ADAIR – Henry A. Wallace, former U. S Vice President was born here in 1888.
u Jesse James and his gang robbed their first train near here on July 21, 1873. They killed the engineer.
ADEL – Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick was born here in 1918. Killed during WWII in the South Pacific, his body was never found.
ALGONA – Born here in Algona were publisher Gardner Cowles in 1903, and singer Dick Dale in 1925 (He was a regular on the Lawrence Welk TV show).
u Just north of town is a small graveyard with an even smaller graveyard fenced off in the back. It is said that when gypsy wagon trains would pass through town back in the 1800's and one of their flock was sick and dying, instead of taking them further on the journey and not having Gypsy hollowed ground to bury them in, they would just bury them there while still alive. Many ghostly figures have been seen in the graveyard.
ALTON – Evangelist Robert Schuler was born here in 1926.
AMANA - Seeking religious freedom, the early settlers of the Amanas left Germany in 1842, settling near Buffalo, New York. In 1855, the "Community of True Inspiration" moved west, forming their first village along the Iowa River. Eventually, 26,000 acres were purchased and six more villages settled. Their communal system was essentially unchanged for 89 years, one of the longest-lasting communal societies in the world. All land and buildings were owned by the community; families were assigned living quarters, and each person over school age worked at assigned tasks in the kitchens, fields, factories or shops. In 1932, the people voted to end the communal way of life. Today, many of the businesses in the Amana Colonies are independently owned and operated. Amana is the birthplace of Amana brand of kitchen appliances. A manufacturing plant is located in Middle Amana. The company headquarters was also located in Amana until the brand was sold, later becoming part of the Maytag Corporation.. The Amana area stretches from about 20 miles southwest of Cedar Rapids to Williamsburg,
AMES – Billy Sunday, baseball player and evangelist was born here in 1862.
u George Washington Carver got his degree here at Iowa State in 1896.
ANAMOSA – Artist Grant Wood was born here in 1892. His most famous painting was "American Gothic." He is buried here in the Riverside Cemetery.
ATLANTIC – A 25-foot high marble monument here in the Atlantic Cemetery on Elm St. & Cemetery Rd. marks the site of a corpse-less grave. Built at a cost of $25,000. the monument was placed on the spot chosen by John Tiernan to be his burial plot. Tiernan died in Florida and was not brought here for burial.
u AVOCA – Actor Richard Beymer was born here in 1939.
BANCROFT – Baseball player Joe Hatten was born here in 1916
BEDFORD – Lovers Floyd Horton and Anna Johnston had been involved in an affair for sometime before the plotted to kill Floyd's wife Elta with strychnine on 1936. Anna purchased the poison at a local pharmacist, telling him she wanted to kill some rats in her basement. On the evening of February 14, 1936, Floyd administered the fatal dose to Elta at their farm near Bedford. Elta Died the next day. An autopsy revealed the strychnine and Floyd and Anna were arrested and charged with murder. They were convicted and both were sentenced to life in prison.
BOONE – Born here in Boone were baseball player Charles "Buster" Brown in 1881, and former first lady Mamie Dowd Eisenhower in 1896. Her birth frame home at 709 Carroll has been restored complete with summer kitchen and original furniture.
u On the night of July 6, 1881, fifteen-year-old Kate Shelly braved a severe storm and flooding to help rescue crew members of a train that had plunged from a collapsed viaduct into rain-swollen Honey Creek in Boone County. It was also her intention to warn the scheduled passenger trains of the washout. Her heroism helped rescue two survivors of the first disaster and prevented another. In 1901, Chicago and Northwestern Railroad built a new bridge here and named it the Kate Shelley Bridge. It stands 185 feet above the Des Moines Rive, is 2,685 feet long and is the longest and highest double-track bridge in the world. When Kate died in 1912 she was buried here the Sacred Heart Cemetery.
BRANDON – The largest frying pan in the world is here in Brandon.
It is 14 feet, 3 inches long and weighs 1,200 pounds.
