Historical society receives $1.687 million donation


David Pfuetze was a lifelong member of the Riley County Historical Society. When he died on Nov. 16, 2013, he made sure his membership would continue to leave an impact by leaving a $1,687,000 gift to the society.

“It’s a wonderful gift that will allow us to take good care of the relics in the museum and its buildings,” Gloria Freeland, president of the Riley County Historical Society, said.

The gift was announced at a public reception for the society’s centennial anniversary on Sunday. The historical society was founded on Oct. 12, 1914.

Pfuetze made gifts to the museum throughout his life, including monetary donations to its expansion in 1986 as well as relics to the collections in 1987.

“We are thrilled and honored by this gift,” Director of the museum Cheryl Collins said. “It will support collecting, presenting and preserving the items of Riley County history. The Board of Directors will be figuring out how best to do that.”

Pfuetze, born in Topeka, grew up in Manhattan and attended both Manhattan High School and K-State. He served in the Army Reserves after graduation, after which he worked for IBM. He was remembered as an inventor and a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.

Previous members of his family boarded in the Wolf House, located at 630 Fremont St., when it was operational.

The society does not have concrete plans for the money at this time.