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About Us


Bethany Life: A Brief History

Owned by 24 area Lutheran, Methodist, and Catholic Churches, Bethany Life has been ministering to seniors for more than 100 years.  Since its founding in 1914, Bethany Life has grown from a hospital and sanitarium to become a regionally recognized resource for comprehensive and innovative aging services.  The following are significant events in our history.

1913 – Construction started on the Story City Old People’s Home and Hospital.

1914 – Construction was completed with rooms for 84 patients.  The hospital section was closed in 1947, as a new hospital was being built in another part of town.

1963 – There was a reorganization and 30 congregations of the Des Moines Conference of the ALC banded together to form the Bethany Manor Corporation.

1967 – A new nursing unit was added to the original building that accommodated 33 residents.  Construction also included the multi-purpose room in the North end of the building.

1977 – The 1977 addition was construction that accommodated 129 residents on two floors.  This addition also included the main lobby/office area and dining room.  At this time the original building was torn down due to fire hazards and lack of elevator access throughout.

1984 – Cedar Place was constructed to provide 50 affordable independent living apartments.

1990 – A 17-bed memory care unit was constructed on the East side, along with the Chapel and an addition to the back of the dining room.

1999 – The Bethany Manor Foundation was created and Bethany Manor becomes affiliated with Mary Greeley Medical Center.

2000 – Renovations were completed to house a Head Start Preschool program in the 1967 addition.  Fourteen children were served at any one time.  (This has since closed due to Federal funding.)

2001 – A second 17-bed memory care unit was constructed on the North side of the building.  At this time 17 of the existing beds in the 1967 addition were de-licensed so that our bed count remained at 180.

2002 – Timberland Village was constructed with 24 assisted living apartments and 36 independent living apartments in three connected buildings.

2003 – Construction began on Twin Homes on the Timberland Village campus.  Currently we have 12 units that serve independent seniors wanting care-free living.

2004 – Bethany Manor becomes licensed as a Continuing Care Retirement Community.

2005 – The Affordables store opened in the Scandia Center June 3 for Scandinavian Days, and the grand opening happened June 18.  In addition, renovations were completed at Cedar Place on 24 apartments to serve affordable assisted living clients.

2009 – Bethany Life Home Services began providing private duty home care services to those in our continuum and within a 25 mile radius of Story City.  In addition, renovations were completed on a unit dedicated to serving those who need skilled services to get well and go home.  This became the transitional care unit.

2010 – The Bethany Manor Foundation purchased the building at 630 Pennsylvania Avenue and moved the Affordables store.

2012 – A third 18-bed memory care unit was opened following renovations to First floor C hall, which became Julia’s Place.

2013 – Bethany Manor’s name changes to Bethany Life.   In addition, Bethany Life launches LifeChoices® at Bethany and Bethany Life Home Services was re-branded to be Bethany at Home.

2014 – Bethany Life celebrates 100th anniversary (June 30, 2014) and construction begins on new construction and renovation for Households

2015 – A momentus change in culture known as The Household Model was introduced.

2016 – Bethany Manor is now known as The Households of Bethany.  Ten households were completed and open throughout the year, including a new transitional care household, LifeBridge.

2016 – Main Street opened, including Tom & Stevie’s Bistro, The Beauty Shop, The Lund Library, and the Family Room.

2017 – New construction and renovations were completed after two years including a therapy pool.