BRITT – Since 1980, the Hobo Foundation has been operating the Hobo Museum in a building that was formerly the Chief Theater. Located on main St., it contains extensive memorabilia of such famous hobos as Steamtrain Maury, Frisco Jack, Connecticut Slim, Slo Motion Shorty, Hard Rock Kid and Pennsylvania Kid
BURLINGTON – Born here in Burlington were actor William Frawley in 1887 (He was "Fred Mertz" on the I Love Lucy show), inventor Wallace Hume Carothers in 1896 (He invented nylon), songwriter Bart Howard in 1915, (he wrote Fly Me to the Moon), and football player Kurt Warner in 1971.
u Ripley's Believe It or Not called Burlington's Snake Alley the most crooked street in the world. Snake Alley consists of five half-curves and two quarter-curves and drops 58 feet over a distance of 275 feet. The street is reminiscent of vineyard paths in France and Germany. It is located at the 600 block of Washington St., in the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood
u Indian Chief Black Hawk died in 1832 and was buried on James Jordan's farm near Iowaville. On July 3, 1839, James Turner, a local dentist, stole the corpse, fled to Quincy, Illinois, cooked off the flesh in a hog-scalding kettle, and prepared to exhibit the skeleton. The Iowa governor insisted on its return, then gave the skeleton to a physician friend, who kept it here in his Burlington office. A fire destroyed both office and bones in 1855.
BURT – Cartoonist Bob Thaves was born here in 1924. His comic strip “Frank and Ernest” appeared in over 1,300 newspapers.
CARROLL – Heavyweight boxing champion James J. Jeffries was born here in 1875.
CASCADE – Baseball player Urban "Red" Faber was born here in 1888.
CEDAR FALLS – Author Bess Streeter Aldrich was born here in 1881.
CEDAR RAPIDS – Born here in Cedar Rapids were singers Addie and Effie Cherry, actor Wade Crosby in 1905, actor Don Defore in 1917 (he was Ozzie Nelson's next door neighbor in Ozzie & Harriet), newspaper publisher Helen Copley in 1922, and actor Bobby Driscoll in 1937.
u Football player Kurt Warner grew up here.
u An explosion in a food plant here on May 22, 1919 killed 44 people.
u The Quaker Oats plant on 3rd Street was the largest cereal plant in the world in 1950.
u Sisters Addie and Effie Cherry are buried here in the Linwood Cemetery. From 1893 to 1917, Addie and Effie, and their sisters Jessie, and Lizzie, toured the Vaudeville circuit, singing songs they wrote, reciting poetry and performing an original operetta. They were so bad, they were good. They were billed as "The World's Worst Sister Act." Audiences enjoyed hissing, booing and throwing fruit at them. In 1896 they played to sold out houses at the Olympia Theater on Broadway for four weeks. When WWI began, they returned to Cedar Rapids where they opened a bakery that specialized in cherry pies. They both died penniless, Addie in 1859 and Effie in 1876. They are buried here in the Indigent Section.
u Actress Fran Allison is buried here in the Mount Calvary Cemetery. She was "Fran" of the Kukla, Fran, and Ollie puppet show, and Aunt Franny on the Don McNeill's Breakfast Club radio show. She is in the Old Section 2, near the entrance.
CENTERVILLE – Singer Simon Estes was born here in 1938.
u the "World's Largest Town Square" in Centervilleboast has 116 buildings and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
CHARLES CITY – Woman' rights activist Carrie Chapman Catt was born here in 1859. She led the campaign that ended with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution allowing women to vote.
u At 3 o'clock on the morning of January 8,1907, retired carpenter James Cullen, 65, stabbed his wife through the heart as she slept. He then entered his 17-year-old stepson's room where he attempted to cut his throat. The boy, however, managed to wrestle Cullen to the floor where a professor from Charles City College, who roomed at the house, separated them. When the boy, Roy Eastman, said he was going for the marshal, Cullen got a revolver and shot him through the head, Cullen was later arrested and imprisoned in the Floyd County jail. Cullen's plea for the double murder was "self-defense." He said his wife had been trying to nag him to death and her son had been trying to kill him.
– The next day, a mob began to form in the street by the jail. Soon the street was filled more than 400 persons. The demand for justice grew each moment. About 11 p.m. the mob pushed toward the jail voicing its intention of saving the county the expense of prosecuting Cullen. When the sheriff came to the door, he was told to go over to the courthouse and stay, a request he immediately complied with. A team was driven hurriedly into the courtyard and from the wagon was pulled a railroad rail that weighed about 750 pounds. It was used to batter down the door leading through the brick wall where Cullen's cell was located. Cullen was then dragged into the street and toward a bridge a block away on Main Street.
