W.P.A. Guide to 1930's Iowa

World War Memorials


Page 177:  Ames, Iowa State College campus

     MEMORIAL UNION. South of Campanile, built on the hillside at the Lynn Ave. entrance, is designed in a modified Italian and Spanish Renaissance style of architecture. The social life of the campus is centered in this building. One of its features is GOLD STAR HALL, the main entrance to the building. The high vaulted stone ceiling is supported on a row of columns at each side of the room. Between the columns on the stone walls are carved the names of the 118 alumni who gave their lives in the World War. Pledges from alumni, faculty, and students provided funds for the building.


Page 191: Cedar Rapids, points of interest

        MEMORIAL BUILDING. North end of the narrow [Municipal] island, between 1st and 2nd Ave. bridges, a limestone building of neo-classic design, was dedicated in 1928 to those who served their country in its wars. The main structure is seven stories high. Surmounting it is a colonnaded observation tower topped with a symbolic sarcophagus on a cenotaph base. There are two main entrances. The Second Avenue facade has Doric columns extending from the fifth to seventh floors, exclusively. The two doors are separated by a stained glass window, designed by Grant Wood, Iowa artist, and manufactured in Germany, under his supervision. The central figure is an allegorical symbol of Victory holding a laurel wreath in one hand and a palm branch in the other. Below are six uniformed soldiers representing each of the wars in which the United States has engaged. Insignia of the various branches of the United States Army and Navy form a border around the window.

For more information:   The Grant Wood stained glass window... 

or to the page with some history and a great many pictures of the window.


Page 201: Clinton, points of interest
       RIVER FRONT PARK. Between S. 1st St. and the river, stretches almost a mile from 9th Ave. N. to 6th Ave. S. At the entrance to the park is a MEMORIAL FLAG POLE designed by Lorado Taft and dedicated to the veterans of the Civil, the Spanish-American, and the World wars. The square base of the pole is adorned with military figures at each corner.

Page 240-246: Des Moines, points of interest
       MEMORIAL TO MERLE HAY. The highest point on Merle Hay Road, .6 miles north of the junction with Douglas Ave., is a plaque and boulder place in honor of Merle Hay, one of the first three American casualties of the World War. A flag staff, 50 feet high, stands at the base of the boulder.

       POLK COUNTY WORLD WAR MEMORIAL. E. University Ave., at E. 6th St., erected in 1926, is a monument in Balfour pink granite, bearing a bronze group in high relief designed by Charles Niehaus. The Recording Angel is represented as writing the names of the warrior dead on the Book of Necrology, while a youth places his father's implements of war at the foot of the Nation's altar. The monument is dedicated to the memory of all Polk County soldiers who lost their lives in the war.

        MACRAE PARK. SW 9th St. extending North from Davis Ave. to banks of Raccoon River, named for Donald MacRae, Des Moines man killed in France with the 168th Infantry, is a natural wooded area with two ponds and picnic facilities.

Des Moines, Capitol Hill
       STATE HISTORICAL, MEMORIAL and ART BUILDING. NW corner E. 12th St. and Grand Ave., houses some of the State's most valuable collections.

       The WORLD WAR ROOM, on the third floor, has a collection of portraits, said to include the photograph of every Iowan who took part in the World War. guns, helmets, posters, and autographs of statesmen and generals of the war period form the bulk of the display.


Page 272: Iowa City, University of Iowa east side campus
      MEMORIAL UNION. SW corner Market and Madison Sts., the student social center, is dedicated to the university men and women who died in the World War.


Page 280; Keokuk, points of interest
. West end of Cedar St., is one of 83 in the United States and the only one in Iowa. Established by the Government in 1861, over 750 soldiers were buried here before the end of the Civil War, eight of whom were Confederate prisoners. The dead of four other wars lie in the three acres which comprise the cemetery -- the Mexican War, the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, and the World War. A monument erected in memory of the unknown soldier stands in the central park.

For more information: 
Page 283; Marshalltown, points of interest
. 22-28 W. State St., completed in February, 1929 "In Memory of Those Who Offered Their Lives for Our Country," has an auditorium that seats 2,500 people. The two-story stone, brick and concrete structure is modern in design, its severity relieved by the columned entrance of Italian Renaissance inspiration. The stones of the front elevation, Ohio sandstone brick, are hand-cut.

        IOWA SOLDIERS' HOME. Summit St. Between N. 9th and N. 15th Sts., NW edge of the city, is a residence for disabled Iowa veterans. Curving driveways sweep back from the street under vaulted rows of elms to the central two-story red brick building trimmed with white stone. The style is English Romanesque. Brick arches are over the windows; a square tower juts up above the white frame portico. The residents include veterans of the Indian, Civil, Spanish-American, and World Wars.


~ source: World War Memorials, extracted from ' W.P.A. Guide to 1930's Iowa'; Works Progress Administration, Harry L. Hopkins, administrator, Ellen S. Woodward, Asst. Administrator. Henry G. Alsberg, Director of the Federal Writers' Project
~ Transcribed and submitted by Sharyl Ferrall for Iowa in the Great War.