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I love it when I get a new picture and this 107 year old photo is new to me. It shows the last service held at the original Christian Church on August 3, 1913 by the Christian congregation. This church was located at 204 E. Madison.
The Christians (Church of Christ) had let the contract for a new church building to Wagonecht & Walter of Wathena, Kansas and had sold their old church to the Roman Catholic Church. The Christians held services in the courthouse until March 15, 1914 when the first service was held in the new building.
This week’s photo was placed in the cornerstone of the new church on October 8, 1913 and was taken by William Belvel. Mr. Belvel was a local barber and photographer and I believe he is depicted as the photographer in the, “Corn Parade,” mural which hangs in the Mount Ayr Post Office.
I cropped the left side of this week’s photo, which is a little faded, but the right side clearly shows a blacksmith shop with the name of, “Dowling & Brinkerhoff.” Will Dowling and L. M. Brinkerhoff were blacksmiths who occupied many different shops in their careers. This building housed many different blacksmith shops and this is the first pre-1968 picture I have ever seen of it.
Darin Dolecheck alerted me to the contents of the 1913 cornerstone which he left for me to peruse. One of the more interesting items was the pledge sheet containing the names and dollar amounts of the pledges. Willis Willey had pledged $5. Mr. Willey later acheived fame as the, “Wild Man of Spokane.”
The cornerstone also contained over 100 business cards, calling cards, letterheads, and printed envelopes. The letterheads and printed envelopes were cut with scissors to save only the printed area. There was also a copy of The Independent, a short-lived Mount Ayr newspaper. I had never seen this paper before.
I will see if I can get permission to put my scans of these items on Facebook. All of the advertising is from 1913 and many of you won’t recognize the businesses, but some are very well known and some are just interesting by their nature, such as telephone repair.
Let me know if you have old advertising and would be willing to let me scan it. I have information on many old businesses.