EDITOR’S NOTE: In a print article that ran on Nov. 2, author Darcy Dougherty Maulsby’s book title should have been listed as Dallas County, which was released Sept. 4, 2017. Maulsby previously lived in Granger, and now resides in the country near Lake City and Yetter.
On Sunday, Oct. 29, a special presentation detailing aspects of Dallas County’s history took place at Forest Park Museum by author Darcy Dougherty Maulsby. Maulsby touched on famous topics including run-ins with the infamous couple Bonnie and Clyde, athletes with roots in the county, and visits from Harry Truman.
Maulsby, previous Granger resident, is the author of history book, Dallas County, which came out Sept. 4, 2017.
“I’ve always been into this [Iowan history], but I don’t know whether people think it’s as cool as I do,” Maulsby said to the intimate crowd at Forest Park Museum. “Then I find out that Dallas County has not had a history book of in depth written in almost 80 years.”
Throughout the presentation, Maulsby discussed several topics well-known to audience members: the 1847 settlement of Dallas County, Bonnie and Clyde, coal mining, ghost sightings, and more.
Those in the audience were encouraged to speak on behalf of their memories with certain subjects as well as share their tales.
Maulsby touched on the history of Granger homesteads.
“You probably have driven through Granger a million times, but you’ll notice on some of the old maps it distinguishes between Granger and Granger Homesteads on the other side of 141; the Granger Homesteads are the legacy of the new deal program,” Maulsby said. “Essentially what they did they got 225 acres and they were able to build 50 of the nicest modern homes in the 1930’s.”
“If some of those look familiar, it’s because they’re still there,” Maulsby said.
Paranormal in Van Meter was also a hot topic among the group.
“In 1903, there was allegedly a bizarre creature up on top of the Hardware Store in Van Meter, it was around Sept. or Oct. in 1903, when some of these businessmen started talking crazy talk,” Maulsby said. “They were saying things that some creature that was in one of the downtown businesses last night and it was shining a bright light and it was climbing up telephone poles and looked like it had wings.”
The legend also explains that the creature’s horrific smell chased away the memory of the individual who stumbled upon it.
More legends, stories, and photographs from the start of Dallas County are available inside Maulsby’s book, Dallas County Images.
A past resident of Calhoun County, she has also written The Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid Rites and More, as well as Calhoun County.
Previously, Maulsby has worked as a journalist and now owns a marketing and communications company.