– When they reached the bridge, a rope was placed around his neck. The crowd then paused to let Cullen speak. I'm innocent," he cried. "Shoot him down," someone yelled. "Hanging goes tonight, not murder," another answered. And with that he was hanged from one of the girders of the bridge. After a few spasmodic convulsions in the air, Cullen was dead. The body was left hanging for an hour before it was cut down.
UPDATE – On January 11, Cullen was buried in the Riverside Cemetery at 59 Riverside Ave. where he remains today in an unmarked grave.
* Roy Eastman, is listed in the Riverside Cemetery's records as having been buried there on January 10, 1907, but there is no record of his death at the county courthouse.
* In 1909, the bridge was floated down the Cedar River to make room for the concrete structure which now crosses the river on Main Street. It has been renamed the "St. Mary's" bridge and is used as a Highway 18 crossing. The bridge is substantially the same as it was on the night of the lynching.
* Nobody was ever prosecuted for the hanging.
CLARINDA – Born here were musician Glenn Miller on March 1, 1904, and actress Marilyn Maxwell in 1922.
u Miller’s home is still here at 601 So. 16th.
CLEAR LAKE – Rock Stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and "The Big Bopper" played their final show here at the Surf Ballroom on February 2, 1959. After the show they boarded a plane which crashed shortly after takeoff, killing them and their pilot. They crashed in a cornfield near the farms of Reeve Eldridge and Albert Juhl.
CLINTON – Born here in Clinton were: actor Benjamin Wilson, high-octane gasoline inventor Donald L. Campbell in 1904, and actress Lillian Russell in 1860.
u Ringling Brothers Circus clown Felix Adler is buried here in the Springdale Cemetery.
COON RAPIDS – In 1959, Nikita Khruschev visited the Coon Rapids farm of Roswell Garst.
CORNELL – Cornell College here is the only school in the nation to have its entire campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
CORNING – Johnny Carson was born here in 1925.
CORYDON – Jesse and Frank James, and Cole Younger robbed the bank here of $10,000 on June 3, 1871.
COUNCIL BLUFFS – Born here in Council Bluffs were woman's rights pioneer Amelia Jenks Bloomer in 1818 (Bloomers are named after her), architect Robert Langdon Jr. In 1918 (he designed the Getty Museum in Los Angeles), educator Nathan Pusey in 1826, inventor Lee DeForest in 1873 (He invented the radio tube), actor Edward Wallock in 1978, comedian Harry Langdon in 1884, and actor Charles Brown in 1887.
u Virgil Earp was a stage coach driver here after the Civil War.
u In 1864, Jesse and Frank James robbed a train near here. On a curving stretch of the Rock Island line's tracks, the gang pulled a rail out of the tracks. Just as a train approached, the engineer, John Rafferty, spotted the sabotage and tried to stop, but the engine and coaches toppled off the tracks. Rafferty was crushed to death and a dozen passengers were injured.
u Council Bluff's most famous house was built in 1869 by General Grenville Dodge at 605 Third Street at the cost of $35,000. The fourteen-room, three-story mansion stands on a high terrace overlooking the Missouri Valley. Called "the greatest railroad builder of all time." Dodge, a Civil War veteran, was counsel to presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Legend has it that mansion is haunted by the General. Some people have reported seeing him wandering around the house or sitting in his rocking chair.
u Professional Wrestler Martin "Farmer" Burns is buried here in the Saint James Cemetery.
u Buried here in the Fairview Cemetery are:
– Amelia Jenks Bloomer. A pioneer in women's rights, and an advocate of dress reforms, one of which the public dubbed "bloomers" after her. She died here on December 30, 1894.
– Ruth Anne Dodge, wife of General Grenville Dodge. Her monument, the bronze "Angel of Death," was erected on her grave by her daughters in 1918. The inspiration for the monument came from a constantly recurring dream about which Mrs. Dodge told her children before her death. American sculptor, Daniel Chester French executed the monument, which he considered his masterpiece. There's a myth that the angel leaves her pedestal and flies around at night. Some say the statue has been seen to cry real tears.
CRESCO – Born here in Cresco were agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug in 1914, and stewardess Ellen Marshall. She was the first airline stewardess or "hostess." She worked for United Airlines from 1930 to 1932, and Norman Borlaug in 1914.
CRESTON – Actress Marcia Wallace was born here in 1942.
CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake is home to a statue of the world's largest bullhead fish.
DAKOTA CITY – Harry Reasoner, TV commentator was born here in 1923.
