterans Wall. Included among the bricks are bricks representing military commitments of the Focht family from the Revolutionary War, Mexican Border War, WWI, WWII and the Korean Conflict.
The 34th Division was formed during World War One and was sent to Camp Cody in Deming, New Mexico for training. While there a contest was held to come up with a divisional patch. Marvin Cone won the contest with his black clay pot and red bull skull taken from a painting he had done earlier. Cone was a friend and classmate of Grant Woods the famous Iowa artist.
Each year on Memorial Day the Company F Park and the Cemetery are decorated with American Flags which have been dedicated in the name of veterans, with many of them being burial flags. It is a breath-catching sight and is a visual reminder of those Villiscans who have served our country through their military service.
The city square is the location for many community events including the Interchurch worship service which has been held on the 4th of July weekend for more than 25 years.
In 1976, the Reno Smith FFA chapter came up with the idea of restoring a bandstand in the square. The idea came as they looked through some Villisca history books and discovered that there had been a wooden bandstand in the park in the 1800’s. Reno Smith FFA chapter had many projects in the mid to late 1970’s. The “bandstand” was a BOAC (Building Our American Communities) project for the bi-centennial year, 1976. They presented the idea to the City Council for approval and permission, received it and proceeded to draw up plans and work out the details of location etc. The FFA kids with their sponsor Chris Nelson raised the funds and built the bandstand in the winter, spring, and summer of 1976. They had the able guidance of another teacher and contractor-type person, Bob Lemon for the actual construction. It was dedicated at the 4th of July celebration that year. The Reno Smith FFA chapter won a National BOAC Project award and they were recognized at the National Convention in Kansas City for the project.
It was reported that there were nearly 7,000 people in Villisca for the funeral which was held in the square because there was no place large enough to hold all the mourners. The caskets were placed in City Hall during the funeral. At that time, City Hall was located on the corner of 3rd Ave. and 3rd St where the Villisca Community Center now stands.
Moving east on 3rd St on the north side of the square, is Villisca’s Armory, built in 1912 at a cost of $6,600 with a large part of the money coming from public donations. Its history is symbolic of the strong history of the military in Villisca. At Thanksgiving time in the early 1940s, in an effort to help the citizens, the Commercial Club sponsored a Turkey Drawing. Live turkeys were released from the roof of the Armory. Turkeys flew everywhere. This was discontinued due to the angulations of the turkeys as people would literally tear them apart wing-from-wing in an effort to claim a turkey, due in large part to the shortage of meat. Meanwhile, inside the Armory, young ladies gathered to sew shirts for the boys overseas. Over the years the Armory was the scene of military balls, of military training, and was the center of Villisca social life. The Armory was sold to the Villisca schools in 2000 to be used as classrooms while the new addition was being added to the high school. The building has limited use at this time. The building is being evaluated to be used as a multipurpose center.
An air dome theatre occupied a lot on the north side of the square for the summer months in 1912. Doc Childs opened the Cozy Theater after the success of the air dome theatre, which burnt in 1929. He moved to a building on the east side of the square. Doc Childs had a large family and following the birth of his then youngest child he was said to have announced that the person holding the winning ticket at Saturday night’s show would receive his latest red-headed baby. The Theatre was crowded for this awesome event – the lady holding the winning ticket stood up and announced that she “was not going to raise Doc Childs’ baby” and left. So, they drew another winning ticket and the lucky lady went up on stage to collect her prize, only to receive a little red pig out of the fancy baby buggy.
The east half of the building that currently houses Johnston’s Communications once housed the local Candy Kitchen. The story goes that the owner of the Candy Kitchen got lucky one night, or perhaps unlucky, and lost his wife in a poker game. They say he ran out of money so he played the hand, with his wife at stake, and lost her to a salesman from Chicago – she was good looking and did go with the salesman – seems as if she was faintly acquainted with him ahead of time.
At one time the Roll of Honor hung on the west side of the building that stood at the southeast corner of 3rd Ave and 4th St., listing all the local men who were in the service.
Heading south from the Square on 3rd Avenue just north of the alley was the location of the Bell Telephone Office, which had the only long distance service in town in 1912.
