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From Europeans to the Butter Cow- Tama’s Lincoln Highway Bridge gets plenty of attention

Sculptor Sarah Pratt to add Lincoln Highway Bridge

July 19, 2013
By John Speer and Frances Ford ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

By John Speer


In tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway, America's first transcontinental highway, Toledo native Sarah Pratt will provide a sculpture of Tama's Lincoln Bridge to accompany this year's butter cow at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

Article Photos

Sarah Pratt with a State Fair Butter Cow

-Iowa State Fair photo

Pratt, the daughter of Toledo pharmacist Tom and Mary Doyle, will also sculpt a relief sculpture of Abraham Lincoln in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address.

Pratt apprenticed under the late Norma "Duffy" Lyon of Toledo for 15 years and took over for her in 2006.

Pratt also teaches school. She lives in West Des moines.

The sculptures are on display in the Agriculture Building throughout the State Fair this year from Aug. 8-18.



By Frances Ford

Editor's Note: A collection of cars driven by Europeans on a nation-wide tour of the Lincoln Highway passed through Tama last week. The tour was in observance of the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway- the nation's first transcontinental route.

The following is an account of the stop by Frances Ford, who with her brother, Gilbert Chantland, greeted the visitors at the Lincoln Highway Bridge Park on Tama's East side. Ford and Chantland grew up on the family farm east of Tama.

Welcoming Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour

Thursday, July 11th, Gib said to me .... I have to go to town and meet some you want to go with me?? I said..Sure..What's the occasion? Gib said he didn't know..he had gotten a phone call that a group of Norwegians would be at the Lincoln Highway Bridge at 10 a.m.

We were at the bridge at 10 a.m. and shortly, three of the big old Cadillacs of the 1950s and 1960s, all restored and lookling like a million dollars rolled in. We walked over and greeted them. These folks were from Sweden but we talked to them about the Lincoln Hwy Bridge when we discovered that they were touring the route of the old Lincoln Highway.

They said there were 80 cars in all...all old restored U.S. models of Cadillacs and Lincolns and some others. They had put the cars on a ship in Sweden and picked them up in New York. There were 20 cars from Sweden, 60 cars from Norway, 2 cars from Denmark, one car from Finland and one car from Germany.

As the Swedish group moved on, more cars moved in. Now the Norwegians were coming. Most folks were from Oslo and Stockholm with others scattered throughout the country.

Geing of Norwegian descent, Gib and I could greet them in their native language..after that I was lost and we had to rely on English. But all groups spoke good to very good English.

One man showed me his name as ODD and said that was an odd name. I said ...No, it isn't. I have a cousin in Norway with the name of Odd. After that, he just talked on and on. One couple was from Bergen, Norway, and I said I had a cousin there. They asked for his name and address. I said I didn't have my notebook and couldn't spell the street. Ho said not to worry. If they lived In Bergen, they would find them.

Another couple was from Sandnes, Norway, where we also had cousins. An exchange student had come from Sandnes to attend Tama High school. Her name was Bente Datay. She also sang the lyrics on one of Gib's songs.

Gib and I had both been in Norway, Sweden and Finland so we could converse with these people about their homeland. They were pleased that we knew so much about them.

We thanked them for visitnig the U.S. and told them what a special trip they were taking by following the original Lincoln Highway.

I was wishing I had a pamphlet on the Lincoln Hwy Bridge so they could have something to take home.

But Gib was equal to the occasion. He had copies of his poem"Plow on contry Boy" and passed them out. They were very appreciative.

We must have had 50 cars or more. People were so receptive to us and were warm to our greetings. They were glad to see two old farmers greeting them and wishing them well. Before departing, there were many hugs and picture taking.

As they waved good-bye, Gib and I reflected that they had taken more pictures of us than the Lincoln Highway Bridge.



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