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William D. and Shirley J. Homrighausen Endowment Fund

At a Glance

About Us

Bill Homrighausen, known as “Mr. DeWitt” in his hometown, has always had a passion for sharing stories. “I was at the end of the pioneer life on a farm with mud roads and milking cows by hand,” says Bill with a big smile. “The only convenience we had was a knife, fork and spoon.” A graduate of DeWitt High School, Bill worked for Iowa Mutual for 42 years, going from “the kid on a bicycle to the oldest person there in tenure.” His wife Shirley, a journalist, inspired a love for writing in Bill. He shared memories of his beloved town in over 100 columns for the DeWitt Observer, which were published in a book titled They Call Me Mr. DeWitt – A Treasury of Recollections. 

Bill and Shirley started an endowment fund at the LincolnWay Community Foundation (LWCF) to support students pursuing careers journalism. The fund has provided scholarships and new equipment for the students in the journalism department at Central DeWitt High School. 

“If you’re giving to someone to better their life and to learn a profession, it has to give you…” Bill pauses to hold his hand to his heart. “It’s like a father putting a child through college. It’s the best investment in the world. It’s perpetual and will live forever.”


Bill and Shirley Homrighausens' interest in journalism stemmed from their life careers and journalism education. They continued to write for newspapers well into their later years, never wanting to give up the pen — a great lesson for students. The Homrighausen endowment will ensure future Central DeWitt students have access to top-notch classes in journalism and will be able to pursue their own careers in journalism.

Basic Information




P.O. Box 225 DeWitt, Iowa 52742


Amanda Willimack

Director Email

Success Story

William (Bill) Homrighausen spent his high school years in journalism classes and as a reporter for the Clinton Herald newspaper working for 50 cents a week. The Clinton Herald stories included a variety of subject pertinent to the times and the local high school football games. This teenager wrote, then rode his bike downtown to deliver his story about the gridiron from the night before. Thus was the start of his “career” in journalism. His youthful exposure to journalism has been a stimulus for essays about some personal memories of bygone days in DeWitt. More than100 of those compositions were published in the local newspaper, The Observer, and later in a book titled: “They Call Me Mr. DeWitt.”

Shirley Davis Homrighausen started in journalism without classes. After graduating from Moline High School, she took a job in photography. That position led to photographer positions, first with a Davenport studio and eventually with the DesMoines Register and finally with the Quad-City Times. During her years with the Quad-City Times, Shirley was the popular women’s editor covering stories at New York fashion shows plus others around the world. In 51 years with the Times, Shirley became the travel editor and Plus 60 Club executive director. 

Fund Details

Fund Name

William D. and Shirley J. Homrighausen Endowment Fund

Year Founded


Here for you. Sheila Kramer Tjaden Director of Affiliate Foundations 319-480-4335

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William D. and Shirley J. Homrighausen Endowment Fund