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Posted By: volunteer (email)
Date: 10/25/2020 at 21:31:18

Jim Hass of Peterson, IA has received national recognition for his historic preservation of pioneer structures in his hometown, his museum of historic artifacts "Jim's History Barn" in Peterson, and his volunteer efforts in presenting educational programs in the schools of northwest Iowa.

In recognition of lifelong efforts to preserve history, the Ladies of the Lakes Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution nominated Jim Hass for the NSDAR Historic Preservation Medal, an award records indicate only one other Iowan has ever received in the 125 year history of the DAR.

Hass began collecting as a seven year old when his uncle gave him a sea shell collection. Jim then began searching for Indian relics and animal skeletons on the home farm near Sutherland. When his "treasures" began to overflow his bedroom, he and his mother cleaned out an old smoke house which became his first museum. In 1994 he moved a barn to his backyard in Peterson that became "Jim's History Barn."

"After two of the DAR members toured 'Jim's History Barn,' they were so impressed that they suggested the DAR recognize his efforts." explained Lady Regent Colleen Lemkuil. "In our 103 years as a chapter we had never nominated anyone for the Medal Award. We are delighted that Mr. Hass has been selected."

National Historic Preservation Chair Martha Herzog of Austin, Tx described Hass as a "wonderful" and "outstanding" candidate.

Ladies of the Lake Historian Maryann Hubbard agreed saying. "Jim's application was so easy to write since he fit the criteria so perfectly. To be eligible for the Medal, the candidate must qualify in at least one of the five focus areas. Hass met three of the criteria: "preserving a local landmark(s), restored or preserved objects of historical cultural significance, undertook youth leadership and education, as it pertains to historic preservation."

Three letters of recommendation for non-DAR members were required. Pastor Michael Hyde, president of Peterson Heritage, Inc., wrote of Jim's leadership in that organization's restoration of two homes of the first settlers of Peterson as well as the blockhouse, a part of the original Peterson fort. Jim was the last charter member of the Peterson Heritage organization that was established in 1971. He was president when the blockhouse was restored and relocated along Hwy 10 in Peterson.

Local author Roger Stoner, who wrote "Horse Woman's Child" a story of Inkpadutah and the Spirit Lake massacre based upon his research, described "Jim's History Barn," Hass' museum in Peterson, as filled with his huge collection of local history items, Indian relics, antique guns, mounted animals of the region, military items the Revolutionary War on to the present conflicts, and his vast collection of history books and documents providing historical research sources.

A thank you note from South Clay third graders who toured "Jim's History Barn" and a letter from Sheldon Middle School teacher Cathy McWilliams gave evidence of Jim Hass' youth leadership and education efforts. Teachers and students throughout northwest Iowa have benefited by museum tours or by his presentation at field days and outdoor classrooms.

Historic preservation had been a lifetime hobby for Jim Hass as he supported his family, his wife Sue and three sons, selling insurance. His business Arrowhead Insurance, Inc. also supported his hobby since his museum charges no admission with only freewill donations being accepted.

The NSDAR, the Iowa Society of DAR, and the Ladies of the Lake Chapter that has over 60 members from Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, O'Brien and Osceola counties are extremely proud of Jim Hass receiving the well deserved NSDAR Historic Preservation Medal. A DAR tour of "Jim's History Barn" was scheduled for June 28, 2016.

Jim passed away November 24, 2017 at the age of 76.


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