The hand pump in the center of the park is the reason it exists. The pump dates back to the time when Hiteman was an active mining town and there were wells, spaced a block or so apart, that made up the public water supply. The use of wells stopped in the 1950s, though the one in what is now the park remained. When past residents came to visit, they took photos of the remaining pump for nostalgia's sake, so someone thought it would be nice to pretty it up with a paint job. Then Howard Thomas, who lives a few steps away from the park with his wife, Lois, stuck a bench near the pump. A park was born.
Over the years a flagpole flying the state and national flag was added. During the town's centennial in 1990, the Thomas' daughter made a sign, now mounted to the flagpole, that reads CITY PARK HITEMAN, IOWA. The couple has taken over park landscaping as well. Lois added some plastic flowers in a pail (she says that real ones don't grow so well here), and Howard walks around the park every once in a while with a weed wacker, as the park is not big enough to hold a mower.
Once people noticed the park was shrinking, due to graters and tractors travelling the gravel roads surrounding it, Howard and some other neighborhood men got some bridge planks from the county and edged the park in. This act of conservation ensures Hiteman's claim to fame remains an attraction-- for those who don't blink and then miss it.
(description taken from the book: Iowa Curiosities by Eric Jones, Dan Coffey)
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