The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

April 15, 2013

A Grant Wood mystery

ELDON — The people of Eldon may have found a sister city through a common trait: A connection to Grant Wood.

A small group from Council Bluffs was in Wapello County on Sunday, talking to a crowd at the Eldon Public Library about the search for a Grant Wood mural.

The Chieftain Hotel of Council Bluffs no longer houses old-fashioned businessmen in their freshly pressed topcoats. But it does sit at the center of a mystery about artist Grant Wood. And the people who have the American Gothic House in their backyard were fascinated.

“It’s a tie-in for us,” said Nancy Teubel, an art enthusiast who moved from Eldon to Fairfield several years ago. “Sometimes, it feels as though the corners of the state are not connected.”

She said Grant Wood is a subject she loves to learn more about.

Holly Berg, administrator of the American Gothic House Center, said they and the Ottumwa Area Arts Council are always looking for interesting connections to share about Grant Wood.

“Council Bluffs was kind of a missing piece of the puzzle,” Berg said. “Years ago, Eldon was like that, too. It’s interesting to see how they’ve developed [their Grant Wood] connection.”

In the 1970s, the new owners of the Chieftain, a retirement home company, decided they couldn’t spend $100,000 to remove and preserve an important “corn room” mural by Wood. So they allowed the public to bring sharp objects to cut away pieces of the mural. And the public took them up on the offer. The mural was cut into an unknown number of pieces and was dispersed across an unknown geographical area, gone, seemingly, forever.

Until some caring, persistent and creative history buffs at the Council Bluffs Council for the Arts decided that the single piece of the mural they owned would look a lot better with the rest of the Wood painting around it. Their investigation started years ago and is still ongoing.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0617 OTT Wapello Co Fair color photo -L -M Come one, come all to the Wapello County Fair

    ELDON — The Wapello County Fair is just around the corner, kicking off with entries being welcomed at Wapello Hall and the Iowa Agricultural Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, entries for competition will be received from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siegel, Rubel face off in forum OTTUMWA — For Steve Siegel, a political campaign is nothing new. For Tom Rubel, being the candidate is a first. Now they want the same job. Siegel and Rubel are seeking the Democratic nomination for SD 41, the Iowa Senate district which includes Ottu

    May 29, 2014

  • 0530 OTT Oak tatters picture color Oak leaves left in tatters

    OTTUMWA — Trees throughout Iowa have been terrorized by the likes of Emerald Ash Borer and other dangers in the past months and now oak trees throughout Iowa are in a little bit of more trouble because of a disease called oak tatters. Thankfully, tho

    May 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Help fight hunger OTTUMWA — The groups began with a question: How to better help Wapello County residents who don't have enough decent food. Next week, they'll decide if they've found any answers. The food security project, Growing Wapello Together, had small groups m

    May 28, 2014

  • Attempted murder trial set for July KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County man accused of attempted murder could head to trial in a remarkably short time. Dimitrious Royal has a trial date of July 15. If that date is when the trial actually begins, it would take place just more than 11 weeks

    May 28, 2014

  • Agency aces assessment OTTUMWA — A local agency had a lot riding on the outcome of an independent review. They nailed it. "The credential we just received was to show we are a quality [organization]," said Bryan Dunn, executive director of Sieda Community Action. "It's som

    May 27, 2014

  • County backs bike rides OTTUMWA — Bike rides in Wapello County just received a personal push of goodwill from Wapello County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday, supervisors signed a resolution of support for three area bike rides to be conducted in June. The rides include the H

    May 27, 2014

  • 0527 OTT EMS week color photo -L -M ORHC celebrates EMS Week OTTUMWA — During National EMS week, May 18-24, Ottumwa Regional Health Center (ORHC) celebrated its staff, the community EMS providers and the importance of being prepared in emergency situations through education. The ambulance service at ORHC, also

    May 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Moving into the future OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisor Greg Kenning joked after the board approved upgrading the county’s servers Tuesday. “You can put away your quills.” Jokes asides, Wapello County will now have more opportunity to maximize its server resources. The

    May 20, 2014

  • 0520 OTT mushroom provided -T -M Hidden treasure

    OTTUMWA — Yes, it's kind of like winning the lottery. A mushroom hunter and her family cheerfully acknowledged that feeling after stopping by the Ottumwa Courier on Monday. In one lucky search, they'd found hundreds of morels totaling 10 pounds. As u

    May 19, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National