Speaking in Forest City

Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Speaking

800px-Bob_Baker_singing_cowboyAUGUST 26 — The Winnebago Historical Society will celebrate Forest City’s own Bob Baker on Tuesday, August 26, with Iowa History Journal’s Mike Chapman, who will speak at several venues in town.

Chapman will speak at the Forest City Rotary Club at noon in Salveson Hall’s ballroom (106 S. Sixth St.) at Waldorf College. He will be at the Mansion Museum (336 N. Clark St.) from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. He will speak at Forest Plaza Assisted Living (635 Highway 9, E.) at 3 p.m. He will introduce and play one of Bob Baker’s films in the community room at Titonka Savings Bank (101 Highway 69, N.), starting at 7 p.m. Free admission with popcorn and refreshments.

Bob Baker, a singing cowboy in movies in the late 1930s, was born Stanley Leland Weed on Nov. 8, 1910, in Forest City. He was selected to star as a singing cowboy for Universal Studios in 1937, beating out several young men for the position – including Leonard Slye, who went on to become famous as Roy Rogers. Stanley’s parents were Guy and Ethel (Leland) Weed. He served in the U.S. Army, was a police officer in Arizona and ran a dude ranch. He died Aug. 29, 1975.

Mike Chapman is founder of Iowa History Journal, a magazine devoted to the preservation of history in Iowa. He retired from a 35-year newspaper career in 2002. He served as publisher of the Newton Daily News, as well as sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette and executive editor of the Sauk Valley Newspapers in Dixon, Illinois. He has written 26 books, and his articles have appeared in dozens of national and regional magazines. One of his novels, Lowell Park (about Ronald Reagan as a lifeguard in Lowell Park in the summer of 1932), has been purchased by a major movie company and is in preproduction.

The Winnebago Historical Society is housed in the 1899 Mansion Museum at 336 N. Clark St., in Forest City, and it oversees Heritage Park, a 91-acre park on the south edge of Forest City. Its mission is to educate children and adults through the Mansion Museum, reintroduce families to their past through the Leibrand-Whiteis Historical Center, and recreate the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors at Heritage Park of North Iowa.

For more information, contact Becky Gjendem at info@winnebgohistoricalsocietyiowa.org or 641-590-5194.

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