The Historical Society is celebrating the 100th birthday of a Story City icon, Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne. Fran, as she’s known by her friends and loved ones, has been instrumental in helping the Historical Society to grow and flourish.

I spoke with two of our former Historical Society Board presidents, Marilyn Webster and Cheryl Eddy, both of whom described Fran’s contributions to the Historical Society.

Marilyn Webster stated “Dr. Kinne always gives positive encouragement to our efforts concerning our responsibilities. She planted seeds for new goals and supported them with her gifts and advice. She excels at inspiring confidence in us. We are grateful for her collections and for helping to provide facilities to share them.”

Chery Eddy spoke of working with Fran and their friendship, “without Fran’s love of Story City, several projects would not have been possible. Her positive attitude, leadership, knowledge and her appreciation for the future made the projects possible. I appreciate her so much and for what she has made possible in Story City and for her friendship. She is definitely a true friend of mine and of Story City!”

Like many people in Story City, Fran cares about our history and has taken steps to help preserve it. She has done this through donations to help secure our Queen Anne style house museum in 1996, which was named the Bartlett Museum in her family’s honor.

Fran also planted the seed for the goal of having a place to display various items she donated to the Historical Society. Fran kicked off the fundraising with a generous donation and this goal came to fruition in 2008 with the construction and opening of our Carriage House Museum. The Historical Society is very appreciative of Fran’s continued support of our organization, which in recent years, has allowed us to hire a part-time director and to have the museums open year round.

Fran has pushed for collaboration between city organizations understanding that we can accomplish more as a community when we work together. Examples include collaborations with the Bertha Bartlett Public Library and the Greater Chamber Connection.

This spring the Bertha Bartlett Public Library and the Historical Society have teamed up to celebrate Fran’s 100th birthday by benefiting two organizations that she deeply cares about. Funds raised will be used to create a new brick walkway, wooden arbor, and landscaping at the Bartlett House Museum, as well as to purchase 100 new books for the Library collection. To learn more about Fran and her achievements or to honor Fran on her 100th birthday with a gift to the Historical Society and Library, please visit our website at

Fran has created a legacy that will live on for centuries. Our new exhibit at the Carriage House Museum, ‘A Century of Service’, showcases several collection items from Fran’s 100 years. Everyone at the Historical Society would like to thank Fran for her ardent support of our organization and this community. Happy 100th Birthday Fran!