Welcome to the Belle Plaine Area Museum and the Henry B. Tippie Annex that chronicles the extraordinary life of a native son. Born on January 5, 1927, on a farm near Belle Plaine, Iowa, Henry B. Tippie was part of the Greatest Generation, one of the many who strove and sacrificed to help create today’s world.
His story is an inspiring one: from the farm to the hardships of the Great Depression, from overseas service in World War II to the college classroom, from entry-level accountant to exceptionally successful executive, from rancher to philanthropist.
Henry enlisted for military duty before he was old enough to be drafted. National service was the spirit of the time, but his was also what Henry saw as his “ticket off the farm,” and his reward for stepping out into the unknown would be the GI Bill, his ticket to college. Hard work saw him through the university: grit, sound judgment, and integrity carried him to remarkable business success. But he always remembered that without the War, and without the GI Bill, college may have been a dream unfulfilled.
Henry gave back because he felt it was the right thing to do: You live your life in order to make the earth a better place. He began giving back to his alma mater when he could afford to send only five dollars. Even as a young man just starting out, he knew he needed to give back for all that he had been given.
Throughout his struggles and rise to prominence, Henry B. Tippie has loved his hometown, his state, and its people. What you will see in this exhibition in his way of saying:
“THANK YOU, BELLE PLAINE!”