The History of the
Cedar Valley Seminary
"To meet the educational needs of its young people."
- Gladys Diana Chatman
1863 - 1922
Early settlers came from the Eastern parts of the United States into Mitchell County, Iowa in the 1800s. The settlers, members of the Baptist Church were making their homes in Iowa and felt that religion and education should go hand in hand. A school of higher learning became the Cedar Valley Seminary dating from 1863 to 1922. Classes were first held in the Mitchell County Courthouse beginning in 1863 and then moved to the Cedar Valley Seminary Building when it was completed in 1869. From 1916 to 1922 it was also known as
Cedar Valley Junior College.
1922 - 1966
The Cedar Valley Seminary building became part of the Osage Community School System. The Seminary building was used for a variety of classes and activities and even housed the first Osage wrestling room in the lower level. In 1966 the survival of the Cedar Valley Seminary building was in jeopardy and the citizens of the Osage Community School District voted in favor to leasing the Seminary building to the Mitchell County Historical Society (MCHS) to be used as a museum.
1966 - 2010
The Mitchell County Historical Society Museum resided in the Seminary building for over 40 years. In 2010, the museum found a new home located in the Cedar River Complex building in Osage, Iowa.
2015 - 2016
The Osage School Board voted to demolish the Seminary building to accommodate space needed for the expansion of Lincoln Elementary School. A group of local citizens wanted to save the Seminary and over the next few months worked to make that dream become a reality. In June 2016, the Seminary building was prepped and moved 900 feet to its current location at 200 North 7th Street in Osage, Iowa directly south of the First Baptist Church.
2016 - Present
For the next two years, the Seminary building was renovated and restored. The vision of the Cedar Valley Seminary Foundation, is to "continue to serve and grow the community." By preserving the past, the vision is to embrace the stories of leaders who began their formative years in the heartland. Currently, the Cedar Valley Seminary is a hub of activity located in the heart of Osage. Old Central Coffee is located inside of the building, and bustles with activity from the community. There are various rental spaces located at the Seminary, including Old Central Coffee, a conference room, the Main Hall area, and Secondary Hall area. A state-of-the-art Culinary Center is located on the second floor as well.