In case you missed it, The Iowa Theater was closed last Thursday, the 25th, for a private birthday party in honor of Richard Kellogg, a notable figure in Winterset’s history. Although it was to be a celebration for what would have been his 80th birthday, the gift itself was meant for his family who lost him so many years ago as he passed in 1983. Thursday night’s party was a brand new memory of their dad to cherish and share.
Richard’s family was surprised with a photo slideshow of old pictures taken through the years and treated to a movie night complete with popcorn and birthday cake.
It was a magical night for Richard’s family to get together and look back through the years of memories that somehow came to life on that big screen.
Those of you who knew him may remember back in the late 70s-early 80s he and his wife, Colleen, owned several businesses around town that kept us all busy from around 1960 to 1983, the year he passed away.
Graduating in 1958, Richard went straight to work at a service station just south of the theater which is now a gift shop.
In 1959 he and Colleen were married and moved to California to be near his father. Homesick, they moved back just three months later.
In 1960 he opened his first business, a miniature golf course, on Summit Street.
From 1961 to 1964 Richard worked as a salesman with P. Lorillard Tobacco Co., had a very interesting position as a private investigator with Pinkerton Security Svc.
In 1963 Kellogg and his wife moved to Des Moines as Richard was offered a job with Pinkerton’s Security Service. They rented an apartment there, and he worked undercover. His wife recalled that they could not tell anyone about the undercover work that he was doing, but he wanted to tell her folks so they would know why he was not around when his daughter was born. He did not tell anyone else till after the assignment was over. He told them he was selling something.
In July of 1968 Mr. and Mrs. Kellogg started a newspaper from their home on Fremont St. called “The Shopper”, which is still in print today!
In 1969 while The Shopper was off and running, he developed Winterset Printing, originally located northeast of town and later relocated to the square in what is now a real estate company.
In 1972 he and two other investors purchased the movie theater and showed all kinds of movies. Closer to 1980, his youngest two children “owned” and operated an arcade inside the theater upstairs behind the balcony; and like their dad, having a “nose for news” printed and circulated their own newspaper, “Zap”. He loved the theater and wanted it preserved. He would have been very happy with the state in which we find it today.
In 1976 the Kelloggs sold the Shopper to Mr. Gorman of the Madisonian.
In 1979 Richard would buy out the other investors in the theater making him the sole owner which allowed all five kids to have a turn working for a living. It was hard work but the family loved it. In 1981 he purchased “Stitches n Britches”, a clothing store run by Colleen. This was originally located a few doors down from the public Library which is now City Hall.
Even though businesses may come and go, its a great comfort that memories last forever, isn’t it? That held true last Thursday night at The Iowa for Richard’s family.
According to those who knew him, Richard Kellogg had an incredibly contagious smile and loved his wife and kids very much, not to mention the people of Winterset.
The family would like to thank the folks who took the time to comment and share their thoughts and memories of Richard through social media and the like.
“He was one of a kind and we sure hope he enjoyed his birthday celebration. I know the rest of us did! We miss you.”