Keeping history alive in Webster City

Efforts to renovate, update Wilson Brewer Park benefits all citizen

Right in the midst of Webster City is a jewel of great historical relevance. The Wilson Brewer Park, home to the Depot Museum and a complex of buildings dating back to the earliest settlers, serves as a significant reminder of the colorful and rich heritage of Webster City and Hamilton County.

The park was donated to the city in 1932 by Frank Bonebright and Harriet Bonebright to create a perpetual memorial to their grandfather Wilson Brewer, the city’s first settler and founder. The property is home to the Brewer-Groves pioneer cabin, the Jamison log cabin, the Harmony Center School, Mulberry Center Church, the first Hamilton County Courthouse and the former Illinois Central Railroad Depot which now houses many artifacts that have been donated and collected through the years. The park also is the burial site for eight members of the Brewer-Bonebright family.

Efforts are currently underway by a committee of local residents to determine the best ways to renovate, repair and update many of the features at the park.

“We are the caretakers of this history,” historical committee chairman Gary Groves has said. “We’re entrusted with these stories and others. That’s our mission — to preserve that.”

The Daily Freeman-Journal agrees and wholeheartedly supports the historical committee’s efforts to preserve the community’s history for future generations. As the community moves forward, it’s important to remember our past and those who have helped make Webster City the great place it is to live and work today.

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