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Presenter to share about life in the Amanas

Middle Amana resident Betsy Momany to give program at Mulberry Center Church

The second program of the summer will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at Mulberry Center Church in the Wilson Brewer Park, 220 Ohio St., Webster City.

“The Amana Change,” presented by Betsy Momany, will look at the Amana Colonies, a collection of seven villages in eastern Iowa, founded by German settlers about 150 years ago. The communities — High Amana, Middle Amana, East Amana, West Amana, South Amana, Amana and Homestead — are listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

According to organizers, the Amana colonies experienced severe economic problems in the early 1930s, in part due to the Great Depression. People voted to abandon communal life in 1932 and reorganized the colony on a capitalist basis with each member receiving stock in a new community corporation. In January 1933, the people of Amana began using American currency.

Momany was born in Middle Amana. She was raised in the only town that voted against the capitalist change.

Her presentation is about the historical transitions Amana has faced since 1932 through today, through the laughter and tears of one family. Her stories come from omas and opas (grandmothers and grandfathers) and the unkels and tantes (uncles and aunts).

Momany was educated in the Amana Schools and a member of the Amana Church. She is currently an Elder, Sunday school teacher and youth group leader in the church. She is a researcher at the University of Iowa Public Policy Center and all-around worker in the Amana Family Practice Clinic.

There is no cost to attend.

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