Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne was honored last week with an open house at the Comfort Inn, to celebrate her 100th birthday. Dr. Kinne was here visiting her family and friends last week in Story City, but during the open house, she greeted hundreds of well-wishers, friends and children of families who had grown up with Fran’s mother, Bertha Bartlett, when she was the librarian for Story City. Dr. Kinne turned 100 on May 23, and was honored by several celebrations held at Jacksonville University and the Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville, Fla.


The open house in Story City was sponsored by the Bertha Bartlett Public Library Foundation and the Story City Historical Society. On display were the plans for the landscaping project at the Bartlett House Museums, and the books which had been purchased in her honor. The “100 Books and Bricks” project held jointly by the Historical Society and the library, raised over $4,000. The library has selected over half of the books to be purchased in Dr. Kinne’s honor, and those are on display at the library. Over the years, her philanthropy extended not only to the library and historical society here in Story City, but Drake University, the Mayo Clinic, Rotary International, and hundreds of other organizations in both Iowa and Jacksonville, Fla., where she now resides.


One of the guests present for the party was former professional basketball player Willie McDuffie, who works at the Mayo Clinic. McDuffie was a member of the basketball team in 1986 when they made a run for the NCAA Tournament. Dr. Kinne was president of Jacksonville University at that time and celebrated with the team by cutting down the strings of the basketball hoop, lifted by team members to the basketball rim. Mr. McDuffie traveled with Dr. Kinne on this trip to Iowa, in addition to several previous visits, and assists her with appointments and transportation both on trips and in the Jacksonville area.