Nichols news

Toni Wilson · Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Catfish restaurant closes in Nichols

An era has now come to an end. The Nichols Catfish Place closed its doors for the last time on a Saturday night in June of this year.

“It broke my heart to close the Nichols place," said Manager Terry Byers, "I will miss all the customers, and the neighbors who were always there to help me when I needed help.”

Byers explained that her son, Mark, has had a heart transplant, and it’s been difficult to find someone dependable enough to leave in charge at Nichols.

She also runs the Catfish Place and Campground located in Missouri at Arbela which, besides the Catfish Place Restaurant, includes 84 full-hookup campsites, two fishing ponds, paddle boats, a swimming pool and playground.

Driving back and forth between Iowa and Missouri became too much with all her other responsibilities.

The Nichols Catfish Place opened in May of 1983. It was owned and operating by Joe and Pearl Mattingly for about three years until management was passed to their son, Darrell Mattingly.

Darrell moved to Muscatine in 2000 and Terry Byers, a cousin and long time bookkeeper for all the Catfish Place Restaurants, took over management of the Nichols business.

Byers did say that two or three people have expressed interest in purchasing the business.

The catfish were grain fed, farm raised and shipped in from Mississippi. It will be sad to lose a business in Nichols, especially one that sold the best catfish in Iowa.

Possible new hours for Nichols PO

Retail hours for the Nichols Post Office may soon change, a result of community input into a recent survey.

Hours will most likely be Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

However, a final decision hasn't been made, and new hours will most likely not be implemented until January of 2015.

After polling the local community and posting information at the Nichols Post Office, the results of a local survey showed many residents are in favor of the change.

There were 348 customer surveys mailed, of those 119 were returned. According to the results 105, or 88 percent, voted for realignment of the hours.

Total Saturday window service hours will not be reduced and access to delivery receptacles will not change. The lobby of the post office will remain open 24 hours.


Nichols City Park was vandalized. The person, or persons, drove a vehicle in circles on the grass, creating deep, unsightly, ruts. The vandalism is being investigated.

Anyone with information may call the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Dept. at 563-263-6055 with information. Nichols Police Chief Jeff Jerak will be notified and all callers will remain anonymous.
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