South of the alley we find where the offices of Tyler’s Bottling were located. If you are very lucky you may have a small 6 oz. coke bottle that says “Villisca, Iowa”. Tyler Brothers, now Atlantic Bottling Company, has been a big part in the history and heritage of Villisca. In 1909, brothers Harry and Henry Tyler became partners in an ice-cream and dairy business in Villisca. Three years later, they bought a creamery in nearby Clarinda, While sorting through papers found in the creamery's warehouse safe, a document granting a Coca-Cola franchise to the business. The brother's concocted some of the bubbly beverage and bottled it to sell alongside their flavored soda waters. By 1930, they were producing soft drinks full-time, with plants in several towns. In 1949 Harry and Henry divided the business for estate purposes. Harry kept the Atlantic and Creston bottling plants and Henry acquired Shenandoah, Clarinda and Grand Island plants. Today, the Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company is one of 100 entities authorized to sell Coca-Cola products in the United States. Pictured is the Coca-Cola Truck in the 2005 Heritage Days Parade.
On July 2, 1881, an article of agreement was made between C.B. & Q. Railroad and the town of Villisca for an undercrossing tunnel on Third Ave. A folk story tells of a man and his team of mules parting at the tunnel. While driving down into the tunnel a plank slipped forward off the wagon – hit one of the mules on the leg causing the mules to bolt, one mule to the left and one to the right, causing the man to hit the cement pillar in the middle of the tunnel, meeting his untimely death.
The railroad turn table and round house was on the south side of the tracks and the depot was to the east on the north side of the tracks.
There are a number of stories that center around the railroad which played an important role in Villisca’s history in the late 1800s and much of the 1900s. One is the story of young lads who during the war years would jump up on the coal cars and throw off coal and then jump from the cars, go back to pick up the coal which they either took home for use or would sell.
At one time the parishioners of St. Joseph Catholic Church worshipped at several locations in Villisca including a "chapel car" on a railroad siding.
In the early railroad days, at least two hotels were in Villisca to accommodate travelers with signs by the front doors that stated “Guests Without Baggage Pay in Advance.” Fisher Hotel on the west side of 3rd Avenue – a three story brick with electric lights and furnance, promoted itself with ‘Best in table service.’ Western House, east of the Depot, partially burned in 1900 was remodeled and rebuilt to become the Ingman Hotel, later known as the “Elms”. It was destroyed by fire in 1956.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photo – World-Herald photographer Earle "Buddy" Bunker captured a family reunion on July 15, 1943. Lt. Col. Robert Moore stepped off the train in Villisca, greeted by his 6-year-old daughter, Nancy; his wife, Dorothy; and his 2-year-old nephew, Michael Croxdale. The photograph, one of the most enduring images from World War II symbolizing the hopes of a generation whose men fought that war, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944. Not a single face shows in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, but the joy is overwhelming - a daddy in a round military cap stooping to wrap his arms around a spindly-legged daughter reaching up to his broad shoulders in a welcoming hug. Mom waits her turn, a hand to her face in delight. An excited little boy watches.
In 2008, a home movie taken by Eva Croxdale – mother of the little boy in the photo – at the scene of the photograph surfaced and was used in a mini-documentary by Gazetteonline.
The 2-yr old in the Homecoming photo
grew up and went to war himself during the VietNam War. He was captured in a
photo taken by Cynthia Johnson for an article for Discover Magazine at the
Vietnam Wall in
The Villisca Depot no longer stands.
The railroad has a place in the story surrounding the axe murders. At the time of the murders, Villisca’s Depot was a bustling place. Lt. Col. Robert Moore, who is pictured The Pulitzer Prize winning photo taken at the Depot, was 7 years old when his uncle, aunt, four cousins and two visiting children were killed in the unsolved axe murders.
Epperly, who has six file cabinets of documents on the case, said there is
plenty of evidence to buttress the confessions and build a case against Rev.
Kelly, a window peeping preacher who had been at the Children’s Day program
attended by those murdered that dark night. According to one couple, Kelly
talked of the massacre in animated detail on a train in the early morning hours
of June 10, 1912, well before the crime scene was discovered by the
documentary “Villisca: Living with a Mystery” raises the possibility that the
murderer was a railroad worker who killed his mother and grandmother in
one fine summer day in 1953 or 54, as the
A favorite “field trip” for Villisca kindergartners in the 40s and 50s was a trip to Red Oak on the train. The children boarded the train in Villisca and were met in Red Oak by teachers and parents who drove them back home after having lunch in Chitaqua park. Today our elementary children still ride the train on a field trip but unfortunately it is not from Villisca. We still hear both passenger and freight trains rumble pass Villisca several times a day but they have not had a Villisca stop for decades.
was the sight of a major train accident in the mid-1980s. The clean up took
weeks. In the mid-2000s, there was an accident of a passenger train in Nodaway.
