Showing posts from May, 2017

The Bat Man of Iowa

Some of you readers may recall the post about the famous "Angels of Mons" that I wrote about a few years back. It was about a historical legend of the British army regarding an early battle in the First World War. Well this post is something similar and closer to home (since I live in Iowa). Hopefully you will enjoy this curious Edwardian urban legend which is part of our social history in the Hawkeye State. If you go to the town of Van Meter Iowa today you will see a sleepy little community of around 1,100 people. At the turn of the 20th century, the number of residents was about 40% of what it is today. It was truly a small quiet village about 20 miles from Des Moines. However over the course of several days in the autumn of 1903, something bizarre happened in Van Meter that would gain the attention of the national and worldwide press.  One evening, an agricultural implement dealer named U.G. Griffith reported seeing something on a downtown rooftop. He initially thought