Lubbers Memorial Fountain at River Front Park 1934

From: The Clinton Daily Herald; Monday, November 12, 1934, P. 12
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.

Formally Dedicate Beautiful Lubbers Memorial Fountain.

Huge Crowd Braves Cold to Witness Impressive Ceremony.

Memory of the late J. A. Lubbers was perpetuated in stone and steel yesterday when the new Lubbers Memorial fountain at River Front park was dedicated with impressive ceremony before a crowd estimated at over 3,000.

Despite the fact that the program was not scheduled to start until 5 o’clock, cars began streaming into the park long before that time. Foreign license plates on many of the cars attested to the fact that Mr. Lubbers’ popularity was not limited to this community.

A concert by the Clinton High and Lyons High school bands preceded the opening of the program, the two bands playing alternately. Playing of “America” by the C. H. S. musicians officially opened the program.

Charlton Presides.
Dr. T. B. Charlton, who acted as master of ceremonies during the program, then introduced the Rev. H. J. Rendall of Morrison, Ill., formerly of Clinton and a close friend of Mr. Lubbers, who offered a prayer.

All the addresses during the program were delivered from a decorated platform north of the swimming pool bathhouse.

Mayor W. J. Greene was the first speaker introduced by Dr. Charlton. Mayor Greene represented the city and in his talk referred to Mr. Lubbers as “the man who didn’t forget the ‘forgotten man’”. He extended welcome to the large assemblage.

Representing the Clinton park board, E. F. Mayer, on behalf of the board, expressed his gratitude for cooperation the board had received from the various civic bodies in completing the work on the fountain. He also thanked Peter Matzen and Paul R. Christiansen of the county emergency relief committee for their aid in supplying labor and materials for the fountain.
“Tears of Gratitude.”

“Our tears are a tribute of gratitude. We are better for having known him,” Mr. Mayer declared. “Al Lubbers passed on as he had lived, achieving to the end. We will all hold high and cherish his memory.”

E. V. Lutz, representing the Tri-City Labor congress, pointed out the importance of labor to the civilized world declaring that nothing could have been accomplished without labor in the world. He sounded words of praise for Mr. Lubbers as a relief worker and a member of the American Legion.

Paying a beautiful tribute to the late Mr. Lubbers, Frank Miles, editor of the Iowa Legionaire, was the next speaker on the program.

Miles Talks.
He said: “During the past year three members of the executive committee of Iowa Department of American Legion heard Divine Taps – William Osler, of Ottumwa, who was our alternate national committeeman; J. A. “Al” Lubbers, of Clinton, our finance officer, and Maurice Cahill, of Cedar Rapids, a past commander.
“The three were very close friends. Lubbers was deeply grieved over the passing of Osler, who the night before the opening of the last commanders’ and adjutants’ conference, went to bed apparently in perfect health to awake Out There.

“More Responsibilities”
“Lubbers said, with tears in his eyes to a group, which included your speaker, ‘So many good men are passing, we who live must shoulder more responsibilities in our American Legion.’

“Even then the hand of death was reaching for Al. He became ill at the conference and returned home to soon meet the inevitable – to join his comrade, Osler.

“Cahill, grief stricken over the passing of Osler felt equally as keenly over the departure of Lubbers. I recall vividly his saying here in Clinton, after he had so beautifully eulogized Lubbers at the latter’s funeral services, The Iowa Legion just doesn’t seem right with Bill and Al gone.

Cahill’s Trouble.
“Lubbers was commander of June Van Meter Post when Cahill was department commander.

“I repeat Cahill’s tribute to him:  “’The American Legion of Iowa, and of the nation, has lost one of its ablest workers – one of its noblest characters.

“’Our hearts are sad in this earthly parting and our sincere sympathy goes out to the family of our departed comrade.

“’We humbly join in his service as a tribute of respect to his memory and appreciation of his true friendship.

“’His philosophy of life was reflected in his warm, genial smile, his unswerving loyalty and devotion to what he knew to be true and right, his unselfish service to God and country. His was the philosophy of a true soldier, a true Christian gentleman.

Were Privileged.
“’We who have walked a part of life’s earthly journey with him have enjoyed a genuine privilege. Now he has come to the end of that journey. But a little while and the bugles will sound “Taps” – the soldier’s farewell. He will be gone from our midst, but he will live on with us in cherished memories. As Al’s friends going our way today, let each of us be reminded that we have been entrusted with a wonderful memory – a beautiful ideal to treasure and to keep.”

