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North Liberty Leader Centennial Edition

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It started at a bend in the river,
fertile ground upon which John
Gaylor and his family put up
a temporary dwelling and laid
claim to land in the summer of
1838 that later became recorded
as Section 7 in Penn Township.
Gaylor`s claim was made just
six years after representatives
from the U. S. government and
the heads of the Sac and Fox
Indian nations negotiated a trea-
ty for six million acres of land
west of the Mississippi River-
the Black Hawk Purchase.
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Gaylor didn`t stay long.
In 1839, he returned to
Illinois after selling his
land claim- generally in
the area of the current
Penn Meadows Park- to
John Wilson, but not
before Gaylor`s son was
born during the winter in
a 12-foot square log cabin,
the frst white child born in
the settlement. The history
pages indicate medical
assistance was rendered by
squaws of the neighboring
Native American tribes.
Gaylor and Denison
were among the west-
ward-moving pioneers of
the 1800s, when wagons
brought men, and some-
times entire families and
a few head of livestock,
from the eastern territories
of Ohio, Indiana, Penn-
sylvania, New York and
Kentucky; families coming
with the intention to stake
claim to the land and stay.
Some stayed, built cabins
without nails, screws or
bolts, constructed with logs
hewn from the wild timber
by hand tools and raised
by groups of men from
neighboring encampments.
In 1830s Johnson County,
paid labor was scarce,
books and newspapers
from the outside world
were diffcult to procure,
and sawmills and grain
mills, good roads, passable
bridges and mail agencies
were still things of the fu-
ture. Many pioneers fell ill
to disease or returned east.
Alonzo Denison returned
to Illinois as well, but
came back to Iowa with
his brothers, Joseph and
George, who all made their
The GeneraI Store and residence of H.A. White at 10 West Cherry Street, c. 1890. BuiIding was constructed by
H.A. White in 1876. ChiIdren are Jessie White (on tricycIe) and EIva Hawk (standing). On the porch from Ieft to
right are EIizabeth White, Harry White, Art Orris, and Rey Green.
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Green and White Store, c.1904 The men on the porch
are Harry White and DanieI Green. The buiIding was
Iater moved and became part of Koser's Store on East
Cherry Street.
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claims on the edges of
the prairie and timberland
that for undocumented
reasons came to be called
Big Bend, Big Bottom and
Squash Bend.
It is recorded that by the
summer of 1840, many
other families settled in
the Big Bend area of the
county, families whose
names attest to their contri-
butions in establishing the
community: Wray and Alt,
Wein and Clark, Harless
and Chamberlin, among
The offcial record of
Penn Township`s establish-
ment corresponds with the
opening of the Penn Town-
ship post offce in 1846. It
was named after William
Penn, founder of Pennsyl-
vania, a name suggested
by Francis Bowman,
who- along with his wife
Margaret, and a couple
named Patrick and Anna
Murphy- held the title
to the lands upon which
North Liberty was platted.
The town was laid out
in 1857, 19 years after
Gaylor made the area`s
frst land claim. In 1860,
part of Penn Township was
split and became Madison
Township, though offcial
county records for 1860
have not been found.
After 1860, according
to the History of Johnson
County, Iowa, changes in
Johnson County`s town-
ship boundaries became
less frequent and minor
in nature, but the town
of North Liberty experi-
enced rapid improvements
between that time and its
incorporation. The frst
frame schoolhouse was
built in 1860, the Lutheran
Church came in 1868, and
the town`s frst grocery and
general store, built by Har-
old A. White, was built in
1875. (That structure, still
standing on the corner of
Front and Cherry streets,
is on the National Historic
Register, and houses the
offces of the North Liberty
Leader newspaper and
building owner, contractor
Steve McCoy).
By 1883, there were
seven schools and four
churches in the area. The
frst telephone system was
installed in a North Liberty
residence in 1903, and the
Interurban Railroad began
passenger service in 1904.
One year later, in 1905,
electricity became avail-
able to the city for the frst
Between the establish-
ment of the railroad and
the advent of modern
conveniences like electric-
ity and telephones, North
Liberty experienced its
frst era of boom years.
The city incorporated on
Nov. 17, 1913, with Julius
Kohl as its frst mayor. The
frst offcial Census Bureau
population fgures for the
city show there were 171
people in North Liberty by
Gaylor`s 1838 land claim was fol-
lowed shortly by that of Alonzo Denison,
who came from the same Bureau County,
Ill., area as Gaylor.
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By Joan Belknap
Sometimes timing is key to events
that shape our lives. In my case, it was
the death of my grandfather, which took
place three days before I was born. Mom
was busy with four other children and an
active farm life, so I spent my early years
in Grandma`s room, flling Grandpa`s
space; listening to the radio, helping with
her scrapbook, and carefully listening to
the stories behind each fascinating item in
her ancient trunk. I was learning to love
history without knowing it.
I didn`t know Dad was interested in
history until after his retirement. That
was when we would often fnd him at the
kitchen table, surrounded by books and
papers, diaries and photos; carefully typ-
ing with only one fnger, pulling together
the rich narrative of family and local
Dad loved the history, but his passion
was sharing it. His pride in our commu-
nity- built on the backs of strong, resilient
and inventive pioneers- was important
and interesting enough to pass along in all
the ways he knew how.
I didn`t pay so much attention to his-
tory during the middle of my life, but as
cherished old ones began to pass away, I
realized that unique individuals with the
keys to our past were taking their knowl-
edge and insight with them. I felt some
panic at how much was already lost. I felt
unsure about recreating events and lives
from clippings and diaries when I knew
there had been a far richer story than I
could ever tell.
Still, a shorter story is far better than no
story at all, and there is one lesson that I
have learned. Whether a quiet housewife
who cheerfully greeted each day, or a
prairie doctor who practiced medicine
with the crudest of tools, we stand on their
lives and walk the paths they laid out for
us. It is important to remember them and
the history they made.
At a recent Iowa Library Association
meeting, the keynote speaker (All Iowa
Reads author, Jean Thompson, 'The Year
We Left Home¨) said, 'if you take one
step away, all of a sudden you don`t be-
long anymore.¨ I can`t tell you how many
contacts I have had from people who have
long been away from the area and are
eagerly looking for information, a con-
nection to their past. Sometimes even a
mention of the looked-for name in a news
clipping means a lot. How much better to
fnd a richly detailed narrative.
It is not news that we are trying to cre-
ate a history center in the Ranshaw house
at the corner of Highway 965 and Penn
Street. Though a long time in the making,
the creation of our history center is now
close to a reality and our hopes are that
we will have lots of material to inter-
est residents and visitors. We welcome
your stories because you never know
when someone, somewhere, will fnd it a
If you have tried to tell your story to
younger ears, not ready to listen; fnd
another way to leave them the legacy of
your story, your life, your ancestors. Make
a video, post pictures on Facebook, leave
a book, a scrapbook, but leave something.
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Registering vith history
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By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY- In 1908, scientists
were just beginning to consider the pos-
sibilities of atomic energy, and the world
had just witnessed its frst passenger
air fight. It was the year of Ford`s frst
Model T, the nation`s frst celebration of
Mother`s Day, and the frst home of its
kind built in North Liberty, the Samuel
Ranshaw house.
The old home on the corner of Penn
Street and Community Drive in North
Liberty, vacant since 2005 and sleeping
undisturbed for the intervening years, is
being revived for a new generation of the
town`s population.
In 2012, the North Bend History Com-
mittee and the Johnson County Historic
Preservation Commission assisted the City
of North Liberty`s application to place the
house on the National Register of Historic
The nomination, prepared by Leah
Rogers, principal investigator of Tallgrass
Historians, L.C., was approved.
On Sept. 26, 2012, the Ranshaw House
was listed on the National Register.
The building has historical signifcance
as the home built by Samuel Ranshaw, the
son of English immigrant John Ranshaw,
a successful farmer with eight children
who settled in Johnson County in the
mid-1850s. John Ranshaw purchased land
in Madison Township for $1.25 per acre,
eventually accumulating upwards of 400
acres on which to grow grain and raise
livestock. His son Samuel, born in 1863,
learned the industry of farming from his
father while obtaining an education at the
Iowa City Academy. Samuel later took
possession of a quarter section of his
father`s homestead and retired to North
Liberty as one of the wealthiest and most
progressive citizens of Johnson County.
The house itself, a Queen Anne Victo-
rian modifed with Colonial Revival style
details, was notable even when it was
built in 1908. According to the accounts
of author Clarence Aurner, in his piece
'Leading Events in Johnson County His-
tory,¨ c1913:
'Among the many beautiful homes
for which North Liberty, Iowa, is noted,
probably the most modern, up-to-date,
and complete in every respect is that of
Samuel Ranshaw. The house is completely
plumbed for hot and cold water, both hard
and soft, pumped by gasoline engine, and
is also provided throughout with gasoline
gas system for lighting. The interior fnish
is of the latest pattern and in keeping with
the splendid exterior. Surely, its owner and
his family are to be congratulated upon
the possession of such a home as this.¨
LOCAL EDUCATOR and historian
Joan Alt Belknap said the house might
have been the buzz of the community, for
its modern conveniences were uncommon
at the time.
'There were quite a few large houses
in North Liberty already, but the home`s
furnace, the dumbwaiter and those things
The North Liberty Ranshaw House in June 2011.
would have caused a little bit of a stir,¨
said Belknap.
The home`s etched glass windows, most
of which are still intact, were another styl-
ish feature, as well as the columned pass-
throughs from parlor to dining room to
kitchen. Much of the home`s egg-and-dart
style woodwork remains, and- remark-
ably- has not been painted over.
The grand, winding staircase was the
staging scene for of all three of Samuel
Ranshaw`s daughters` weddings, who
descended the stairs to be married in front
the home`s large bay window in order to
accommodate all the guests who could not
ft inside. The staircase, with its original
wood fnish, is still an impressive sight.
Belknap said she has seen several
historic documents that indicate that the
North Liberty area had a relatively well-
educated population in the 1900s- her
own grandfather`s family also attended
the Iowa City Academy, an early sec-
ondary school which offered a business
course tract- so it might not have been
that unusual for a farmer to also possess a
business education, as Samuel Ranshaw
magnifcent house continued to impress
generations, and life within its walls has
offered lasting memories for many. Harlan
Ranshaw, of Chariton, is one of Samuel`s
six surviving grandchildren and the last
male to carry on the Ranshaw name. Har-
lan recalled spending week-long vacations
at his grandparents` home before he turned
10 years old.
'It had U-shaped driveway up to the
big front porch,¨ he said, the same porch
where his parents, S. Raymond Ranshaw
and Fern Swisher, met. 'Just a little west
of the house was a garage and a barn. I
remember my grandparents had a really
nice 1925 Buick that purred like a sewing
machine, purchased same year I was born.
I used to ride with them to West Branch,
where they traded their eggs for feed and
other things. Grandfather had a couple of
horses and a big barn, and the street west
of the house [what is now Highway 965]
was the western edge of the 40 acres.¨
Emma Ranshaw died in 1919, and
Samuel remarried Rose Boyington in
1921. The second Mrs. Ranshaw passed
away in 1936, and that was when the Ran-
shaw house and a 10-acre parcel on which
it stood were sold outside the family.
WHEN THE CITY purchased the
property in 2004, it was with the intent
to level the home and eventually expand
the North Liberty Community Center`s
parking lot.
But some residents felt the once-stately
house and small acreage carried too much
of North Liberty`s beginning to have it
come to such an undignifed end.
In 2008, a small group of interested
people gathered to talk about the fate of
the Ranshaw House, and the North Bend
History Committee was created.
'It was a group of mostly people who
had lived in the area a long time,¨ said
Mary K. Mitchell, co-chair of the historic
committee. 'But none of us had a back-
ground in preservation or any real historic
Enter John Christenson, former regional
library director and historical society
director for two counties in Minnesota. A
former North Liberty resident, he current-
ly serves as co-chair of the North Bend
History Committee and also co-chair of
the Johnson County Historic Preservation
'It is so valuable to have his experi-
ence,¨ in the Ranshaw House endeavor,
said Mitchell. Along with Christenson, the
group also recruited assistance from Roger
Gwinnup, a Friends of Historic Preserva-
tion member and construction contractor
that specializes in historic restoration.
'He has restored numerous homes in the
Iowa City area,¨ Mitchell said. 'He helped
with the specifcations for the roof to
make sure it would be properly restored.¨
Since 2005, armed with Christenson`s
guidance, Gwinnup`s knowledge and the
perseverance of Mitchell and other com-
mittee members determined to save the
house, the group advanced and emerged
victorious through several small battles:
convincing city offcials to keep the house
intact; seeking relevant architectural
evaluations on the structure; securing the
city`s ongoing commitment to fnancially
support the project with an annual budget
allocation; and, with the help of assistant
city administrator Tracey Mulcahey, earn-
ing over $60,000 in grant funding from
Iowa`s Great Places program to complete
repairs on the house, including replacing
the dilapidating roof, scraping and paint-
ing the exterior, replacing windows and
gutters, installing insulation and replacing
the porch.
Renovations to the fooring, walls, elec-
tric wiring, heating and cooling are yet to
be completed.
CHRISTENSON SAID the historical
signifcance of the house, along with its
many well-preserved interior features-
which were both luxurious and modern
in 1908- and its status as a quintessential
example of a grand rural farmhouse from
the early 20th century, made it a good
candidate for the Register.
Acceptance to the National Register
made the Ranshaw House eligible for spe-
cifc types of grant funding for its further
development and future maintenance. It
also put North Liberty on yet another map.
'The National Register of Historic
Places has a website that lists historic
places in the country, so people who are
interested in historic sites will be able to
locate it,¨ said Christenson.
And, eventually, visit.
That`s the future of the Ranshaw House,
Mitchell noted.
'It`s hard to say exactly what we envi-
sion for the house, but we think it would
make a wonderful visitors` center, perhaps
a place to hold small group meetings, and
maybe a place for a small history center
or North Liberty history museum,¨ said
Mitchell. 'Now that things are happening,
we can see the potential is there.¨
Whatever it becomes, the Ranshaw
House provides room for many possibili-
As a public space, it will be an impor-
tant connection to the past in this com-
munity that has been racing headlong into
its future.
'This is one of the few historic build-
ings we have left,¨ said Mulcahey. 'There
are some old houses, but they are privately
owned. We don`t have a historic down-
town, and we have many new people who
don`t remember the town`s history. This
house is a nice connection for our young
families. Part of North Liberty`s future
will be honoring its past.¨
The grand, winding staircase of the Ranshaw house was the staging scene for of aII
three of SamueI Ranshaw's daughters' weddings, who descended the stairs to be
married in front the home's Iarge bay window in order to accommodate aII the guests
who couId not fit inside. (photos by Lori Lindner) °Wc co:`t |avc a |isto:ic
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ou: ,ou:g iauilics.¨
1.o.e, Mo!.o|e,
SLCTl·` A · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · `·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
Conpi I ed f ion l he aichi ves suppI i ed ly } oan ßeI knap
This buiIding was Iocated on the northeast corner of Cherry and George streets,
buiIt by the Odd FeIIows Lodge in 1903. The upper part of the buiIding was used for
Lodge purposes, whiIe the Iower IeveI housed a drug store and ice cream parIor. Later,
Kosers Grocery occupied this buiIding before moving to the Iocation on Cherry and
Dubuque streets. EventuaIIy the buiIding was condemned for safety reasons.
