The city of Perry was founded in 1869 and, before long, a hospital was needed.  A local banker donated the property on Willis Avenue.  The Alpha Circle of the King’s Daughters, a group whose focus is to lend a hand in service to others, raised the $25,000 needed for the construction. It was decided that the name of the hospital would reflect this commitment shown by the King’s Daughters. Following its dedication in April, 1914, the hospital offered many of the finest services of its day including hospital nurses that resided in a home nearby on 10th and Warford Streets.  Additionally, it boasted one of the finest surgical suites around. One of the most famous patients treated in the hospital was Marvin Ivan (“Buck”) Barrow of the Barrow Gang, otherwise known as the brother of Clyde of Bonnie and Clyde. He was treated at the hospital for his gunshot wounds for 5 days prior to his death on July 29, 1933. This building served the area until the growing population required more room than the 28-bed facility could hold. In 1956, the Dallas County Hospital began serving the community at the site where it is found today.

 In the meantime, a group of concerned pastors and laymen of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Iowa held meetings at Williamsburg, Iowa, to discuss the feasibility of providing a home for the care of the elderly in a Christian setting. At this time, in the mid 1940’s, many elderly people were compelled by circumstances beyond their control to live in substandard conditions.  Crowded rooms, poor quality meals and less than adequate nursing care were all motivating considerations. Most importantly, regular spiritual care and the counsel and comfort of God’s Word were often missing or unavailable to people with special needs. By God’s grace, the efforts of these concerned Christians led to the establishment of the Lutheran Home for the Aged Association. 

With the dedication of the new hospital leaving the old

To the far left of the picture, you can see the original hospital still standing, however, in 1961, the “U” shape addition was put on to make more room for those needing care.

building and property on Willis Avenue available, the Lutheran Home for the Aged Association saw it as an opportunity and took it over in 1956. Thus, the Perry Lutheran Home was botn and began serving the elderly community.

10 years later, the Lutheran Home again needed to expand to provide for the growing need of quality care provided. They framed in the roof decks turning that space into more resident rooms. This small addition was enough until the east wing was added directly in front of the old hospital in 1973.

Here you can see the east wing addition on the left of the picture. Just barely peeking over that new addition still stands the original hospital shortly before it was torn down.

Finally, by 1978, the old hospital had seen it’s better days and was torn down, leaving in its place a small parking lot now used for staff.

Perry has not been the only town to be touched by the Lutheran Home for the Aged Association; Nursing Homes have also been built or bought in Vinton (1952) and Davenport (1971). Over the years, God blessed the ministry of the Association, and many of God’s elderly children have received the finest quality of physical and spiritual care at our Homes.

 On September 1, 1999, The Lutheran Home for the Aged Association divided into two separate Associations, adding the word “East” or “West” to the original name as appropriate. Our Association assumed ownership of the Perry Lutheran Home. We began to make direct contact with the congregations of the Iowa District West of Synod, and have gained support from them.

 While we have changed to meet the changing needs of society, we have remained faithful to the vision of those who founded the Association: To provide the highest quality of spiritual and physical care to the elderly. We are committed to the urgency of our Lord’s Great Commission: “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations”. By God’s grace, we will continue to serve, as we have in the past and with the congregations of the Iowa District West proclaim the love of Christ to all who will receive it. Our history is but a foretaste of our anticipations for our future.

This is a picture looking down the hallway of the old hospital. You see the desk on the right of the hall that was considered the “nurses’ station”.

This was the chapel where Residents and their families attended Sunday Services. We do, again, hold Sunday Services here at the Lutheran Home but are working on a chapel.

Here is a picture of what the kitchen looked like before renovations.

And here is another shot of the kitchen before.

This shows what a typical Resident’s room would have looked like. This room is located on the West side of the “U” shape on the first floor. Currently, this room is utilized as an Assisted Living Apartment.

This is the lounge on the upper level of the “U” shape. In comparison, not much has changed about this specific room however it’s time is coming. Plans of remodeling to house a new Alzheimer’s Unit are coming soon and this space will play a large part in those plans.