"You can take most
any manifestation of arts or sciences or cultural life in this
community today and understand in this context of history why it
happened here," the author and third-generation Iowan said.
"It's different than other communities of comparable or larger
size in Iowa. "(Just as) New York City is not New York State,
Iowa City is not Iowa."
Hibbs' book, "Iowa
City," is the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing's "Postcard
History" series, and features more than 200 vintage images of
Iowa City from as early at 1853, 15 years after Iowa City was
The images are from
Hibbs' personal collection of 3,200 historic Iowa City artifacts
he's acquired in the last 25 years, he said.
After retiring from
property management, he wrote a weekly history column for the
Press-Citizen for five years, using his postcard collection as
inspiration for more than 350 brief historical essays. He also
authored information for two history volumes published by the
Press-Citizen in 2001 and 2006 under the title, "Iowa City, A
Sense of Place."
So it seemed only
natural for Hibbs to oblige when Arcadia Publishing asked him to
create the Iowa City chapter of the "Postcard History"
series.his book is just an outgrowth of my interest in local
history and presentation of local history over the last decade,"
Hibbs describes the
book as light in language. "It isn't the textbook history," he
said. Though the book is first and foremost for the reader's
pleasure in learning about Iowa City, Hibbs said, it's also for
"perspective, to answer questions about the community and why it
is as it is.
"The history is
reflected today at every turn of the corner in Iowa City," he
said. "You understand how things developed to be today because
of things that happened in the past.
is a pretty good predicator about what somebody else might say
or feel or do," he said. For Hibbs, the history of Iowa City
follows many of his own life experiences -- he has been a
resident of the city since 1961, when he entered his first year
at the University of Iowa. He still lives in the same home he
moved into in 1965, which he calls "Kinchouse," based on his
wife Margaret's high school nickname. "Iowa City is the best
place in the world to live," he said. "I've had the good fortune
to travel the world, and I've never found a place that I would
rather call home than Iowa and Iowa City." The book is available
for purchase at local bookstores, online and through Arcadia