Beverly Franks is hopeful that a project she and the rest of the Linn-Mar Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution started pursuing six years ago will soon become a reality in Springville.
When she first became the regent, Franks began raising capital to restore the Nathan Brown memorial in the City of Springville’s cemetery.
Brown was born in New York and saw his first action in the Battle of Harlem Heights. After the war, Brown eventually moved to Pennsylvania and Illinois before settling in Iowa. Brown Township, in which Springville is located, is named in his honor.
The monument is owned by Brown’s relatives, currently residing in California and Texas, and they have okayed the restoration.
From the Springville area, Franks said she thought the monument needed to be restored and began reaching out to try to get the project done. Not many areas can claim a descendant that fought in the Revolutionary War, which can make it hard for people to feel a connection, but Franks said given the rarity and the magnitude of the conflict, it was an important monument.
“Those people that fought in the Revolutionary War is where we got our freedom and independence from,” Franks said.
Brown is just one of two Revolutionary War veterans to be buried in Linn County.
Initially, the group had the problem of figuring out the price tag. The first bid they got was for $135,000 for an out of state contractor. Eventually, she got hooked up with Memorials by Michel out of Solon.
Though they were initially quoted at $35,000, the price has risen to $44,000 due to inflation. The majority of that price, Franks said, is the granite that will make up the two bottom layers of the statue. The group is larger than any other the group has undertaken to this point. While Franks said the DAR will pay for memorials for members, those are usually smaller projects, like plaques or markers.
As of right now, Franks estimates that the group has raised about $35,000 so far, pooled between the Linn-Mar Chapter, the Mayflower Chapter and the Springville Historical Society. The support the project has received has been wide-ranging.
The group is preparing to put down a down payment to get the granite needed for the work ordered. Once the restoration work begins, it is estimated to take six weeks.