Only a few months later Cahill, crushed in an automobile accident, journeyed out to meet Bill and Al.

“Al Lubbers was the perfect Legionaire, which means his faith in God was firm, he loved his country devotedly, he gave unstintingly of his talents for his fellow men in the Legion and out, he was a true comrade who won the affection of every comrade he met.

Pleased By Name.
“Nickname for the American Legion is Al. Some of us used to greet Lubbers with Hello, American Legion Lubbers, and how it pleased him! He wanted nothing more than to be looked upon as a real Legionaire.

“Good American that he was, Al offered his life for his country in the World war. Fate decreed he should be discharged from honorable service unscathed by wounds or illness. It was characteristic of him that his heart went out to the bereaved of the comrades who had made the supreme sacrifice and to the comrades who were blinded and maimed.

“It was only natural for Al Lubbers to see in the Legion boundless opportunity for veterans to continue serving God and country as Americans all. Conviction spelled action for Al. He was never passive. He gave his utmost to any cause in which he believed. A born leader, his zeal readily brought him honors among his associates.

Trait Endeared Him.
“Commendable about Al was that the higher he climbed the more humble he grew. That trait endeared him. He accepted office never with thought of himself but only from the assurance that it would mean broader fields in which he might do for others.

“’Greater love hath no man than that he give his life for a friend.’

“Al Lubbers gave his life for his friends. He had courage, character and capacity. He braved obstacles and overcame them to successfully carry out his tasks. Kindly criticism he always welcomed, unwarranted criticism affected him not in the least.

“Absolutely honest, his conscience was ever clear – he did his work able to look every one squarely in the eye and thank God for the privilege.

Did Too Much.
“He did too much for his energetic body to stand. No doubt he realized he should slow up, but against that was his love of serving and his determination to serve well.

“Some one has said ‘It’s not how long a man lives but how he lives that counts.’

“If that be true, Al Lubbers richly fulfilled his mission in life. Few men had attained such heights in service as had he in forty-eight years.

“But we who loved him cannot be consoled. It seems to us that he was taken much too soon. Had he lived the normal span he would have given to God and country many more years of service and how harassed humanity needs such servants as Al Lubbers.

“His life is a stirring inspiration to youth; it is a mighty challenge to his comrades.

Is Inspiration.
“How any parent with hopes and ideals for a son would thrill over having one who became such a man as Al Lubbers was! How any boy who wants to be a man among men could learn from studying his career! And we comrades of his who live, because of our admiration and love for him are moved to strive to carry on in a manner which pleases him is he can see.

“The places of such men as William Osler, Maurice Cahill and Al Lubbers cannot be filled, but their lofty work must go on. I know I speak for every true Legionaire when I say, that we figuratively cast their and pledge them our all to that purpose.

“I congratulate the city of Clinton on erecting this memorial to our beloved, departed friend and comrade. As your citizens old and young see it from time to time, they will think of the noble soul in whose honor it stands and they will be inspired to be better men and women and boys and girls.

“The purity of water which will gush from this fountain will indeed be reflective of the life of Al Lubbers.

Represents Governor.
Ray Murphy of Des Moines was introduced as being a personal representative of Gov. Clyde L. Herring, who was scheduled to talk. Governor Herring was unable to be present because he is attending a mid-western relief conference.

“I am here today privileged to do reverence and to pay respect to the life and memory of a friend and comrade. Others have done this more eloquently and more fittingly than is possible for me to do.

“My place on the program is not due to the fact that Mr. Lubbers was a friend and comrade to me, for he was a true friend and comrade to many a man.

“The governor of Iowa was to have been here to give evidence of the high esteem in which Mr. Lubbers was held throughout the state.

At Conference.
“Governor Herring has been called to a mid-west conference upon relief, and I know that Albert Lubbers would be the first to approve his attendance there and to excuse a necessary absence based upon a cause so near to his own heart. Al Lubbers would have said: ‘The work so nobly begun, must go on.’

“I have tried to think what Governor Herring would say were he here to take his allotted place on this occasion. I have had no opportunity to know what he intended to say, but certain things, I feel sure, he would say for I have heard him speak fondly, admiringly and reverently of Mr. Lubbers.

“The governor would say that all the elements were so mixed in Al Lubbers that all the world who knew him, and who knew his works, would say: ‘This was a man’!

