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Bed 1.HEIC

Room Histories

Earl & Virginia Green

It is no secret for whom this suite of rooms is named. Residents of Perry for all but two of their 45 years of marriage, both Earl and Virginia made lasting impacts of this town.


As a native of Perry, Earl Gustav green attended Webster Elementary School and graduated from Perry High School in 1932. During that time he helped his mother run the family business, Green's Grocery, and drove a rural milk route. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, Earl covered many miles of country roads on two wheels and left the people of Perry with many stories of his escapades. In 1942, he joined the Coast Guard and served in World War II until his honorable discharge on November 12, 1945. Upon his return to Perry, he began his career as a fireman and engineer for the Milwaukee Road where he would serve for more than 30 years.

On October 6, 1946, Earl would take as his bride Virginia Olson, who with her family had moved to Perry, (when she

Earl and Virginia Green Suite

had been 12). Her father, Arthur Olson, had been transferred to Perry from Des Moines as a railroad dispatcher, also for the Milwaukee Road. Having retired from her position as head of bookkeeping for The First National Bank of Perry when Roberta was born in 1949, Virginia kept herself busy while Earl was keeping irregular hours on the railroad by caring for him and Roberta and ministering to the community and the world. Virginia always had a talen and a gift for letter writing begun as a

ministry to missionaries supported by the First Baptist Church (which she and Earl attended for more than 40 years). Over the years, her Christmas card list had grown to include 1200 individuals who she also remembered with birthday cards and in other times of need. Virginia's correspondence was received around the world.

Always busy, Virginia has served as past-President of the Alpha Circle of King's Daughters, former President of the Milwaukee Women's Club, treasurer of the First Baptist Church for 26 years, and Sunday School teacher at The First Baptist for more than 40 years. After Earl's retirement from the railroad in 1978, he and Virginia traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and Mexico. In 1989, the Greens moved to California to be near their daughter. Earl Green died there in 1991.

Entry to the Earl and Virginia Green Suite

This room serves not only to commemorate the home Earl and Virginia Green made at 1924 W. 3rd Street from 1949-1954 but the contributions they made to Perry industry, community, and life. Without them, Perry would be without a good part of its spirit and soul.


D. J. Pattee

D. J. Pattee Suite

David Jackson Pattee was born on December 22, 1839 in Vermont. He was the first son born to William Henry Harrison Pattee and Caroline Jerusha Fay in a family that would grow to include eight children - five boys and three girls. David Pattee settled in Perry soon after the Civil War (in the service of which he reached the rank of Captain) and immediately became a

land owner. One one parcel, he erected D. J. Pattee Dry Goods and Groceries, the first retail outlet in Perry and the site of the future Hotel Pattee.

Although David Pattee was always known for his fun-loving ways, this did not detract from his reputation as one of Perry's greatest benefactors. 1869 saw the beginning of postal service in Perry and David Pattee elected as Perry's first postmaster. He was also influential in the banking world, creating Citizen's Bank in 1874 and later becoming an officer of First National Bank in 1886. The world of politics felt his impact as well with his election as mayor in 1877.

In addition to his public life, David Pattee was active as a philanthropist. He helped formally organize the Elks Lodge,

loaned the Fire Department money for a new facility, and donated land for Pattee Park and a housing development called Riverview Heights. David Pattee has long been remembered by the citizens of Perry for his "generosity and fair dealing" and his "public spirit."

Seating Foyer of D. J. Pattee Suite

As his stature in the community grew, so did his responsibilities at home. His young and growing family necessitated the purchase, beginning in 1882, of three lots on the corner of Fourth and Warford Streets. There he built a large brick house for his wife, Sarah, and their three children - May, Harry, and Martha (Ada and William would follow in 1889 and 1891). In 1885, this house was considered not only one of the finest residences in Perry but in all Dallas County. It was estimated that David Pattee put $9,000 worth of improvements into the house and other structures on the property that year.

In 1912 in recognition of what their father meant not only to their family but to the community, David Pattee's sons Harry and William began construction in 1912 of a hotel. The hotel would

consist of 72 rooms built of steel and concrete and billed as the only fire proof building in Iowa. It contained a dining room, furnished with the finest fabrics and mahogany money could buy, and was called the Hotel Pattee. Unfortunately, David Pattee died on July 19, 1912, 10 months before the gran opening of the hotel and consequently never saw what became Perry's most lasting memorial to one of its early citizens.

