Parnell, Iowa

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Parnell is a city in Iowa County, Iowa, United States. The population was 220 at the 2000 census.



Parnell, in Fillmore Township, Iowa County, Iowa, was named after Charles Stewart Parnell, a noble Irish statesman who had come to the American people to plead the cause of Ireland's land-impoverished peasants.

The Milwaukee Railroad helped to create Parnell. In 1884, the people of the little Irish town of Lytle City moved residences, stores, buildings, and families three miles west to where the railroad was beginning.

The people of Lytle City, who were all members of the Catholic Church, then became residents of Parnell. The town was incorporated on March 24, 1891, with a population of 156.

The early businesses consisted of a hardware store, grocery store, a drug store, a foundry and blacksmith, a newspaper office, hotel, a livery stable, tavern, dry goods store, millinery shop, a photographer, opera house, and a bank.

Catholic church services began in the fall of 1888. St. Joseph's Catholic Church was erected the next year. The Rev. James Davis was its first pastor. This was the largest Catholic Church in the county; and the only church in Parnell until March 16, 1958, when the Parnell Mennonite Church became an organized congregation. The St. Joseph's Cemetery was established in 1892 east of town. Due to deteriorating conditions, the church sadly had to be torn down April 27th, 2010.

The Parnell school district was first known as Locust Grove Independent district. The school house was one mile east of town for the first two years. In order to accommodate the pupils in town and in the western part of the district, school was held in a store building in Parnell in the winter of 1888-1889. Birdie Costello and W.J. Naughton were the first teachers. In 1889, a new one-room building was erected; and later in 1899, a four room brick structure was built. The school became a high school in 1899. In 1907, it adopted the eleventh grade course; and in 1915, it was raised to twelfth grade. In 1916, the Parnell Consolidated School was open-ed, becoming Parnell's first public school. The Sisters of Humility were transferred to this school, which until 1955, was one of the few public schools in the state to utilize Roman Catholic nuns as instructors.

Early families of Parnell included the Shuells, Murphys, Hannons, Tiernans, Kellys, McDonalds, Dwyers, Callans, Lawlers, Tourneys, McCunes, Mullinex', Naughtons, Quinns, Sheridans, Mastersons, Ryans, Leahys, Murrins, Coakleys, and Carneys.

In 1985, businesses included Weldon's DX, Shamrock Cafe, Royal Beauty Salon, Parnell Sandwich & Cone Shoppe, Parnell Tavern, Parnell Post Office, Central Midwest Petroleum, Parnell Cycle Shop, and Johnny O's Car Wash.

The St. Michael's Church, Cemetery, Rectory and Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall in Parnell was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[1]

Notable people


Parnell is located at 41°35′1″N 92°0′18″W / 41.58361°N 92.005°W / 41.58361; -92.005 (41.583477, -92.004930)[2].

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