Villiscans and people from Nodaway and other surrounding communities showed
their compassion and hospitality in caring for the passengers who found
themselves stranded in this little corner of the world called southwest
The depot was torn down in 1987. It was deemed too close to the tracks and was termite infested. Many of the bricks were redeemed from the sight and a group of local artists painted them with a picture of the depot. In recent years Sharon Moriaty created a model of the Depot which can be viewed at City Hall. The sound of the trains passing by, especially in the still of the night, still calls to Villiscans.
north along the
west side of
During the Prohibition era of the 1920s, Villisca always had 2 or 3 local bootleggers to help satisfy the thirst. Bootlegger’s Alley was behind what is now the U.S. Post Office, which used to be Carl Taylor’s Smoke House “A Man’s Home Away from Home.” The bootleggers would hide the Needle Whiskey for the buyers to come along later and pick up – if it had not already been found by the local youth who were always watching for “the drop”. The price was from $2.00 to $2.75 a pint. One of the bootleggers always wore a very big, very heavy overcoat which had lots of inside pockets, no matter how hot the summer days, he still wore THE coat. A somewhat slow-minded bootlegger called the “Methodist Bootlegger” delivered his ‘product’ to someone who promised to pay him at a later date. When he complained to a friend that the bill had not been paid, the friend suggested that he report the deadbeat to the sheriff. He did and, of course, had to serve time in the pokey for his own illegal activities.
Moving north you find the Rialto Theatre. The Rialto Theatre was not originally designed to be a theatre facility. The building originally housed Arbuckle Grocery and Dry Goods Store. Apartments occupied the second floor. In February 1929, after the Cozy Theatre fire, F. M. Childs purchased a small building next to Arbuckle’s. The building was remodeled into a movie house with 3 seats on each side of a center aisle. The theatre was named The Swan.
theatre changed hands shortly with Childs moving out of Villisca soon after his
wife’s death. Joe Pennington purchased both The Swan and eventually Arbuckle’s
store. Renamed The Patsy
Pennington enlarged the movie theatre. Once he owned the Arbuckle property The Patsy became what is now called the
movie theatre’s operation was short lived. Financial problems set the theatre
to close until the mid 50s when the Rialto Theatre was reopened. Jack Butler
recalled seeing wax statues of movie characters in front. The
Rialto Theatre began seeing hard times financially in the late 60’s. Kenneth
Oltmann took over ownership and management in 1971. February of 1973 marked the
first interest in using the
Moving north, just south of the alley stands the building which housed Honeyman’s Drug from 1910 to the time it suffered from a fire in the 1990s. Honeyman’s Drug was purchased by Stoner’s Drug. Note the interesting corners on the upstairs of the buildings. Stoner’s Drug has since moved two doors to the north. Stoner’s Drug was a popular place for pictures during RAGBRAI in 2009. The bikers seemed to find amusement in the name Stoner’s Drug.
The Villisca Review, Villisca’s weekly newspaper, was once housed above Honeyman’s. Across the alley and upstairs was the Villisca Farmers Mutual Telephone Office where switchboard operators heard talk between Joe Moore and Dona Jones. Across the street – east – was the Bell Telephone Office, which had the only long distance service in town.
corner building on the west side of the square to the north was known as the
Jones building and housed the Farmer’s Bank where F. F. Jones was cashier. Dr.
Cooper, the first doctor at the
Directly across from the Bandstand is Villisca’s City Hall. The building was the First National Bank which was forced to close during the depression. In 1937 it was purchased by the City for $2,500.
Karle Bakery, where locals have memories of the many sweets baked by Emil Karle, a German immigrant who came here after WWI, was located north of City Hall where the Senior Center is now located. Residents remember awesome Chocolate Cream Sandwiches and Cream puffs from Karlee’s – but only in the winter. Karlee’s had no refrigeration so they would have spoiled in the summer.
