Another Historical Plaque in Downtown

The Promotion Committee’s Debra McGinn wrote a Jefferson Rotary grant to pay for another historical plaque in Jefferson’s downtown.  She was awarded $1,595 to go towards this project by Rotarian John Brunow at the Rotary meeting on Monday, March 27.  There were seven nominees for plaques at the Historical Plaque Walk in September, 2016.  Those attending were invited to vote for the order in which these plaques would be created once funds were secured.  The Rotary grant will go towards funding the 13th plaque in Jefferson’s downtown.

This plaque celebrates Yankee Robinson, the legendary circus promoter who happened to give Ringling brothers their big break. Yankee died here in Jefferson, and Ringling brothers took over the circus and the rest is history. Yankee is buried at the local cemetery east of town. Ringling brothers purchased the headstone for Yankee; for many years when the circus came to town, circus performers would parade out to the cemetery and lay carnations on his grave to show their admiration and respect they had for him.

Thanks, Deb!

Deb Kucerak has served on the Main Street Board of Directors since 2013 and has recently resigned her position. President Jamie Daubendiek presented her with a certificate at the March Board meeting and thanked her for her work.

Deb chaired the Design Committee through this time and can be very proud of the success this committee has had to beautify the downtown and support historic preservation in Jefferson’s Main Street District.  Her daughter and family  have moved to Australia, so she will be needing to spend more time there.  She plans to continue to be on the Design Committee and Tower View Team when she is here.  Thanks, Deb!

Sculptures for sale

The three Ring Out for Art sculptures visitors to the Bell Tower Plaza in Jefferson have enjoyed since the 2016 Bell Tower Festival will soon be replaced with new entries. The current sculptures will be removed the first part of May. These sculptures are available for sale by direct contact with the artists. These Iowa artists will work with the buyer to move the sculpture to another location. Main Street’s Tower View Team wants to encourage businesses and organizations to consider purchasing these creative pieces of art to stay in Greene County. The Ring Out for Art competition is a project co-sponsored by Jefferson Matters: Main Street’s Tower View Team and Home State Bank of Jefferson. The second set of sculptures will be delivered in late May and voted at the 2017 Bell Tower Festival.

  1. Tim Adams of Webster City, IA and owner of Stony Creek Landscapes.


Phone: 515-832-1281


2. Whitney Kibbie of Emmetsburg, Iowa


Phone:  712-298-0375


3. Randy Monthei of the Greene County Motorcycle Charity


Phone:  515-370-2866

“Steel Rider”

Greene County Community Foundation awards rooftop art grant

The Tower View Team will be installing another piece of rooftop art thanks to a grant from the Greene County Community Foundation.  The committee has planned to paint “Patches of Greene” on the top of Homestead Coffee this spring.  The piece includes four quilt squares symbolizing Greene County – railroad crossing, card trick, antique tile and whirling windmill.  The volunteers from the Tower View Team will paint these on sheets of aluminum that will be adhered to the roof.  They plan to begin painting in April.  The installation of this art can only be seen by visitors to the Mahanay Bell Tower in downtown Jefferson.  Chairperson Debra McGinn attended the GCCF event and received the check.  Many thanks to the Foundation!

Main Street Iowa award nominations

For 31 years, Main Street Iowa has annually presented awards honoring outstanding accomplishments, activities, and people making a difference in Main Street districts across the state.   Each Main Street community is encouraged to write nominations for specific categories completed between January 2015 and December 2016. Awards will be presented on Friday, April 7 at Hoyt Sherman Place. The Governor of Iowa and Iowa Economic Development Authority officials will make these award presentations.

Main Street Iowa reported receiving 160 competitive nominations from the 52 Main Street communities. Jefferson Matters: Main Street’s Board of Directors submitted eight. The categories nominated were Best Interior Rehabilitation – Meythaler Photography; Outstanding Beautification Project – Jefferson’s Lincoln Way; Outstanding Business – Home State Bank; Outstanding Fundraiser – Family Feud~Jefferson Edition; Excellent Event – Historical Plaque Walks in 2015 & 2016; Superior Marketing Efforts – Jefferson, IA app; Outstanding Partner – City of Jefferson; and Greatest Game Changer – Empty Building Tour.

A non-competitive “2016 Leadership Award” is presented annually to every Main Street community and chosen by Jefferson Matters: Main Street’s board of directors. Nick Sorensen will be receiving this honor from his extensive volunteer work with the Design and Economic Vitality committees. Nick was honored at the local level at their Volunteer Valentine Party.

This event will be held on Friday, April 7 and anyone interested is invited to attend. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines with the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available. Cost is $10 with reservations submitted to Peg Raney at the Main Street office by March 22 or email

President Jamie Daubendiek shared, “I remember when Manning had 40 people attending this event to receive awards. I hope we can have that many attend this year. It is a great time to hear about projects from other Main Street communities and celebrate our successes.”