The Mills County Historical Museum is owned and operated by a group of volunteers called the Mills County Historical Society. The Museum does not get governmental support of any kind. Admission to the museum is free and the society holds yearly fundraisers. The land, on which the seven museum buildings stand, is on the east end of the Glenwood Lake Park.
The Museum is a 501C-3 organization and is governed by a Board of Directors. Board Meetings are the second Friday of every month. The annual meeting is the first Friday in October. All meetings are open to the public.
In 1996, the Articles of Incorporation were revised. The Primary purpose of this organization is to 1) kindle and keep alive an active interest in local and state history 2) promote interest in local history through education 3) collect and preserve print history that illuminates the history of this county, state and adjourning states and 4) promote the presentation and display of historical relics. To this end, the museum works closely with the State Archaeological Office, State Historical Society of Iowa, The State Museum Association , the Iowa State Department of History and Archives, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the Loess Hills Archaeological Interpretive Center, along with many other partners.
THE MAIN BUILDING
The Mintle Family of Glenwood built the main building of the Museum in 1959. They felt it would be good to invest their money in something in Glenwood.
In the early 1960’s, the Mintle Family added wings on the north and south sides of the building as the Board wanted a special room for the Native American Artifacts. There are thousands of artifacts on display.
In 1983 the Detlef/Fischer family decided to donate some of the furniture from their parents' home. Katie Hamann was the youngest of the three daughters and was instrumental in establishing this. They created a four-room cottage and porch in the north wing, lower floor. The big feature in the cottage is the player piano with 120 rolls of music. This is played for visitors. Since then many more rolls have been acquired.
There are six rooms upstairs in the old part of the main building, including the north and south wings. This houses the County Store, Clubs and Lodge, Chapel, Mintle Room (Spinning Wheels), Children’s Room, Toy Room. Drug Store and others.
In 1994 money was received from the Ray Thomas Trust and built on a good-sized addition with two floors. This contains the military room, map room and the music room and Craig Cottage on the second floor.
The museum is grateful for all donations of cash as well as items. All donated items have to be accepted by a committee of members of the board. Memorials are received in memory of people who have appreciated what the museum has done for the community. New cabinets, fire extinguishers, and exit lights are some of the items purchased with memorial funds.