Restoration, Inc. bought the
Photos of The Homecoming, the Pulitzer Prize Winning Photo and The Wall can be viewed in the window of the Villisca Senior Citizens Center.
Continuing north on 5th Ave and then heading east on 3rd Street you will find the Villisca Swimming Pool which was built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration, (WPA) at a cost of approximately $40,000. WPA was a government program that found work for those unemployed by the Great Depression. The Pool is a major form of recreation for children, teens & adults in the summer months. Swimming lessons are offered. Adult swims offer exercise and aerobics for seniors.
In the ‘70’s the deck and bathhouse
were remodeled and a slide was added. In the ‘80’s the high board stand was
lowered and a baby pool was added for those 3 and under. In 1998, a Pool
Renovation Committee was formed and has worked to raise funds for major
renovations. The pool is managed and operated by the City of
to the Swimming Pool is the VHS Football Field which is also the location for
the Villisca Heritage Days Fireworks. The pillars that greet you as you head
into the swimming pool and football field, first stood at the
At one time Villisca had a small airport that was located across the street from the football field.
Just to the west and south of the pool
was the location of
It was a dark night, that night of the murders. The streets were darker than usual because of a dispute between the city council and the electric company, which actually turned off the city lights.
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 East Third Street, and, wielding an ax, six members of the J. B. Moore family and the two daughters of Mr. & Mrs. J. T. Stillinger were brutally murdered with the heads of all crushed with an ax..” Villisca Review copyright 2000
The murderer was never found. No one was ever convicted of these crimes. This certainly altered the lives of all those who were close to the incident. Even now, nearly 100 years later, there is speculation. The murders did not happen within a vacuum. Family stories were interwoven in the fabric of community life.
home was owned by Josiah Moore where he and his wife, Sarah, and their four
children lived. The Stillinger girls were in the front downstairs bedroom, the
Using old photographs, the Linn's began the restoration in late 1994. Work on the home included the removal of vinyl siding and the restoration and repainting of the original wood on the outside, the removal of the front and back enclosures, the addition of an outhouse and chicken coop in the back yard and the removal of all electrical and plumbing fixtures. The pantry in the original house had been converted into a bathroom and was also restored to its original condition. Using testimonies given during the coroner's inquest and grand jury testimonies, the Linn's have placed furniture in approximately the same places it occupied at the time of the murders.
home was built in 1868 by George Loomis,
The garage that was originally on the property was removed to make way for a peg barn that was donated to Linn by an area farmer in 2004. The peg barn is reminiscent of the early 1900s. The rafters in the barn have been signed by visitors to the house over the last few years.
Peckham lived in the first house west of the
Villisca was labeled “A nice little town where something awful once happened” by Chuck Offenberger, a renown columnist for the Des Moines Register in the 1990s. The murders remain one of the most intriguing and unsolved mysteries of all time. Non-fiction and fictionalized books have been written about the murders, as have film and TV presentations. The murders caused a 50-year inquiry by Dr. Ed Epperly. Detective J. N. Wilkerson investigated the case for 32 years. The award winning documentary Villisca: Living with a Mystery by Kelly and Tammy Rundle tells the story not only of the murders but the impact they had on life in Villisca for decades to come. In recent years, Darwin Linn, a local businessman purchased the house and has promoted it as a tourist attraction, with an emphasis on the paranormal. The murders inspired a number of media pieces and books including a novel Blood Ran Red by Stephen Bowman and a factual retelling Villisca by Roy Marshall. They have also been featured in TV segments on “ghost hunters” and are a feature narrative project entitled Haunting Villisca, co-authored by James Serpento and Kimberly Busbee, which combines a fictionalized present-day scenario with scenes suggested by courtroom transcripts, folklore and current paranormal investigations of the house where the murders occurred.
The murderer was never found. The murders affected the very fabric of life in Villisca even into the 21st Century.
