STAFFING AND ADMINISTRATION
William J. ("Joe") Kennedy left his ranger position at Glacier National Park, Montana, to become the first superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument on November 11, 1949. Kennedy remained in the position until August 27, 1953.
The national monument consisted of approximately 1,000 acres of land containing a wide variety of burial mounds and a few abandoned farm buildings. There was no general plan to guide his management of the park, no visitor facilities to serve the public, no interpretive program to stimulate the visitors' interest. Area residents were unfamiliar with the National Park Service; there were no NPS units in Iowa, Wisconsin, or northeastern Illinois at the time. As a result, acquainting the area with the National Park Service and cultivating support for its presence in northeastern Iowa was one of Superintendent Kennedy's primary concerns. Initial development of interim park facilities, roads, and trails was another. The task of a new superintendent is never easy, and Kennedy's job at Effigy Mounds was no exception.
For the first year and onehalf, Kennedy was the sole NPS employee at Effigy Mounds National Monument. The Kennedys, Joe and Muriel, spent much of their time getting settled and promoting the presence of the National Park Service at Effigy Mounds. Within one month of his arrival, Kennedy prepared and distributed a 2,000word news release entitled "What the Establishment of Effigy Mounds National Monument Means to You," which most local newspapers published. Articles extolling the virtues of the national monument soon appeared in papers as far away as Des Moines and Chicago.
Superintendent and Mrs. Kennedy were extremely active in local organizations. Joe Kennedy joined the local Kiwanis Club and taught first-aid classes for the Volunteer Fire Department, and Muriel was elected president of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). Both were frequent speakers at formal and informal gatherings and school classes.
In his first months, Kennedy also met frequently with Milo Peterson, the Iowa Conservation Commission agent stationed in McGregor; local representatives of the Corps of Engineers; Eric Lawson, the Fish and Wildlife Service agent; employees of the state highway department; and staff members of both Clayton and Allamakee counties. Kennedy worked closely with the superintendents and staffs of Pike's Peak State Park in northeastern Iowa and Wyalusing State Park, Wisconsin, both of which contained burial mounds similar to those within the national monument. He was in contact with Charles Keyes and Ellison Orr. 
Perhaps Kennedy's biggest problem during that first winter at Effigy Mounds National Monument was the elimination of unauthorized hunting and trapping on monument grounds, an effort at which he was only partially successful. Kennedy posted several signs about the monument warning against hunting and trapping. The fact that only one was torn down does not indicate that the signs were heeded; in fact, it more likely demonstrates that poachers did not take the signs seriously enough to warrant even that sort of attention. The habits of decades are hard to break, and area residents were accustomed to harvesting wildlife on monument grounds, particularly since game in the area was plentiful. With no ranger on the park staff to enforce the bans on hunting and trapping, Kennedy was anxious to get the abandoned house renovated in hopes that his residency onsite might deter the poachers.
Throughout the winter and spring, Kennedy was deeply concerned about developing a master plan for the area, initiating an interpretive program, and planning the locations of trails and of interpretive and directional signs. He submitted a draft sign plan for regional review in February 1950, and revised it in response to regional comments over the course of the summer. Trails were sited and constructed to give visitors access to some of the mounds.
Superintendent Kennedy hosted several National Park Service officials, including Regional Director Lawrence Merriam, and Assistant Director Conrad L. Wirth, who was traveling with the Mississippi River Parkway survey team. Archeologist Paul Beaubien and his wife spent one and one-half months surveying the mounds and excavating a few, and other archeologists from the Service and from other agencies visited the monument also. Kennedy personally greeted the monument's first public visitors (110 during June 1950, alone).
As the Park Service's only permanent employee at Effigy Mounds National Monument, it is no wonder Kennedy was somewhat overwhelmed. As superintendent and de facto ranger, interpreter, maintenance man, and secretary, it is understandable that Kennedy felt:
Kennedy did have the help of a seasonal laborer during the summer of 1950, and he hired Ralph E. Blackwell as the monument's labor on November 13. This was Kennedy's entire staff during the monument's first year of operation.