DAVENPORT – Born here in Davenport were William "Buffalo Bill" Cody in 1846, actress Louise Carver in 1869, actor Nat Pendleton in 1899, novelist/journalist Susan Glaspell in 1882, musician Bix Beiderbecke in 1903 at 1934 Grand Ave. (He is buried in Oakdale Cemetery at 25th and Eastern), and TV executive Peter Lafferty in 1917 (he brought All in the Family and MASH to TV).
u Ronald Reagan was an announcer here at WOC radio in 1932.
u Football player Johnny Lujack was living here at 2612 E. Locust in 1988.
u The very First National Bank opened here in 1863.
u Kate "Big Nose" Elder's parents, Michael and Katherine Harony died here in Davenport. Katherine died in 1865. Big Nose Kate was the girlfriend of the infamous Doc Holliday.
u Actor Hal Skelly is buried here in the Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery. He was killed in a car accident in 1934 at age 43.
u Dr. John Emerson is buried here in the City Cemetery at the corner of Rockingham Rd. & Sturdivant-Harris St. He was the owner of the famous Negro slave Dred Scott.
DENISON – Born here in Denison were: actress Louise Carter in 1875, and actress Donna Reed in 1921. (She starred in the films, It's a Wonderful Life, and From Here to Eternity.
DES MOINES – Born here in Des Moines were actress Juanita Hansen in 1897, actor Frank Jenks in 1902, actress Harriet Nelson in 1912 (She was the mother of Rick Nelson), actress Cloris Leachman in 1929 and actress Sada Thompson in 1929.
u Actress Hope Emerson graduated from West high school here in 1917.
u The first training center for the WAC's during WWII was located here at Army Post Rd. and S.W. 9th St.
u Ronald Reagan was a sports announcer here at WHO radio in 1933.
u Buried here in the Glendale Cemetery are:
– Herman Hollis, FBI agent. He was killed in 1934 by gangster "Baby Face" Nelson.
– Edwin Meredith, publisher. He published the magazine Better Homes and Gardens.
– Henry A. Wallace, former U. S. Vice President.
DEXTER – IOWA MACHINE GUNS ROUT BARROW GANG
Linked by Radio, Planes and Autos Pursue Fleeing Leader After Two Are Seized. Sought In Four Murders. Discovery of 'Wild West' Camp Brings on Battle In Which Three Outlaws Are Badly Wounded.
DEXTER, Iowa, July 24 (AP) -- Clyde Barrow, notorious Texas outlaw, fought a machine-gun battle with police in a wooded hideaway today, and tonight was dodging over Western Iowa with airplanes, armored cars, motorcycles and automobiles -- all connected by wireless -- in hot pursuit.
(This headline story appeared in the NY Times on July 24,, 1933)
DUBUQUE – Born here in Dubuque were: actor Frank Keenan in 1859, actress Margaret Lindsay in 1910, football player Jay Berwanger in 1914, (He played for Chicago U., won the first Heisman Trophy in 1935 and was the first to be drafted by the NFL), and playwright David Rabe in 1940.
u The Fenelon Place Elevator, which has been called "the world's steepest, shortest scenic railway," climbs the Mississippi River bluff at the end of Fourth Street near downtown Dubuque. (It has also been known as the Fourth Street Elevator.) It has a length of 296 feet (90 m) and a vertical elevation of 189 feet (57.6 m). It is a funicular: a cable-driven railway powered by an engine in the upper station. The two cars always leave the upper and lower stations simultaneously, and pass at the midpoint of the track.
u Actor Don Ameche (Amici) is buried (ashes) here in the Resurrection Catholic Cemetery (Formerly St. Philomina's) on Asbury Rd.) He starred in the film Cocoon.
u Novelist/playwright Richard Bissell is buried here in the Linwood Cemetery. His novel 7 And A Half Cents was turned into a Broadway musical play and film in called, The Pajama Game.
DUNLAP – Bank Robber Tom O'Day is buried here in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in the O'Day plot, but there is no marker. O'Day was one of the bank robbers who held up the bank in Belle Fourche, South Dakota along with Wild Bunch members Kid Curry, George Currie and the Sundance Kid.
DYERSVILLE – The movie Field of Dreams was filmed here in a cornfield 3.3 miles outside town.
EARLHAM – Four-year-old John Wayne and his family lived here in 1910 at 320 Ohio St. near the depot.