NW Corner of
eight victims are buried at the
Carolyn Gage, publisher of the Villisca Review wrote in 2000: "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, nearly 100 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. Furthermore, it is to the community's credit that no one was 'railroaded' just to bring an end to the incident." ~~Villisca Review © 2000
Pictured is the
The wall along the west side of the cemetery, like the Villisca swimming pool, was constructed by WPA workers in 1936. The gateposts or columns that are now at the entrance to the swimming pool and the football field at one time stood at the cemetery entrance. The iron gate that was between them at the cemetery was removed and went to someone who scrapped out metal. Rather than selling them, he kept them and upon learning that they were stored in a building in Villisca, Mayor Susie Enarson reclaimed them and had them re-installed replacing some metal farm-type gates.
Each year on Memorial Day the Company F Park and the Cemetery are decorated with American Flags which have been dedicated in the name of veterans, with many of them being burial flags. It is a breath-taking sight and is a visual reminder of those Villiscans who have served our country through their military service.
A monument of interest at the cemetery is a stone tent.
you walk to the second road and turn left, or to the west, it is located about
half way down, then to your left, to the south. General Ellis moved to
A tombstone in the north part of the cemetery has removable bronze plates and a hollow center that was used as a hiding spot for the transfer of bootleg liquor in the 1920s. It has been reported that has been used by later day youth for the transfer of liquor to underage drinkers – modern day bootlegging of a sort.
story is told of a young girl who was only known as
Another of the interesting stones is the one referred to as the Refund Stone. The date of birth and the date of death are reversed so it appears as if the deceased was born after he died.
remains of Laurent Lee Gourley, a war hero who gave his life for his country
during the Vietnam War era, were interred at the
the cemetery, going to S. 2nd Ave, north of the square on the west side stands
the Villisca Public Library built in 1908 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie and
a match from the City of Villisca of 10%. The Library was built for $11,000.
The Library currently houses the “Jones Room” with items from the F.F. Jones
home and artifacts given to the Library by the Tyler’s, the Coca Cola family in
Villisca. Gertrude Tyler was a missionary to
the corner of
Advent Christian Church is located at the corner of
Heading north on 2rd Ave to 1st Street, turn left and going to the 100 block of 1st St. On the right is the entrance to the Harris Harmony Trail. One trip around this walking trail is 1/5 of a mile. This trail is yet another community project, funded and completed by Villiscans. It has lovely stops along the way with statues and a variety of plantings. It has lights which makes it a pleasant and safe place to walk in the evenings.
The Villisca Interchurch Council was established and held its first meeting on May 25, 1971. It was born as a continuation of a Villisca's Churches Committee that had been established to raise money to build a new Nursing Home. After the Villisca Good Samaritan Center was successfully completed, our Churches felt that more could be accomplished for our community if we continued to work together to serve the Lord. The council is made up of the clergy and 2 representatives from each of Villisca's five churches-the Advent Christian, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and by a member of the Good Samaritan Center.
Just in case you wondered, if you came into Villisca from
the north on Hwy 71, you passed Tenville. Tenville is named for its schoolhouse
which was built in 1891? Most townships had nine rural one-room schoolhouses.
on Hwy 71, 1.5 miles north of Tenville, is Sciola. The first post office in
miles south of Tenville, (5 miles north of Villisca) is
end and then turn left again. Go to the second turn to the right, just
around a large fir tree, and there you'll see a stone, commemorating a
unknown soldier. The story is that the "unknown" is a black Civil War veteran who was
denied burial at his "home" cemetery in April 1892 because of his race.
they'd welcome him at
Lowe, became incensed that there was not an appropriate marking for this
veteran and began to raise money for a headstone. It wasn't much later
that the beautiful stone simply marked "An Unknown Soldier" was raised
over the soldier's resting place and became the center of the annual
Memorial Day observance at the cemetery. Today, it remains a place of
pride in this old, pioneer graveyard.
north of the
Villisca is a community of people with diverse interests and backgrounds; a community of individualists; and certainly a community with a unique history. We are a community where the quality of life scores high. Those are some of the endearing qualities that make living in Villisca forever an adventure.
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 telecommuting, we want you to know that Villisca is a perfect place to grow a business.
many ways Villisca is typical of many of the small rural communities that dot
Our young people and senior citizens can walk the community without the fear of threats or of being mugged. Friends and neighbors and even strangers provide support in times of triumph and/or tragedy.
While we have many similarities to other rural communities, like our name, there is only one Villisca. We have a story to tell.
these days of dual-income households, Villisca is a great location geographically.
We are equidistant from
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.