Morgan E. Cline’s passion for Appanoose County, Iowa
Monday, August 03, 2015
The amount of passion Morgan E. Cline had for Appanoose County, Iowa, cannot be overstated. Cline, the founder and CEO of Cline Companies, grew up in Exline. After leading a successful life as a pharmacist and marketer of pharmaceuticals in the New York/New Jersey area, he turned his attention to historic preservation efforts, saving well over 100 properties in New Jersey before returning to Appanoose.
In Exline and Centerville, Cline is estimated to have invested over $20 million in renovating historic buildings and businesses. Some of them include Bradley Hall, the Spurgeon Building, The Columns, Porter Hall, Exline Country Store & Antique Exchange, Leslie School House, The Majestic Theatre, and Morgan’s Ice Cream Parlor & Candy Confectionery. In addition to renovation projects, Cline contributed to the creation of the Morgan E. Cline Family Sports Complex, The Cline Family Dialysis Center, Mercy Medical Center, all in Centerville, Hero’s Park in Exline, the Appanoose County Coalition for the Arts, and Indian Hills Community College.
Morgan Cline passed away on Easter Sunday in 2014. After his death, a number of Cline Companies’ properties were put up for sale, which led local Appanoose County residents to wonder why. Bill Burch, the president of Cline Companies, said that Cline “had little interest in trying to maintain control over all [these properties] after his death. Instead … he wanted to convert his physical investment locally into a large charitable foundation that would continue to serve Appanoose County into perpetuity after he was gone.” (http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2014/11/25/millionaires-mission-centerville-shifts-death/19367731/)
Executors and trustees of Cline’s estate are working through the process of dealing with his assets and setting up the Cline Foundation, which is meant to continue to benefit Appanoose County into the future. (http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/investigations/readers-watchdog/2014/12/05/watchdog-centerville-morgan-cline-johnny-mascaro/19977475/)
Visit Cline Companies at http://www.theclinecompanies.com/ to see some of the organization’s efforts in Appanoose County. Morgan E. Cline’s obituary, which lists a number of his community development projects and contributions, is here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/desmoinesregister/obituary.aspx?pid=170762359.