OJJ Iellows Holl
HaroId A. White buiIt his generaI
store at 10 W. Cherry St. in 1876,
with a residence above. The
home stayed in the famiIy untiI
White's daughter, Mrs. DaIe An-
derson, suggested her daughter,
Mrs. Fred Dever, and her famiIy
remodeI the oId famiIy store into
a home. In the 1800s, the White
store soId eggs for 17 cents per
dozen, butter was 20 cents a
pound and coffee 25 cents per
1ne HorolJ +.
1nì:e Generol
x:ore onJ Grocery
Digging a basement for Ed Stewart's house at 250 West Cherry Street, circa 1909. Men standing Ieft to right are H.A. White, SoI Brown and
CharIes Rhinehart. The boy standing is DaIe DowIing. The man on horseback is John D. ZeIIer. In the background are the North Liberty
Lumber Co. and the CRANDIC depot.
View from Front Street Iooking north past its intersection with Cherry Street.
First buiIding is the post office. MaiI was hauIed from the post office to the
raiIroad depot by wheeIbarrow, and was deIivered to the residents on the
singIe ruraI route by horse and carriage. Photo circa 1913.
Iron: x:ree:/cnerry x:ree:
OriginaIIy buiIt on Front Street, Meyers & Price was one of the town's first generaI
merchandise stores, shown here in the 1900s. When the road between Iowa City
and Cedar Rapids was paved- Dubuque Street- the buiIding was moved to the east,
where Kosers grocery store eventuaIIy was estabIished. Behind Meyers & Price was
an ice store. BIocks of ice were cut from the river each winter and stored in the ice
house for summer use.
meyers ç 1rìce
NichoIas ZeIIer, Jr., was born in PennsyIvania in 1849. His parents brought him as an
infant to Johnson County, where he was raised on a farm in Penn Township. ZeIIer
became a prominent figure in North Liberty, taking on many civic roIes and eventuaIIy
owning the nearby stone quarry. He and his wife, Emma Meyers, had five chiIdren.
This house is Iocated on North George Street.
Nìcnolos Zeller resìJence
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!ate kepreseatatlºe N0 rII
The Interurban, first operating in 1904, was an earIy means of transportation between
the cities of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. It was an eIectric car that got its power from
a wire suspended above the tracks. With hourIy runs between the two communities,
new opportunities arose for ruraI residents in terms of empIoyment and commerce.
Many students used the passenger train to get to schooIs in Iowa City. Tickets for
30 days of unIimited riding couId be purchased for $9 per month. On University of
Iowa footbaII Saturdays, two cars were hooked together- caIIed a doubIe header- to
transport more passengers.
When Dubuque Street was paved between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, ridership
feII, and the Interurban made its Iast run on May 30, 1953.
The Interurban Iater changed to the CRANDIC Line freight service, providing important
transport for farmers and merchants deaIing in Iivestock, grain, Iumber and coaI.
cR+NDIc In:ernrIon roìlrooJ
This buiIding was Iocated on Cherry Street, across from the current fire station ga-
rages. BuiIt in 1899, the schooI had three cIassrooms; high schooI cIasses were heId
upstairs untiI 1904, when the Interurban raiIway took students to schooIs in Iowa
City. The upstairs room aIso had a stage at one end, used for community programs.
The buiIding was heated by a wood or coaI furnace in each room. Drinking water
was carried by buckets from the neighboring White home.
The schooI was destroyed by fire in 1974. The property was purchased by the City
of North Liberty in 2009 for $205,000, and wiII eventuaIIy be the Iocation for a new
municipaI campus.
xcnool nonse Jìs:rìc: No.1, 1enn 1ownsnìp
North Liberty's post office was buiIt at 325 N. Front Street in 1968. When a new post
office was buiIt on Highway 965, the buiIding housed Liberty Cones ice cream shop
untiI it was purchased by Sugar Bottom Bikes owner John YetIey. The City of North
Liberty bought the property from YetIey ReaI Estate in 2010 for $285,000, as part of
the city's future pIan to buiId a municipaI campus.
Nor:n LìIer:y 1os: Ojµce
JuIius KohI residence, 235 W. Chestnut
Street (circa 1900). In 1901, JuIius KohI
came to Iive in this residence at the birth-
pIace of his wife. It is Iocated adjacent to
the raiIroad tracks, and its structure and
appearance has gone IargeIy unchanged
in the Iast 112 years.
¡nlìns Konl resìJence
192o: koac i:ou lowa ·it, to ·cca: ka¡ics was ¡avcc ;Du|uquc ·t., W|c:
autouo|ilcs |ccauc uo:c ¡lc:tiiul, a kcc lall koutc was csta|lis|cc |ctwcc: ·t.
louis a:c ·t. laul ;t|c ii:st Avc:uc oi t|c ·ai:ts,. koutc ua:|cc |, :cc |alls ¡ai:tcc
o: a w|itc |ac|g:ou:c a:c uou:tcc o: tclc¡|o:c ¡olcs, ic:cc ¡ots, ctc. koutc ¡asscc
t|:oug| :l.
191o: Wo:st wi:tc: i: ucuo:, io: uost :csicc:ts
1911: lo¡ulatio: is !00
19s1: ·kA:Dl· l:tc:u:|a: ccascc o¡c:atio:
19s9: last classcs i: olc sc|ool |uilci:g
19o0: lo¡ulatio: was !o+
19o0: :cw lc:: llcuc:ta:, sc|ool ii:is|cc
J.W. AnderIe was a successfuI businessman in North Liberty in the Iate 1800s. His
home at 105 N. Main St. was the first residence in town to have hot running water and
its own acetyIene gas pIant in the basement. Once a creamery in the Iate 1800s, the
home was rebuiIt into a boarding house for weary traveIers on the Iowa City RaiIroad.
It is currentIy home to Main Street Studio, a photography business now speciaIizing
in architecturaI imaging for regionaI architecturaI firms and major buiIders.
This house now gets much of its operating energy from a soIar system with the
soIar paneIs instaIIed on the garage roof- a 19th century home with 21st century
¡.1. +nJerle resìJence
The men of North Liberty gather for a trapshooting contest during a JuIy 4th ceIebration in 1914 The photograph was taken by
WiII D. Crozier of Riverside.
House at the corner of George Street and
ZeIIer Street. This house appeared on the
front of a postcard, date unknown.
Georqe onJ Zeller x:ree:
Conpi I ed f ion l he aichi ves suppI i ed ly } oan ßeI knap
SLCTl·` A · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · `·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
| I IA¡M¡!. \IA o2o-4ºº8
º lncome Taxes
º Payro|| Tax Reports
º Payro||
º Bookeep|ng
º Month|y F|nanc|a| Statements
º Oomputer Oheck Pr|nt|ng
º Month|y or Ouarter|y Sa|es
Tax Reports
º Persona| Serv|ces (Bank
Reconc|||at|ons} etc.
Exoe||e|ce 8 O0a|||, a|
|easo|ao|e |a|es
F||e|d|, |oca| 5e|.|ce
405 N. Front Street · North Liberty
80fl0 ll00fl¶ F0l 0llßl0
0. J. Nyrer, 0vV
8. V. 3rarror, 0vV
3. V. Ku|a, 0vV
8. A. 3r|e|ds, 0vV
The PurpIe Cow was an ice cream store and restaurant operated by LIoyd and Norma
Myers. The originaI store was in CoraIviIIe, and the North Liberty Iocation opened in
1972. North Liberty resident Joan BeIknap said the restaurant was an important addi-
tion to the community, in that it was one of the first pIaces for famiIies to go for a good
meaI. "Nice famiIies didn't go to the Lighthouse or Shannon's Beer Garden. For a Iong
time, if you wanted to take your famiIy out, you went out of town to do it, most often
a trip to the Amana CoIonies." It is currentIy occupied by HiIIs Bank and Trust at the
corner of ZeIIer Street and Highway 965. (Left photo is courtesy of Mike Myers.)
1ne 1nrple cow/Hìlls ßonI ç 1rns: co.
In 1917, this buiIding was constructed on the northeast corner of Front and Cherry
streets, home to KohIs Garage, operated by the JuIius KohI famiIy. JuIius KohI, born
in Germany in 1858, emigrated to America in 1881. KohI was a successfuI business-
man and the first mayor of North Liberty.
As KohI's Garage, the Iower part of this structure was an automotive repair shop,
and the upper fIoor served as a dance haII and an indoor basketbaII gym.
In 1949, the North Liberty Post Office was moved into part of the first IeveI, untiI a
new post office was buiIt across Front Street in 1968.
Dave and Rita Roberts purchased the buiIding in 1976, remodeIing it into upper IeveI
apartments and the North Liberty FIower Shop on the first IeveI. In 2010, the buiIding
was purchased by John YetIey, in order to reIocate his Sugar Bottom Bikes business
after the city bought his former Iocation at 325 N. Front Street.
Konl`s Goroqe/Ilower xnop/xnqor ßo::om ßìIes
Three generations of the Koser famiIy owned, operated and Iived at 25 E. Cherry Street
untiI the 1990s. Koser Grocery served the entire North Liberty popuIation of 300 for
many years. The grocery was originaIIy Iocated across the street in the current Sugar
Bottom Bikes buiIding. Ed Koser moved the buiIding to the south side of Cherry Street
in the earIy 1920s, and added a residence and meat Iocker to the buiIding.
SeveraI types of businesses have operated in portions of the faciIity incIuding a HiIIs
Bank branch, three ice cream stores, a meat market, a pizza pick-up Iocation and a
gas station. Residents Troy and Lora MiIIer owned and operated Naomi's Kitchen
and Isaac's Creamery in that Iocation. In 2013, the storefront became JJ's Cupcakes,
owned and operated by Tim and Janee Bradshaw.
Koser Grocery/¡¡`s cnpcoIes
This earIy church was caIIed BetheI
Church, North Bend Church and the
Church of God. Located on Penn Street
across from the Jones BouIevard inter-
section, the church was organized in
1847, and this buiIding was erected in
1868. The church is now home to Heart
to Heart BridaI boutique.
ße:nel cnnrcn/Heor: :o
Heor: ßrìJol
Nor:n LìIer:y
ßonJ, ¡nly o:n,
Back row, Ieft to right; Byron
CogIan, unidentified BurI Sen,
EarI Dodt, Jess Vusgrave,
Van Dyke CIingman, Leader,
Robert Lininger, Pete Rea-
sIand, Bob Price, unidenti-
fied, Grant Horn, unidentified,
unidentified, MiddIe row,
Ieft to right: unidentified,
Dan OverhoIt, Ike Meyers,
DaIe Anderson, Jim Cippera,
unidentified, LIoyd Wray, OraI
Ramsey, HaroId Augustine,
unidentified, sitting, Ieft to
right: George Young, Joe
AIt, Howard Wray, WendyII
Stoner, LoweII Meyers, Eroin
Lininger, Lew Lentz, unidenti-
fied, Edward Myers.
menojjey ßrìJqe RooJ
From back, numbered: 1. Cora MoreIand Young, teacher 2. Ora Crozier Ritz 3. Jes-
sie White Anderson 4. Jessie Anderson Green 5. Edna Meyers ZeIIer 6. Frank ZeIIer
7. unidentified 8. unidentified 9. Oscar Lumbard 10. unidentified 11. Cree Myers
12. Arnie ZeigIer MiIIer 13 Vernie Orris 14. Mary Koser 15. MyrtIe Work 16. EImer
Seutman 17. Marion Berry 18. Cora Seutman Anthony 19. Lee ZeigIer 20. Lottie
ZeigIer Emmons 21. LiIIian AudrIe Scott 22. Grage George 23. Bertie EastIand 24.
Jesse Orris 25. Roy StahIe 26. PearI AudrIe 27. Howard Anderson.
Nor:n LìIer:y xcnool 1rìmory x:nJen:s, c. 1°91
Conpi I ed f ion l he aichi ves suppI i ed ly } oan ßeI knap
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615 Westwood Drive & Hwy 965
NORTH L¡BERTY 626-6798
Mon-Sat 8am-9pm
Closed Sunday
Looking forward
to the next
100 years!
.,..' :.' '.,
By Tom Woodruff
NORTH LIBERTY- On this the 100th
Anniversary of the City of North Liberty,
we are reminded we have one of the most
historic and treasured rural roads in the
U.S.- Scales Bend Road. It still retains its
almost original and true country road ap-
pearance. You know it`s country when the
speed limit is 30 mph.
This pioneer road is partly in Penn
Township, Johnson County and partly in
North Liberty. Many still refer to it as the
Jolly Roger Road but the real old timers
knew it originally as the Great North Bend
Trail, then Moses Mann Bridge Road,
then Scales Bend Road. More recently it
was referred to as the Jolly Roger Road
but is now offcially named and marked
as Scales Bend. Others affectionately call
it the Cemetery Road because the Ridge-
wood (North Liberty) cemetery is along
it. That`s quite a history of names and is
historic in its own right.
Why the name Scales Bend? First the
bend part. Most of the road extends into
a great bend in the Iowa river caused by a
combination of the earth`s formation some
4.5 billion years ago and more recent gla-
cial action. This all combined to cause the
south running Iowa river to suddenly fow
north then east as it wound its way back to
the south. The unique and fertile peninsula
called The Great North Bend was formed.
The scales name was because of early
pioneer John Scales who operated an
apple orchard along the road there for
years. Several of his old apple varieties
called Roman Stem and Yellow Blush can
still be found surviving in the forested
hills and valleys. The Moses Mann Bridge
name came from an earlier bridge across
the Iowa river at his farm there at the tip
of the bend.
How do you fnd Scales Bend Road? As
you cross the railroad tracks on Highway
965 going north on the north edge of
North Liberty, do a right turn north-east-
erly on to it. It will take you on past the
beautiful hillside peony fowered Ridge-
wood (North Liberty) Cemetery to its
terminus about four miles further on. You
are always guaranteed a most delightful
and unique country drive on this very,
very narrow and winding road.
What will you experience? Lots of
curves, foliage and wildlife. Be warned-
slow down. There is always that variety of
wildlife using it too. Drive the posted 30
mph to get the full benefts of this narrow,
crooked hard-surface and tree lined drive.
A true country road ought to be dead end,
crooked and tree lined, right?
Early country roads always followed
high ground and ridges to avoid complica-
tions of mud and snow drifts associated
with weather. That arrangement now
offers us excellent views of the country-
side. By Iowa standards, it`s a very steep
ridge draining and sloping down several
hundred feet on either side of the ancient
trail to the Iowa river. The limestone cliffs
along this portion of the Iowa river are
unmatched in beauty.
Then there are the trees. Locations
along Scales Bend Road remains one of
the few places where you can still fnd
traces of the original Indian and pioneer
trail with canopies of some of the very
earliest old growth hardwood forests.
The narrow country 66-foot right-of-way
allows private landowner`s trees to offer
that wonderful canopy for the traveler.
And talk about mushrooms and wild fow-
Several land owners work hard at
preserving the originality of this road and
the surrounding area i.e. privately owned
Sherwood Forest. They still offer the
roadside experience of a one-holer along
with a resting deck surrounded by a white
picket fence. The TV antenna is, well, for
curiosity only and for those who feel- too
More about this scenic crooked road.
