The Henry County Historic Preservation Commission held its monthly meeting at the El Oasis restaurant in Winfield on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Winfield resident Carol Klopfentstein greeted commissioners and provided a tour of the Winfield Museum.
Correspondence from the State Historical Society and Iowa Department of Transportation was reviewed and discussed with no action required. A request from Preservation Iowa encouraging membership is under consideration by several commissioners. A contract to Spark Consulting to continue the Wayland/Jefferson Township National Register of Historic Places project has been approved and architectural consultant Rebecca McCarley is expected to begin Dec. 1. Pending some late arriving historic information on Henry County?s first fair held outside Salem in 1852, the Commission will have up to five new historic signs produced.
A guest speaker and Iowa Wesleyan University graduate Mary Spinning Shier agreed to give a presentation on her quest to trace her father?s footsteps in France after his B-17 was shot down by German anti-aircraft weapons in World War II. Aided by the French Underground, bombardier Lt. William Spinning was able to escape unharmed and wrote of his trek immediately following the war. Shier visited the site where her father?s plane crashed into a forested area, and she was able to retrieve several boxes of plane parts and meet with the descendants of the families who provided aid and shelter.
Coincidentally Spinning?s plane, ?Ain?t it Gruesome? (later renamed ?Kentucky Babe?), was the B-17 assigned to actors Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable, both U.S. Army Corp veterans. Mary?s presentation will be March 21, 2018, and is open to the public.