Coal Creek Friends Meeting House

There is a strong Quaker history in Mahaska County and the surrounding area. Coal Creek was a small community four miles northwest of What Cheer in Keokuk County. Jeremiah Stanley and his wife, Quakers from Ohio, settled in Coal Creek in 1850. In 1864, the families in the area built this meeting house for a place to worship. The lumber, doors, and windows were hauled by wagon from Washington, Iowa. As membership grew, the community built an addition, but it was removed again in 1937 as membership dropped.

The Coal Creek Friends were a more conservative group and held silent meetings. Men and women worshipped on separate sides of the building with Elders and church leaders sitting at the front, facing the congregation.

In the early 1980s, the church still had a few dozen members, but the town of Coal Creek only consisted of a few houses. With fear of vandalism for their meeting house, the congregation decided to donate the building to MCHS and were allowed to use the building as they needed. The building was moved to a new foundation in August 1984.

A Note to Photographers

Please call our Director Margaret at 641-672-2989 or email her at to get permission to come take photographs of the property. This is not an open site and permission is necessary so we can let our property caretaker know.