The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

March 10, 2014

Neb. students study histories of ex-slaves in Iowa

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A Nebraska high school social studies class is digging around in a neighboring state to learn more about the lives of slaves who escaped the South and made their way to eastern Iowa in the 1800s.

Barry Jurgensen, a social studies teacher at Arlington Senior High School in eastern Nebraska, took his honors class 320 miles away to Davenport on Friday. The group visited museums, cemeteries, churches and the public library over the weekend to learn more about the Underground Railroad and the lives of those who had escaped slavery, the Quad-City Times reported (http://bit.ly/1lIZvqk ).

One student, Samantha Hoppe, 16, is concentrating on Milton Howard, who was kidnapped as a child in Muscatine County and sold into slavery before he eventually escaped the South, joined the Union army and settled in Davenport.

Aspects of Howard's story are similar to that of Solomon Northup, whose memoir has been made famous in the Oscar-winning movie, "12 Years a Slave."

"Milton Howard has one of the more incredible stories," said Jurgensen. "He never wrote about it. So we're going to write it down."

After making his way to Davenport, Howard married and raised his family there.

In 1866, he got a job at the Rock Island Arsenal, where he worked for 52 years, Davenport Public Library records show.

Hoppe has learned Iowa played a big role in the Underground Railroad.

"This has opened my eyes," she said. "It's about everyone trying to get free and everyone who helped them. Iowa played a big part in that."

Jurgensen's students research and nominate sites to the Network to Freedom, an initiative of the National Park Service that works to preserve the history of the Underground Railroad.

In the past three years, the class added nine sites to the national listing, mostly from Nebraska. This school year, Jurgensen said his class hopes to add three sites in Ohio and two in Iowa, including Oakdale Memorial Gardens.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Inspector had cited lauded Iowa nursing home WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — A northeast Iowa nursing home was cited for unsanitary conditions in its kitchen seven weeks before it was lauded by the governor's office as among the best such facilities in the state, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/U

    July 29, 2014

  • Dozens of animals found inside two Fort Dodge homes FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Fort Dodge authorities have found a total of 50 to 60 animals inside two homes that stank of urine and feces. Officers who responded to a nearby residence on Saturday were told about the animals. Officers then found eight dogs

    July 29, 2014

  • US Treasury secretary to visit Davenport area DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will visit the Davenport area to tour a manufacturing plant. Lew is scheduled to travel to Iowa on Tuesday. He'll tour Alcoa's Davenport Works facility, which produces aluminum products, includ

    July 29, 2014

  • Authorities: Fire destroys railroad bridge in Iowa DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a fire has completely destroyed a railroad bridge in eastern Iowa along the Mississippi River. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says multiple departments responded to the Monday fire near the Massey Station. Cr

    July 29, 2014

  • Golf rounds donated for Linn County veterans CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Corporate sponsors and the city of Cedar Rapids have donated 675 rounds of golf for active duty and honorably discharged veterans in Linn County. Patriot Golf Week begins on Aug. 25 and ends on Labor Day. The week is set up

    July 29, 2014

  • Iowa police investigate gunfire at pedestrian mall IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City police say they have arrested a juvenile who was shooting a weapon into the air and are searching for another. Police say several shots were fired Sunday morning at the pedestrian mall downtown. Witnesses tell police

    July 28, 2014

  • Tornado-stricken Nebraska town gets some Iowa help SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Sioux City school district is donating excess desks, tables and shelving units to help out some northeast Nebraska students whose middle school in Pilger (PIHL'-gur) was heavily damaged by a tornado. The Sioux City Journal

    July 28, 2014

  • People rescued after boat overturns near Dubuque DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — At least a half-dozen people have been rescued after their boat overturned on the Mississippi River near Dubuque. Nate Johnson with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the incident occurred Saturday. At least three othe

    July 28, 2014

  • One person killed, several injured in Iowa collision WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say one person has been killed and several others injured in a collision between a car and pickup in eastern Iowa. Iowa State Patrol and Washington County sheriff's officers responded to the crash around 4:30 p.m.

    July 28, 2014

  • Former Iowa inmate convicted in killing dies DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa inmate who was sentenced to life in prison has died less than a year being granted compassionate release because she was dying. Friends and family members told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1q5rCil ) t

    July 28, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National