The Welcome Wagon Newcomers Club was formed as early as the 1950’s in an attempt to acquaint newcomers with Osceola’s locations, clubs, organizations, businesses and community facilities. Newcomers received bags of gifts and coupons from area merchants by filling out information cards available at Iowa Southern Utilities, General Telephone, Osceola Water Company and Clarke Electric Cooperative and mailing it to the Chamber of Commerce Secretary. Greeters delivered Welcome Wagon Bags to the new comer’s homes.
In 1965 a volunteer “welcoming” project was instituted by an Interchurch Council and was carried on by Mrs. Fern Underwood, with the assistance of the Community Center after it was established in Osceola.
In August of 1969 the Chamber of Commerce sponsored the project and Mrs. Mary Ellen Kimball was appointed representative of the Chamber of Commerce to call on and welcome newcomers to town. Nine women volunteered to help visit the new families. After being contacted by a greeter, the newcomer’s names, addresses, occupation, former residence and children’s names were printed in the Osceola Sentinel and Tribune.
A letter was sent to 150 Osceola businesses and individuals explaining “Welcome Newcomers” urging them to participate. Each letter was followed by a personal call from one of the greeters.
Newcomers coffees were initiated in 1969 and were held every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at the Whiteway Café, 123 N. Main. Longtime residents were encouraged to attend the meeting hosted by the Chamber.
It was the hope of several groups in town that this would be extended county-wide instead of city-wide.