Hello Readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
Yesterday, America chose who was going to be its 45 president. The candidates campaigned hard all across America, but they both spent a fair amount of time in Iowa. This trend does not appear to be new, either. Presidents have been making stops in not only Iowa, but also small towns such as Perry for a long time! Today I thought I would share with you some of the Presidential visits I found in our collection.
This Presidential visit took place in 1948. Some of you may be able to remember that during that time, the President was Harry Truman. Although the pictures we have, such as the one you see here, are of him visiting Dexter and not Perry, Perry still played a big part: the Perry High School band was invited to play at his speech! Our records do not show what President Truman spoke about, or why the band was invited to play, but it must have been quite an honor to play for the President.
Other presidents also have some ties to Perry, Iowa. A presidential hopeful made many stops in Iowa, particularly in Perry, during his many candidacies. This man was William Jennings Bryan, who spoke twice in Perry, trying his best to win each presidential race (although he ultimately he lost three times). We have a picture of one of his speeches on display in the Chautauqua room in the Hotel. Perry native Robert Dean Harrison had some contact with the presidential office, as he served in the Secret Service protecting President Eisenhower. George Soumas also met President Eisenhower. Overall, it seems like even small towns like Perry, Iowa can have some big connections to the highest office in the land.
On a different note, I want to let you all know that Hometown Heritage will be open this weekend during Art on the Prairie! This time we will have Rick Stewart, the man behind the two most recent Wall of Witnesses reliefs, down in our office demonstrating some of his craft. If you are participating in the events, make sure to come down to the lower level of the Town/Craft Building to see a sculptors work in person!
Hello and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
Today I want to tell you all about the events that we have going on this week. First, this week we have Art Tour Odd # Thursday # 6! The theme for this Odd # Thursday is Second Language. The host will be Jon Wolseth, who is part of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. He will not only be available to talk to and answer your questions, but he will also be giving tours in Spanish! It is promising to be a fun and educational night.
The next event that we have this week is on Friday, November 4. Hometown Heritage and the Perry Historic Preservation Commission are pleased to announce the unveiling of a new relief for the Wall of Witnesses! The new relief will depict Charles Joy, and the artist making the relief is Rick Stewart, an artist from Newton. Charles Joy was a local attorney, Dallas County Attorney, and Perry Ambassador. He was very active in the community, backing the creation of new banks, churches, and even helping to establish the original hog processing plant in Perry. Those who knew him said that he “never met a stranger”, as he would strike up a conversation with anyone by saying “Hi, I’m Charlie Joy from Perry, Iowa”. He was a loving husband, father to three and grandfather to six. The Perry Historic Preservation Commission chose to honor Charles after receiving numerous nominations earlier this year. This event will include a short program, where we encourage people to come and share their memories of Charles, as well as the unveiling of the relief itself. This will start at 6:00 P.M. at the Town Craft Gallery in Perry, at 1124 Willis Avenue. There will be light refreshments available, and the event is free and open to the public. As a bit of a bonus for reading this post, I am giving you a sneak peek at what the relief may look like! The picture that you see on the left is one of the artist’s sketches of the relief, showing a courthouse like building a signifying Charles Joy’s work in the legal world.
We encourage all of you to come to both of these events!