George Daily grew up in a poor family. His father, John, 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. Through a stroke of luck, a piece of land John purchased in Louisiana 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 was made possible through the legacy of its namesake, who left his estate for the betterment of the Oskaloosa Community. 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. Join us this season to experience firsthand some of the many ways Daily makes a difference.