Brooklyn Marking the Past Residence of John Wayne in Town

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BROOKLYN, Iowa -- A ceremony will be held Saturday, May 28 at 2:30 p.m. to mark a home where actor John Wayne once lived.

Wayne lived in the house at 717 Jackson Street in Brooklyn a couple of different times, starting in 1913. A plaque and cut-out of a John Wayne figure will be unveiled.

His father was a druggist, and moved frequently for better jobs. An article in this month’s Iowa History Magazine has traced roots of Marion Morrison, before he changed his name to John Wayne.

The publication reports from his birth in Winterset, the family moved to the towns of Earlham, Des Moines, Keokuk, and Brooklyn.

The ceremony Saturday is being spearheaded by the Brooklyn Historical Society.

“There has always been a legend and folklore around Brooklyn about John Wayne,” said Steven Rhoads, President of the Brooklyn Historical Society. “We reached out to him in the 1970’s and invited him to an old timers day, he didn’t come, but he did acknowledge that he had fond memories of his time in Brooklyn."

The Home on Jackson street has a plaque and a rock now in the front yard, but it is a private residence.

“We’ve got a good reception from the people in Winterset about educating the public about John Wayne’s time in Iowa,” said Rhoads.

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