Early wildlife started most of the earlier
roads. For practical reasons, the native
Americans wisely followed these paths
and later they were followed by the horse
and wagon. Then came the stage coach
and automobiles. Scales Bend Road is a
perfect and preserved example of all that
history. If you look carefully, you can still
fnd visible evidence of portions of this
very old trail. Some have been carefully
preserved as they are genuine historic
There was also a north bound Cedar
Rapids cut-off road from Scales Bend
Road starting at the base of the hill just
before turning east up the cemetery hill.
That road followed the narrow draw north
into what is called 'Hogs Hollow.¨ This
is at the very point where the river makes
the dramatic turn back to the north. Early
pioneers forded the river at that point.
Remnants of old home rock-lined base-
ments (even a still, as in moonshine) are
still found along the hillsides along this
long abandoned cut-off road.
Another branch in the road is now 200th
Street NE. It went easterly from Scales
Bend Road and across the Iowa river
toward present day Solon. It ran past an
early Indian settlement where the Camp
Daybreak Girl Scout Camp was once
located and continued on to an Iowa river
portage at about the location of the pres-
ent Lake Macbride dam. A local family`s
grandparents were Indian and lived in this
bountiful natural wildlife/food area as late
as circa 1920. They have shared many
great pioneer stories and historic site loca-
tions with us.
Other historic notes. North Liberty once
had a city park about three miles up Scales
Bend on the old Canney farm. Engineer-
ing friend and later long-time Cedar
Rapids Mayor Don Canney was born and
raised on that farm. The infamous diving
rock is located there too. Years later it
operated as a camp site for the Boy Scouts
of America.
Of notable historical interest too is that
a portion of the Great North Bend area
was frst homesteaded by founders of the
Amana Colonies. After a few years, they
gave it up for the present Five Villages of
the Amana Colonies twenty miles upriver.
The original pointed limestone rock sur-
vey markers used then are still found and
used by present day land surveyors.
Not mentioned in this story, is the
signifcant impact the building of the
Coralville Dam and Lake has been on
changing the whole nature of the Bend.
It added greatly to the recreational and
residential developments but that is for
another story.
The Great North Bend hardwood timber
properties were sold early on in small par-
cels to the fat-landers to the south. They
harvested them for frewood, fence posts
and building lumber- winter projects.
Reasonable evidence has been found that
many of the early barns and houses down
south in the rich farming valley surround-
ing North Liberty were built from the
hardy red and white oak and cottonwoods
harvested from the Bend. One resident
has salvaged lumber from one of these
early barns in the bend area and built their
As we celebrate these past 100 years,
the Great North Bend Trail (now Scales
Bend Road) is more than a past historic
memory. It is now a preserved treasure for
today and tomorrow`s enjoyment whether
it be for driving, hiking or biking. Highly
recommended is that you pause enroute
for a few prayerful minutes at the Ridge-
wood (North Liberty) cemetery. Look
out over the wonder of our vibrant and
growing community as you refect on the
beauty of Scales Bend Road - it was made
possible by so many resting there. That
View and this old Trail have many of the
quality of life elements we are truly look-
ing for today.
1|e c.eo· :..·| ie-1 1.o.! u.··...., :.e-.. o-1 t.e·e.·e1
scaies Bend (countryj Road
1oin us every
7uesday night
from 5-7 PM for...
OnIy avaiIabIe at Iowa City,
CoraIviIIe, North Liberty,
West Branch, Washington
& WiIIiamsburg
With every £xtra VaIue MeaI
or Premium SaIad Purchase
68M0 0f
ß0ll9ll¶ l800
SLCTl·` A · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · `·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
0heck 0s o0t
oo Facebook
2698 8eservo|r 0r|ve hw #3
h08Th L|8£8TY
319-626-h0N£ (4663}
1ne:ner yon ore remoJelìnq o Iì:cnen, InìlJìnq on
oJJì:ìon, npJo:ìnq yonr Io:nroom, creo:ìnq o mos:er Io:nroom
yon nove olwoys won:eJ, µnìsnìnq o Iosemen: or oJJìnq on
ojµce, we con nelp moIe :ne process eosìer jor yon.
1rovìJìnq Inll xervìce RemoJelìnq
jor 15 Yeors onJ conn:ìnq!
Inll xervìce ResìJen:ìol/commercìol
RemoJelìnq onJ Desìqn xervìces
`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · SLCTl·` A
Ihi: i: why l
|cve |iving in
NcrIh LiLerIy
"Nerkiag ia äerIh liberIy is
suth u blessiag~ ae beIIer
plute ia Ihe sIuIel kuppy
feaIeaaiul, äll"
"äerIh liberIy is u greuI lumily erieaIed temmuaiIy."
"I live in o |own |ho| wos
once nomed '5quosh ßo||om´
so h||ingI¨
"äerIh liberIy supperIs
leuraiag uI Fhysitul liIaessl
k00kkI ler Ihe librury uad
ket. feaIerl"
"8etuuse my lumily
el hve tulls iI heme
uad we leel uI
"¡he femmuaiIy
feaIer is greuI
~ librury,
meeIiag reems,
peel, exertise
equipmeaI, Irutk ~
weaderlul lutiliIy."
410 North Front Street North Liberty · 626-3175
northIiberty@ froghoIIowkids.com
Open Monday - Friday
6:00 am - 6:00 pm
Transportation To
& From SchooI
Jn£on1s - 1oddlers - Þre-Kindergor1en - 5chool Age
CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
20I3 I9I3
IAC¡ O¡ OU! G!OOM¡!S \¡¡¡ T!¡AT YOU!
¡¡T \¡T¡ ¡OV¡. K¡N¡N¡SS & COM¡ASS¡ON!
.... ~...~..
·..... c.c...
·.... ··..;
¸.¸¸ ·.¸¸
I¡N¡ (UA¡¡TY \!OOM¡NG AN¡ I¡T '¡!V¡C¡S
··.·... .. ....·¸
J/10 \IIIII! \1. !I
& 'IA
10 YIAI'
~ Naps |n Fuzzy Beds
~ Spa Shampoo &
|eave-ln Oond|t|oners
~ De-Shedd|ng So|ut|on
~ Hydrosurge Bath|ng
& Massage
~ F|uff Dry|ng
~ Persona||zed Sty||ng
& Hand Sc|ssor|ng
~ Ear & Teeth O|ean|ng
~ Na|| Tr|m &
Na|| Gr|nd|ng
~ G|and Express|on
~ Se|f-Serv|ce Bath|ng
~ Bows & Bandanas
~ Spa Oo|ogne
~ Pawt|cure w|th
Na|| Tr|m &
Na|| Paw||sh
~ Treats & Fun Toys
IhrcughcuI Ihe fr:I hc|f cf Ihe 20Ih
cenIury, NcrIh LiLerIy remcinec
re|cIive|y unchcngec, c ccmmuniIy
cf cLcuI 300 pecp|e ccnIinuing Ihe
cgricu|Iurc||y-Lc:ec eccncmy cn
which iI wc: fcuncec.
ln Ihe |cIe 1º50:, Highwcy 218
1here cre Ihree Ihing: IhcI :epcrcIe NcrIh LiLerIy frcm mcny cIher
ccmmuniIie:. LcccIicn, |cccIicn, |cccIicn.
ccme Ihrcugh Icwn, cnc Ihing: Le-
gcn Ic grccuc||y chcnge.
8y Ihe Iime 1º70 rc||ec crcunc,
Ihe Icwn hcc Irip|ec in :ize. During
Ihi: grcwIh :purI, Ihe Icwn Legcn
experiencing iI: fr:I :eI cf grcwing
pcin:, evc|ving frcm c vi||cge Ic c
municipc|iIy, ceve|cping :cniIcry
:ewer cnc wcIer :ervice, cnc pcv-
ing :IreeI:.
/nc iI cicn´I hcppen cvernighI.
Conf|nued on poge 3
8y Dcug Lincner
`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · SLCTl·` ß
J.N. Swank started the company
that bears his name in 195+ in two
modest rooms in his !owa City
Fifty years later, the company is
part of ConAgra !nc., one of the
nation's largest food suppliers,
moving 700 million pounds of food
product annually to customers
across the US and Canada.
But the dedication and deter-
mination Swank and right-hand
man Larry Pacha invested into
the company is still a prime force
driving the company's continued
Pacha spent 37 years with the
Swank company- hrst as one of
the only employees and then as
the owner of the business.
Swank's background had been
selling meats and other food prod-
ucts, but his bakery business had
entered bankruptcy. He started a
new company in 195+ that focused
solely on the delivery of dry dairy
When Pacha joined in 1963, it
was still a one-man operation. The
business grew continually, with
new salespeople hired to service
areas J.N. and Pacha had already
cultivated. The product offering
also grew. Customers liked the
timely service and began asking
for other ingredients- starches,
spices, sugars.
!n 1980, the annual sales had
soared to $21.+ million. !t was
also in 1980 that J.N. relinquished
control of the company, selling it
to Pacha.
!t takes a hrm commitment to maintain a
business for 30 years. !t takes much more
to become one of the most outstanding
companies in the nation- and stay true to
your roots- like North Liberty-based trucking
company Heartland Express.
!n 2008, the North Liberty-based trucking
hrm celebrated 30 years in business, and
what a trip it's been.
!n 1978, founder Russ Gerdin purchased
a small trucking company in Swisher, !owa.
With just four people and 16 trucks, Gerdin
put into practice the service-based philoso-
Heort|ond Express
phy that still guides the company
Within eight years, Heartland
Express had become a publicly
traded company on the NASDAQ
stock market, grossing $21 million
annually. Through acquisitions and
expansions primarily in the eastern
part of the country, Heartland
gradually became a ¨national
truckload carrier with a regional
focus." !n 2008, the debt-free or-
ganization reported gross revenues
of nearly $600 million a year.
!n 1980, the company headquarters
moved to Coralville, where it continued to
outgrow its spaces, eventually hlling four
separate buildings. When development in
the area exploded, the ensuing commercial
trafhc and Heartland's big rigs had to share
the road, which wasn't easy. Russ Gerdin
began searching for a new location, which
he eventually found right up the highway.
Heartland moved to North Liberty in July
The +0-acre site now hosts the 65,000-sq.-
ft., geothermal-heated and cooled corporate
headquarters with large meeting spaces, a
htness center with locker and shower facili-
ties, a huge employee commonsfdining area
and an impressive two-story lobby with a
trophy case that houses the hundreds of
awards and recognitions Heartland has
received over the years.
There is a 32,000-sq.-ft. maintenance
shop, where the newest equipment on the
road- the average age of Heartland's trac-
tors was just 1.3 years in 2008- is fueled
and serviced. The on-site detention pond
is equipped with pumps to bring rainwater
into the truck's wash bay, where the water
is used to clean the trucks.
The company has been recognized na-
tionally by national companies such as Wal-
Nart, Sears and FedEx, and honored with
outstanding service awards from hundreds
of other multi-national businesses like East-
man and DuPont and listed as one of Forbes
Nagazine's 200 Best Small Companies in
Heartland's steady growth and high es-
teem among its industry peers seems to
come down to one basic principal for com-
pany president Nike Gerdin, who succeeded
his father as Heartland's president in 2006.
¨Service is our niche," said Nike. ¨We
have built the company on service for all
our customers."
Three years later, Pacha ran
out of room in !owa City and dis-
covered the Wickes lumber yard
in North Liberty was going out of
business. A sale was negotiated,
revenue bonds were issued with
the assistance of Johnson County,
and J.N. Swank !nc. moved to
North Liberty.
As it continued to grow in the
late `80s, J.N. Swank moved from
being a large regional distributor
to being one of the top national
providers of food ingredients. Sales
topped $100 million in 1990.
J.N. had stayed active in the
business until the age of 7+, and
out of respect, Pacha sat down with
his mentor prior to the sale of the
company to ConAgra in 1992.
JM Swonk
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Cedar Rap|ds · Cora|v|||e · l|||s · loWa C|ly · Ka|ora
L|soor · Var|or · Vourl verror · Norlr L|oerly · we||rar
1-800-115-5Z25 · r|||soar|.cor
Ó|taI° rooted in our longstanding
involvement in agriculture. Over the
last century, Hills Bank has successfully
responded to the changing needs of
businesses and individuals, to become
one of the largest
independent banks
in Iowa.
Ót¬¬|I¬·|I to youth, education, and
life-long learning. Ve invest in youth through
programs such as Classroom Cash,
empowering customers to earn
money for their school.
Î|aII and mutual respect. Hills Bank
President Albert Droll (19õ5-1975) said,
¨Business can be done with a handshake
and a smile.¨ Ve believe that yet today,
taking the time to get to know you
and your needs.
Ù·/|·sI|t| to commercial
and small business enterprise, along
with our commitment to providing
residential real estate loans.
to make a di¿erence each day.
Ve´ll partner with you in your
fnancial endeavors.
Fu:: cnc Mike Gercin
SLCTl·` ß · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · `·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
10 Ycars In
Nnrth LIbcrty
!'. ·.¹ ··
GeneraI S Cosnetlc Dentlstrµ
for the Lntlre lanlIµ
Christopher Caster, D.D.S.
1990 Graduate University of Ìowa College of Dentistry
Serving Dental Needs of Eastern Ìowans since 1995
LIbcrty FamI!y Dcnta!, LLC
2 Hawkeye Drive, North Liberty
Off Hwy 965 by Gasby's BP
Meeting after meeting, ordinance by
ordinance and subdivision by subdivision
a succession of elected representatives ar-
gued amongst themselves and with those
who stood before them, trying to make
what they thought were the best decisions
for the future North Liberty.
A popular restaurant, The Purple Cow,
situated itself on the west edge of town,
followed soon by other businesses the
blossoming population could support with
the help of the highway.
Slowly, but surely, pieces began falling
into place.
By 1980, the population had doubled
again, to 2,000 people.
Cable television came to town, the city
created its frst park and was seeing com-
mercial development.
J.M. Swank, an Iowa City-based food
supplier, came to town in 1985, occupying
the former location of the Wickes lumber
yard, and by the late 80s the city had
attracted a promising industrial recruit,
Centro, Inc. Both industries would remain
with the community over the coming
The city was beginning to develop the
tax bases that would feed its expansion for
the next several decades.
A fnancial institution returned to serve
the community, the North Liberty Family
Health Centre opened its doors and the
public library was created.
To that point, the city council had relied
heavily on the services of its city attorney,
Marion Neely, for professional advice
regarding the policies and procedures that
were put in place.
In 1990, with a population pushing
3,000, the city hired its frst paid adminis-
trator, Pat McGarvey.
By this time, Interstate 380 had by-
passed North Liberty to the west and
North Liberty started to grow toward it.
Transport America, a national truck-
ing services company, opened a hub off
the Interstate, and by the mid-1990s, LL
Pelling, an asphalt paving contractor, had
relocated its offces and shop to Penn
The city plunged all-in on a plan to
extend Cherry Street west to what is now
Highway 965, creating space for a pos-
sible community center, as well as higher-
end commercial properties like banks and
medical clinics. As a result, the city took
over the maintenance of Highway 965
within the city limits.
In March of 1995, North Liberty resi-
dents approved a $600,000 bond issue to
partially fund a $2.8 million community
center that would house the library and
recreation center.
In 1997 when the facility opened, it
immediately became the heart of the com-
That`s when I arrived on the scene.
When I began covering North Liberty,
there was no Fareway. Coral Ridge Mall
had just opened (one of my frst assign-
ments was photographing banker Lori
Meyer greeting people outside the mall`s
doors), and the residential growth was just
beginning to take off.
