That Iowa Mansion You Thought You Owned in 1900? It Was Just A Mistake

Bert M. Bills, a Vinton jeweler, and his young wife got a very nice Christmas present in 1900. Bills had purchased a raffle ticket for a dollar and was rewarded with a luxurious mansion in Sioux City. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people. Her work has been recognized by International Literacy Association, American Library Association, National Council for Social Studies, and FDR Presidential Library and Museum. Visit her website at:

Millionaire John Peirce was raffling off his palatial mansion at 29th and Jackson Streets in Sioux City.

The Perils And Excitement Of An Iowan’s Floating Marine Biological Laboratory Of 1893

At Bahia Honda the mosquitoes were so thick no one slept for two nights. And, although the insects were annoying, the group of Iowans from a “floating marine biological laboratory” were in the midst of an experiment that would produce a trove of valuable information. It was the spring of 1893. Charles C. Nutting, a State University of Iowa (SUI) zoology professor, led a team from Iowa to Cuba and the Bahamas traveling on a floating laboratory. The group consisted of teachers and students from SUI and other colleges, as well as a doctor, attorney and journalist.

New Ideas From Iowa Get Big Military Test in 1870

A group of soldiers gathered at an artillery field on the grounds of Fort Monroe, Virginia, on Monday, Feb. 7, 1870. The U.S. government had authorized the Army to carry out the testing of a new product designed by an Iowa man.

Utah Gives Dying Children a Choice

Two years ago the Utah legislature authorized use of do-not-resuscitate orders for terminally ill children after discharge from the hospital.
The new directives operate on the same model as those for adults, with the additional requirement that two doctors sign for them instead of one.
Despite that added requirement, the law still gives parents of terminally ill children in Utah a choice. It’s a choice that Iowa parent Diane Wiederholt, whose 13-year-old daughter Maggie died this past February after a lengthy illness, thinks Iowans should have.