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The History of Keokuk County, Iowa:  2001

Page 88

Funeral Chapel

In September 1964, the Harden family of New Sharon, Iowa, purchased the Whyle Funeral Home in What Cheer from Mrs. Velma Whyle and her son, James Whyle.  This purchase marked the end of ownership by a single family for 80 years.

The Harden Funeral Chapel in What Cheer was completely destroyed and the Community Center located next door severely damaged by a fire on May 28, 1977.  Plans for rebuilding the Chapel were started the following day.  All the historical burial records were lost in the fire.  The Community Center was the office of the City Clerk and Council, Library, and a meeting place for the What Cheer Women's Club, the Senior Citizens, Royal Neighbors, Pythian Sisters, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and the Saddle Club.  All the files and contents of City Hall were removed and placed at the Patriot-Chronicle newspaper office until the fire was extinguished.  The Community Center building was later ruled unsafe and a new City Hall building built.

The Harden Funeral Chapel was purchased by Van Arkel and Langkamp in 1989.



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