Over the next 10 years, the town would
almost triple in size, from just shy of
5,000 to over 13,000.
But in 1998, it was still on the verge,
and I had a front row seat.
When Steve Cooley approached the
city with a proposal to open a used car
dealership fronting Highway 965, the city
council members were deadlocked. It was
the frst real commercial development
they were considering to allow along the
highway, and they weren`t certain about a
lot of things, other than they wanted to get
it right. Cooley had targeted the former
site of the Solid Gold Diner (anyone re-
member that?), but council members were
concerned about how the proposed busi-
ness would ft in to the overall dream for
965, as well as whether there was enough
space for all of Cooley`s stock.
It took a special outdoor meeting at the
site to convince council members to ap-
prove his conditional use permit on a 3-2
Some of the council meetings were
contentious. Doors were slammed. Voices
were raised. Occasionally, accusations
were made.
It was all exciting stuff, and made for a
good council story in the next week`s edi-
tion of the North Liberty Leader.
The wheels continued to turn, council
members foated in and out of offce, and
the city continued to grow.
One of my favorite council stories (that
I can tell without embarrassing anyone)
dates back to when Ron Bandy was a
council member. One of the ongoing
issues with the community at the time
was Highway 965. The highway divided
the community north and south without
a single controlled intersection. During
one council meeting, probably in the late
1990s, Bandy suggested the city needed to
take a critical look at a pedestrian crossing
for Highway 965.
His recommendation, to construct an
overpass or an underpass, was met with
some gentle chuckling.
In 2005, the Liberty Centre project was
funded with a $750,000 grant from Vision
Iowa, creating, among other things, an
underground pedestrian walkway.
In fve years, the idea went from a pipe
dream to a reality.
North Liberty went from a growing
community to a small city, developing a
vision that would have been impossible to
attain in previous decades.
The city has invested heavily in that
vision. Parks, trails, the expansion of the
recreation center, the most recent expan-
sion of the library
To that end, credit must go to the city`s
staff, which has been immensely success-
ful at attracting outside grant funds to
offset the cost of numerous infrastructure
projects and commercial developments.
But it also belongs to the people of
North Liberty, to everyone who stepped
forward to serve on an anonymous city
board, or who fipped pancakes for the
Optimists at their annual breakfast; every
person who volunteered time and effort
over the course of this city`s history is
a brick in the foundation, and it is their
work which paved the way for the ameni-
ties and the quality of life which North
Liberty residents currently enjoy.
Happy birthday, North Liberty.
~ By Doug Lindner
·o:ti:ucc i:ou ¡agc 1
locatio:, locatio:, locatio:...
Lloyd Pelling Sr. started the LL Pelling Com-
pany in 19+8 in Williamsburg, oiling roads as
a way to get out of the rock and mud era.
Sixty-hve years later, the Pelling family has
moved on, but the LL Pelling Co. still exists
as a family-owned company with the Nanatt
family as majority stock holders.
Expanding from its humble beginning of
traveling the state doing asphalt road work,
the Pelling Co. has taken down roots in the
!owa CityfCedar Rapids corridor.
!n 1995, a new ofhce and shop was built
in North Liberty and the ofhce was moved
from its !owa City location. The LL Pelling
Co. has asphalt plants in !owa City, Narion,
and in 2013, a new addition was placed in
Cedar Rapids all serving the corridor and
surrounding counties.
Today, LL Pelling continues to work in the
chip seal business where it began, but has
also expanded to a full service asphalt paving
contractor along with the following divisions:
grading, PCC, line stripping, trucking, asphalt
shingle recycling, and asphalt blending.
A state-of-the-art quality control laborato-
ry located at the North Liberty headquarters
was built to design and test all the materials
for jobs ranging from highways to airports
and parking lots.
With over 200 employees and 65 years in
the business, LL Pelling continues to serve
the corridor as a full service pavement
LL Fe|||ng Co.
Centro, !nc. is a custom rota-
tional molder of plastic products.
Dick Rozek founded Centro in Sep-
tember of 1970 in a +,800 square
foot facility located just north of
The Centro name was created by
combining the central location and
the company's rotational molding
Centro has experienced steady
growth si nce i ts foundi ng i n
A new corporate ofhce facility
Centro, Inc.
and a fourth manufacturing facility
were built in North Liberty in 1990.
An expansion to the original facility
was done n 1993, and an another
in January of 1997, increasing the
campus to 161,000 square feet of
manufacturing space and 25,600
square feet of ofhce space.
Centro consistently ranks high
among North American Rotational
Nolders, and top among custom
rotational molders.
Rotational molding is a spe-
cialized manufacturing process
that converts plastic powder into
products that have a wide variety
of shapes, sizes, colors and uses.
Products are generally hollow in
design, and markets tend to be
geographical in nature. Rotational
molding is a young industry found-
ed in the late 1950s. Centro creates
a wide variety of custom parts for
major manufacturers. !t does not
offer proprietary products for sale
to the general consumer market.
!n its early years of the business,
the company's sales were entirely
agriculture-related. Original prod-
ucts included fertilizer tanks for
John Deere. Plastic tanks replaced
metal or hberglass tanks because
they were durable, lightweight,
corrosion resistant and inexpen-
Narkets gradually developed
with fuel tanks and grass collection
systems in the lawn and garden
industry, and exercise equipment
in the recreation industry.
PIantar Fascitis
Ear Infections
Runner's Knee
Tennis EIbow
Shin SpIints
CarpaI TunneI
IT Bad Contracture
AchiIIes Tendonitis
Rotator Cuff Injuries
`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · SLCTl·` ß
Limited to SmaII
Companion AnimaIs
620 Liberty Way (just West of L.D. Express)
Animal Kingdom
Veter|aar¡ Care Ceater
Dr. Wayne Ahern DVM
Dr. Ana Falk DVM
Dr. Susan Oliver DVM
Mon/Thurs/Fri 8-5:30 · Tues 8-7 · Wed 8-8 · Sat 8:30-Noon
OnIine Store & Pharmacy
130 Sugar Creek Lane · North Liberty · 626-8200
Steve Cooley
Gary Bontrager
Dean Wade
Until 1945, fres in the North Liberty community were
fought by volunteers of the North Bend fre district. In
1945, North Liberty established its own municipal vol-
unteer fre department, though it was still funded by Penn
and Madison townships, and resident donations until the
city council voted in 1975 to give the department its own
annual budget with revenues from property taxes.
Department records are scarce, most of its available
documented history contained in scrapbooks and old
photographs. However, a few North Liberty frefghters
can recount what frefghting was like in the department`s
earlier days; it was not that long ago in time, but is an
era away from the modern frefghting operation today`s
North Liberty residents have come to depend on.
Bob Parker is a 43-year veteran of the North Liberty
Fire Department (NLFD). He joined in 1970, one of 15
members. Parker remembers responding to fre calls in
the department`s frst truck, a 1947 Chevy.
'It had lights and a siren, but no radios, and it didn`t
haul a lot of anything,¨ Parker said. Still, it was in service
until 1972.
The department`s second fre engine was a 1961 Ford
tanker truck, procured because the department responded
to so many rural fres, where there is no
place to refll water tanks. An old tanker
held roughly 1,200 gallons of water,
so a driver of the truck would have
to shuttle water continuously until
the fre was out.
What made it even more
cumbersome was that the city of
North Liberty had no municipal
water system at the time; there-
fore, frefghters had to fll their
tanks at the Oakdale water tower
down the road. In 1972, the depart-
ment got its frst dedicated pumper truck,
which would pump up to 1,000 gallons per
minute. Today`s pumpers will handle twice
that volume, and new tanker trucks hold about
2,000 gallons of water. Shuttling water to rural fres is
still a necessity, but NLFD can fll tanks from hydrants in
the community, or access water from other departments`
tankers through the beneft of mutual aid agreements
between NLFD and stations in nearby communities.
Having to go all the way to Oakdale to refll water
tanks was inconvenient, but in the 1970s, Parker said,
NLFD only received about one or two fre calls each
'We didn`t have frst responders then; it was strictly
calls for fres,¨ he said. And there were no cabs to trans-
port crew members, either.
'Your typical truck would have two people in the cab,
and the rest of us grabbed onto the back of the truck and
rode the tail board. In sub-freezing temperatures, or what-
ever.¨ Enclosed crew cabs are now federally mandated
through OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Admin-
The vehicle feet has come a long way in the last
half-century. Currently, NLFD has eight well-equipped
emergency response vehicles, including seven task-spe-
cifc trucks, a rescue boat and a jet ski on loan from the
Department of Civil Defense.
Firefghters` personal equipment has also advanced.
Turnout gear consisted of boots, a coat, helmet and rub-
ber gloves. It wasn`t until the 1980s that frefghters were
issued bunker pants, full-length boots and leather gloves.
Most signifcantly, in the 1970s, there were no such
things as individual self-contained breathing apparatuses
(SCBAs) for NLFD members.
'We had a couple of re-breathers,¨ Parker explained.
'The breath you exhaled went through a charcoal flter-
ing, and you would re-breathe your own air back in.
That`s why frefghters became known as smoke-eaters,`
because that`s basically what you did back then.¨ Even
when the NLFD got SCBAs, for a period of time, they
had no way to refll oxygen tanks, and had to take them to
Iowa City to refll them.
In the past, he added, frefghting was not nearly as
hazardous as it is today. Fires burned cooler when fueled
by wood, cotton and wool- the natural materials of by-
gone days- rather than the variety of synthetic materials
present in modern-day construction, furniture and other
'Materials in homes today have so much pressed wood
that has a lot of glue, tons of plastics and other manmade
materials that are much more volatile and give off very
toxic fumes,¨ Parker said.
And though homes have better wiring, for example,
and more uniformity in safety regulations dictated by city
building codes, some of the money-saving measures in
construction itself have made fghting today`s fres more
dangerous, in Parker`s opinion. For example, foor joists
that used to be made from 2¨x12¨ solid wood boards
in an I-beam confguration are now made with particle
board that may have a pre-cut hole for running wires,
which creates an easier route for fre. That means when
fre compromises a foor from underneath, rather
than sagging under a frefghter`s feet- which
can serve as a warning- today`s foor is
more likely to give way all at once.
Similarly, roof rafters that were formerly
nailed with true 2¨x4¨s were replaced
by trusses made with slightly smaller
boards and held together by metal
plates; those plates are great for
bearing the weight of snow or pres-
sure from high winds, but when
they get hot, they make a roof vulner-
able to collapse.
Advancements in automobile technology
also created unique new considerations for the
way frefghters handle vehicle emergencies.
'Cars back in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, they were just
cars. They had gas engines and cloth or leather seats,
and you knew you could cut almost anywhere with the
extrication equipment,¨ Parker said. That is no longer the
'When they started incorporating more plastics inside
cars, and air bag systems and electric cars with high-volt-
age batteries and things like that, now you have to know
where the wires are running so you don`t accidentally cut
into that electric wire or cut through a canister that sets
off an air bag and smack someone in the head. You have
to get information on that make and model of car so you
don`t put yourself or others in danger.¨
Though time has introduced new perils in frefghting,
so has it brought changes that have increased safety and
Parker said the best innovation in preventing fre disas-
ters in the last century was the advent, use and continual
improvement of home smoke detectors. He anticipates
the next biggest innovation will be home sprinkler sys-
tems, perhaps eventually to be required in all new home
Moreover, the procedures with which departments fght
fres and respond to emergencies has changed dramati-
Previously, volunteers showed up and went into action
without much of a plan, without consistency of experi-
ence and often without much training.
'In the 70s, we were required to take one training per
year,¨ Parker said.
In contrast, Chief Eric Vandewater outlined the rigor-
ous training expectations for today`s volunteer; 24 hours
of structural frefghting training per year for everyone;
luilci:g a saict, :ct
:o:t| li|c:t,`s li:c Dc¡a:tuc:t g:ows i:ou a :u:al
cist:ict to a uocc:: volu:tcc: c:cw
November 6, 1979 North
Liberty City EIection
Total voters: 217
David Roberts: 160
John Hartnett: 56
Lynne CasIavka: 155
Larry Kasparek: 155
Richard Johnson: 150
WiIIiam Hedges: 149
Larry SIocum: 121
Frances Christianson: 101
Richard Tibbetts: 79
Linda McCoy: 72
November 3, 1981 North
Liberty City EIection
Total voters: 293
David J. Roberts: 238
scattered write in: 1
JoeI R. Kitch: 164
Patricia L. Huppert: 163
Mark Broderick: 133
(60% required):
Shall the city of North Liberty
issue its bonds in an amount
not exceeding the amount
of $150,000 for the purpose
of acquiring real estate to be
used as a city park?
Yes: 163 (57.2%)
No: 122 (42.8%)
November 8, 1983 North
Liberty City EIection
Total voters: 333
Jerry DeMarce: 236
Donald P. Reed: 90
Lynne D. CasIavka: 204
Keith A. Roof: 179
Randy L. Ferdig: 130
Thomas A. Stutzman: 126
Donald C. Koss: 120
Kenneth R. Madole: 89
Gordon S. Rath: 88
November 29, 1983 Runoff
for one counciI seat
Total voters: 151
Randy L. Ferdig: (on ballot)
Thomas A. Stutzman: (on
ballot) 37
Don Koss: (write in) 37
Gordon Rath: (write in) 37
scattered write in: 1
November 5, 1985 North
Liberty City EIection
Total voters: 329
David J. Roberts: 208
Keith A. Roof: 117
scattered write in: 3
Deanna M. Lear: 230
DonaId C. Koss: 211
Michael F. Stalkfleet: 113
Robert C. O'Rear: 83
scattered write in: 2
November 3, 1987 North
Liberty City EIection
Randy L. Ferdig: 229
Jerry L. Demarce: 226
Lynne D. CasIavka: 164
Keith A. Roof: 118
Ken Madole: 113
Curtis L. Kieffer: 71
scattered: 8
November 7, 1989 North
Liberty City EIection
Registered Voters: 1433
Total Voters: 355
Turnout: 24.77%
David Roberts: 260; 88%
scattered write-in: 35
CIair Mekota; 213; 60%
Deanna Lear: 164; 46%
Donald Koss: 143; 40%
Michael Malatek: 135; 38%
scattered write-in: 3
MichaeI StaIkfIeet: 185; 54%
John Hartnett: 155; 45%
scattered write-in:1
November 5, 1991 North
Liberty City EIections
Registered: 1,520
Voted: 391
Turnout: 25.7%
GIenn R. Siders: 231
Diane Bernacki: 194
CharIes W. Hippee: 180
John Hartnett: 145
Donald C. Koss: 144
Lynne D. Caslavka: 135
Michael F. Stalkfleet: 41
Douglas R. Grell: 21
Scattered: 2
·o:ti:ucc o: ¡agc ¯
SLCTl·` ß · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · `·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
185 Hwy 965, Liberty PIaza
North Liberty 319.626.2203
We used to live in Iowa City, and we
moved to Front Street back when those
homes were brand new. We were at 20 N.
Front St. for quite a few years. When we
moved in, it had a nice new wall phone
in the kitchen. The only thing is, when
you picked it up, you had Agda (Alt, the
telephone operator).
To me that kind of shows how much the
city`s changed in the years that I`ve been
here, going from Agda, who was great,
to what we now have. South Slope is no
longer just a phone company but a real
communications company.
North Liberty was a really small town
back then, around 300 people.
