The Adel Historical Museum moved $5,000 closer to achieving the $70,000 fundraising goal following a successful special event Saturday at the Adel Public Library.
The City of Adel and the Adel Historical Museum held a special viewing of Nile Kinnick Jr.’s Heisman Trophy with special guest Herky the Hawk Saturday in Adel. Proceeds from the fundraising drive will go toward construction of a 840-square-feet museum addition that will showcase collections from former Adel residents Nile Kinnick, Jr. and Governor George Washington Clarke.
The $70,000 will fund the cost of construction for an attached museum wing that will be 36-feet by 28-feet wide while adding an accessible parking stall and landscaped planting beds. The addition will feature beautiful oak flooring and a ceiling height of nine feet.
Prior to the event, the museum was about $17,000 short of the goal and is currently just under $60,000 for the project.
"I’d say the amount raised met or slightly exceeded expectations," said Adel City Administrator Brett Klein following Saturday’s event. "Everyone I talked to said it was well worth the money and an excellent event."
Clarke and grandson Kinnick are arguably the most famous residents in Adel’s history.
Kinnick was born in 1918 in Adel, the grandson of Governor George Washington Clarke. Kinnick earned athletic fame after winning the Heisman Trophy in 1939 as a member of the University of Iowa football team. The trophy is awarded to the top athlete in college football. Despite being drafted by the National Football League in the second round of the 1940 draft, Kinnick pursued a law degree. In 1941, he joined the United States Naval Air Corps Reserve to help fight in World War II. Kinnick died June 2, 1943 in a plane crash off the coast of Venezuela.
In 1974, the University of Iowa named the football stadium after Kinnick.
Clarke was born October 24, 1852 in Indiana and moved to Adel in 1877 after graduating law school at the University of Iowa. In 1900, Clarke was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, serving eight years. In 1909, Clarke became Iowa’s lieutenant governor before being elected governor four years later.
Clarke served two terms as governor, fighting for workmen’s compensation, restructured election procedures and pushed for a state highway commission. He died November 28, 1936 and is buried in Adel.
The Kinnick-Clarke collection is currently crowded into a small display at the Adel Historical Museum. The new addition will give the collection a larger, more prominent space.
Klein mentioned that the museum and committee are still waiting to hear back from a few grants and could possibly have another fundraising event in the future.
With only $10,000 remaining, Klein is confident that the group will meet the fundraising goal and begin construction as early as next year.
"We anticipate breaking ground next spring," said Klein.