LE MARS, Iowa -- Four Plymouth County farms with a collective 476.67 acres sold Wednesday at auction for more than $5.1 million, Le Mars attorney W.E. "Gene" Collins said Friday.
The seven school foundations in Plymouth County -- Akron-Westfield, Hinton, Kingsley-Pierson, Le Mars public, Le Mars Gehlen Catholic, Remsen St. Mary's and Remsen-Union schools -- will receive their share of 40 percent of the proceeds.
Seven school foundations are set to benefit from the auctions, which the seller said could bring up to $2 million for the groups. The land comes from the estates of two Le Mars siblings who died in recent years.
The farmland was part of the estates of Le Mars siblings Marjorie and Clifford Perry, who died in 2016 and 2008, respectively. Neither had any children or surviving spouses at the time of their deaths.
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Their trusts stipulated that the land be sold at auction, with 40 percent of the proceeds going to the school foundations and the remaining 60 percent going to their surviving family members.
Each school foundation, according to the trusts, will use interest from the money to provide scholarships for students entering two-year technical training in perpetuity.
Collins said it's too early to know exactly how much each school will receive because taxes and other fees have not yet been taken into account.
"Five million was kind of our hoped goal, and we surpassed that just a little bit, so we were very happy," Collins said. He described the land as "good-to-excellent farm ground."
Prior to the auction, the land was already providing financial help to Plymouth County students heading to tech schools -- each year the land was rented after the Perrys' deaths, a portion of the rent was directed to the school foundations.