The Wilson Brothers on the Dallas County Freedom Rock

It’s been such a pleasure to watch the artistry of Ray Sorensen transform a grey boulder into an impressive memorial to some of the heroes of Dallas County, Iowa.

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The rock is just south of the Nineteen 14 bar and grill, which is the restored Minburn Depot. The Raccoon River Valley Bike Trail runs just north of the old depot.

The five Wilson brothers were on a preliminary sketch for a fund-raising flyer. Minburn Legion Post 99 made application to host an official Freedom Rock, painted by Iowa artist Ray Sorensen. Legion posts across the county helped to raise funds for it.

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Ray Sorensen began work on the boulder in mid-July, 2019.

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The artist at work. The Wilson brothers were easily identifiable already. (Photos under tent thanks to Larry Cornelison, Dallas County Freedom Rock committee)
July 18, 2019. Ray Sorensen, The Freedom Rock founder and artist.
About July 20. Sweltering temps were in the 90s as he worked under that tent.
July 22.
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July 23, 2019. Tent removed. Shadows.
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July 25. The artistry is even more impressive closeup–the brothers’ lucid eyes, their characters captured. Borne by the wings of an American Bald Eagle. Sheltered by Old Glory, the artist’s iconic American flag. 

The terrible sacrifice of this ordinary Iowa family will never be forgotten. Five sons enlisted. Only two came home.

The Dallas County Freedom Rock will be dedicated at 10:00 October 19, Minburn, Iowa. It’s right along Highway 169, just south of the Nineteen 14, which is at 210 4th Street. Handicapped parking will be at the parking lot for the restaurant.





    • Most live in other states, but one of Delbert’s GREAT grandsons was here from California to see it shortly after it was finished. I can visualize the family watching from heaven, also in awe of this honor.

  1. Good Lord, that’s good work on that rock. You’re inspiring me to get my butt out and do some stuff around town. We have a memorial to Fallen officers here that I should really look at. Believe it or not, I haven’t, despite knowing a few people who have their name on it.

    • It’s bittersweet, but I’m so thankful they won’t be forgotten. Delbert is the only one of the five brothers who has descendants, and most of them live on the west coast. One of Uncle Del’s great grandsons visited the Rock from California last month!

  2. How wonderful Joy. And for more good news – I just heard an hour ago that James South, the veteran who just turned 100…. do not receive 100 birthday cards like he wished for – he got 100,000 of them!!

      • I like that it shows at least part of this country can join together for a good cause – thinking of someone other than themselves!

      • It’s amazing the spirit of community these Freedom Rocks stir. This is a theme in my Veterans Day essay The Des Moines Register has accepted for next month.

      • I sure am ready to share the Wilson story. Five enlisted. Only two came home. None of the locals now know anything about it. I’m praying to do Saturday with no notes. A year ago I would have had to say no. My new cpap isn’t the whole answer to improvement, but its certainly all coming together at once. And I’m not panicking! In fact, I’m grinning about he. Very thankful.

      • This is my third one in 10 years! After 2 years I couldn’t deal with them anymore–moisture dripping, etc. This new one has variable pressure, heated tank AND tube, two temps. Those dear engineers tweaked about half a dozen things that had begun to make things worse. But last fall I nearly fell asleep in the car, knowing it would be a fight, but it scared me. I’d already taken the test (third time). Doc says, “Let’s cut to the chase. Why are you here?” I’d already said no cpap. “You’re my only help,” I told him, not adding “Obi Wan Kenobe.” Been on this one a year–and brain fog has also lifted!

    • Dave, I hired someone to help me upload the book, photos, etc., to Amazon’s KDP. Got it started this morning. She gave me homework! So I’m checking things off one by one. Starting to feel real. That Freedom Rock is an answer to prayers I journaled 25 years ago, but I could never have imagined such a tremendous way to remember the brothers. (lump in throat)

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