Our History

joekandersonwebAt the urging of Joe K. Anderson and a group if his contemporaries, opened the work of the Army in Valley View of St. Charles in 1951. The work began in a tent where worship and community meeting were held by Major and Mrs. Carl Miller. The first social services program of the Army was to dig a well to provide a source of clean, pure water to the many citizens of that area who did not have indoor running water. The tent had originally been used to serve ice cream by Mr. Anderson’s company, Colonial Ice Cream. A Quonset hut replaced the tent later that year on a piece of land donated by a friend, and the Salvation Army was in the Tri-City area to stay. 3,212 persons were served that year.

In 1953, the officers returned from vacation to find there had been a fire at the building. A 24×40 building was constructed to replace the Quonset hut which had been destroyed in that fire. 7,901 persons were served that year.

The year 1957 brought the addition of a new chapel and kitchen facilities to better serve the needs of the community. 5,703 persons were served that year.

In 1973, a Community Center Building, purchased for the Army by Furnas Foundation, was built under the direction of Captain and Mrs. McCarty. 7,172 persons were served that year. The annual budget was $38,000.

1996 brought expanding need and programming in the Tri-City Area for the Salvation Army. Plans were drawn for a building to meet the needs of the communities the Army serves. A capital campaign was conceived and planned. 140,760 persons were served.