Iowa History Daily: On August 3, 1910, A large crowd gathered as former President Theodore Roosevelt chugged into Sibley, Iowa, during a whistle-stop tour crisscrossing the nation. At least Roosevelt’s fourth trip to the Hawkeye State, other stops in the state during the year included Ames, Missouri Valley, and Des Moines.
Roosevelt first ventured to Iowa long before he ever became a public figure, hunting in the Hawkeye state during an 1880 trip with his younger brother Elliott (father of future first-lady Elenore). The 21-year-old Teddy nearly met a tragic end when a rowboat capsized on an unidentified Iowa lake during the trip.
Late political stops included an April 1903 run through the state with stops at Shenandoah, Clarinda, Van Wert, Osceola, Des Moines, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, and Keokuk as the President headed from Yellowstone National Park to the St. Louis World’s Fair. Back in 1907 as he cruised down the Mississippi, Teddy returned to Keokuk on board a government fleet steamboat.
Eager Iowans clamored throughout the state as the former President made stops stumping for the Republican party leading up to midterm elections in November of 1910. A crowd at Ames estimated in excess of 5,000 granted the eventual Bull-Moose presidential candidate as he revved up for participation in the 1912 election as a third-party candidate.
In November, Teddy addressed a large crowd in Des Moines. “I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well,” Roosevelt told the gathered thousands. Today, a high school in Iowa’s capital city carries the former President’s name. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar