Save Fort Madison!

Thank you for responding to my plea for help for Fort Madison. It was gratifying to see how far the message spread, hitting listservs I never knew existed, generating responses from across the country (one from Australia!). Today, Veterans Day, 200 years after Fort Madison was founded in 1808, is an auspicious day to start this campaign. Many of you wanted more information, others already want to start contacting people. Here are more details about the fort, what is happening, and what our next steps are. If you know of others who would be interested, have them contact me ( If you want no part of this, let me know and I won’t bug you again. A. Why is Fort Madison Important? Fort Madison- Iowa's Most Important Historic Site. Fort Madison, built by the U.S. Army in 1808 and abandoned in 1813, is arguably the most important historic site in the state of Iowa. 1. It was the first U.S. fort on the Upper Mississippi River. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, vast areas along and west of the Mississippi were now legally under U.S. control, however, Great Britain still threatened to take over the Mississippi River trade. To counter this [...]

SAR Members – Iowa needs you!

Please read the following email from Bill Whitaker. What can YOU do to help? Fort Madison in danger, assistance needed. The Fort Madison site (1808-1813) is arguably the most significant historic site in Iowa. It was the first U.S. Military post on the Upper Mississippi, the site of the only War of 1812 battle west of the Mississippi, the location of Black Hawk's first military action against the U.S., and the site of the first military cemetery in the Upper Midwest. Excavations in 1965 demonstrated that the fort is well preserved under parking lots in the city of Fort Madison, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Despite its obvious national significance, the Fort Madison site is now in danger; the owners of the parking lots are considering developing the site or selling it to other developers. There is no legal way to force a landowner to preserve an important site. Attempts to purchase the site by the Archaeological Conservancy have stalled and thus far attempts to get the Fort Madison City Council involved are not taking root. Our next strategy is to get as much public support as possible for preservation of Fort Madison. If [...]

Presidents Update #17

I hope this update finds all our members healthy and active. As we are nearing the upcoming election day I hope all of you have studied the issues, the candidates, their plans and that you are going to exercise your hard won right to vote. I am only aware of 2 of our members running for office, Senator Charles Grassley and John Scarpino (candidate for Polk County Supervisor). However I have heard that a substantial number of our members are very active working the phones for their candidates. Below are some of the activities that I am aware of that have taken place since the last update. The Central Iowa Chapter continues to broaden their activities as you will see near the end of this update. September 23rd Received membership dues update from Secretary with concern for members that were just admitted and now seeming owe dues for 2009 already. This is a situation I would like to have our State Society address if National SAR does not. 23rd Sent copy of on-line Historian Ray Prusia newsletter to the webmaster for posting if possible. 23rd Sent out Update #16 24th Received note from member Bruce Norris. Thanks for your comments. [...]


Today is THE day folks, will you help shape America? Voting is something that not everyone in the world is even ALLOWED to do. This Iraqi woman shows how overjoyed she is to vote (likely for the first time in her LIFE). Iraqis were told it would be safest for them if they hid their finger after casting their vote as the purple die is blatantly obvious and could ultimately get them tortured or killed, women most especially. Time and time again they proudly held up their hands as if to say to all of Iraq, the middle east and to the world “I VOTED”. Will you throw away your POWER and RIGHT to vote? Scott Rowley IASSAR Webmaster Chapter [...]

Paul Revere Express

My apologies must go out to our historian, Ray Prusia. Ray put together a newsletter and emailed it to me and I had overlooked the email for the last month and a half. Just realized I hadn’t posted it when I read the note concerning it in the Presidents Update #17 (Now posted). For the actual newsletter click here. Sorry about that [...]

Support Our Troops!