Despite the superintendent's frustrations over the Service's somewhat complicated purchasing process, local businessmen found them tolerable because they generated much-needed business for the local economy. Frequent visits from Washington and regional office staff members and others associated with getting the new park on its feet kept at least some of the area's motel rooms full, and the flurry of work underway at the monument stimulated other businesses. Contractors hired area residents to work on projects at Effigy Mounds National Monument, providing employment to those in need. Kennedy also enlisted unpaid support, such as the troop of Boy Scouts that assisted with archeological field tests in the meadow below the Marching Bear mound group during the summer of 1950.
Archeologist Paul Beaubien recognized the significance of the mounds within the monument just as Ellison Orr had before him. Between June and October 1950, a bevy of archeologists visited the park and left impressed with what they had seen. Among these were David Baerreiss of the University of Wisconsin, several members of the Wisconsin Archeological Society, and David B. Stout of the University of Iowa. All commented favorably on the concept of the national monument and on the progress made by the National Park Service in the short time since the monument was proclaimed. 
Throughout the first year and onehalf, the monument staff lacked an archeologist. As mentioned above, Region II supplied Paul Beaubien to assist with some archeological work during 1950. Kennedy called for Beaubien's assistance again early in 1951, when Ellison Orr's death at age 93 necessitated fast action on the part of the Park Service. Months earlier, Orr donated his extensive and significant collection of books, papers, specimens, and relics pertaining to archeology in northeastern Iowa to the national monument. Joe Kennedy personally went to Orr's home in Waukon, Iowa, to accept the donation, and later he hand-carried Regional Director Merriam's letter of thanks to Orr. The Park Service, lacking appropriate storage space for the collection, chose to take possession of the collection a few items at a time. Now Orr's death required that the Service acquire all of the collection immediately. Kennedy asked Beaubien to obtain the materials from Orr's home, inventory it, and place it in storage. 
A group of archeologists invited Kennedy to speak at a meeting convened to establish an Iowa Archeological Society, and chose Kennedy to serve as one of five committee members drawing up a constitution and statement of purpose for the new organization. In May 1951, the society elected Kennedy as its president, and named the archeologist soon to be assigned to the staff at Effigy Mounds as the organization's secretary-treasurer.  They retained these duties until mid1952.
In June 1951, Wilfred D. Logan reported on duty as the first archeologist assigned to Effigy Mounds National Monument. Logan's first task was the development of an interpretive program for the monument. Two and onehalf decades later, Logan recalled the task as a difficult one, particularly since the spectacular scenery along the Mississippi River frequently drew visitors' attention away from the mounds. 
Logan's use as an interpreter rather than a research archeologist was common of all archeologists on staff at Effigy Mounds. Although the job description included "such excavations as necessary," the primary duty of the staff archeologists was to "reveal to the public . . . the mysteries of archeology and . . . the resources of the park."  While expected to keep up with the latest in archeological theory and stay current with recent work done in the field, the Park Service chose not to use park professionals as researchers. Several of the staff archeologists did archeological testing in the area surrounding the national monument, particularly in the early years. Wil Logan, for example, wrote his doctoral dissertation on mound groups located near, but outside, Effigy Mounds National Monument. Logan's successors, Robert T. Bray, John Earl Ingmanson, and Garland Gordon similarly accomplished survey work outside the monument, but did little research or testing within the park's boundaries. While some superintendents tolerated or even encouraged such offsite archeology as a way to endear the National Park Service to the community, others discouraged such work, fearing accusations of trespassing or repercussions from those dissatisfied with the archeologists' work. 
Like Superintendent Kennedy, Wil Logan was actively involved in many aspects of the McGregor community. He spoke frequently for various groups in the area, and was active in church and youth programs. While doing his dissertation, Logan examined and evaluated, at their owners' requests, many rock shelters, habitation sites, and artifact collections. Doubtless he and his successors were frustrated when viewing collectors' artifacts which would have been extremely valuable in situ, but had been reduced to novelties because no one was certain of their provenance. Nevertheless, the park archeologist was the "resident expert" on such matters, and people enjoyed dropping by with items for the archeologists to peruse or inviting them to stop by their properties to view a rock shelter, mound, or habitation site. 