It wasn`t so much a farm town. Every-
body went some place to work- Cedar
Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville. There was
almost no one in town.
We were lucky that we had Koser`s
Grocery & Gas, and there used to be a
little station across from it.
We were excited when we got the
Purple Cow. That was really a great place
for us.
Casey`s was built, and we all thought
they`d go broke- that they couldn`t afford
to put a place like that in North Liberty.
And at one time it was the busiest Casey`s
in Iowa.
As a city council, one of the things
we really tried to do was get a true city
water system. A lot of people yelled at us,
complained about it, but I think now the
city water system is an important asset to
the community.
We had a good group of young people
on the council. At one time we were a
little lopsided, I think we had four people
on the fre department who were also on
the council. That`s one of the reasons we
were able to make improvement to the fre
It`s always been a volunteer depart-
ment- the city and the townships kind of
contributed, but there wasn`t any taxation.
It really didn`t work very well. The city
bought out the townships and we set the
taxation rate as the high as allowed by
law. You went from a department where
you had to pull the trucks out so people
could vote (and one truck stored in a lean-
to), to a top-quality department. It`s got
good equipment, fantastic training and a
lot of good people.
We used to ride on the back of the fre
trucks with a rope around us to help hold
us on. But that`s what we had years ago.
Now, you`ve got very modern equipment
and required training.
It`s a very good improvement, but it
took a lot of people who were willing to
push and upset a few people.
Our paving standards used to be just
about nil. Our building inspection went
from almost nothing to a full-time inspec-
tion department.
We improved sewer, we improved wa-
ter. We required people in developments
to put a water main in front of their prop-
erty even if there wasn`t a main to hook it
to. We caught a lot of hell for that, but by
requiring everybody to do all their pieces,
we were able to put it all together.
All those changes happened because it
was what the people wanted.
November 2, 1993 North
Liberty City EIections
Registered Voters: 1,673
Total Voters: 385
Turnout: 23.01%
Early Voters: 6
% of vote cast early: 1.56%
David J. Roberts: 258;
Write-Ìns: 35; 11.95%
Denny R. DunIap: 179;
Stephen D. PurkapiIe: 165;
Keith A. Roof: 162; 42.08%
Shawn Bergert: 128; 33.25%
Write-Ìns: 7
Ken MadoIe: 173; 47.53%
Dane Bogaard: 124; 34.07%
Clair Mekota: 66; 18.13%
Write-Ìns: 1
November 7, 1995 North
Liberty City EIections
Total Voters; 483
Registered Voters: 2129
Turnout: 22.7%
Early Voters: 24
% of vote cast early: 4.97%
CharIes W. Hippee: 278;
Randy Ferdig: 277; 57%
Susan CarIson: 247; 51%
Ken Madole: 197; 41%
Glenn R. Siders: 172; 36%
Wayne Heffner: 166; 34%
Write-Ìns: 1; 0%
November 4, 1997 North
Liberty City EIection
Registered Voters: 2,639
Total Voters: 559
Turnout: 21%
Early Voters: 28
% of votes cast early: 5.01%
CharIes W Hippee: 366;
David J Roberts: 129; 23%
Dennis G Pelland: 54; 10%
Write-Ìns: 3; 1%
COUNCÌL (two to be elected)
John James Soukup: 262;
Tom Ries: 243; 43%
Angela Boeke: 204; 36%
Rob Brandt: 199; 36%
Larry J Lee: 131; 23%
Write-Ìns: 5; 1%
November 2, 1999 City
Registered Voters: 2,991
Total Voters: 510
Turnout: 17.05%
Early Voters: 22
% of votes cast early: 4.31%
WiIIiam E. Dorst: 313; 61%
Matthew J. BahI: 306; 60%
Ron Bandy: 250; 49%
Steve Anderson: 244; 48%
Mark Robe: 152; 30%
Terry R. Ìrwin: 148; 29%
Write-ins: 11
November 6, 2001 North
Liberty City EIection
Registered Voters: 3,454
Total Voters: 792
Turnout: 22.93%
Early Voters: 46
% of votes cast early: 5.81%
CIair Mekota: 464; 60%
Ron Bandy: 305; 39%
Write-Ìns: 6
John J. Soukup: 334; 42%
Rob Gardiner: 315; 40%
Steve Anderson: 266; 34%
Jerome Kasper: 249; 31%
Thomas A. Salm: 234; 30%
James S. Moody: 67; 8%
Mart Hutt: 42; 5%
Write-Ìns: 3
November 4, 2003 North
Liberty City EIection
Registered Voters: 3,834
Total Voters: 308
Turnout (citywide) : 8.03%
Early Voters: 22
% of votes cast early: 7.14%
Thomas A. SaIm: 237; 77%
Matthew J. BahI: 230; 75%
James S. Moody: 226; 73%
Merle Kelley: 117; 38%
Write-Ìns: 10
November 8 North Liberty
City EIection
Note: Franker and Wozniak
victories contested
Registered Voters: 5,355
Total Voters: 1,031
Turnout (citywide) : 19.25%
Early Voters: 51
% of votes cast early: 4.95%
Dave Franker (write in) *:
366; 36%
Matthew J. Bahl: 338; 34%
Thomas A. Salm: 285; 28%
Other write ins: 14; 1%
* Spelling variations: Franker
(203), David Franker (133),
Dave Franker (23), Dave
Franken (4), Franken (2), D.
Franker (1), Dave Frankner
Gerry KuhI: 528; 51%
James Wozniak: 426; 41%
Robert Gardiner: 343; 33%
Erek Sittig: 241; 23%
Paul Osterholt: 223; 22%
Robert Kishiue-Koval: 108;
Shawn M. Krantz: 93; 9%
Write-Ìns: 15
November 6, 2007 City
Registered Voters: 6,108
Total Voters: 946
Turnout (citywide) : 15.49%
Early Voters: 74
% of votes cast early: 7.82%
Thomas A. Salm: 795; 94%
Write-Ìns: 42
Chris Hoffman: 634; 67%
CoIeen Chipman: 605; 64%
Terry Donahue: 591; 62%
Jack Zimmerman: 373; 39%
James Moody: 291; 31%
Write-Ìns: 19
Public Measure: Hotel/Motel
Yes: 770; 85%
No: 140; 15%
November 3, 2009 City
Registered Voters: 7,860
Total Voters: 515
Turnout (citywide) : 6.55%
Early Voters: 41
% of votes cast early: 7.96%
Thomas A. SaIm: 444; 94%
Write-Ìns: 27
Gerry KuhI: 349; 68%
Brian Wayson: 282; 55%
David J. Grex: 206; 40%
Jonathan W. Waller: 112;
Write-Ìns: 14
November 8, 2011 City
Registered Voters: 8,595
Total Voters: 681
Turnout (citywide) : 7.92%
Early Voters: 45
CoIeen Chipman: 451; 66%
Terry L. Donahue: 418; 61%
Chris Hoffman: 460; 68%
Matt Zacek: 344; 51%
Write-Ìns: 14
(50%+1 required)
Yes: 268; 40%
No: 408; 60%
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LE/DEF 1-¯o
Jun. 1, 1976
Lngineer Krotaska gave a lavorable
report on the progress ol the water
system plans. The preliminary planning,
which began in Sept., 1974, was
lollowed by the municipal system that
was approved by householders in Oct.
1975. £inal plans lor the construction ol
the plant are expected to be ready lor
approval in May, 197G.
Jun. 22, 1976
During 1975, approximately 1,89O,OOO
people visited the lacilities ollered
at Coralville Lake. This year`s total
surpasses the 1974 total ol 1,5G4,GOO
¡eb. 5, 1976
!t was announced that townspeople
interested in using the town`s copy
machine may do so lor a small lee.
Murch 1S, 1976
The True Blue Class met lor its
quarterly party Mar. 11 in the United
Methodist church parlors.
Logan Myers was in charge ol
entertainment and told ol his
experiences driving a 1911 model
Cadillac to Calilornia in 1912. He and
two other young men made the trip
in 28 days.
Muy 13, 1976
The park commission decided not
to lund the Little League teams this
year; although they will maintain
ownership ol the bases and chalker.
June 17, 1976
The council voted to accept the bid
lrom Book !ublishing company ol
$2,5OO lor a codihcation ol ordinances
lor the municipality ol North Liberty,
publication ol 5O copies ol the code,
plus supplemental service.
July 25, 1976
The lourth annual Huck £inn Day
took place last Sunday, ]uly 25, at the
youth group shelter in Kent !ark.
The day`s lestivities, sponsored by
the North Liberty Optimists club,
were the hnal events ol the North
Liberty Bicentennial celebration.
`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · SLCTl·` ß
25 Last Cberry Street
Nortb Llberty
oroer onllne on tbe calenoar at
www. naoml skl tcben. com
Locateo l n Hl storl c Koser's 8ul l ol ng
585 \est Cherry St., North Líberty
North libcrty famiIy HcaIth Ccntrc PC
Cheryí l. }ohnson MD
1uííy L. Hempy MD
}umí A. Muxson MD
Lísu R. }ohnson MD
lutíe C. Arcenus MD
Indcµcndcnl µrìvalcly owncd olücc!
Famìlìcs arc our sµccìally
HeaIth Care
Sertlces to
North Llbertµ
for 26 Years!
By Lori Lindner
It was 1901 when the frst telephone
was installed in North Liberty.
Dr. David Steward, who had served as
a surgeon in the Civil War, was a person
of enough importance and means to have
such a modern convenience installed in
his home. It was the same year permanent
telephone lines were frst constructed
in the county`s rural areas, and 12 years
before the city offcially incorporated. In
1903, the North Liberty Mutual Phone
Company was launched with 51 stock-
holders. A switchboard was set up in the
F.W. Stahle Grocery store, and operated
as a sideline until enough telephones were
installed to warrant a full-time attendant.
Eventually, the telephone switchboard
was moved to its own location, a home on
the corner of Main and Cherry streets that
also had living quarters. North Liberty
residents Jim and Hazel Hudson operated
the switchboard and lived in the house,
said North Liberty historian Joan Alt
'Whoever was the main operator lived
in the house with their family so they
could provide phone service at night.
Whoever was on the switchboard was
responsible for calling all the fremen in
case of a fre,¨ Belknap explained.
And she should know; her mother, Agda
Alt, was a switchboard operator for 20 of
the phone system`s early years.
'The operator would watch for little
faps to fall down, indicating that a
customer wanted to make a phone call,¨
Belknap said. 'She would then plug a cord
into the circuit, ask who they wanted to
call and plug another cord into the proper
hole for the other line, then press a lever
that created the series of rings for the
desired party.¨
It was the days of party lines, when
more than one household shared a tele-
phone line. When the phone would ring,
it would ring in all the homes, so the
operator would have to execute rings in a
certain code corresponding to the desired
recipient in order to distinguish who
should answer. The code was reminiscent
of the substitution encryptions used by toy
decoder rings of the 1930s; the numeral
one was a single long ring; the numeral
two was a long ring, followed by a short
one, and so on.
'For example, we only answered the
phone if we heard one long ring followed
by three short rings. If you were not
ethical, you could pick up the phone and
listen to your neighbor`s phone conversa-
tion,¨ Belknap said.
A page from a 1960s-era phone book
offered general guidelines for telephone
account holders.
'Answer calls promptly and avoid talk-
ing over fve minutes,¨ it reads. 'Central
shall have the right of line over social
calls when the line is needed for long
distance or an emergency. Service will be
refused to transmit immoral language.¨
Further, the guidelines caution people
not to use the telephone during electrical
storms, not to visit with the operator, and
'do not listen in on other people`s conver-
sations, for it wears out the batteries, in
addition to being impolite.¨
The operator, however, would monitor
the connected lines to see if the conversa-
tion was fnished.
'Before unplugging the cords, she
would say Are you waiting, are you
through?` and if there was not response,
she would unplug the cords, terminating
the connection,¨ Belknap said.
There were several
operators that worked
the switchboard,
including Joan herself
when she was a senior
in high school.
'This was in
1967, close to the
time when South
Slope converted to
dial phones,¨ said
Belknap. 'My fam-
ily was living in the
telephone offce at
the time. Someone
had to stay there 24
hours a day to man
the switchboard.
The other operators
worked during the
day or evening, and
Mom, and some-
times I, manned it
late at night or on
Sundays. I think it
was the hardest thing
my dad had ever done, to live and sleep
in town. Even though he went out to the
farm every day, he was like a fsh out of
water until they moved back again when
the new offce was done, across the street
on Main Street.¨
No more code rings
It was Dec. 7, 1967, when North Liberty
Mutual Telephone Company joined South
Slope Cooperative Telephone Company
and frst introduced dial phones- previ-
ously powered with a crank- and single-
party service to North Liberty, at an
estimated cost of $266,000. It also meant
the 15-cent long distance charge for calls
between North Liberty and Iowa City
could be eliminated. North Liberty was
the last area in Johnson County to be on a
manual switchboard system.
Initially, the frst switchboard in Stahle`s
grocery served 50 patrons. By 1967, North
Liberty Mutual had served 450 and had
186 stockholders.
\ideo conlerencing takes
NL around the world
South Slope Cooperative Telephone
Company, frst established in 1958,
provided telephone service to rural Iowa
communities, including Norway- where
its frst offce was established- Newhall,
Walford, Watkins and
Fairfax. Between
1960 and 1966,
South Slope served
about 1,500 cooper-
ative members. Ely
joined South Slope
in 1971, and no new
communities were
added until 1997.
But in 1994, the
company made a
huge leap forward in
rural communication
services in another
way. The company
announced it would
build a high-tech
video conference
center for use by busi-
nesses and individuals
in the Iowa City/Cedar
Rapids corridor.
At that time, a few
Eastern Iowa compa-
nies had video confer-
ence centers available for their employees,
but the closest center for public use was
Des Moines. South Slope`s $600,000
investment- video equipment like cam-
eras, microphones, monitors, computer
hook-ups, and a building to house it all on
Liberty Way in North Liberty- would en-
able businesses, educators, physicians and
others to participate in meetings across the
1he taik oí the tovn
Agda AIt was a switchboard operator for 20 of the North Liberty phone system's earIy
years. (photo courtesy Joan BeIknap)
l:ou ¡a:t, li:cs to a uocc:: couuu:icatio:s cou¡a:,
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LE/DEF 1-¯o
Jun. 22, 1976
The council approved the
purchase ol six sets ol coat,
hat and boots lor the hre
department. Approximate
cost will be $1OO.OO.
Jun. 22, 1976
The North Liberty
Optimist Club met in
regular session with
81 members and one
guest present. Ron Cook
lrom Beech Aircralt
Corporation, Wichita,
Kan., was guest speaker.
An outstanding slide
presentation on luture
space travel was en|oyed
by everyone.
June 27, 1976
Bicentennial ceremonies
are held at the town hall
and hre station.
August 12, 1976
The Clipperettes ol Clear
Creek were runnerup
champions ol the !owa
Athletic Union`s summer
soltball tournament held
this year in £t. Dodge. The
Clipperettes, in ellorts to
recapture the title lor the
second year in a row, were
downed in the hnal game
b unbeaten Ottumwa, 2O.
August 19, 1976
An ordinance establishing
a curlew lor minors was
adopted by the North
Liberty city council at their
last meeting, held Aug. 1O.
The curlew establishes
hours between midnight
and 5 a.m. lor class one
minors (ages 1G through
18) and hours ol 1O:8O
p.m. to 5 a.m. lor class two
minors (under 1G). The
curlew will be enlorced
seven days a week.
