During this time of homecoming celebrations, we reflect on one of the town’s most admired school administrators, E.W. Fannon.
Everett William Fannon was born May 7, 1889, in Eldora. He married Bessie Tatham of Jewell in 1914. He had two children, Muriel Fannon Brock and Richard Chase Fannon, who was killed in a plane crash during WWII basic training.
E.W. Fannon was a leader in the Centerville School System for 40 years, from 1918 to 1957. He joined CHS as a coach and principal from 1918 to 1923, when he was promoted to superintendent of schools, where he remained until his retirement in 1957. He was revered and respected by all who knew him.
Fannon was highly regarded as a exemplary school administrator by other school administrators throughout the state of Iowa. During his tenure, he oversaw the construction of two new school buildings — Centerville High School and Central Ward. Fannon broadened the athletic and music programs in the Centerville Schools. He instituted the vocational agriculture program and kindergarten for Centerville School District children. He also established a transportation system for rural students which had not previously existed.
Fannon is credited with establishing Centerville Community College in 1930, originally held on the third floor of the high school, then at the Bradley home. The building was later named Fannon Hall in his honor. The junior college eventually became what we know as Indian Hills Community College.
He was involved in community activities, acting as president of the Appanoose Country Club and the Civic Music group. He was a board member of the WWII Ration Board, the Community Chest and the Appanoose County WWII Fund for USO. He served as elder at the Presbyterian Church and had been choir director at the Methodist, Christian and Presbyterian Churches. He served twice as the vice president of the Iowa Educational Association. He was five-time golf champion at the Appanoose Country Club.
E.W. Fannon died July 8, 1973, at the age of 84.Information submitted by Lisa Eddy, curator, Appanoose County Historical Society, 100 West Maple, Centerville, 856-8040, www.appanoosehistory.com.