George & Agnes Soumas Suite

On March 7, 1945, the Ludendorff Bridge, located in the resort town of Remagen, 30 miles south of Cologne, was seized by American tank troops, allowing the United States to establish a strong foothold on the East Bank of the Rhine River, the 

George & Agnes Soumas Suite

gateway to the German heartland. Within weeks of capturing the Bridge of Remagen, the Allies were overrunning Germany, bringing World War II to a close.

One of the men instrumental in the capturing of the Ludendorff Bridge and one of the first to cross it was Captain George P. Soumas, Commander of Company A of the 14th Tank Battalion. His heroics during this turning point in the war earned him the Distinguished Service Cross. During his career in the Army he also received the Bronze Star, Pre-Pearl Harbor Ribbon, European Theater of Operations Ribbon, and the Purple Heart. George Soumas is the most decorated World War II hero in Iowa.

George Soumas was born in Iowa to Greek immigrants. He had an early career with his father as a shoe shine boy. But a stint in the

army, marriage to Agnes George of Cedar Rapids in 1945, and a law degree from the State University of Iowa changed all of that. A long-time member of the bar practicing in Perry, his accomplishments include: founding member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of Iowa, admission to the Supreme Court of Iowa, and a two-term Dallas County attorney.

George Soumas never stopped giving back to the community that opened its arms to him as the child of immigrants. He was a three-time mayor of Perry, one-time head of the Elks Lodge, loyal booster of the Perry Public Schools, and an instrumental promoter of expansion of Highway 141 outside of Perry.

Nor did the veterans forget him, bestowing upon him the National Veterans of Foreign Wars Gold Award. He met both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and General William Westmoreland. 

George and Agnes made their home together in Perry for almost 50 years. George died in 1995.


Louis Armstrong Suite

When the Lake Robbins Dance Pavilion opened near a man-made lake eight miles southeast of Perry on November 11, 1931 it was advertised as Iowa's newest and largest dance palace. This is fitting as 23 years later, Lake Robbins, the city of Perry, 

Louis Armstrong Suite

and the Hotel Pattee would play host to its most famous guest, Louis Armstrong.

On December 2, 1954, Louis Armstrong and His All-Star Band arrived in Perry on a Greyhound Bus and ate dinner at the Hotel Pattee before performing at Lake Robbins. Kirtland Piper, then of Dexter, Iowa, remembers that night as windy, bitterly cold, not much snow but not a night for going out. This did not stop Mr. Piper, his wife, and another couple, who were "great Armstrong fans," from hearing Armstrong perform as many times as they could before the end of his career. More than one hundred couples packed the dance pavilion for almost four hours of traditional Armstrong jazz and big band tunes. Armstrong regaled the crowd with such selections as Butter and Egg Man.

It was one of Armstrong's trademarks to keep freshly laundered handkerchiefs nearby during a performance. These handkerchiefs were used to wrap around his trumpet to prevent it from slipping from his hand and for mopping his face. Upon returning to the Hotel Pattee after the performance that evening, he sent his soiled handkerchiefs to the hotel laundry

Louis Armstrong Suite

to be cleaned. Laundress Josephine Lee remembered: "There were 24 of them. And I remember because he had a note sent down with them, how he wanted them folded. We never did get it figured out. 'Cause he wanted them folded in a certain way that he'd put in his finger, and pull them open, see?... And we never got it figured out so we just sent them back up flat and put a note that said 'Fold them yourself." The crowd that stayed at the hotel that night included Armstrong and his wife, Orville Shaw, Barrett Deems, Hayes Pugh, William Kyle, Richard Frey, Timothy Richardson, Velma Middleton, James Young, and Mr. and Mrs. Barney Bigard.

Reportedly born on the Fourth of July 1900 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Louis Armstrong won the hearts of jazz lovers and

music critics the world over during the course of his fifty-year career. His impact on Perry was no less. Playing Perry before setting off on a tour of Australia, Armstrong always found a way to make all of his friends and fans happy whether on an international tour or playing dance halls in small midwestern towns. His visit to Perry will always be remembered not only as one of the highlights of Perry and Hotel Pattee history but as a highlight of many people's lives and musical experiences.

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