During 1951, another phenomenon common to small parks began to manifest itself. Area residents hired to fill positions at Effigy Mounds National Monument became long-term employees of the monument and/or the National Park Service. Ralph Blackwell continued on staff as labor leadman until he transferred to another unit of the Service in 1969. Of the others hired for the maintenance crew in 1951, Robert Kyle, Ervin Adney, Floyd Gunderson, and Grover Bechtel, all but Adney stayed with the Park Service for several years. Gunderson remained at Effigy Mounds until 1963. Kyle transferred to another park in 1965, but, like Blackwell, stayed with the Park Service until retirement. 
Visitation climbed steadily. On October 7, 1951 (the peak of the fall colors season), 550 people visited the national monument. Indeed, more visitors came to the monument in October 1951, than had visited the area during all of the previous year. The heavier visitation revealed that the parking lot and the pit toilets were inadequate to handle the visitors during peak periods, and would soon be inadequate throughout the main visitor season (springsummerfall). The opening of duck season demonstrated the need for a fence surrounding the national monument and for boats and telephonic and/or radio equipment to discourage poachers who motorboated up the Yellow River, shot waterfowl on the monument grounds, escaped while the Park Service stood unaware or helpless to stop them or enlist the aid of other agencies.  The following year the National Park Service enlarged the parking lot to hold thirty cars, which, while an improvement, immediately proved inadequate. Visitation jumped to 5,115 during the summer season (compared with 3,681 during the same period in 1951). Another 4,555 people came to Effigy Mounds during the month of October 1952, with 2,036 of them visiting on October 5 alone. 
Although by 1952 the staff included the superintendent, an archeologist, and a permanent labor leadman as well as several seasonal laborers, there were no rangers assigned to duty at Effigy Mounds National Monument. As a result, Superintendent Kennedy and Archeologist Logan were forced to assume fire fighting and law enforcement duties. In late October, park staff joined the Iowa Conservation Commission in fighting a fire in the commission's Yellow River Forest unit. Several times during the year, law enforcement problems occupied Kennedy's and Logan's days. Three times during October 1952, they apprehended poachers within three hundred yards of the monument headquarters in an area wellposted with "No Hunting" signs. By the end of the year, they caught several other poachers and confiscated many illegal traps. Staff members of the Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Refuge, operated by the Fish and Wildlife Service, assisted the monument in handling the intruders. 
Business continued as usual until summer 1953, when Kennedy left Effigy Mounds to assume a new position. Wil Logan was appointed acting superintendent until a successor came on board, and Logan took advantage of the opportunity to accomplish some work Kennedy had forbidden. Logan had long encouraged Kennedy to order the trees cleared from the Great Bear mound, but Kennedy refused. Logan recalled that on the day Kennedy departed Effigy Mounds, he
As acting superintendent, Logan also hosted the 9,999th and 10,000th visitors to Effigy Mounds National Monument on August 31, 1953. The visit was well-publicized. About a fortnight later, less-welcome "visitors" vandalized all but two of the interpretive signs along the Fire Point trail. Fortunately, the Service's Harpers Ferry Center, located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, was busy fabricating new signs for the monument. In short time, the new signs were in place. 
Walter T. ("Pete") Berrett became the national monument's second superintendent on September 22, 1953, and held the position until September 21, 1958. His prior assignment was with the National Park Service's Washington Office, and some area residents were apparently intrigued by his Maryland accent, an unusual sound in northeastern Iowa. Nevertheless, Berrett immediately involved himself in community affairs, accepting invitations to join the Kiwanis Club in McGregor and Marquette's Lions Club. Within one month of his arrival, Berrett joined the local Audubon Society in its annual bird count.
