The Bettendorf mansion was constructed beginning in 1909. The elaborate Spanish-Moorish style home was built on the 33 acres of grounds and cost $150,000. Unfortunately William Bettendorf never enjoyed his beautiful home, as he died unexpectedly in 1910 before he could move in. His widow and Oscar Staby, a son by a previous marriage, moved into the house, but found it too much to manage, so it was vacant for several years. In 1925 the mansion was purchased by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Iowa for $50,000. They immediately built on a 79 room adjoining building as a “hospital” for Master Masons, their wives and widows, which opened in 1927. The mansion itself was left practically intact, as it still remains today. It now houses the administrative and business offices of the facility.
The Masonic Sanitarium, as it was called then, remained through the 1970’s when the name was changed to Iowa Masonic Nursing Home. The name became Iowa Masonic Health Facilities in 1999. Masonic Village, the 40 unit independent living retirement community was constructed in 1987 and 1988 in the lower area of the property. A new wing was added to the nursing facility in 1980 on the northwest side of the building, a community center, reception area and parking lot were added in 1994. The existing maintenance building was torn down and replaced by a new building in 2002. The Ann Ruge Special Care Unit for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia was opened in 2003, serving 18 residents. The Ann Ruge Special Care Unit was relocated to the 2nd floor in 2014 to make room for a new rehabilitation wing. In 2016, the Ann Ruge Special Care Unit was renamed “Ann’s Place”.
Iowa Masonic Health Facilities is a non-profit health center, offering both skilled and intermediate care, as well as independent living. It remains under the ownership and jurisdiction of the Masonic organization, and is governed by five appointed board members. Masonic affiliation is no longer required for residency.