Mamie Doud Eisenhower’s Iowa birthplace involved in lawsuit
BOONE, Iowa (AP) — A dispute over whether to sell the Iowa birthplace of former first lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower has led to a lawsuit and mismanagement allegations.
Former members of the Boone County Historical Society filed a lawsuit last week against the nonprofit, The Des Moines Register reported . The lawsuit seeks an injunction to block the sale of the home, which has since been turned into a museum.
The nonprofit historical society announced last year that it planned to close the home to focus efforts on other projects, according to the lawsuit. The home was listed for $184,000 on Sept. 7, the lawsuit said.
The filing alleges that society officials retaliated against members who opposed the plan and terminated their memberships, which would violate state law and the organization’s bylaws.
Mara MacKay is the historical society’s former executive director and a defendant in the lawsuit. She now volunteers at the organization after being terminated due to lack of funds. MacKay said she’s “confident that the board members did what they needed to do and upheld their responsibilities.”
MacKay said the home is no longer for sale and the organization will need to find other ways to raise revenue. The group had considered turning the home into a vacation rental or bed and breakfast.
“We’re going to back away from that for right now because we’re aware that there’s differing opinions,” she said.
The former first lady was born in the Boone home in 1896, according to the Boone History Museum. She later married President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as the 34th president from 1953 to 1961.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com