ELDON – Artist Grant Wood used an 1880s home here in 1930 as the backdrop for his "American Gothic" painting of a farmer and his daughter, which has become one of the most recognized images in the world. His models were his sister and a local dentist. In 1992, the Historical Society renovated the house located at 300 American Gothic St. Although the house is not open to the public (a caretaker lives in it), visitors are encouraged to pose for a photograph in front of the house. The painting, now in the the Chicago Art Institute, is valued at between $25 and $35 Million. Wood died in 1942, and is buried in Anamosa, Iowa.
ELDORA – The movie “Twister” was filmed here in 1996. The climactic final scene was shot in the old Follet house.
ELMWOOD – Composer Meredith Willson is buried here in the Elmwood Cemetery.
FAIRFAX – When Wyatt Earp's second wife, Mattie Blaylock died in Arizona, her effects were sent here to her mother Mrs. Sarah Blaylock. Mattie was with Wyatt during the shootout at the O.K. Corral.
FESTINA – Dedicated in 1886, St. Anthony of Padua Chapel claims in old postcards and signage to be the "Smallest Church in the World." Though the claim may have had fleeting validity, later breakthroughs in ministry miniaturization leave this Roman Catholic church among the giants. With its 12 ft. x 16 ft. interior, normal sized doorway and pews, 40 ft. steeple, and room for eight people, it is nonetheless a charming spot to seek solace. Before you screech off in search of a smaller church...
(West of Festina - signs on Iowa Rt. 150 and Iowa Rt. 24. Service held Sunday closest to June 13, Feast of St. Anthony of Padua.)
FOREST CITY – The Winnebago Motor Home Company was founded here in 1958.
FORT DODGE – Actress Lily Damita Loomis (Liliane Marie Madeleine Carr) is buried herein the Oakland Cemetery. She was married to actor Errol Flynn and was the mother of photographer Sean Flynn. She is in the Loomis family plot.
u In 1907, the city council here passed a law requiring everyone between the age of 25 and 45 to get married - or else.
FORT MADISON – Born here in Fort Madison were: actor Hale Hamilton in 1880, and actor Dennis O'Keefe in 1908.
FREDERICKSBURG – William Pitts was living here in 1864 when he wrote the song The Little Church in the Vale.
GLADBROOK – The Matchstick Marvels museum is located here at 319 2nd St . This museum holds large creations that are made out of matchsticks. Millions of matchsticks have been painstakingly glued together to represent models of planes, trains, ships, or anything else that strikes his imagination. Many are featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not museums in the United States, Mexico, Australia, Indonesia, and Europe.
GREENFIELD – Dick Van Dyke made the movie Cold Turkey here. The whole town quit smoking for 30 days during that time.
GREEN MOUNTAIN – A train wreck here on March 21, 1910, killed 55 people.
HAMPTON – Born here in Hampton were: Queen For a Day game show host Jack Bailey, in 1907, and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy in 1875.
HAWARDEN – Actress Hope Emerson was born here in 1897 and is buried here in the Grace Hill Cemetery.
HUMBOLDT – Wrestler Frank Gotch was born here in 1878.
u TV journalist Harry Reasoner grew up here.
u Buried here in the Union Cemetery are:
– Television journalist Harry Reasoner.
– Pro wrestler Frank Gotch.
INDIANOLA – Born here in Indianola were: actress Rosemary Lane in 1914 and here sister, actress Priscilla Lane in 1917.
u George Washington Carver attended Simpson College here in 1895.
IOWA CITY – Race driver Janet Guthrie was born here in 1938.
u Iowa University wrestling coach Dan Gable grew up here.
JEFFERSON – George Gallup of Gallup Poll fame was born here in 1901.
KALONA – Kalona is the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi River.
KEOKUK – Born here were: actor Edward Kimball in 1859 (he was the father of actress Clara Kimball Young), professional party giver Elsa Maxwell in 1883, and actor Conrad Nagel in 1897.
u Mark Twain worked here in his brother's print shop at 2nd and Main in 1856. He gave his first after-dinner speech at the Hawkeye Hotel at 2nd and Main where he lived.
u Six-year-old John Wayne lived here with his father in 1912, at 11 So. Ninth St.
KEOSAUQUA – Actor "Wild Bill" Elliott was born here in 1876.
u Author Phil Stong is buried here in the Oak Lawn Cemetery. He wrote State Fair.
