Nira, Iowa

Iowa Ghost Towns

Submitted by Daniel Wetherell - 11-06-15

First off, love your website. It frequently comes up on the Forgotten Iowa Historical Society Facebook group.

That said I have a possible addition. This information is from the Washington County Genweb page. Not sure if this town became a ghost town as source and date of the clipping is not given. It was interesting enough to include.

The town of Nira, located in Lime Creek township in the northern part of the county, suddenly sprang into prominence when the National Recovery Act flourished in 1933. It was decided to print N-I-R-A stamps and through the efforts of Congressman E. C. Eicher, these stamps were to be put on sale at Nira, Iowa, first place in the United States.

Never before nor since has the town seen such a crowd. People came from all over the county to buy the first stamps and have them canceled at the town itself.

It was an unusual name for a town, its origin going back to 1880 when Col. W.B. Bell was postmaster at Washington. The little town in Lime Creek township was becoming quite a shipping center, a railroad was to run through there. It was to have a post office and so as was the custom, the postmaster at the county seat

was given the honor of naming the new "child". the land for the town site was given by J. W. Lewis.

On Col. Bell's desk at the post office was the picture of his wife Nira Bell. Perhaps it was her birthday, perhaps she had prepared a grand dinner for him that day. Anyhow, he was feeling a bit sentimental, and the thought came to him, "Why not name it, Nira?" It was short, it caught the publics fancy, and "Nira" it became.

A flourishing wide awake little village with several stores, fine citizens, a railroad station, and a post office. Like many of these little towns, it did not continue to flourish. Nira's big day was almost her swan song.

At least a few months later, the post office was discontinued. The school that was so flourishing has few scholars, but the beautiful fertile land remains and people who live there love their picturesque place.

Washington county sincerely hopes it will not become a ghost town."

Info above found at