The Clemons House

The Alonzo Clemons family came to Iowa in 1871 from New York by wagon.  The parents and five children figured in early Coggon development by building a hotel "in the woods" which was later to become the Main Street of the town.  The area at that time was known as Green's Mill and later Nugent's Grove.  With the coming of the railroad, a banquet was held in the new hotel and since another town's name was already Nugent, a new name had to be chosen.  The railroad superintendent, Mr. Spaulding of England had a letter from his cousin in his pocket and suggested the name Coggon and all agreed.  To this day it is the only town by that name in the world.  The connection with descendants of William Coggon exists to this day with citizens of Coggon staying in close touch with the Sheffield, England family via mail, phone and email.

The Clemons House, as the hotel came to be known served meals and lodging.  In addition the musical Clemons family created a center for quartet practices and filled many musical requests to perform for churches and the community.  Later the hotel would serve as a doctor's office, a barber shop, cafe and nursing home.  In 1973 it was closed.

in 1981 when the Coggon Historical Society was organized, it gladly accepted the offer of a citizen to provide funds for the purchase of the Clemons House as a place to preserve local heritage and hold meetings.  At that time the Clemons House was under a demolition order, but with the volunteer efforts of many people the first structure on Coggon's Main Street was preserved.  It has proven to be a great source of interest and information with artifact displays and files of Coggon information available to the public.  There is a main meeting room, displays, souvenirs, a kitchen, Coggon School photos and a workroom on the main floor.  The upper level contains themed rooms including:  military, medical, children's, quilt, school, bedroom, lounge and hall.  Two additional rooms house Coggon advertising items.

A visit or tour of the Clemons House can provide something of interest for every age group and one might just learn something about how life used to be in early Coggon days.

Memorial, monetary and artifact donations, grants from Linn County Supervisors and countless hours of work by society and community members has made possible the restoration and maintenance of this small but loved little museum in northern Linn County, Iowa.

Our Mission:
Our mission is to collect, preserve, and exhibit artifacts, family histories, and documents pertaining to the history of the Coggon, Iowa community.

Our Meetings:
The Coggon Community Historical Society meetings are held on the 4th Monday of each month at 7 pm at The Clemons House.