KNIERIM - Bonnie and Clyde robbed the Knierim bank in Calhoun County of $272 in 1934.
KNOXVILLE – Virgil Earp married Ellen Rysdam here on September 21, 1861. The names on the marriage license were Walter Earp and Eleanor Donahoo.
LAKE MILLS – Novelist/historian Wallace Stegner was born on a farm near here in 1909.
LA PORTE CITY – Fran Allison of Kukla Fran & Ollie was born here in 1907 or 1917.
LECLAIRE – Issac Cody, father of Buffalo Bill Cody was born. Buffalo Bill grew up here in a home two miles outside town on Route 61. The old home was moved to Cody Memorial Park in Cody Wyoming.
LEGRANDE – Baseball player Jack Coombs was born here in 1882.
LEMARS – Film producer Marian Rees was born here in 1927.
u Called the “Ice Cream Capital of the World,” it is reported that more ice cream is produced here than anywhere else in the world. The Wells Plant here produces the brands Blue Bunny, Häagen-Dazs, and Baskin-Robbins.
u LYNCHING THREAT HALTS FARM SALE; Rope Dangled Before Mortgage Holder's Agent In Lemars, Iowa and Sheriff Is Mauled. FARMERS DETAIN JUDGE Prevent him from calling aid. Eight hundred Plymouth County farmers today forcibly prevented the sale of a foreclosed farm here after overpowering Sheriff R.E. Ripley and Judge C.W. Pitts of the District Court and threatening to lynch an agent of the mortgage holder.
(This headline story appeared in the NY Times on January 4, 1933)
LEON – Circus thin man Harry Lewis was born in Leon in 1895.
Billed as the “Thinnest Man in the World,” Harry stood 5 feet, 7 1/2 inches and weighed 75 pounds. Lewis was a normal boy until the age of 12. That was when he began to notice weakness in his shoulders and hips. Doctors diagnosed him with a juvenile form of muscular dystrophy. The illness spread and caused his body to waste away, emaciating him to the point where he became a frail, living skeleton. He subsisted on a light diet of fruit, vegetables, milk, peas, beans, and occasionally an egg. Sometimes called the “Shadow Man,” he worked briefly with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
LINEVILLE – Gunfighter Ben Cravens was born here in 1868 on his father's farm. While still in his teens he ran away to the Indian country where in a few years he became a train robber, horse thief, whiskey runner and killer.
LITTLEPORT – When the Volga River flooded Littleport on the night of May 16, 1999, it devastated the 170-year-old farming town. People had 20 minutes to respond to the flood warning. They grabbed what they could and then the devastation came with a fury. In 2001, Littleport's Main Street was overrun by weeds, and homes were caked with mud and brown water stains marked the flood level, at least 5 feet on most homes. About 45 people abandoned their mud-encased homes for good and moved to surrounding communities after the federal government bought them out and condemned the rotting structures. Even the mayor left town. Picked over by scavengers, Littleport was waiting to be demolished.
LONG GROVE – Samuel Cody, older brother of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody is buried herein the Long Grove Cemetery. Not far from his gravesite is the Cody Homestead Historic Site.
LUCAS – Labor leader John L. Lewis was born here in 1880.
MACKSBURG – Glenn L. Martin aviator, and airplane manufacturer was born here in 1886.
MAQUAKETA – Former Illinois Governor George Homer Ryan was born here in 1934. In 2006, he was on trial for bribery and corruption.
MARSHALLTOWN – Born here in Marshalltown were: baseball player Adrian "Cap" Anson in 1851, and actress Jean Seberg in 1938.
u Evangelist Billy Sunday grew up here.
u Suzanne Marie Butts, 38, of Marshalltown was arrested here in June, 2007 for stealing three rolls of 2-ply toilet paper from the county courthouse.
MASON CITY – Composer Meredith Willson was born here in 1902. He wrote the music for The Music Man, and the Iowa U. fight song. Mason City is immortalized as the fictional 1912 town of River City in he film The Music Man.
u Puppeteer Bill Baird grew up here.
u Baseball player Grover Cleveland Alexander moved here when here about 1890 when he was a child.
u John Dillinger and "Baby Face" Nelson robbed the First National Bank here of $50,000 on March 13, 1934.
u Rock stars Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the "Big Bopper," were killed in a plane crash four to five miles northwest of the runway of the Mason City airport, on February 3, 1959. The plane crashed five minutes after takeoff on Albert Juhl's farm near the Reeve Eldridge farm. The death plane was buried secretly in the wilderness by Jerry Dwyer.