Although little development occurred during Berrett's tenure, the staff at Effigy Mounds doubled by the time he left in 1958. In addition to the existing positions of superintendent, archeologist, labor leadman, and laborer, Berrett added a clerk-typist and four seasonal rangers to the staff. Floyd Gunderson, who first worked for Effigy Mounds as a laborer in 1952, accepted a seasonal ranger position in 1953. As mentioned above, Gunderson stayed at the national monument until 1963, and worked elsewhere for the Park Service until his retirement. Likewise Grover S. Bechtel, who originally worked as a laborer at Effigy Mounds, became a recurring member of the ranger staff beginning in 1958. David D. Thompson, Jr.,  the third ranger to join the staff under Superintendent Berrett, remained at Effigy Mounds until 1960, then transferred to another park. Jacquelyn ("Jackie") Lamb, hired in 1956 as the monument's clerk-typist, remained with the park until her retirement from the administrative technician's position in 1986.
The superintendent's wife, Betty Berrett, frequently assisted with duties at the national monument. Her voluntarism took an unusual turn in February 1954, when some trash she was burning accidentally blew out of the burner. It had been a dry winter, and the burning trash set the grass nearby on fire. Before the fire was arrested, nine acres of grass were burned. Fortunately, about the time the fire started, a crew from the Iowa Conservation Commission's Yellow River unit drove by. They spotted the blaze and put it out. Meanwhile, Superintendent Berrett called the Marquette Fire Department only to discover the Park Service had no cooperative agreement with them. Berrett assured the Marquette department they would be reimbursed for their assistance, but by the time the fire department arrived there was nothing left to do but soak some hot spots. Within one month Berrett reached a costfree agreement with the Marquette Fire Department and a verbal agreement with McGregor's department whereby McGregor agreed to furnish equipment and fire fighters for $25 per call and $5 per hour. As a cooperative agreement with the Yellow River Forest unit already existed, the monument was then wellprotected in case of fire. Thus, Mrs. Berrett's mishap provided a valuable lesson. 
Wil Logan transferred from Effigy Mounds to Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia, in September 1956. The monument's archeologist position remained vacant until the following January, when Robert Bray assumed the post. While Bray accomplished little archeological testing within monument boundaries, he did excavate mounds 2 and 86 in the south unit. The National Park Service does not generally excavate sites, preferring to preserve archeological resources in situ, but Bray's work generated much useful information. Bray and Berrett also studied botanical resources utilized by aboriginal inhabitants of the upper Mississippi valley, and incorporated the information into the monument's interpretive program.  Like most archeologists stationed at Effigy Mounds, Bray's additional archeological testing occurred on his own time outside the monument's boundaries.
Walter Berrett left northeastern Iowa to assume the superintendency of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Maryland, in September 1958. Archeologist Bray served as acting superintendent until Daniel James ("Jim") Tobin, Jr., became the monument's third superintendent on November 16, 1958. Tobin proved an excellent superintendent to supervise the construction of the park's visitor center, and his tenure at Effigy Mounds focused on making the area more accommodating to visitors. Few changes in the interpretive program occurred during the Tobin years, and archeological testing stopped. In fact, Superintendent Tobin was the first to discourage the park archeologists from pursuing research offsite. He feared the possibility of trespassing charges or other complaints germinated by dissatisfaction with the archeologists' analyses.
Like his predecessors, Tobin was active in community organizations, spoke frequently at area functions, and maintained good relations with the press. His concern for his visitors and involvement in the community had benefits for the monument. For example, during his first winter at Effigy Mounds, Tobin ordered that two ponds near the headquarters be shoveled to provide a safe place for area residents to ice skate. This action increased community support for the national monument and boosted its winter visitation figures tremendously. 
There were several changes in personnel during Tobin's superintendency. Bob Bray accepted a transfer to Ocmulgee National Monument in December 1958; John Earl Ingmanson filled the archeologist position the following May.  The number of seasonal rangers remained at three, but John Kotek, who remained at Effigy Mounds in seasonal positions until 1964, and Norman Russell, who served two seasons, succeeded earlier seasonal rangers. The size of the maintenance staff increased in 1959. Vernon Thompson, Rudolph Bank, and Carl Reuter began working at the national monument in 1959, and served several seasons each. The following year, Bernard J. ("Bud") Carnicle joined the permanent maintenance staff at Effigy Mounds National Monument. Two more seasonal rangers came on board in 1960, also. One of them, Ronald Alderson, worked seasonally at the monument until 1965.
