Chapter A of the P.E.O. talk history of Mt. Pleasant square
Chapter Original A of the P.E.O. Sisterhood met on Feb. 1, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church. Twenty-eight members were in attendance.
President Deb Sinclair conducted the business meeting. She reported that Dr. Jann Weitzel, president of Cottey College, Nevada, Mo., was recently in Mt. Pleasant. Dr. Weitzel enjoyed a tour of Iowa Wesleyan University (IWU) and lunch with the presidents and chairpersons of Cottey College Project Committee of the three Mt. Pleasant P.E.O. chapters.
Corresponding secretary, Susie Kerr, read correspondence. Notes of gratitude from the Iowa P.E.O. State Treasurer and from Cottey College were read thanking the chapter for contributions to the P.E.O. projects. She also read correspondence from several nonresident members.
Representing Chapter Original A on the Sesquicentennial Celebration committee will be Pat Bensmiller and Lisa Oetken. President Sinclair told of the launching of The 150 Fund as part of the Sesquicentennial Celebration.
Carol Nemitz, of the Memory Rooms, reported that during 2016, a higher than normal number of guests toured Old Main and the Memory Rooms.
Linda Albright reported on the Program for Continuing Education project. Recipients of the P.C.E. project may receive a grant up to $3,000 to finish their degree if there has been an interruption in their educational pursuit and they are within 24 months of finishing their degree. The P.E.C. project was established in 1973. Since then, over 38,500 women have received over $49.5 million in grant monies.
“Around the Square” was the program presented by Pat White. White used power point to show historical views of each side of the city square plus central park with views starting in 1865 and progressing through the years. Originally, the square was platted with 16 lots on each side of the square. Through the years, damage occurred to buildings on the square and the central park area from the Grinnell Cyclone of 1882, two fires in June and August of 1914, and another fire in July of 1917. Of historical significance is that the first courthouse built in Iowa was built on the Mt. Pleasant central square. It was demolished in the mid 1870s. A gazebo stood in central square park from the 1930s until it was torn down in 1974, and a scales house stood in the central park for a period. The P.E.O. fountain was built in central park in 1913 and was later replaced by the Edd King Memorial Fountain.