Mount Ayr’s Independent Order of Odd Fellows building in July of 2005.
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BY MIKE AVITT
The IOOF building was built so long ago I don’t have a record of its construction but I would guess the early 1880s. This week, we’ll look at the occupants of the ground floor, east storeroom, at 106 E. Madison.
My plat maps from 1893 and 1898 say this address was occupied by a hardware firm and, indeed, I recorded an advertisement from an April 1891 newspaper indicating Harper, Bedwell, & Co., a hardware store, was located here. C. R. Keating’s hardware store was here in the late 1890s.
The next information I have is that of George Rains moving his grocery business here in September of 1904. He sold out to S. F. Spurrier in March 1914. Mr. Spurrier brought his son E. P. Spurrier into the business at this time.
The Spurriers sold the grocery business to Homer Foster in March 1920. Foster sold it to M. L. Spurrier in July 1922. M. L. Spurrier sold it to G. C. Hamersly in October 1927. Mr. Hamersly closed out his store in October 1928. Remember, the Odd Fellows owned the building this entire time, so the occupants were renting and leasing space.
The next occupant was L. J. Strahan in November 1928 and he named his store The Square Deal. In January 1930, J. E. O’Connor bought the enterprise and moved it to Maloy. In July 1930, M. L. Spurrier returned to his old stand and started another store. Earl Caryl took over the store in January 1932 when M. L. took charge of Stephens’ Cafe on the east side of the square. W. P. Harrison opened a grocery store in the Odd Fellows building in October 1932 and he lasted until March 1933.
The next two occupants were long-timers. Charlie Horne moved Horne Hardware to 106 E. Madison in April 1933. The hardware store did not move again until April 1960. Bill Horne, now the owner of Horne Hardware, moved to 108 W. Madison.
After much re-construction and the installation of equipment, Lucky Lanes bowling alley opened in the former Horne Hardware on September 10, 1960. The alley consisted of four lanes and a lunch counter. I believe the Odd Fellows were the first owners of Lucky Lanes. In April 1962, Albert Bagley bought Ted Perlenfein’s interest in the business. Jake Dailey bought Lucky Lanes from Mr. and Mrs. Bagley in July 1966.
Next week we’ll look at the occupants of the ground floor, west storeroom, 102 E. Madison. There were many.