September 9, 1976
The mayor was authorized
to proceed with the
application lor lunds lrom
the Last Central !owa
Association ol Regional
!lanning Commissions
lor a consultant lor
the preparation ol a
comprehensive luture city
September 30, 1976
A group ol young citizens
requested assistance lrom
the council in establishing
a recreation program
lor the youth in North
December 23, 1976
The North Liberty £lower
Shop, housed three years
in the Dave Roberts home
in North Liberty moved
a lew weeks ago to a new
location on Dubuque
Street, directly north lrom
Koser`s Crocery.
SLCTl·` ß · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · `·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
completing the state`s Firefghter
I training within one year, and
becoming state certifed as an
Emergency Medical Technician
within 2 years of service; and
taking various other types of
training throughout the year such
as vehicle extrication, water
rescue and hazardous materials
'Each Firefghter/EMT is
required to have 30 hours of
training each year to maintain
their certifcation, and we also
conduct several emergency medi-
cal classes throughout the year,¨
said Vandewater. New recruits
will put in between 200 and 250
training hours per year for the
frst two years. A vested member
will have around 90 to 100 hours
per year of training.
Also, any time the depart-
ment gets new equipment- like
the thermal imaging camera it
received via a donation from
Heartland Express, or the rescue
boat`s new side-scan sonar that
shows an image of what is well
below the water`s surface- each
frefghter must be trained to
operate it.
'The biggest thing that has
changed is the time commit-
ment,¨ said Parker. The training,
both internal and external, is far
superior and far more time-con-
suming. Because every frefghter
is eventually trained on all the
equipment and in all areas, it
allows for more fexibility in
assigning duties to volunteers
who respond from incident to
'There was a lot of freelancing
back in the earlier days,¨ Parker
said. 'You just didn`t have
enough people to segregate out
jobs.¨ Arriving on a scene today
is much different; a command
offcer is in charge of organizing
and directing the crew, and each
crew member assumes a specifc
role, whether as the water control
offcer, safety offcer or rehab
offcer, for example. Less experi-
enced volunteers are paired with
more seasoned members who
mentor them until they gain the
necessary experience.
'Now it really doesn`t mat-
ter who we have on the scene;
people come to know all the
areas,¨ Parker said. 'Before,
we mostly learned through the
school of hard knocks.¨
Technology has played a huge
role in frefghting advancements,
as well. When Parker was frst on
the department, each volunteer
was issued a fre phone at his or
her residence, and notices would
be dispatched to those phones us-
ing one long ring. The recipient
would then pick up and listen for
instructions or locations. Today,
NcIhing ccn ccnvey Ihe exciIemenI
I still laugh to myself realizing that my
involvement in city government was pure-
ly accidental. We moved to North Liberty
in 1989, and I read about a citizen`s group
organizing to consider building a commu-
nity center. I knew that I wanted to help
I volunteered for the park board, think-
ing that was the citizen`s group and I soon
realized that I had mistakenly volunteered
for the wrong group. I did eventually fnd
my way to the right spot but I decided
to stay on the park board anyway. Along
the way I met Pat McGarvey, the city`s
frst city administrator. Pat was full of
ideas. He was the one who came up with
the Cherry Street development concept,
which included the proposal for the com-
munity center. I met Mary K. Mitchell
who, besides serving many roles for the
city, was the backbone of the town for
years and was extremely competent. There
were others. And they all inspired me to
become involved with the excitement of
what could be.
Sure, today it seems like the community
center would have been a very easy kind
of project to complete. But there were
huge obstacles to overcome. Money was
the key example. It was to be a combina-
tion of city funds, a bond referendum and
private contributions. Not everyone be-
lieved it could be done. The Cherry Street
development provided the city funds, and
the bond referendum easily passed by a
vote from residents and private contribu-
tions rolled in from individuals as well as
local and area businesses. It was a project
ahead of its time for a town that needed a
It was a time of confict as well. New
residents with young families were mov-
ing to town and they wanted change. The
town was beginning its transition from
a bedroom community to a city. Besides
giving North Liberty an amenity, the com-
munity center proved that the city could
execute a sizable project, and the process
helped unite the community and the result
established North Liberty as a player in
the Corridor.
I went on to become a council member,
mayor pro-tem and eventually mayor.
Along the way there were other projects,
such as extending water and sewer lines
out to I-380 in order to open up devel-
opment, the frst phases of improving
Highway 965, establishing a police force,
building the frst bike trail, providing a
new park, just to name a few.
Our family mirrored those moving in to
the area at the time. My wife and I raised
three daughters on North George Street
and it was a very special time for all of us.
I go back to run on the track in the com-
munity center periodically and I always
think back to those days. Though there
are plaques on the wall, nothing can really
convey the excitement and optimism that
reigned during that time period.
As you walk up to the building, take a
moment to refect on the word 'commu-
nity¨ above the front doors. Think about
your role as a part of a community. Maybe
you will be inspired to get involved to
make some positive change.
Happy birthday North Liberty. Thanks
for giving me a chance to play a lead role
in one of your key projects and to be a
part of your history. The experience is
something I will never forget.
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lnIer:IcIe 380 frcm mi|e
mcrker 2 Ic mi|e mcrker 7.
1º80: 32
1ºº0: 188
2000: 305
2010: óº8
2012: 855
CurrenI|y cI 7ó8 fcr 2013
SIcnccrc fre engine/cI-
Icck pumper
Fumper/Icnker Iruck
CuinI |cccer Iruck
Fe:cue/mecicc| re:pcn:e
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cf Civi| Defen:e)
cell phones and text messages
are commonly used in addition
to radios. The department has
an 'I am responding¨ board that
allows individual volunteers who
receive an emergency notifca-
tion to dial an 800 number on
their cell phones in response,
and it automatically appears on
the board at the station to show
who is responding and their
estimated arrival time. Further,
interoperability of radio systems
has become county-wide, so all
emergency response agencies,
including fre departments, am-
bulance service, police depart-
ments, the county Emergency
Management Agency and the
Johnson County sheriff`s offce,
can talk to one another on a
common frequency. That level
of communication only became
available in Johnson County in
the last year. In addition, new
radios have an emergency but-
ton that will send out a distress
signal to the county`s Joint
Emergency Communications
Center, indicate whose radio it
comes from and allow an agency
to check on that person`s location
and safety.
Firefghters` interactions
with the public have also put
increased demands on time, and
have raised the both public`s ex-
pectations and safety awareness.
'In the past, we would go out
to the school- back then, it was
mainly Penn Elementary- and
do a little presentation during
fre safety month. Now, we go
to a lot of schools, daycares and
preschools. The kids go through
the smoke trailer, we give tours,
we speak to various groups,
write articles for the paper, put
together public education videos
that are shown on NLTV, and we
do things like child safety seat
checks,¨ said Parker. 'Our edu-
cation is a lot more focused.¨
Throughout the years, Parker
and other NLFD volunteers have
witnessed extraordinary changes
in the way the department func-
tions, its level of professional-
ism and advances in equipment.
But there are some things- good
things- that have remained the
First, and notably, the NLFD
has never lost a member in a
response incident.
Second, the reason people join
volunteer departments still has
little to do with money. In the
1970s, there was no compensa-
tion. Eventually, the department
adopted yearly stipends for its
members. The city added two
part-time paid positions- the
chief and assistant chief- in
2007. Just this September, the
North Liberty City Council
approved a pay-per-call com-
pensation system for NLFD`s 37
members. However, frefghting
is still not about the money.
'When you are doing it for the
love of your community and the
residents, and you just want to
be a part of helping people, that`s
where the camaraderie comes
from,¨ Parker said.
It`s a commonality that,
despite the passage of time and
progress, remains steadfast.
Vandewater has served the
NLFD for 13 years, the last eight
as chief.
'I can honestly tell the citizens
we protect and serve that this
department is stronger and
better than it ever has been,¨
said Vandewater. 'Through the
tireless dedication of each and
every frefghter, the support we
receive from the leadership of
the townships and the City of
North Liberty- and most of all,
the support we receive from the
citizens and businesses we pro-
tect- we are able to provide an
extremely high level of quality
services to all who call on us. We
are able to function as a proac-
tive fre department, allowing us
to properly plan for the future
and thus be ready when the time
1982: ·o:st:uctio: is cou¡lctcc o: t|c
cit,`s scwagc t:catuc:t ¡la:t.
1982: :o:t| li|c:t, votc:s ccicat a
·1!.,000 |o:c issuc ¡:o¡osal io: t|c
¡u:c|asc oi a¡¡:oxiuatcl, !0 ac:cs oi
la:c :ca: Du|uquc a:c l:o:t st:ccts. A
siuila: |o:c issuc was ccicatcc ca:lic: i:
:ovcu|c: oi 1-·1.
1982: :o:t| li|c:t, votc:s a¡¡:ovc
a ca|lc tclcvisio: i:a:c|isc io: li|c:t,
·ouuu:icatio:s, w|ic| cx¡ccts to oiic:
1o c|a::cls |, t|c c:c oi t|c ,ca:.
198+: lc:: \cacows la:| cccicatcc
¡ul, !!.
198s: Accitio:s uacc to cit, oiiiccs a:c
li|:a:, o¡c:cc.
198+: lills la:| × I:ust ·ou¡a:,
o¡c:cc its :cw locatio: at t|c i:tc:scctio:
oi lig|wa, -o. a:c Zcllc: ·t:cct aitc:
a: cxtc:sivc :cuoccl oi I|c lu:¡lc ·ow
1989: I|c ·lca: ·:cc| a:c Aua:a
sc|ool cist:icts, w|ic| |avc s|a:cc a
su¡c:i:tc:cc:t si:cc 1-··, co:sicc:cc
s|a:i:g at|lctics a:c uusic ¡:og:aus.
1989: I|c lolica, loocs g:occ:, sto:c
o¡c:cc at t|c i:tc:scctio: oi Zcllc: a:c
Du|uquc st:ccts.
1989: I|c ·lca: ·:cc| a:c Aua:a
sc|ool |oa:cs |clc t|ci: ii:st |oi:t scssio:
to ciscuss w|olc g:acc s|a:i:g.
1989: ·c:t:o, l:c. is co:sicc:i:g t|c
co:st:uctio: oi a: 1·,000 squa:c ioot
iacilit, i: :o:t| li|c:t,, t|c cit, cou:cil
a¡¡:ovcs a¡¡l,i:g io: a ·ouuu:it,
Dcvclo¡uc:t lloc| G:a:t to cxtc:c watc:
a:c scwc: sc:vicc to t|c sitc.
1990: :o:t| li|c:t, |i:cs its ii:st cit,
acui:ist:ato:, lat \cGa:vc,.
1990: lo¡ulatio: was !,-!o
1990: ·it, |olcs tow: uccti:g to
ciscuss visio: io: t|c couuu:it, i: t|c
:cxt iivc ,ca:s. A co:t:ollcc c:ossi:g at
lig|wa, -o. a:c Zcllc: ·t:cct ;cu::c:tl,
locatcc i: a .. u¡| s¡ccc liuit, a:c a
:cc:catio:al cc:tc: to¡ t|c list.
1991: ·ou:cil ucu|c:s co:sicc: a
¡la: to ccvclo¡ !! ac:cs oi la:c to co::cct
·|c::, ·t:cct wcst to lig|wa, -o., a:c
¡:ovicc s¡acc io: a couuu:it, cc:tc: as
wcll as :ctail a:c sc:vicc |usi:csscs.
1991: ·it, atto::c, \a:io: :ccl,
:cti:cs aitc: !0 ,ca:s oi sc:vicc to :o:t|
1991: A uu:ici¡al :cc,cli:g ¡:og:au is
199+: :o:t| li|c:t,`s .t| wcll c:illcc
199+: ·ou:cil votcs io: a :cw watc:
199+: G:ou:c |:o|c: io: G:acc
·ouuu:it, ·|u:c|
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199s: l: \a:c|, :o:t| li|c:t, votc:s
a¡¡:ovc a ·o00,000 |o:c issuc to ¡a:tiall,
iu:c a ·!.· uillio: :cc:catio: cc:tc:
a:c li|:a:, o: ·|c::, ·t:cct. I|c !0,000
squa:c ioot iacilit, will |ousc t|c li|:a:,,
a g,u:asiuu, uulti¡u:¡osc :oou wit|
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·ouuissio: |ccoucs a couuittcc oi t|c
lowa ·it, A:ca ·|au|c: oi ·ouuc:cc.
199o: lc:: llcuc:ta:,`s c::olluc:t
|ou:ca:ics will c|a:gc as souc :o:t|
li|c:t, stucc:ts will |c |usscc to a :cw
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·ou:sc, soo: to |c :aucc latc Wic||au
1991: I|c :o:t| li|c:t, ·ouuu:it,
li|:a:, cclc|:atcs its 10t| a::ivc:sa:, i:
lc|:ua:, at t|c li|:a:,`s :cw locatio: i:
t|c :o:t| li|c:t, ·ouuu:it, ·c:tc:.
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·c:tc: o¡c:s to t|c ¡u|lic \a:c| ¯. A
cccicatio: is ¡la::cc io: \a, 10.
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I can`t believe I`ve lived in North Lib-
erty for 33 years.
I moved to town when it was only 2,000
people in December 1980.
I lived in Holiday Trailer Court before
Golfview Trailer Court (my current ad-
dress) even existed.
There were no traffc lights on Highway
965. There wasn`t even a four-way stop on
965 and Zeller street.
I went to Koser`s Grocery store on
Zeller and Dubuque and Casey`s had just
opened on 965.
Bob`s Place and the Lounge were the
only two bars in town. Both served food.
They sat right across the
street from each other on
Dubuque Street. Bob`s is
now J&A`s and the Lounge
is now Red`s.
I didn`t have air condi-
tioning in my mobile home
so I went to Moville, my
hometown in Northwest
Iowa a lot in the those hot
summer days.
I even went home for
Fun Days. Now, I`ve been
a part of the weekend event
for 15 years, riding in the
parade, helping out with
funnel cakes and Bingo.
I moved back to North
Liberty to fnish up my col-
lege degree as I needed only
12 hours to graduate from the University
of Iowa. I took classes in the spring se-
mester and graduated in May of 1981.
Since I`m a sports writer for the North
Liberty Leader and lifetime Hawkeye fan,
I`ll talk about what was happening with
the Hawks.
In 1981, basketball and wrestling were
in full swing and both had good seasons.
The 1980-1981 basketball team fnished
21-7, 13-5 in Big Ten which tied them for
second place. Lute Olsen was the coach
and the starters were the 'twin towers¨
Steve Waite and Steve Krafcisin, Vince
Brookins, Kevin Boyle and Kenny Ar-
nold. The bench included Bobby Hansen,
Mark Gannon and Steve Carfno.
They beat Indiana twice that year and
the Hoosiers, led by sophomore guard
Isaiah Thomas and coached by Bobby
Knight, went on to win the NCAA cham-
I`ll never forget listening to one of the
Iowa wins over Indiana in Macbride Hall.
I was working at Macbride as a janitor
that night on work study. My co-workers
and I all stopped to hear the end of the
game as it wasn`t on television.
The Iowa wrestlers won their fourth
straight NCAA championship, led by
legendary head coach Dan Gable. The
Hawkeyes had nine wrestlers make All-
American as Ed and Lou Banach were
crowned champions.
