September 20, 2021

Wallace one-act play coming to Country Life Center

Performer Tom Milligan will portray Adair County native Henry A. Wallace during his performance of “American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A. Wallace” on Sunday, August 29 at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center near Orient.

In this one-act play based on the award-winning book of the same name by Senator John C. Culver and John Hyde, Tom brings Henry A. Wallace to life. Wallace, the agricultural innovator and founder of Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed Corn Company, also became US Secretary of Agriculture, Vice President and US Secretary of Commerce under Franklin Roosevelt. After his controversial 1948 campaign for the presidency, Wallace retired to his farm and continued his research on corn, strawberries, chickens and gladiolas.

Check in begins at 4:45 p.m. for a gourmet brown bag lunch with the performance at 5:30 pm. Cost is $25 per person. Reservations are required. Several picnic tables are available first-come, first-served and lawn chairs are welcome. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Country Life Center at (641)337-5019. The rain date for the performance is Sunday, September 19.

Attendees are welcome to tour the grounds before or after the performance, including these new enhancements: a demonstration corn plot, the Prairie Art Exhibit, a 20-minute audio tour, and the Farmhouse renovation project.

Milligan has spent 45+ years as a working theater artist in Iowa. As an actor, director, scenic designer and producer, his work has been seen throughout the Midwest, especially at the Des Moines Playhouse, Ingersoll Dinner Theater, The Drake Opera Theater, Hoyt Sherman Place, The Drama Workshop, and other venues in the Des Moines area. In 2005 he moved to the Amana Colonies, working on multiple productions at the Old Creamery Theater and the Iowa Theater Artists Company, plus many self-produced productions.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.