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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release April 27, 2011

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

State Historical Library discussion group meets May 7

Russ Fry presentation to focus on “The Murder of Eunice Rockefeller”

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Library will explore the story behind the murder of Eunice Rockefeller during its next discussion group meeting in May.

“Historical Discovery Discussions” will feature a presentation by Russ Fry about “The Murder of Eunice Rockefeller: Mayhem, Military & Money” at 10:30 a.m. May 7, 2011, at the State Historical Library, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public. Contact Susan Jellinger at 515-281-6897 or susan.jellinger@iowa.gov for more information.

Fry’s presentation will revolve around the events on and shortly after May 12, 1864, when Edward Rockefeller returned to Keokuk from a nine-month trip down South. Two days later, Eunice Rockefeller was dead from a gunshot wound.

The family story includes jealousy, murder, wounded Confederate soldiers and the richest man in the world. Fry’s presentation provides a historical account of these events, as well as a unique look at the status of women and justice on the Iowa frontier.

Fry is a recently retired adult probation officer of 33 years and the recipient of the 2006 Iowa Corrections Association’s Outstanding Correctional Worker’s award. He was also named the 2007 Employee of the Year for the 8th Iowa Judicial District Department of Correctional Services and has authored several articles in national correctional journals.

Fry received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern Iowa and his Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies from Excelsior College in Albany, New York. He has taught at the University of Iowa, St. Ambrose University and Southeastern Community College.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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