“The governor would say that Mr. Lubbers’ work as emergency relief director and as civic works administrator was such as to place him among the very highest in the nation.
Was An Inspiration.

“He would say he served as an inspiration and an example for every relief worker and every administrator within our borders; that he was known and respected even in our far away national capital.

“The governor would say, for I have heard him say, that here was a man who had carried on in peace as he had in war, devoted to his God, his country and his fellow man.

“No task was too arduous for Albert Lubbers to perform in the service of his fellows, during a peace-time period which in its effect upon our people was comparable to a war-time siege. He never shirked a duty. Rather he sought and created duties.

“And in the performance of those duties, in his supreme efforts to rehabilitate his people to maintain the self-respect of men who sought only honest work that they might care for their loved ones, to alleviate the distress of the men and women and children of his city and county, he gave his life, just as surely as though he had been stricken on the battlefield of the war in which he served.

Quotes Pericles.
“It is needless for me to recount these things to you who knew Al Lubbers as a business man, as family man as civil works and relief administrator, as neighbor and friend. You know that he died in the service of his fellow man – ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend.’

“Twenty-three hundred years ago Pericles said of the fallen heroes of Greece – ‘The glory of these men shall never die. As they died for the whole wide world, so shall the whole wide world be their supulchre. Their epitaphs are written in the hearts of mankind and wherever there is speech of noble deeds, their names shall be held in remembrance.’

“The glory of Albert Lubbers shall never die, for it will be reflected always in the truer and better because they have known him; it will live in the deeds of generations yet to come, to whom that influence shall spread as a ripple on the sea of life.

“May his memory keep us steadfast!”

Lights Turned On.
Murphy’s talk was the last on the speaking program.

As the hushed crowd listened to the strains of “The Star Spangled Banner,” played by the Lyons High school band, the lights over the speakers platform were switched off. Then suddenly to the north the awe-inspiring splendor of the new fountain was revealed to the public for the first time as the beautiful lights were suddenly turned on.

For the fraction of a second the huge crowd watched spellbound and then began to surge toward the fountain for a better view, amid the “oh’s” and “ah’s” issuing from thousands of throats.

Despite the large number of cars which had jammed into the park very little traffic difficulty resulted, the city and park police being assisted in directing the cars by a detail of Legionaires, headed by W. S. Walton. The efficient handling of the crowd drew much favorable comment.

Thanks to the courtesy of Dockstader’s Radio service, those who did not see fit to brave the biting wind which swept the park could listen to the program while seated in their cars as an excellent amplifying system was used. It also carried the talks to the most remote portion of the audience.

The Clinton Herald; Monday, November 12, 1934, P. 5

Masterpiece Result of Careful Planning and Experimenting.

When the beautiful new Lubbers Memorial fountain was illuminated last evening in River Front park following its dedication, words of praise were heard for it on all sides, but little did the admiring throng realize the vast amount of work and planning which lay behind the masterpiece.

Before work could get under way on it, the fountain had to be visualized and dimensions drawn up.

Realizing his competence, the park board and other officials placed the responsibility for the actual construction work in the hands of Leo P. Hannaher, superintendent of parks. As soon as his plans were completed work was started immediately and pushed along at a fast pace. And incidentally it wasn’t just a matter of throwing concrete into forms. Various surface finishes were tested, not only for their durability but also to involve desired lighting effects.

Difficult Task.
When the concrete work was completed there still remained a great deal of work. There were the problems of lights, water sprays and landscaping.

After careful experimentation the entire system was finally completed by Mr. Hannaher. At the top of the fountain are seven reflectors with 1,000 and 1,500 watt bulbs. Around the upper rim are eight bulbs of 75 watt strength and around the rim of the lower basin are 18 reflectors, 10 with 200 watt bulbs and eight with 150 watt bulbs.

The water system supplying the various sprays is also an intricate one. There are six whirls of jets and one ring has 65 distinct sprays. The large nozzle in the center of the fountain shoots a stream about 30 feet in the air and there are eight nozzles around the edge, directed toward eh center of the pool.

Eight spills along the rim of the upper basin allow the water to fall into the lower basin. These spills are 18 inches wide.

Favorable Comparisons.
Two large pumps supply 400 gallons of water a minute to the fountain.

The splendor of the local fountain is being favorable compared with many fountains at the Century of Progress in Chicago and the famous Buckingham fountain. Constantly changing lights and water arrangements present an entirely different picture every minute.

In order to provide an additional opportunity for viewing the fountain, it will be illuminated both tonight and tomorrow night from 5:30 until 7 o’clock. If the weather permits, there is a possibility it will also be lighted for the remainder of the week at the same hours.

John Albert Lubbers 1885-1934
The Clinton Herald Monday March 26, 1934 p. 3

Death resulting from an unexpected turn in his condition, ended the life of John Albert Lubbers, 320 Fifth avenue, South, at 4:30 o'clock this morning in Jane Lamb hospital, where he had been a patient since the morning of February 23, suffering from a heart ailment, a development in which had necessitated amputation of his right leg March 21, in an effort to save his life.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 o'clock Thursday afternoon in the First Presbyterian church, preceded by a brief prayer service in the home at 2 p.m. for the members of the family.

The passing of Mr. Lubbers, who was aged 48 years, cast a pall over the city and brought a flood of tributes from fellow-workers in the various activities which he had been identified, not only in the city but in the whole state. From men high in the state government, in the American Legion; in fraternal and business circles, and particularly in the federal unemployment relief administration, to which the deceased had devoted energies beyond his strength, came expression of condolence. To his other interests and activities in business, civic, fraternal, religious and patriotic fields, Mr. Lubbers about a year ago took on the added burden of county administrator of the emergency unemployment relief, at the request of Governor Clyde Herring of Iowa. The load sapped his strength and undermined his health and he was taken suddenly ill, February 22, with a coronary thrombosis. The next day he entered Jane Lamb hospital.

Although his condition continued grave, he apparently was making favorable progress toward recovery until March 6, when he suddenly developed a thrombosis of the artery in his right leg. This caused gangrene of the foot and leg, necessitating amputation of the leg above the knee, March 21, in the hope thereby of saving his life. Following the operation, he gave evidence of recovery and for the last two days his condition had been more encouraging that at any time since the first attack. About 4:10 o'clock this morning, however after having spent an apparently comfortable night, he was awakened with difficulty in breathing and terrific pain in the upper part of his chest, dying a few minutes later as a result of the second coronary thrombosis.

Mr. Lubbers was born in Clinton, Sept. 28, 1885, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lubbers and spent practically his entire life in Clinton. His father, for many years county treasurer in Clinton county is now deceased. His mother resides in the family home, 610 Melrose court. Mr. Lubbers was married, June 20, 1917, to Miss Genevieve Allen, daughter of Mrs. George Allen, 320 Fifth avenue, South. Educated in the Clinton public schools, Mr. Lubbers was graduated from the High school in the class 1903 and in the following year entered the University of Michigan, from which he was graduated in 1908. Returning to Clinton, he engaged in various activities. He was the first secretary of a newly reorganized Clinton Commercial club, which is now the Chamber of Commerce, and for a period thereafter was employed in the Peoples Trust & Savings bank. In August 1912, he formed a partnership with C.L. Bell and they purchased the business of the Clair Munson company and organized the Lubbers & Bell Manufacturing Co. From a small beginning, the partners expanded the business until now it is one of the leading concerns in it line, the manufacture principally of fly-swatters, with a world-wife market, to which has been added in recent years a number of toys, games and novelties. Possessed of a vast reserve of energy and intensely interested in the development of the community, Mr. Lubbers found time, even while his business was building, to identify himself with a great variety of activities, interrupted for a period which he was with the United States forces in the World war. As a result of that service, he became identified with the American Legion, of which he became a past commander of June Van Meter post of Clinton, a past district commander and state finance officer, holding the latter office at the time of his death. In addition he was a former member and active in the Clinton rotary club, a former president of the Clinton Country club, former president of the Wapsipinicon club, and at the time of his death was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, a director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, president of the Jane Lamb Memorial hospital board of trustees, a member of the board of trustees of the First Presbyterian church and was actively identified with all of the activities in connection with the building of the new church.

While politically aligned with the democratic party, particularly in recent years, he was regarded as independent and inclined to give his support to those candidates and policies which he regarded as in the best interests of his fellow men. Fraternally, he was a member of various Masonic bodies, including Emulation lodge, 255, A.F. & A.M., and DeMolay consistory, A.A.S.R. Masons, in which he was a past preceptor of High des Payne council, Knights Kadish.