Where to Find Audubon 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 Audubon County, Iowa. (I wish I could capture better maps for you!)

The Goff family lived in Audubon County only six years in the early 1900s, but several favorite family stories have come from that short time. 

Melville #2 School

The Goff youngsters attended Melville #2 School. Leora completed 8th Grade at this country school.

Audubon County has collected funds to post signs where the rural schools were. I’ve sponsored one for Melville #2 but don’t know whether it’s been posted yet.

Audubon Piano Teacher’s House?

Nora Brown Preston, fondly known as “Brownie,” had to resign her position with the Audubon school system in 1908 when she married. She still shared her music in her church and community, and also offered music lessons–voice, piano, and organ. Lessons–50 cents for half an hour–at the Preston home three doors east of the public school. Leora Goff rode a horse to Audubon to take piano lessons on Saturdays. Could this be the house? Where did the teenager tie her horse?


Mrs. Connrardy’s Sewing School

Susie Simpson, a great granddaughter of Alice B. Connrardy, shared a picture of the “sewing school house” as it looks today.
I have not been there yet, so send me a selfie if you visit it!
The house is on the corner of S. Edgerton and E. South Street. Turn south off the main street {which is actually Washington St and the highway that goes through Exira} onto S Edgerton at Exchange State Bank corner. It’s only 3 blocks and the house is on the south west corner of that intersection. The address is 113 E. South Street.

The Audubon and Exira libraries have a copy 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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