Franklin Motel to close March 1

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Shown is the local Franklin Motel in the 1100 block of Iowa Avenue West. The business alerted guests it will close March 1.

A Marshalltown motel built in 1956 when traveling overnight by auto was all the rage — and Iowa Avenue West was Iowa Highway 30 and part of the famed Lincoln Highway — will close Thursday.

The Franklin Motel, 1108 Iowa Ave. W., notified guests of the closing date earlier this month.

Repeated efforts by the Times-Republican to contact motel management and ownership to explain reasons for the closure were not successful as of press time.

Online Marshall County Assessor records list the property as 18 units at 4,620 square feet on 1.71 acres.

However, a notice on the assessor’s Internet page said records were only current through Feb. 18, 2015.

As a result of the Franklin’s announcement, the Times-Republican learned a number of local organizations met informally in recent weeks to discuss in general terms possible use of the property to help house the town’s homeless population.

Dylan Does, director of the Community Foundation of Marshall County responded to a T-R inquiry about the discussions.

“I have been asked to personally sit in on a few conversations about how we can better serve a group of people, and the Franklin Motel had been brought up as a potential option but from my understanding, it is not an option,” said Does in an email to the T-R last week. “Yet these are personal and in no way has the CFMC given or been asked to give an endorsement of any project, including any previous conversation about the Franklin Motel.”

Headquartered in Marshalltown, CFMC “awards grants to other nonprofit organizations serving Marshall County, and partners with individuals, families, and organizations to create permanent endowments that will help meet critical needs in communities,” according to its website.

Representatives from other organizations involved declined to go on the record, or did not return calls seeking explanations.

Providing overnight housing for Marshalltown’s homeless population was a role fulfilled for many years by the local House of Compassion.

However, that non-for-profit charitable organization ended overnight stays one year ago.

The lack of volunteers, insurance requirements, and other issues factored into the decision.

HoC continues to serve thousands annually on a limited budget with its six-day a week soup kitchen and supply closet. It also offers emergency housing, medical and prescription vouchers to eligible applicants.


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or