Nineteen hundred sixty was a year of construction at Effigy Mounds, and archeologist Ingmanson was busy surveying construction sites for archeological materials. He also arranged interpretive exhibits at the monument's office in McGregor and in the visitor contact station. Not surprisingly, visitation was down during the 1960 construction activities. Ingmanson left for a position with the National Park Service's Archeological Research Unit in Georgia in December 1961.
Garland Gordon became the monument's archeologist on the first of April, 1962. He was welcomed by a flurry of activity. The annual meeting of the Midwest Association of State Parks was scheduled to be held in the new visitor center in May, Superintendent Tobin was serving on a committee to study Wisconsin's prehistoric archeological sites, mound rehabilitation activities at the park were scheduled to continue, and Gordon was already scheduled to speak before several groups. Before he had time to catch his breath, Gordon was appointed acting superintendent when Jim Tobin left for Omaha to become Region II's chief of planning. On July 15, 1962, Donald Spalding became Effigy Mounds' fourth superintendent. Spalding served in this capacity for approximately two years.
In 1963, the staff was enlarged to include a clerk- typist; Jackie Lamb had been promoted to administrative assistant sometime earlier. The incumbent in the position changed twice during the next three years, and in 1966 Joyce Nading became the monument's clerk-typist. John Bielenberg joined the seasonal ranger staff in 1962, John Raftis joined the ranks in 1963, and David Hoffman and James L. Walz were added to the seasonal ranger staff in 1964. Also in 1964, Victor Cardin joined the maintenance crew; he continued to work for the monument until 1985.
Don Spalding's duties as National Park Service representative for the state of Iowa complemented his responsibilities in managing the national monument. Spalding also served on a team studying wild rivers for possible inclusion in the National Park System. Other staff members were busy with non-Service duties during the Spalding years. Garland Gordon was editor of the Iowa Archeological Society's journal, and assisted in National Park Service surveys of offsite mound groups as part of the National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings. Jackie Lamb traveled to Chicago in 1963 to represent the Service at the National Safety Council's meeting. From 1964-1968, Administrative Assistant Lamb served in a similar capacity at the World Flower and Garden Shows which took place annually in the "Windy City." 
In 1964, Donald Spalding left Effigy Mounds to accept a new position as superintendent of Platt National Park in Oklahoma. By coincidence, the permanent staff at the monument was undergoing great flux: Bob Kyle left Effigy Mounds for another Park Service position, Garland Gordon was attending courses at the Service's Mather Training Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, for most of October and November, leaving Jackie Lamb as the only permanent staff member onsite. The Service appointed Chief Ranger James Batman from Badlands National Park, South Dakota, to serve as acting superintendent until Stuart H. ("Mike") Maule, the first superintendent who was also a professional archeologist, reported for duty on December 9, 1964. 
Maule's first spring at Effigy Mounds was full of excitement. From midApril to early May, roads into the area were closed due to extremely high floodwaters. The Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge manager took Superintendent Maule and Archeologist Gordon on a boat tour to survey the monument, and they found the highest of the mounds at Sny Magill under ten feet of water. Eventually the waters subsided, and events returned to normal. That summer (1965), Joyce Kobecki became the monument's first female seasonal ranger. Dan Bickel also joined the seasonal ranger staff in 1965; he served for six seasons.
The following year, Timothy Mason first worked for the national monument under the auspices of the Neighborhood Youth Corps. Mason returned to the monument's staff in 1979, serving as a seasonal ranger until 1986, when he joined the maintenance crew. Three other youths also worked at Effigy Mounds in 1966, and the program was apparently well-liked by the superintendent. Participants in this and other youth programs continued to work at the national monument until 1970. 
In 1967, the state of Iowa's policy of mandatory retirement at age 65 resulted in a boon for the national monument. Lynn Johnson, forced to evacuate his position as superintendent of Pike's Peak State Park near McGregor, was not ready to retire. Johnson entered the seasonal ranger ranks at Effigy Mounds that summer, and served in that capacity for the next thirteen years. Ranger Johnson had a wonderful rapport with young and adolescent visitors to Effigy Mounds National Monument. 
