George Daily: 12/07/1908 - 03/07/1993
George Daily, was born December 7, 1908, son of John I. and Maudine Prine Daily. George grew up in a poor family. His father was frequently absent, working as a traveling house painter. Although times were tough, John sometimes purchased small pieces of land in tax sales during his travels. With his brother, Walter, and sister, Blanche, home for the Dailys was on the Prine family farm located 3.5 miles northwest of Oskaloosa, across from the Prine School.
In 1910 the family moved to town, 1212 High Avenue West, Oskaloosa, where they lived while their father built what was to become George's life-long home. All three children attended and graduated at the top of their class from Oskaloosa High School.
As adults, Blanche, taught music lessons at the high school; Walter had a number of miscellaneous jobs around town; George worked for Anderson Moving and Storage Company and Holub's Greenhouse. Being somewhat of a loner, George was often seen taking long walks, strolling through the park, or taking in a band concert on the square. The city library was one of his favorite places to visit. Being an avid chess and checker player, he was always ready for a challenge and enjoyed the competition.
Photography was another of George's hobbies. George had a love for nature and truly enjoyed working in his garden of wild flowers. Because of this love, there is a "George Daily Memorial Garden" in his honor so others may enjoy the beauty of his work.
Due to failing health, it became necessary for George to leave his beloved home and garden. After a long stay in the Mahaska Hospital, George was not able to return home, but found comfort in a caring staff and personal attendants at the Siesta Park Manor. George passed away on March 7, 1993, at the Mahaska County Hospital after a long illness.
During one of John Daily's travels, he purchased some land at a tax sale in Louisiana. Through a stroke of luck, that piece of land turned out to be rich with oil. George later inherited this land. Although George regularly received checks from an oil company for this rich land, he lived as a poor man. He never cashed the checks because he wanted nothing to do with the father who was so often absent in his life. No one knew about George’s money until the oil company sent someone to investigate why the property taxes weren't being paid and the checks they were sending weren't being cashed.
Before George died in 1993, he established a will leaving his entire estate in trust for the benefit of the Oskaloosa Community.
The George Daily Auditorium
The George Daily Auditorium was made possible through the legacy of its namesake. What began as “A Seed for Growth,” the motto of the George Daily Family Trust, has grown into a venue for high-caliber performances and educational opportunities equal to those of big cities.
Since opening its doors in 1997, the auditorium has provided the Oskaloosa community with a place to foster the arts and enrichment activities of all sorts. The venue includes state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment, a full orchestra pit, seating for 696 patrons, an intimate black box theater, a community meeting room, and a small kitchen. It also serves as one of the few large group recording studios in Iowa.
On any given day, the auditorium plays host to educational children’s theater workshops, high school play rehearsals, professional touring productions, regional dance competitions, business conferences, artist receptions, public interest lectures, school assemblies, concerts, and so much more. The auditorium is also home to the Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra.
Each year brings new opportunities to the George Daily Auditorium. For more information about events and to purchase season or performance tickets, visit www.georgedaily.org.