MILCOON – Actress Belle Bennett was born here in 1891.
MOINGONA – On a dark and stormy night on July 6, 1881, fourteen-year-old Kate Shelley, who lived with her family near the bridge across Honey Creek, lay awake listening to the storm. Just after midnight, she heard a tremendous crash, the bridge had given way and a locomotive had plunged into the torrent below. Shelley knew immediately what she had to do – get to the railroad station and stop the approaching passenger express. She headed out into the storm. By the time she reached a nearby bridge over the flooded Des Moines River, her lamp had gone out. In pitch darkness, crawling on her hands and knees, she inched across the 673-foot span, terrorized with fear. Finally she made it to the far side and ran the last half mile to the station in time for the agent to telegraph ahead and stop the train. Shelley was rewarded with nation-wide attention, as well as a gold medal and $200. In later years Shelley was given the job of station agent at Moingona.
MOUNT PLEASANT – Space physicist James A. Van Allen was born here in 1914.
MUSCATINE – Actor, screenwriter Fred Windemere was born here in 1892.
u Mark Twain lived here with his mother at 109 Walnut in 1853.
NASHUA – Actor Kent Taylor was born here in 1907.
u The Little Church in the Vale is located three miles outside Nashua.
NEWTON – Boxing champ Rocky Marciano was killed in a plane crash near here on August 31, 1969.
u Elmer and Fred Maytag, founders of the Maytag Washing Machine Co. are buried here in the Newton Union Cemetery at 1600 W. 4th St. N.
NEVADA – Sports star and evangelist, Billy Sunday went to high school here in the late 1870s.
ORIENT – Former Vice President Henry Wallace was born near here in 1888.
OSKALOOSA – Actor Chester Conklin was born here in 1888. He was one of the original "Keystone Kops."
PELLA – Wyatt and Virgil Earp grew up here at 507 Franklin Street. They lived here from 1850 to 1865. Morgan Earp was born here on April 4, 1851. Their father Nicholas was the Provost Marshall here in 1865.
u Pella was once called the cleanest city in Iowa.
u Martha Earp, sister of Wyatt is buried here in Pella. She died in 1861. His sister Virginia is also buried here.
PERU – Scientist Jesse Hiatt is buried here in the Municipal Cemetery of Peru. He discovered the Red Delicious apple (originally called the "Hawkeye Apple.")
POCAHONTAS – A large statue of Princess Pocanontas is located here at 17 3rd Ave.
POSTVILLE – Nobel laureate John R. Mott grew up here.
u The population of Postville was predominantly German and Norwegian for much of its existence. In 1987, a group of Hasidic Jews purchased a Kosher slaughterhouse here and named the facility Agriprocessors. Since then, Postville has seen an influx of people, including many Mexicans, Guatemalans, Filipinos, Ukranians and Russians. The interaction of Postville natives with these newcomers was the subject of a book about the town, Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America, written by Stephen Bloom, a professor at the University of Iowa. On May 12th, 2008, U.S. immigration agents raided Agriprocessors, taking 390 illegal aliens into custody on suspicion of identity theft, and fraudulent use of Social Security numbers.
Today, Postville calls itself “Hometown to the world.”
RED OAK – Actor Raymond Hatton was born here in 1892.
REMINGTON – Baseball player Johnny Niggling was born here in 1903.
RIVERTON – The Jesse James gang robbed the Sexton bank here of $5,000 on July 10, 1881.
ROCHESTER – Actress Sarah Bernhardt was born here in 1845. Her mother, Mrs. King, is buried in the Rochester Cemetery.
ROME – Donald Duncan, inventor of the Yo-Yo was born here in 1891.
SALEM – Horticulturist Henderson Lewelling discovered the Bing Cherry here. He lived on West Main St.
SEDAN – Circus clown Emmett Kelly was born here in 1898.
SHENANDOAH – Earl May, founder of the May mail order seed business is buried here in the Rose Hill Cemetery.