Milton E. Thompson replaced Maule as superintendent of Effigy Mounds on December 17, 1967. The following August, Garland Gordon left Effigy Mounds for a position with the Service's Southwest Archeological Center; Gordon's successor was Gary M. Matlock, who remained at the national monument for two years. Among the seasonal rangers hired in 1968 were Merle Frommelt, who continued in the capacity until 1977, and Dennis Runge, who continues to work for the monument in 1989. The seasonal ranger staff stabilized at three from 1969 through 1973, but the maintenance crew varied in number from seven to ten, including those involved in the Neighborhood Youth Corps or the President's Youth Opportunity--Back to School ("Stay in School") program. In 1971, laborers were hired specifically to assist with mound rehabilitation work supervised by Archeologist Wilfred Husted of the Service's Midwest Archeological Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. 
Ralph Blackwell followed his former superintendent, Mike Maule, to Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Sites, New York, in 1969. Bud Carnicle succeeded Blackwell as foreman of the maintenance crew. Dwaine Nading, husband of clerk-typist Joyce Nading, and William Reinhardt joined long-term maintenance staff members Victor Cardin and Rudolf Bank as recurring members of the park crew. Bank retired in 1977.
In 1970, Historian Edgar W. Dodd left the Midwest Archeological Center for Effigy Mounds, and for the first time, the national monument had no permanent archeologist on staff.  When Dodd transferred to Golden Spike National Historic Site, Utah, in , Fred J. Fagergren replaced him at Effigy Mounds. Although possessing an undergraduate degree in archeology, Fagergren's title, like that of his successors, was park ranger. The change in title reflected the situation which had existed at Effigy Mounds for some time. From the beginning, the archeologists' duties at the national monument focused in interpretive programs rather than research. That focus was sharpened following the opening of the visitor center in 1961 and the ranger force grew to accommodate increased visitation. Increasingly, the archeologists' were occupied with training and supervising seasonal rangers, and there was little time for exercising archeological skills at Effigy Mounds. 
On January 24, 1971, Thomas A. Munson left of Fort Larned National Historic Site, Kansas, to become the seventh superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument. Munson continues to serve in that capacity. Like most of his predecessors, Munson is active in the community and enjoys a good relationship with the press.
James E. Mount replaced Fagergren as park ranger in 1975. Mount served at the monument until his transfer to Harpers Ferry Center in West Virginia in 1981. James S. David joined the staff as a seasonal ranger in 1974, and served three years in a seasonal capacity before accepting a position at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in nearby West Branch, Iowa. David returned to Effigy Mound as a ranger  when Mount left in 1981. Several female rangers joined the seasonal ranks during the 1970s, including Cynthia F. Dierks, who worked and the monument for three years; and Cynthia Piirto, who worked at the national monument for four years. 
James Ferguson began working at Effigy Mounds in 1974 under the authority of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), and continued until 1979. His successor, Stuart Blackdeer, entered on duty in 1980 and has worked for the monument ever since, with the exception of one year during which he was unable to work while recovering from injuries incurred in an automobile accident.
Rodney Rovang began his tour at Effigy Mounds in 1980 as a seasonal ranger, and continued in that position until he assumed a permanent position as resources management specialist in 1985. At that time, he began an intensive training program addressing resources management issues. Rovang returned to the monument upon completing the course, and now serves as the area's resources management specialist.
Other personnel changes in the 1980s included the addition of Robert W. Petersen to the seasonal ranger staff in 1982. Petersen served at Effigy Mounds until 1986, when he accepted a permanent position at Natchez Trace Parkway, which spans the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama. Beverly J. Siglin succeeded Jacquelyn Lamb in 1986. Administrative Technician Siglin was active in community affairs and particularly enjoyed little theater productions, in which she acted and directed. She is also active in promoting women's causes in northeastern Iowa.  In January 1989, Siglin left the national monument for an administrative position at Boston National Historical Park, Massachusetts. She was succeeded by Florencia ("Friday") Wiles the following March.
Appendix D contains an annual summary of monument staff.
Last Updated: 08-Oct-2003