Calhoun County

Unlock the Secret History of Rural Iowa with New Calhoun County Book

For Immediate Release

Contact: Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, 515-971-4415,

Think rural Iowa is just quiet little towns and farms? Think again. Calhoun County’s rich history includes entrepreneurs, entertainers, gangsters, bootleggers, sports stars and world-famous authors and more.

Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, a Calhoun County native and Lake City author, brings this history to life in her new book “Calhoun County,” published by Arcadia Publishing.

“History isn’t just something that happened long ago and far away,” said Maulsby, who is available to offer programs on her book. “It happens all around us all the time. I love sharing local history, because it touches your life, your family and your community and paints a picture of what it means to be an Iowan.”

Published by Arcadia Publishing and released on Sept 14, 2015, “Calhoun County” showcases rural Iowa’s unique heritage through remarkable glimpses into the past and intriguing stories. Discover the region’s pioneer heritage, the birth of the railroad and prairie towns, and the growth of some of most productive farms in the world. “Through this book, you can view the history of small-town, rural Iowa through the eyes of those who lived it,” Maulsby said.

Calhoun County claims two nationally acclaimed authors as native sons, was the target of a bank robbery by Bonnie and Clyde in the 1930s and welcomed Babe Ruth in 1940 (but not on the baseball field). “Calhoun County” offers a well-researched pictorial journey designed for native Iowans, transplanted Iowans, and those curious about the evolution of small towns and farms in the Midwest.

Can a knowledge of history make children more resilient?  
A solid understand of history also benefits generations to come, said Maulsby, who shares tips on preserving your own history, from vintage photos to family stories, during her programs.

“Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a terrorist attack?” Maulsby asked. “The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family.”

This has been proven by Dr. Marshall Duke, a psychologist at Emory University. In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Duke’s studies with U.S. families confirmed that children who know more about their families prove to be more resilient, meaning they can moderate the effects of stress.

Interestingly, it’s not the content of what is known that’s the critical factor, but the process by which these things came to be known. “To hear family stories, people need to sit down with one another and visit,” Maulsby said. “This can happen at dinnertime, family trips in the car, vacations, birthday gatherings, etc. These conversations about family history are a key to helping children grow stronger and healthier.”

“Calhoun County” is available at Swanson Hardware in Rockwell City, Lake City Hardware, the Lake City Food Center and the Lake City Drive-In. “Calhoun County” is also available on (direct link).



Here’s what others are saying about “Calhoun County:”

“If you want to understand today, you have to study yesterday, noted author Pearl Buck. In Iowa, studying yesterday means discovering the history of our great state’s small towns and farms. Come along on this remarkable journey with Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, who not only knows Iowa agriculture, but is a skilled storyteller who brings history to life.”

--Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey


“To understand Iowa, you need to understand the legacy of its small towns and rural communities. "Calhoun County" shows these roots run deep and make Iowa what it is today--a special place where people care about their heritage, cherish their small-town spirit, and work together to create a better future.”

--Kim Reynolds, lieutenant governor of Iowa


“I loved Iowa the minute I came here to play football for the Iowa Hawkeyes. The more I explore this great state, the more I appreciate Iowa’s farms and small towns. The interesting stories and photos in “Calhoun County” reflect the competitive spirit, teamwork and strong sense of community that make rural Iowa such an extraordinary place.”

--Chuck Long, Iowa Hawkeye football legend, former NFL player, and CEO/executive director of the Iowa Sports Foundation


“The time is right for this unique book. We’re less than a generation away from some of this history being lost forever, so it’s great to see it preserved through these interesting stories and pictures. “Calhoun County” is a fascinating journey that will keep you turning the pages to see what’s next.”

--Duane Murley, broadcaster and host of the KWMT Power Lunch show