SIOUX CITY – Born here in Sioux City were: actor McDonald Carey in 1913, columnist Abigail Van Buren and her twin sister, columnist Ann Landers in 1918, actress Constance Moore in 1919, aerospace writer Howard Benedict in 1928, and actor Fred Grandy in 1948 (He starred on TV’s Love Boat.)
u In 1922, James Capone, brother of Al, was a special officer for the U.S. Indian service here when he was arrested for the murder of an Indian brave. He was acquitted but the relatives of the victim waylaid him and knocked out one of his eyes.
u The tallest tombstone in the west is located here. It belongs to Sergeant Charles Floyd, who died of a perforated appendix on August 20, 1804 while with the Lewis and Clark expedition. It is located off Highway 75 near Glenn Avenue, the monument overlooks a breathtaking view of Missouri River.
u The grave of Chief War Eagle is located here in War Eagle Park.
u Sioux City is home to the world's largest popcorn producer (American Popcorn) and the nation's largest honey co-op (Sue Bee Honey).
SPILLVILLE – Composer Anton Dvorak lived here in the summer of 1893. While here he worked on his "String Quartette in F Major Opus 96," and on the last movement of his New World Symphony.
SPRINGVILLE – Mrs. Winans, a survivor of the Fort Dearborn Massacre in Chicago in 1812 is buried here in Springville Cemetery on Dubuque Rd.
STANTON – Actress Virginia Christine was born here in 1920. She was best known for her role as Folger Coffee's Mrs. Olsen. Stanton once converted its water tower to look like a coffee pot in her honor.
STORM LAKE – Roger Peterson, the pilot of the plane that crashed killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and "The Big Bopper" in 1959, is buried here in the Buena Vista Memorial Park Cemetery.
STRAWBERRY POINT – The world’s laargest strawberry is located at 111 E Mission St. It is 15-feet high, and 12-feet across .
TAMA COUNTY – Outlaw Kid Curry (Harvey Logan) was born in Tama County in 1867. A member of Butch Cassidy’s “Wild Bunch,”
he was one of the most feared killers in the West. On June 8, 1904, Logan and several other outlaws were trapped in a box canyon near Parachute, Colorado. Logan was shot in the shoulder. Rather than give himself up he committed suicide by shooting himself in the left temple.
TOLEDO – Baseball player Leonard "King" Cole was born here in 1886. He won 21 games for the Chicago Cubs in 1910.
VAN METER – Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller was born (1918) and raised here.
VILLISCA – On the morning of June 10, 1912, Joshua and Sarah Moore, their four children, Herman, 11, Catherine, 10, Boyd, 7, and Paul 5, and two visiting Stillinger children, Lena, 12, and Ina, 8, were found axed to death here in the Moore home at 508 E. 2nd. The Stillinger sisters were found in the downstairs bedroom and the Moore family were found in bedrooms upstairs. The bloody axe was found in the bedroom where the Stillinger girls were found. The eight victims were buried here in the Villisca Cemetery. The killer has never been found The Moore house, built in 1868, was restored in 1994 and was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1998. GO THERE MORE
WALL LAKE – Singer Andy Williams was born here in 1920.
WATERLOO – Born here in Waterloo were: actress Julie Adams n 1926, and Olympic wrestler Dan Gable in 1949.
u Tommy Carroll, a member of the John Dillinger gang was shot and killed here by police on June 7, 1934.
u Killer John Wayne Gacy had a long record of sexual abuse, sodomy and other acts of perversion. In 1968, at age 26 while married and operating a fast food store here, he lured a youth into a back room, handcuffed him and attempted to sodomize him. Gacy was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison, but because his past indicated no serious crime and because he proved to be a model prisoner, he was released in 18 months. He then moved to Chicago where he was arrested several years later for killing over 20 young boys.
WEST BRANCH – President Herbert Hoover was born (1874) and raised here. His home was on the west side of Downey St. He is buried here with his wife at the Hoover National Historic site.
u Jesse and Huldah Hoover, parents of Herbert Hoover are buried here in the Friends Cemetery.
WEST LIBERTY – General Samuel Koster was born here in 1919. He was the highest ranking officer charged in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War. Although he was not convicted, he was demoted to brigadier general and stripped of his Distinguished Service Medal.
WINTERSET – Actor John Wayne was born here 1907 and raised here at 216 S. Second St.
u Winterset is the county seat of Madison County. The county is famous for its bridges.
u The Clark Tower here was built in 1926 of locally quarried limestone. It is a memorial to the early Clark Family settlers by their descendants. The 25-foot tower overlooks the Middle River valley and is in Winterset City Park
WOODSTOCK – Actor George Reeves was born here in 1914. He was TV's “Superman.”