Prepare to Enter The Hip History Contest

The first step in entering the Hip History Contest is to learn a little about Buxton and think about concepts you might want to include in your entry.

1. Read the Excerpt

Read the excerpt from Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa to get an idea of how life in Buxton compared to life in other cities and what Black Americans were experiencing throughout the nation. Since your entry will begin with the first two paragraphs of the excerpt and you will need to choose three concepts to explore in your video, if something intrigues you, keep it in mind as you learn about Buxton.

2. Learn About Buxton

While you could enter the contest using only the information obtained in the excerpt, we encourage you to learn a bit more. Learning more will not only make your entry richer, it may spark new ideas.

Here are some resources to help you learn more. Pick the ones that interest you.

Videos About Buxton

Books About Buxton

The following are books written about Buxton. If they are not available in your library or you do not want to purchase them, the “look inside” feature provides a decent amount of information:

Excerpts from these books can also be found by searching Google Books.

Other Interesting Information on Buxton

There are many great scholarly articles written about Buxton. There are also a lot of online pages devoted to Buxton’s history, some very informative and some with conflicting information. We don’t want to overwhelm you with information. But here are a few publications that provide a personal perspective of Buxton.

Minnie B. London Memoir

Minnie B. London was an African American teacher who later become a principal in Buxton. She was well-known and well-respected by people of both races. In 1940, she wrote about her life in Buxton in a short piece titled “As I Remember.”

Hazel Nylander Memoir

Hazel Nylander lived in Eveland, a mining camp nearly two miles from Buxton, before moving there. She wrote a memoir piece titled, “Buxton Was Not Really a Tough Town“, in 1970. This was provided to us by Janine Havener.

Outsiders viewed Buxton as a rough town and some Iowa newspapers ran sensationalized stories about the crime in Buxton. Many residents, however, felt this was not true. On page 4, Ms. Nylander’s statements about murders in Buxton differ from research performed by Dorothy Schwieder and her team and mentioned in the book above. They researched sheriff’s records in Albia and found that Buxton’s crime was no worse than any other town of the same size.

Gordon Peterson’s

Gordon Peterson, who states that Hazel Nylander was his dad’s aunt by marriage, includes information on her on his website, where he shares his family’s experiences in Buxton at

Rachelle Chase’s

Time permitting, Rachelle Chase writes about interesting things and people she’s discovered about Buxton that didn’t make it into her books at

Information about Jim Crow

Jim Crow was a fact of life for African Americans during the time of Buxton. Dr. David Pilgrim’s work contains excellent information on the subject. Dr. Pilgrim established the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia in Grand Rapids, Michigan using the 15,000+ images and products he had acquired over the years. He’s written two books about Jim Crow and provides a comprehensive summary of what it means and what life was like for African Americans in “What was Jim Crow.” The museum’s website has a lot of additional information, including a virtual museum tour.

Legacy Foundation Logo

The Hip History Scholarship Contest is funded in part by a grant from the Legacy Foundation, which partners to improve the health, education, and vitality of the City of Ottumwa and Wapello County.