Where to Find Guthrie County Places Named in the “Leora Stories”

Fans of the “Leora stories” have already been traveling to see where some of the stories took place, or to find places connected with the Clabe and Leora Wilson and their family. Here’s some help with places in Guthrie County, Iowa. (I wish I could capture better maps for you!)

Rural Guthrie County

Frog Pond School

This map shows Frog Pond School as well as the Morrisburg church and cemetery (see below). How I wish maps would turn out better!

Clabe, Rectha, and Alice Wilson attended Frog Pond School. One of Clabe’s schoolmates there was Wesley Clampitt, who became the Superintendent of the Dexter School when Clabe’s children attended there during the Great Depression. Part of the old foundation marks where the school stood.

Windy Gap

The Liza Jane railroad  track ran through Windy Gap east of Monteith. It was hard to locate.

Guthrie Center

The Guthrie Center Christian Church

The Guthrie Center Christian Church, where Laura Goff “learned to vote,” now houses the bell from the Monteith Church. Both Laura and daughter Leora worshiped there for decades. Address: 105 N 4th Street, Guthrie Center 50115

Home of Leora (Goff) Wilson and her mother Laura (Jordan) Goff

Address: 515 N. Fourth Street, Guthrie Center, 50115. It’s been remodeled and enlarged so it’s no longer recognizable as the little two-bedroom home of the widowed ladies.

Guthrie Center Cemetery

Leora’s folks, Sherd and Laura Goff, are buried there, as are Leora’s sister Georgia and brothers Rolla and Perry. Leora’s sister-in-law, who died of mumps when her baby boy was four days old (see page ) is buried there, as are the three Wilson infants who died at Dexter between 1929 and 1931. There is a stone there for Leora’s youngest brother, Virgil Cleon, but he is actually buried at Audubon.

The cemetery is east of the downtown area, on the north side of Highway 44. The Goff burial plot is at the east end of the cemetery, partway into the cemetery.


The house where Georgia Wilson lived with Fonnie and Verna before WWII still stands at 105 W. Lane, Panora, IA 50216. The house is in the 1914 photo of Clabe and Leora with their horse and wagon on the cover of Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots.

Morrisburg Church

Georgia Wilson attended church there. Address: 2676 Wagon Rd, Stuart, IA 50250

P28 (or Wagon Road) runs south from Panora to Stuart.

Morrisburg Cemetery

The cemetery is along the Highway P28 (Wagon Road) south of the church. Clabe Wilson’s mother, Georgia, is buried here, as well as her folks, two sisters, grandparents, and many more Williams relatives. Her grandparents’ stone is located on the left as you drive in from the entrance.



Located just west of the town, Leora’s Jordan, Moore, and Branson ancestors are buried in the area north of the road.



The Goffs and the Wilsons rode the Liza Jane train many times between Stuart and Guthrie Center. The Stuart Depot, right along White Pole Road, has been renovated and is in use for local activities. Commemorative bricks were sold as a fundraiser. Four Wilson bricks are part of the display near the depot. Address: 1193-1199 Front St, Stuart, IA 50250

Please check local libraries for copies of Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots. I hope high school students will enjoy the short chapters in this book! 



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