Compatriots, Now is our chance to see some soldiers off for their SECOND deployment overseas! Lets get out there and show our support! There is a wide range of cities were ceremonies are being held so we should be able to have alot of people be able to attend a local event. Ceremonies will be held in five Iowa cities (Aubudon, Iowa City, Mason City, Perry and Marshalltown) on October 30th for about 310 members of the Iowa Army National Guard who are being deployed to Iraq. The soldiers are with the 1133rd and 1168th Transportation Companies. Both served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. These soldiers will report to Fort Bliss, Texas, for additional training before being sent overseas. Ceremonies include: • Iowa City – Detachment 1, 1133rd Transportation Company (approximately 25 soldiers); sendoff at 4:30 p.m., Regina High School gymnasium, 2150 Rochester Ave. • Aububon – Detachment 2, 1168th Transportation Company (approximately 65 soldiers); sendoff at 4 p.m., Audubon High School gymnasium, 800 3rd Ave. • Mason City – 1133rd Transportation Company (approximately 115 soldiers); sendoff at 6 p.m., Mason City High School gymnasium, 1700 4th St. SE. • Perry – 1168th Transportation Company (approximately 65 soldiers); sendoff [...]

Flag Retirement

IASSAR Compatriots and others, I have been requested to invite all of you to a brief Flag retirement ceremony on Nov. 1st at 2:30 pm [at Beaverdale Park, Des Moines Iowa]. This program is being done by a local CAR member with assistance from the DAR. If you are able to attend I think you would enjoy it. Feel free to pass this on to others. If you have any flags of any size the need retiring please bring them along. Mike Rowley President, [...]

Wreaths Across America 2008

Dear Compatriots, This year IASSAR received a “Partners in Patriotism” Award at the NSSAR Congress. The Award was given for IASSAR participation in the “Wreaths Across America” program in 2007. Actually only two of us participated, Mike Rowley and myself and our roll was minimal. The Jean Marie Cardinal Chapter of DAR were the ones who did the work. See photos from 2007 on our website. This is a national movement to decorate veterans graves across America with fresh evergreen wreaths just before Christmas. There are 286 locations, including 4 in Iowa (but not including the first time effort in Des Moines by DAR last year) where veterans graves were decorated last year. There were 32,553 wreaths placed on veterans graves This year the ceremony will be on Saturday Dec. 13 at 12:00 PM EST –11:00 AM, Iowa time My strong belief and recommendation to the BOM is to join this movement. To begin, I urge each of you to open the website: Wreaths Across America.Org and read what is happening. There is a veterans cemetery in Woodland and Glendale cemeteries in Des Moines and probably more I do not know about. Francis [...]

Presidents Update #16

We are just coming off a weekend that had a SAR event, the first Central Iowa Chapter meeting in years (admittedly very brief) and a bit of socialization. For me one of the measurements of a successful event is how many members are there that I have never met before, how many “regulars” attended, did I get a chance to meet any potential members and did those in attendance enjoy the program enough to come back next time. I was please with the results in all of those areas. Look for renewal and respond ASAP if possible. Thanks, MJR Last report ended August 10th August 10th Received numerous follow ups from B.M. on the possible Rev War Vet buried in Iowa. 11th Received photos and obit from M.S.C. of Montrose, IA Of the gravesite of our possible yet undocumented Rev. War Vet buried in IA 11th Potential new member D.A. of Western Iowa notified me he had completed paper work. I referred him to Bill Lees. 11th B.M. of MN confirms final documentation of Ebenezer Ayres a Rev. War Vet. Buried in Iowa. 12th I sent information on dual membership to a CT SAR member living in Iowa. 12th Sent [...]

Presidents Update #15

I just wanted to recognize a couple of individuals that are making our organization stronger. The first is Volney Smith our current secretary. Volney has improved the communication with new members and been very helpful in helping things run smoothly for the IASSAR. The second person is Barbara MacLeish. She is a devoted, gifted, passionate historian and researcher who I have had the pleasure of interacting with on the Cato Mead project and a very important soon to be announced discovery. We are blessed to have the likes of Barbara assisting us. Although the summer is coming to an end it is never too late to take that first step to get involved in your own IASSAR project. The Central Iowa Chapter President has put a challenge on the forum section Support "local" troops, seeing them off and seeing them return home. They can use all the support they can get. Are our members up to organizing local runs to support these troops on the move? It should be simple enough to drive out somewhere smile and wave for an hour and then return home. It is simple and effective. Below are the activities that IASSAR president has been made [...]
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