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Western Home Communities mission, vision, and values are seen in every decision we make. From strategic goals to a resident request, our mission gives us guidance.
Western Home Communities is a charitable Christian organization that assertively creates fulfilling lifestyles for those we serve, their families and our employees.
Western Home Communities does not and will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other basis regarding the admission, retention, treatment, and terms and conditions of residing in Western Home Communities as long as the services needed can be properly provided by the organization. Western Home Communities has a stated mission for serving seniors and the elderly; selected facilities of the organization, therefore, have stated age entrance requirements.
Western Home Communities and its programs and activities are accessible to and usable by disabled persons, including persons with impaired hearing and vision, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The staff at Western Home Communities committed to care and serving our residents.
The Evangelical Association determined in 1903 to build a home for aged church members in one of the denomination’s western states. During the next eight years, board members considered and rejected nine sites in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Finally, in 1911, an apparent gift from heaven arrived from an Iowa family.
Henry Pfeiffer, Jr., and Annie Merner attended the German Evangelical Church at 9th and Clay Streets in Cedar Falls, and married in 1882. Henry ran a successful downtown drug store with his brother Gus before moving to St. Louis in 1891 and starting Pfeiffer Chemical Company, later to become Warner-Lambert Pharmaceuticals.
Henry’s father died in 1903 and his mother in 1908. Three years later, he and Annie offered the family farmstead, at left, and $20,000 to the Evangelical Association for building The Western Old People’s Home.
John G. Ralston of Waterloo designed the building, a near copycat of his earlier design for the Chickasaw County Home in New Hampton. Ralston also served as architect for Kingsley Elementary School in Waterloo; the Cattle Congress Hippodrome (now McElroy Auditorium); and the redesign of The Black Hawk Hotel in Cedar Falls.
Mr. and Mrs. Pfeiffer did not want personal recognition for their generosity; instead, they asked that their parents be honored. Two plaques, one each for the Merners and Pfeiffers, graced the original front porch (one is visible at far left of photo) and still hang inside an entrance today.
In 1946 a church merger created the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB). Another merger in 1968 created the United Methodist Church, which operated The Western Home until 1983, when it became an independent, not-for-profit community service organization. The organization spent its first 75 years in the original building with five additions.
Around the time of its Diamond Jubilee Anniversary in 1987, plans were made to build one of Iowa’s first retirement communities. Willowwood debuted in 1989 across the street, the first of several construction projects that continue to this day.
During the past 31 years, Western Home Communities has developed a second campus in south Cedar Falls that now encompasses 150 acres and includes five independent living communities, an assisted living community with specialized memory support, two nursing cottages and over 200 villas for active living.