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Gift to Algona

Lobdell Family Card

A New Home


In November of 1945 Lt. Col. Lobdell, the commander of the POW camp, learned that the camp would be closed in early 1946. Many offers came in to take the nativity scene once the camp disbanded. A local college asked for it and a department store in Chicago offered to buy it. Kaib and his collaborators unanimously wished for the nativity scene to stay in Algona. George H. Lobdell, Lt. Col. Lobdell's nephew, writes in a book that details Lobdell's command of the POW camp, The Golden Rule Challenge, "They (Kaib and his collaborators) wanted their Iowa hosts to remember them through this memorial to peace, produced as a result of a painful war time experience." The Junior Chamber of Commerce of Algona volunteered to move the nativity scene to a building on the county fair grounds and open it to the public each Christmas season. The creators of the nativity scene had just one condition: that no one would be charged to see the scene. It was agreed, and Kaib and the other creators helped reassemble the scene in its new home.