Marble Rock — It’s not every day you meet someone who founded a town.

It wasn’t Thursday, either.

But that didn’t stop local liar Bill Wentworth from telling hundreds of RAGBRAI visitors that he had founded Marble Rock — you know, back in the 1800s. The old-timer sat in a lawn chair next to a sign that read, “Our founder Jacob Beelar welcomes you.”

“I came from Tennessee a long time ago, before the state had been incorporated, and I built a cabin not too far from the river,” he said with a straight face fringed in gray whiskers. “Then I went back to Indiana and fell in love with a lady there and brought her back to Marble Rock — er, what would become Marble Rock, anyway.”

If riders had any doubts, the “founder” directed them to the real Beelar’s 1851 log cabin, just around the corner.

– Michael Morain


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