A Knudson family legacy

BADGER – Knudson Park is a quiet oasis of greenery, playground equipment, picnic tables, basketball court and a flower bed with a flagpole in the middle of it – all surrounded by homes at the site of the former Badger School in the middle of town.

It’s named after Christopher Knudson, a founder of the town who among other things, is credited with bringing the railroad that once ran though the town.

It will soon have a new flower bed and flagpole thanks to an $11,000 donation from the estate of Marge Brown, who grew up there and is Knudson’s granddaughter.

Brown died on Dec. 9, 2013.

Her grandson, D.J. King, of Glendale, Ariz., was among a group of family and friends who stopped Saturday to present the community with the donation.

“We’re very thankful that we’re able to do this for Badger,” King said. “It was one of her last wishes.”

Even though Brown moved to Arizona in 1970 to develop real estate, she continued to remember the town where she grew up.

“She always spoke fondly of Iowa,” King said. “On visits here, the family farm was always a stop.”

Stacy Rougemont, of Peoria, Ariz., also remembers her grandmother fondly.

“She was a very hard worker. She cared about the welfare of everybody,” Rougemont said.

Rougemont also recalled visits to the family farmhouse.

She said that leaving a lasting legacy was important to her grandmother, and that it’s become one of her own values as well.

“It’s important to me and how I raise my children,” Rougemont said.

King said he’s proud that his grandmother’s donation will help keep the Knudson name in the community too.

“It makes me very proud to know my family will long be remembered here,” he said.

Badger Mayor Chris Wendell was on hand to accept the donation from family members.

Wendell said the existing flag pole and flower bed will replaced with a new one. Oval in shape, it’s approximately 10 feet by 20 feet and will feature a variety of plantings and flowers.

He’s happy that Brown remembered the community she grew up in.

“I think it’s neat that even though she didn’t live in the area, she still had an interest in the town,” he said.

Wendell said that the new flower bed and flag pole will be installed this summer. The materials have been ordered for the construction already. He expects it to be done by fall.

Bruce Boland, of Polk City, is the executor and trustee for the Brown family. He, too, was on hand for the donation Saturday.

“She was smart and always first class,” Boland said.

Doing something for Badger was one of her last wishes, he said.

Judge Al Habhab, of Fort Dodge, was her family attorney for many years.

“This park, which memorializes the name, will be a lasting legacy of the Knudson/Brown family,” he said.