Fall 1981 was the frst time I bought
season tickets for Hawkeye football.
Thirty-three years later, I`ve probably
missed only 10 or 12 home games.
I`ll never forget that frst game against
Hayden Fry was in his third year as
head coach for the Hawkeyes and Kirk
Ferentz was in his frst year as offensive
line coach. The Cornhuskers were ranked
sixth in the nation that year and were 16-
point favorites.
The Hawkeyes had one of their big-
gest upsets ever, beating
Nebraska 10-7 using a solid
defense and the punting of
Reggie Roby to shock the
college football world.
It was my frst game as
a North Liberty resident
and when I drove onto the
Coralville strip around
11:30 a.m. (the game
started at 1 p.m. and wasn`t
on television) the traffc
was backed up to the old
Reggie didn`t just punt
the ball, he sent missiles
that rose as high as the
press box and averaged
55.8 yards per punt. That
is an Iowa record that still
stands today. Hayden Fry proclaimed that
it was 'the greatest victory of his life.¨
I`m guessing the Michigan game in
1985 when the No. 1 ranked Hawkeyes
beat the No. 2 ranked Michigan Wolver-
ines, 12-10, at Kinnick became Hayden`s
greatest win.
I`m still thanking the late great Al
Grady for the football stories that came
from his book '25 Years with the Fighting
A lot has changed since I moved to
North Liberty 33 years ago.
I bought a new mobile home and now
live in Golfview Trailer Court.
The night I moved in, Feb. 4, 1997, I
only had a bed and radio in the house that
frst night. The reason I`ll never forget the
night I moved is because Iowa beat the
Indiana Hoosiers, 75-67, at Carver and I
listened to it on my radio.
North Liberty has more restaurants,
bars, gas stations, shops, and of course,
more people. I heard the city is projected
to grow to 20,000 people by the year
As long as most of them are Hawkeye
fans I`ll be okay with that.
NcrIh LiLerIy Hcwkeye
state, or across the world,
with an interactive system
that would allow them to
communicate as if face-to-
'The South Slope Video
Conference Center laid the
foundation for a new form
of communication,¨ said
South Slope CEO Justyn
Miller. 'It allowed people
to connect from North Lib-
erty to virtually anywhere
around the world, which
increased effciencies and
cut travel expenditures for
many businesses. Today,
members with our fber
optic Rocket Internet ser-
vice are able to experience
these same benefts without
leaving the comfort of their
home or business.¨
New olhce
opens in NL
In 2000, South Slope
purchased 16 and one half
acres on the northeast edge
of North Liberty from
Ruby and Bob Jedlicka of
Solon for the construction
of a new business offce.
The building`s 45,000
square feet was built to
accommodate 110 employ-
ees and consists of three
levels, including a 4,072
square foot community
center available to rent for
receptions, business meet-
·o:ti:ucc i:ou ¡agc o
Ial| oi t|c tow:
ings, seminars, weddings
or other events. The facil-
ity is often used by local
nonproft agencies, and
the company is a frequent
benefactor to local chari-
ties and causes.
'The Cooperative is a
proud supporter of many
youth events in partner-
ship with the four public
schools districts it serves,
and has donated over
$120,000 in donations
and sponsorships as well
as $260,000 in telecom-
munications services
and in-kind donations,¨
said Miller. 'Addition-
ally, South Slope and its
partner, Iowa Network Ser-
vices (INS), awarded over
$100,000 in charity grants
to nonproft organizations
within our communities.¨
In 2008, South Slope
built a $4 million, two
story, bunker-style struc-
ture on Cherry Street in
North Liberty, designed to
withstand an F5 tornado
with 300 mph winds. It
houses and protects multi-
millions of dollars worth of
the cooperative`s electronic
Today, South Slope
serves 23 communities and
covers 518 square miles,
serviced by 1,903 total
miles of cable- 963 miles
of fber and 940 miles of
copper. The company has
14,641 members, 11,966
phone lines and 96 full
time employees. Its board
of directors is elected by
its members. In South
Slope`s 55 years of service,
there have only been fve
CEO/managers: Orville
Blough, Wayne Edmund-
son, Francis Kahle, J.R.
Brumley and Justyn M.
Miller said South Slope
is grateful to have served
North Liberty and the
surrounding area for 55
years, and looks forward to
advancing communications
of the future.
'We are proud to be
surrounded by members
of such a progressive,
creative, and technol-
ogy-driven community,¨
Miller said. 'In the next
year South Slope hopes
to make North Liberty a
Gigabit Community` by
offering one gigabit of
Rocket Internet service to
our residential members.
This effort will put our
community on the map
for technology and com-
munication-based innova-
tion. It will also have a
major impact on our city`s
growth from an economic
development perspective.
We look forward to a very
bright future here.¨
SLCTl·` ß · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · `·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
Proud to call North Iiberty home since 1995
Churches - Remeewner's Asseclatlens - Parklng Lets - Retall,Cemmerclal Lets - 1ennls Ceurts - 1ralls
New Constiuction
Giading & Base Piep
Budget Fiiendly
Piotects fiom Oxidation
Low Maintenance Costs
a¡ C
1423 West Penn Stieet - Noith Libeity, IA
"Ve´ve been in the Corridor
for over õ5 years and
we´re proud to give back
to the community through
donations, scholarships, and
-Chuck Finnegan
Line Stiiping
Sign Installation
Lot Sweeping/Vacuuming
t M
Cuib & Guttei
Road Repaiis
(319) 626-4600
"0omm|rreo ro Exce||ence
s|nce '948´
Ihi: i: why l |cve |iving in NcrIh LiLerIy
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a:c |ic,clc t:ail, st:ctc|i:g i:ou
lc:: ·t:cct to t|c sout|c:: cit,
liuits iollowi:g \ucc, ·:cc| a:c
t|c ·kA:Dl· :ail:oac li:c, is
cou¡lctcc. l.l. lclli:g oi :o:t|
li|c:t, was awa:ccc t|c |ic io:
t|c ¡:o|cct i: A¡:il at a cost oi
1999: I|c :cuoccli:g oi . l.
·|c::, ·t., t|c io:uc: |ouc oi
t|c :o:t| li|c:t, lauil, lcalt|
·c:t:c a:c t|c :cw |ouc oi :o:t|
li|c:t, cit, oiiiccs, is cou¡lctcc.
l: :ovcu|c: oi 1--·, cou:cil
ucu|c:s a¡¡:ovcc a low |ic oi
·¯1,-o! i:ou ·tcvc \c·o, ·o:
st:uctio: oi :o:t| li|c:t, io: t|c
1999: Wi t| t|c |cl ¡ oi a
·1.0,000, t|:cc,ca: g:a:t t|:oug|
t|c u.·. ¡usticc Dc¡a:tuc:t to
|cl¡ iu:c oiiicc:s, :o:t| li|c:t,
uovcs quic|l, to c:catc t|c cou
uu:it,`s :cw ¡olicc cc¡a:tuc:t.
¡iu Wa:|c:ti: is |i:cc as t|c sc:io:
oiiicc: oi t|c two¡c:so: staii.
2000: I|c lo:gawaitcc sig:als
io: t|c t|:cc i:tc:scctio:s ;lc::,
Zcllc: a:c Wcstwooc, o: lig|wa,
-o. a:c i:stallcc a:c o¡c:atio:al
as ¡a:t oi a: iu¡:ovcuc:t w|ic|
wicc:cc t|c |ig|wa, to t|:cc la:cs
i:ou sout| oi lc:: ·t:cct to Zcllc:
·t:cct, :cvau¡cc t|c |ig|wa,`s
i:tc:scctio:s wit| lc:: ·t:cct,
Zcllc: ·t:cct a:c Wcstwooc D:ivc
;i:cluci:g tu::i:g la:cs a:c sig
:als, a:c ccvclo¡cc a t:ail s,stcu
to ¡:ovicc accquatc ¡cccst:ia: a:c
|ic,clc acccss i:ou o:c sicc oi t|c
|ig|wa, to t|c ot|c:.
2001: ·out| ·lo¡c ·oo¡c:a
tivc ·ouuu:icatio:s uovcs to a
:cw +.,000 squa:cioot iacilit,
o: l:o:t ·t:cct. I|c :cw iacilit,
co:sists oi a uai: |cacqua:tc:s
|uilci:g t|at i:cluccs a !00¡c:
so: couuu:it, :oou, a:c two
wa:c|ousc st:uctu:cs ccsig:cc
to |olc .o vc|iclcs io: i:stalla
tio: a:c :c¡ai: cu¡lo,ccs. I|c ·o
uillio: cau¡us was ccsig:cc |,
·|ivc lattc:, oi ·cca: ka¡ics, a:c
co:st:uctio: was awa:ccc to \c:it
·o:st:uctio: oi lowa ·it,, wit|
wo:|ilow a:c i:tc:io: ccsig: |,
·axto: l:c. oi ·cca: ka¡ics.
200+: ·ouuu:it, ·c:tc: l|asc
ll is ii:is|cc. I|c ¡:o|cct, w|ic|
i:cluccs. a: ·,o+0 squa:cioot
outcoo: ¡ool, a +,100 squa:cioot
i:coo: ¡ool, a st:uctu:c ovc: t|c
i:coo: ¡ool w|ic| woulc |ousc
c:cssi:g :oous a:c a: oiiicc, a: ·!`
|, 1o+` g,u:asiuu wit| |as|ct|all
cou:t, a:c uccti:g :oous, cost
·.,.0!,000. I|c aquatic cc:tc:
o¡c:cc its gatcs \a, !-.
200s: Va: Allc: llcuc:ta:,
·c|ool, locatcc at 1¯0 A|igail Av
c:uc, o¡c:cc Aug. !!. lt is :aucc
aitc: D:. ¡aucs Va: Allc:, u:ivc:
sit, oi lowa ·¡acc l|,sics ·cic:tist
;1-1+!00o,. ·|ilc:c: i:ou |ot|
:o:t| li|c:t, a:c t|c cit, oi
·o:alvillc ua|c u¡ t|c attc:ca:cc
a:ca oi Va: Allc: llcuc:ta:,.
200o: :o:t| ·c:t:al ¡u:io:
lig|, locatcc at 1·0 last lo:
cvc:g:cc: kc. i: :o:t| li|c:t,,
|ccoucs t|c scco:c :cw :o:t|
li|c:t, sc|ool |uilt usi:g t|c ·!-
uillio: |o:c uo:c, a¡¡:ovcc
|, votc:s i: lc|:ua:, !00!. I|c
·o.¯ uillio:, +.0stucc:t ca¡acit,
sc|ool ca: cvc:tuall, |c cx¡a:ccc
to |ousc a total oi o00 stucc:ts.
2001: ·lca: ·:cc| Aua:a sc|ool
cist:ict |:ca|s g:ou:c io: its :cw
:o:t| li|c:t, clcuc:ta:, sc|ool
o: t|c co::c: oi !¯0t| ·t:cct a:c
la:sas Avc:uc, a:c c|ooscs t|c
:auc :o:t| lc:c llcuc:ta:,.
2001: ·olc`s Qualit, loocs
|osts a couuu:it, o¡c: |ousc to
cclc|:atc t|c o¡c:i:g oi its :cw
!.,+00sq.it. couuc:cial |a|
i:g iacilit,, w|c:c t|c, ua|c tast,
|:cac ¡:ocucts t|at go i:ou i:cczc:
to ovc: to ta|lc i: ui:utcs.
2001: :o:t| li|c:t, |osts its
ii:st llucs × llQ, a s¡:i:g iau
il,i:ic:cl, cvc:t icatu:i:g a:ca
|lucs a:tists, c|ilc:c:`s gaucs a:c
iooc vc:co:s.
2008: :o:t| li|c:t, |osts a
kAGlkAl ovc::ig|t.
2010: luio:c Ga::c: llcuc:ta
:,, t|c t|i:c clcuc:ta:, sc|ool lo
catcc i: :o:t| li|c:t, io: t|c lowa
·it, cist:ict, o¡c:s, wit| \i:c,
laulsc: as t|c ii:st ¡:i:ci¡al.
`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · SLCTl·` ß
100 YEAkS
CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
ChiId Care that
Promotes Learning
Engage your child's imagination and
mind with trained, certified teachers.
Providing Care for ChiIdren from 6 weeks thru 5th Grade
Choose the program that is right for you
1780 Lininger Way 626-8555
970 N. Bend Drive 626-2573
Get educationaI care even on a moments notice with
our fIexibIe, inviting, and imaginative programs:
· Before and After School Programs
· Full and Part Time options
· Ìndoor Large Motor Rooms
· Secured Access Entry
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`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · SLCTl·` C
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you stop by any area íocation and visit with us.
We'íí show you services that save time, offer
products that save money, and prove there is a
big difference between being
a bank customer and a credit union member.
4 consecutive years
Your Community.
Your Credit Union.
9 out of the last
10 quarters
J consecutive years
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20 CircIe Drive · North Liberty · 319-665-9625
www.montessoriiowa.org montgarden@southslope.net
Hours 7:30-5:30 Monday through Friday
North Liberty CentenniaI Committee members Pam BensIey, Cindy Stines
and MicheIIe Steines, aII of the University of Iowa Community Credit Union,
pose with the winning entry of the committee's Iogo contest. (photo by Lori
By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY- First known as
Squash Bend, North Bend, Big Bend and
Scales Bend, the town of North Liberty
incorporated on Nov. 18, 1913.
And throughout 2013, the city has cel-
ebrated that historic event.
The planning was done by the North
Liberty Centennial Committee, which
worked hard beginning in the spring of
2012, preparing for the party.
The core committee was made up of a
group of about 20 volunteers.
The Centennial Committee established
subcommittees to work in the areas of
media, public relations and outreach,
event planning, fnance and
fundraising, as well as a
general group of people
who were interested in
helping throughout the
11-month celebration
but didn`t have direct
planning responsi-
The Centennial
Committee created a
general budget and an
overall schedule of events,
planning one major activity in
each of the months between January
and November 2013.
The public relations committee also
initiated a logo contest, inviting the public
to submit centennial logo designs.
The winning logo was created by Todd
Erickson and was used on all materials
promoting the centennial celebration,
including merchandise available for pur-
chase. Erickson`s design was chosen by
the public relations subcommittee out of
10 total entries.
'The committee liked that this logo
was similar to the city`s logo, but showed
younger growth, which is what North Lib-
erty is about now,¨ said North Liberty As-
sistant City Administrator and committee
member Tracey Mulcahey. T-shirts, mugs,
reusable shopping bags and lapel pins
sporting the new logo were created and
made available for purchase at city hall.
The logo was unveiled at a community-
wide kickoff of the centennial celebration
on Nov. 8, 2012, at the Iowa City Area
Chamber`s annual North Liberty Business
Committee public relations chair Ashly
Lagneaux unveiled the winner of the
Centennial logo contest, and announced
the calendar of events for the year, which
· On Jan. 13, the North Liberty Com-
munity Library hosted the One Book, Two
Book festival.
· February brought 'For the Love
of North Liberty,¨ a month-long
opportunity for children and
adults to create valentines
to the city for display.
· On March 30, a Com-
munity Youth Showase
was held at Grace
Community Church,
featuring an amateur tal-
ent show.
· On June 7, the committee
hosted a historic house walk,
which is also featured on the cen-
tennial website (northliberty100.org).
