The Winnebago Historical Society will celebrate Forest City’s own Bob Baker on Aug. 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, 1920, in Forest City. His 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.