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Unveiling of marker for Lincoln Highway pioneer today at Montour

August 15, 2019
From:Mike Kellner - Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator -Prairie Rivers of Iowa , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

It was early morning June 7, 1920 when the first Field Secretary of the Lincoln Highway Association Henry Ostermann awakened early leaving his newlywed wife in Tama to attend a meeting in Marshalltown. In his haste, he passed a slower motorist on a Lincoln Highway curve east of Montour, losing control of his vehicle and was killed instantly.

To honor Ostermann there will be an unveiling ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 15 (rain date Monday, Aug. 19) at 5:30 p.m. of an interpretive panel installed at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Montour. The public is invited and encouraged to bring lawn chairs. The memorial, originally called for in the August-September 1920 issue of the "Iowa Highway Commission Service Bulletin," was funded through a grant from the Tama County Community Foundation, designed by Prairie Rivers of Iowa and the Lincoln Heritage Highway Byway, and installed by the City of Montour.

"We're excited to be a part of a tribute to Ostermann through this interpretive panel and are pleased the City of Montour has graciously given permission and installed it in the cemetery near where his fateful accident occurred," said Prairie Rivers of Iowa Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Coordinator Jan Gammon.

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The first Field Secretary of the Lincoln Highway Association Henry Ostermann, will be remembered during an August 15 unveiling of of a commemorative panel erected at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Montour on Thursday, August 15 .

"The more I learned about Ostermann, the more I liked him. He was quite an individual,'' relates Gammon, "He worked at age six in New York City as a newsboy and then served three years in the U.S. Navy after joining at the age of 14. After the navy, he traveled around the country doing odd jobs including promotions for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show." Those promotional skills, along with experience piloting military convoys along the east coast, helped him pitch an idea to the U.S. Army to test equipment, roads and men during a transcontinental convoy. The 100th anniversary of this 1919 army trip is being celebrated this year with two convoys traversing the nation.

Ostermann traveled many times across the nation beginning in 1908 before there was a Lincoln Highway or any other defined route. Lincoln Highway communities were announced in 1913 and he was hired in 1914 as the first field secretary. He was he was on his 21st transcontinental fateful trip in 1920 when the accident occurred.

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Fact Box

Chronicle ? It Out:

WHAT: Unveiling of interpretive panel recogizingHenry Ostermann who lost his life while working forthecontinued development of the Lincoln Highway.

WHEN:?Thurs., Aug. 15, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Maple Hill Cemetery, T47 at E49, s.e. corner of Montour

Public invited



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