· One of the biggest events, held July13,
featured a community picnic and birthday
bash featuring the arena rock tribute band
The centennial festivities wrap up with
a grand fnale and gala event Saturday,
Nov. 16, beginning with the Friends of the
Library Waffe Breakfast, and including
the burial of a time capsule and a com-
munity photograph before culminating
with a gala at the South Slope Community
Center. Tickets to the Centennial Gala are
$100 per pair, with cocktails and red car-
pet at 6:30 p.m., and dinner at 7:30 p.m.,
with dancing and entertainment to follow.
The centennial marketing commit-
You're HGW oid:
North Liberty
celebrates 100 years
tee worked hard to generate community
excitement- and involvement- by keeping
people posted on upcoming activities
through Facebook, Twitter, North Liberty
Television, the city`s website and the
North Johnson County and North Lib-
erty Leader newspapers, as well as being
available via email.
(Follow on Facebook at www.facebook.
com/northliberty100, follow on Twitter
at northliberty100, or visit the website at
In a town that is bursting at the seams
with new construction, new opportunities
and new residents, it`s easy for the town`s
long history to be forgotten.
'It`s important to learn and celebrate the
history of the town, because the popula-
tion is relatively new and many don`t
know the roots of North Liberty or what it
used to be like,¨ said Mary K. Mitchell, a
long-time member of the North Bend His-
tory Committee.
A few years ago, Mitchell and other
members of that committee gave a pre-
sentation to children at the North Liberty
Community Library during their sum-
mer reading program. Some wore period
costumes, introduced kids to everyday
practices and shared memorabilia from
the early years of North Liberty. John
Christenson played the role of Samuel
Ranshaw, talking about how that fam-
ily came to the area and eventually built
North Liberty`s historic Ranshaw House,
(currently under renovation by the City of
North Liberty) in the early 1900s.
'I was amazed at the interest from the
children,¨ Mitchell said. 'For them, it`s a
new experience, not an old one. It`s just a
whole different lifestyle.¨
Mulcahey said the year-long celebration
provided many opportunities for people of
different age groups and demographics to
come together, as well as fnd their niche,
whatever that may be.
'This celebration is not just about
looking backward, but celebrating where
we are now, and where are going in the
future,¨ said Mulcahey.
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`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · SLCTl·` C
· Shocks & Struts
· Wheel Alignments
· Tune Ups
· Diagnostics
· Brakes · Batteries
· Mufflers - Pipes,
Catalytic Converters
Bumpet to Bumpet Setvlce Slnce 1988
626-2T?0 äerIh liberIy
äerIh liberIy
ìJ 'tjer Creel |ere [ell hw¡. 7âS]
Car, Light Truck and
Lawn & Garden Tires
Iire: & /t|e Kejeir
äerIh liberIy kuIe
Monday-Friday 7:00-5:00 · Saturday 7:00-Noon
From the April 2, 2003 North Liberty Leader
725 Pacha Prkwy, North Liberty
(next to 1immy 1ohns)
Huþþy L£HÍ£HHtut
N0tÍh LtD£tÍy!
N£Ck or 8ACk PAIN1
No twlstlng or popplng.
Lnectlve computer
gulded ad[ustments.
Over the last 15 years, the City of North
Liberty has nearly quadrupled in size.
That is a staggering fgure and it`s hard
to imagine how that kind of growth could
be managed. Between my involvement
in planning and zoning and city council
(eight years), and mayor for
now six-and-one-half years,
a lot has changed in North
In my early years of in-
volvement I often heard from
citizens, 'we don`t want North
Liberty to grow, we don`t want
the small town atmosphere to
change.¨ I, too, enjoyed the
small town feel, but reality is
we were destined for growth
and change, and still are. My
response to the comments was
just what I stated, 'we are
going to grow whether we like
it or not, so let`s plan for the growth, and
plan ahead, build North liberty the way we
want it to look and feel.¨
Part of our growth plan was to build a
competent city staff, with a good attitude.
We hired Ryan Heiar as our city adminis-
trator, Tracey Mulcahey as assistant city
administrator and city clerk, Dean Wheat-
ley as city planner, and Tom Palmer as our
code offcial, and recently Scott Petersen
as city attorney. These additions plus the
already solid department heads and their
staff have been tremendous in managing
our growth.
During my years as mayor, the city has
put in place a number of new or revised
policies that help manage the growth.
Some of these were by necessity and some
from foresight, trying to look toward the
future to head off potential problems.
We have also accomplished a number of
signifcant projects, including: phase I
of the Highway 965 reconstruction, with
phase II to begin next year; we settled
the annexation dispute and completed the
agreement with Coralville; reconstructed
and upgraded our waste water
treatment facility to a state-of-
the-art MBR system; drilled a
new well and aquifer storage
and recovery system; recently
built a new public works
maintenance facility and parks
department remodel; and in
conjunction with Coralville
we established the proposed
corridor for east Forevergreen
Road, just to name a few.
What lies in the future for
North Liberty? I see the growth
and development continuing,
maybe not at as fast a pace, but
it will continue. The east side in the vicin-
ity of the new high school will start to
grow. We are already planning the sewer
and water design for that area. The west
side in our offce and research park area
will start to fll in with high quality com-
mercial buildings much like the new Uni-
versity of Iowa Community Credit Union
building that has just fnished construc-
tion. Reconstruction of Highway 965 will
continue along with other infrastructure
improvements. Park and trails improve-
ments will continue. I could go on forever.
North Liberty has gained a lot of respect
over the last few years, positioned in the
middle of the Creative Corridor, for our
positive attitude and ability to manage the
growth. I, for one, am very proud to be a
citizen of North Liberty, and even prouder
to be the mayor.
Ihe wcy we wcnI NcrIh
LiLerIy Ic fee|
`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` ·
Hairball is not just a band, it wasn't just a concert; fans
of arena rock were treated to nothing less than a rock and
roll experience. The six piece band came to North Liberty
July 13 to help North Liberty celebrate its 100th birthday
with a two-and-a-half hour concert that was as much
event as it was music: lights, sound, smoke, hre bombs,
and screaming hoards of fans added to the rock and roll
arena ambiance that exploded in Liberty Centre Park.
vocalists Rockstar Bob, Joe Dandy, and Kris voxx led
the band through a series of drop-dead accurate hom-
ages to some of the biggest arena acts in the world. van
Halen, K!SS, Judas Priest, Queen, Journey, Prince and
Poison were a few of the acts brought to life, backed up
by Freaky on the electric bass, Colt Python on the drums,
and Happy on lead guitar.
Hair was fIying as
EveIyn Bergus (Ieft)
raced against her
mom, Laura Bergus,
in the oId fashioned
sack races at North
Liberty's CentenniaI
Birthday Bash, a com-
munity-wide, day-Iong
ceIebration heId JuIy
13. Games, competi-
tions and Iive music
were aII part of the
SeveraI aduIt kickbaII teams showed up for a IittIe friendIy competi-
tion, incIuding a group of North Liberty city empIoyees and their
friends and famiIy members. Above, Sarah Conner of Average
Jon's team gets ready to tag the Birthday Bashers' runner CrystaI
Max MittvaIsky carries an egg
on a spoon, one of the oId-
fashioned game chaIIenges
offered for chiIdren and fami-
Iies at Penn Meadows Park.
Birthday bash
SLCTl·` C · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · `·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·`
N0 w0RRlE3 A80uT 0RlvlN0....
3PLlT TlE C03T wlTl FRlEN03l
to local CelebratIons!
R|des to ho||day Part|es
[0on't 0rive}
|owa ßasketba|| & wrest||ng
North L|berty to ß|g Crove |n 8o|on
6ELL: 319-541-7525
0|8PA6h: 319-ô31-514ô ª20l3, Great western 8ank
North Liberty: 655 Communlty Dr
Plnd more great locatlons at
NL Centennial
volunteers plant
trees in new park
TyIer Steines heIps
Tracey MuIcahey
and counciIor Brian
Wayson set one of
the young trees.
They were joined
by other city staff
and counciI mem-
bers. (photos by
Lori Lindner)
Parks Director Guy GoIdsmith
gets a hand cutting tree roots
from Matthew Wu.
Near my desk in the North Liberty
Community Center, under tables made
from the old Jones Gymnasium foor, are
boxes of video tapes of decade-and-a-half-
old city council and planning and zoning
commission meetings (some are more,
ahem, memorable than others).
On our walls are photos from around
North Liberty, and in a corner of the offce
we have some T-shirts and other memora-
bilia from Blues & BBQ and other events
we`ve organized or documented.
Stashed in a drawer are
digital tapes, raw and edited, of
oral histories by longtime North
Liberty residents about our
town`s earliest days.
Started in the 1990s, when
the city`s communications
department began as only North
Liberty Television and was
staffed by a single volunteer,
documenting our rapidly grow-
ing community was a big piece
of what we did.
It might have had something
to do with how much that frst volunteer,
retiree Dale Bingham, loved to document
goings on in his own life. Visits to his
home would, invariably, involve him tell-
ing stories which led, invariably, to him
insisting on showing video clips he`d shot.
As the town and department grew, our
documenting efforts did, too. When a
group of local residents, under the fag
of the North Bend Historical Society,
wanted to gather oral histories from folks
like Homer Wriggle, who farmed the land
along Penn Street where the Maytag ware-
house now stands, NLTV and its frst paid
staffer helped shoot hours of interviews
and gather photos to tell the stories of the
people of North Liberty, née Big Bottom
and Squash Bend.
The stories Homer and the other sub-
jects told were about, among other things,
visiting Iowa City and Cedar Rapids on
the CRANDIC interurban railway, taking
The City of North Liberty has had a
great history during the last 100 years.
North Liberty has grown and changed
from a sleepy bedroom town to a vibrant
growth city. The future of the city looks
dynamic and expanding. The boom will
Population will continue to increase in
the community. The trend does have to
fatten with the build-out of undeveloped
areas, but will continue to grow. The cur-
rent property in the community
that is in the city limits, but
undeveloped and not subdi-
vided, can provide enough area
to double the population.
Continued growth of young
families will result in the need
for additions and growth in the
schools in the city`s limits. Our
youthful community is add-
ing new population regularly.
Walk around any event, you
will see many young families
with several small children and
more on the way. These youths
will grow up to populate our schools and
community activities.
Commercial development will grow to
match the population`s needs. Grocery
stores, retailers and other consumer based
commercial development will come as the
population grows. Many chain retailers
have baseline rooftop counts that are re-
quired to be reached before a community
is considered for location. Major national
retailers that have not staked a spot in
Coralville will likely look closely at North
Liberty for the launching of their new op-
Iowa City Community School District`s
plans to construct a new full service high
school on the east side of town will drive
residential construction and supporting
commercial uses, like convenience stores
and coffee shops in development to the
east. The city will expand to its furthest
growth capacity to the east with this
University of Iowa Community Credit
Union is opening their headquarters in
North Liberty in 2013. Development in
the area around the new facility should
boom to meet the needs of the employ-
ees working there. The vision of the
surrounding area includes offce space,
coffee shops, restaurants and other retail
The interchange at Forevergreen Road
and Interstate 380 has been dis-
cussed for many decades. It is
projected that the interchange
will be moved ahead on the
calendar as Iowa Department
of Transportation works on the
Interstate 380/80 interchange.
The development of this new
connection to the interstate will
open a new commercial and
light industrial area similar to
the Penn Street interchange
The city`s facilities will con-
tinue to add and grow. A new
water plant will be coming in the next de-
cade. New park facilities, like Centennial
Park, will continue to be added. The city
will continue the mission to keep trails
and recreation at the forefront. Streets will
continue to be maintained and upgraded.
Forevergreen Road`s extension will be
constructed to the east. Highway 965
improvements will be completed. A new
city hall and police department will be
constructed on property owned by the city
north of Cherry Street and east of Main
Street. Many other city improvement
projects that have not yet been imagined
will happen.
If one could see the future, one would
say North Liberty`s next 100 years looks
much like the last 100 years. bounti-
ful and robust. The city will be bustling
with continued, varied development in all
sectors, residential, commercial and indus-
trial. The city`s future looks bright.
Ihe fuIure |cck: LrighI
livestock to the local butcher and travel-
ing on a Highway 218 made of dirt to visit
relatives. The stories were a reminder of
just how much North Liberty was chang-
And, as North Liberty grew to become
one of the fastest growing towns in Iowa,
we continued to document the community
over the years (though, unless you get
really excited about backyards chickens,
the city council meetings have been less
exciting in recent memory).
We`ve continued to help
gather and share pieces of
North Liberty`s history with
the help of community mem-
bers. When Penn Elementary
celebrated its 50th anniversary,
it offered us the opportunity to
interview some of the school`s
past teachers, including some
who taught in the area before
the school was even built.
And, with the rise of the Inter-
net, we have new opportunities
and ways to tell and share those
stories, too (you can, for example, still
visit a self-guided walking tour of the old
part of town at northliberty100.org/tour).
But the stories Homer and the others
told, about playing baseball and parties
with neighbors, are also a reminder of just
how much North Liberty has stayed the
same. Each year, we document all sorts
of community gatherings, like the Fall
Festival at the Colony`s Pumpkin Patch
or Haunted Happenings at the commu-
nity center. The gatherings are really just
contemporary versions of the Whip-Poor-
Wills meetings (which still happen, by
the way) that appeared in the decades` old
black-and-white photos residents showed
So while we enjoy collecting and shar-
ing stories of North Liberty`s past, we`ll
continue to document North Liberty with
the hope we can leave stories of our pres-
ent for the future.
NcrIh LiLerIy´: :Icrie:
The City of North Liberty named the community's newest park Centennial Park,
in commemoration of North Liberty's 100th year. The city purchased +0 acres
near the intersection of Jones Boulevard and St. Andrews Drive in 2009, with
the idea of adding more park space as population increased, but development
on the property only began this year.
`·RTí llßLRTY lLAlLR CL`TL``lAl LllTl·` · `·\LMßLR (. 20l3 · SLCTl·` C
632 S. Riverside Dr., IOWA CITY
55 CommerciaI Dr.
712 4th Avenue, GRINNELL
¸c·.in¡ ìnc
{o· o.c·
×0 ·cv·.
)o·ìn £iìc·ì,:
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Proud to be
µart of
North Llberµ
slnce 2000
Happy B|rthday
North L|bertyI
1920 171 NfA NfA NfA NfA NfA
1930 161 - 5¾ NfA NfA NfA NfA
19+0 282 75¾ NfA NfA NfA NfA
1950 309 9.7¾ NfA NfA NfA NfA
1960 33+ 8.09¾ +,005 NfA NfA NfA
1970 1,055 215¾ 53,760 5 NfA NfA
1980 2,0+6 93.93¾ +05,803 10 NfA 23,87+,161
1990 2,926 +3.01¾ 1,538,007 25 8++ (from 1996-1999) 52,899,0+3
2000 5,367 83.+2¾ 8,82+,701 79 5716 (from 2000-2009) 203,++7,866
2010 13,37+ 1+9¾ 12,88+,571 239 28++ (from 2010-2013) 999,052,073
by the numbers
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Ihi: i: why
l |cve |iving in
NcrIh LiLerIy
"l leve Ihe
buIIerßy gurdea
uI lerever
"l leve äerIh
liberIy betuuse
Ihey huve u ket.
"l leve
is aite
wherever l
"l leve äerIh liberIy betuuse
iI hus busebull diumeads uad
u leI el euIiag plutes."
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