Butler Center History / Directions / Clay Prairie Preserve

Butler Center, Iowa, was a pretty spot, located near the center of Butler County about a mile from the West Fork River, on a gentle rise overlooking the country for miles around. It became a bustling village consisting of general stores, hotels, churches, a school, blacksmith shops, a Post Office, a courthouse, a sawmill, saloons, and more than 40 homes during the 25 years (1855-1880) of its heyday...

Today, however, we see cornfields and modern farmsteads. The question is:   What happened to make all this disappear from the landscape of central Butler County?

Although the village of Butler Center no longer exists, at least as it once was, residents living in Butler County and around the old town site enjoy keeping the history alive. They have become Butler Center “experts” and enjoy telling its story. They have also organized and refer to themselves as “Friends of Butler Center.”

The Friends of Butler Center have worked hard to put together a history from the facts and stories that are all that is left of Butler Center. To take a trip back in time to the earliest days of Butler Center, please visit our History link.

In 1961, a portion of the old Butler Center Cemetery was purchased by the University of Northern Iowa for an outdoor laboratory and as a living example of virgin prairie. Today these two organizations have teamed together to offer the community educational programs about prairies and Butler Center.

If you have additional information on Butler Center history that you could share with others, or if you would like information, please contact:

Friends of Butler Center
% Linda Cassmann-Randall
21957 Hwy. 3
Allison, IA 50602-9310
E-mail - mrandall@netins.net