- Associated Press - Saturday, May 19, 2018

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - The Sheaffer Pen Museum has closed its doors for good after seven years in southeastern Iowa.

The museum announced the closure May 14. The institution lacked financial stability, the museum’s board of directors said in a statement.

“The museum, as a nonprofit organization, cannot afford to care for the archives and continue the exciting programs to display them as it has in the past,” the release said.

While several options to save the museum were considered, none were found to be successful, the statement said.

The Sheaffer Pen Plant in Fort Madison closed in 2008. The museum then opened in 2011 and displayed collections of pens, machines and other displays form the plant.

Discussions about closing the museum began in January, according to Andy Andrews, president of the North Lee County Historical Society, which loaned the museum a $32,000 pen collection.

Pen collector Bill Sexauer donated his collection of 160 Targa Pens to the historical society in December.

“The reason it belongs to us is the guy who donated it wanted to deduct it from his income tax and to do that it had to stay with the owner for at least three years and it is owned by us,” Andrews said.

Andrews said he believes financial problems began in 2012 when Cross Pen Co. purchased the Shaeffer pen line. The museum didn’t receive funding after the ownership change, Andrews said.

The board is in negotiations with Cross Pen to determine where the pen collections will go.


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