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Chapter Two: 

Heroes of Fairfield

During Fairfield’s early days, in particular from the 1830’s through the Civil War in the 1860’s, Fairfield found itself in the crosshairs of one of our country’s largest social issues, slavery. With the help of state historians and local experts, this film re-discovers the situations, stories and people of this very special time in Fairfield’s history.

“Heroes of Fairfield” brings to life stories of ordinary Fairfielders who did extraordinary things to make a difference in this small Midwestern community and how that influence extends into our entire world.

Heroes Learn More

Producer & Director

Dick DeAngelis

Director of Photography

Jason Strong

Film Editor

Amine Koudier

Sound Editor

Tim Britton

More about Heroes Of Fairfield


Regarding the Research Team's groundbreaking work on the Underground Railroad in Fairfield, Iowa

“The phenomenal research efforts of those associated with the film "Heroes of Fairfield" in conjunction with the Iowa Freedom Trail Project, show clearly that the Underground Railroad was indeed active in Fairfield and that substantial traffic came through Fairfield and on to points north and east from there.” 

- Dave Holmgren

Lead Researcher, Iowa Freedom Trail Project

Comments after attending Heroes of Fairfield Premiere weekend

"In total, over 1,500 people (mostly adults from the Jefferson County area) attended showings and interactive displays from several local partner museums that week.
 The level of audience engagement with the film was high.  Audible ooohs and aaahs from the audience were triggered by seeing a familiar face or place; easy laughter in the right places also was common.  When the film ended Dick and three of his colleagues took the stage and answered questions, which were numerous.  At the end of the Q&A session, many people remained in the theater foyer talking for half an hour after the film.  Clearly, the goal of boosting awareness and community pride had been achieved.”

- Dr. Jonathan Andelson,

Humanities Professor, Grinnell College and Humanities Advisor to "Heroes"


The premiere of “Heroes of Fairfield” and the history weekend was made possible by

generous local contributions as well as grants from Humanities Iowa, a state-based affiliate of the

National Endowment for the Humanities, the Greater Jefferson County Foundation and the

Fairfield Conventions & Visitors Bureau. 

Behind the Scenes

Take a glimpse behind the scenes of Heroes of Fairfield. See some of our favorite moments researching and filming this movie.
This "teaser trailer" was released six months before the premiere of "Heroes of Fairfield" to promote local interest.



Robert Brown 

Mary Backstrom

Lanisha Cassell

Lawrence Eyre

Paul Gandy

Rory Goff

Judy Ham

Dave Helman

Patia Henderson

Bob Hougher

Jim Kennedy

Leo Landis

Robin Lim

Michelle Manning

Cheyenne Miller

Peggy Miller

Owen Muelder

Will Page

Toba Pearl

Ben Picard

“Big Ed” Picard

Joanne Poole

Jim Salts

Mark Shafer

Rev. Herb Shafer

Lowell Soike

Carroll Steinbeck

Historical Contributors

Lawrence Eyre, Historical Director

Lanisha Cassell

Doris Gilbert

Rory Goff

Rena Goff 

Doug Hamilton

Dave Helman

Dave Holmgren

Leo Landis

Jean Leeper

Cheyenne Miller

Owen Muelder

Rev. Herb Shafer

Mark Shafer

Lowell Soike

African American Museum of Iowa

Carnegie Historical Museum

Fairfield Public Library

Iowa Freedom Trails Project

Lewelling Quaker Museum

Maasdam Barns

State Historical Society

The American Battlefield Trust

Underground Railroad Freedom Center at Knox College

U of I Museum of Natural History

U of I Old Capitol Museum

U of I Special Collections

 - State Historical Society of Iowa


Corporate Sponsor


Major Sponsors

City of Fairfield, Iowa

Everybody's Whole Food

John DeAngelis

Greater Jefferson County Foundation

Humanities Iowa

Cafe Paradiso

Bob Ferguson

Fred and Donalda Fredeen

Sally Johnston

Gene Copeland

Ed and Vicki Malloy

Pilot Grove Savings Bank

​Terrance Ryan

Francis and Susan Thicke

Life Before Fairfield 27x41.jpg

Chapter One: 

Life Before Fairfield

Chapter Three: 

A Place to Grow

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