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This week’s picture should look familiar to the readers. It appears on page 48 of the Mount Ayr Centennial Book and I ran this photo in the September 22, 2011 Record-News. This is a higher quality original photo.
Before roads were paved, farmers were paid to drag the “farm to market” roads in their townships. There were also contest and other promotional events to bring attention to the need for road improvements. Those improvements would be a long time coming because rock wasn’t spread on a highway until the late 1920s and the first county road wasn’t graveled until 1935.
It seems to me the photographer took this picture from the upstairs window of the Princess Theatre building. The view is of the southeast corner of the square looking north. We get a good look of the Timby Block and the business occupants during the time.
The sign of Reverend Tommy Rhoades is seen painted on the wall at 122 S. Taylor. Rev. Rhoades was in this location from 1908 to 1918 and he is responsible for the construction of the addition on the rear of this address in 1912, even though Martha Timby owned the building. Rev. Rhoades and his wife Mable founded Rhoades Funeral Home, known today as Armstrong Funeral Home.
Next door to Rhoades was Raymond Fisher’s Department Store, which occupied both 118 and 120 S. Taylor. The next three businesses here would also occupy both storefronts: T. J. Phillips & Co., The Fair Store, and United Food Market.
Next door north was a furniture store and the last owner I’m aware of was Fred Wilkinson. The next lot north has been empty at least 130 years.
Next to the alley was William A. Simpson’s Department Store. Simpson died in 1931 and the building was purchased by Maroin Stephens who turned the ground floor into a restaurant. Mr. Simpson was the father of Marie Simpson who many of us will remember.
Thanks to Mari McGehee for this week’s photo. We’ve received more items from Mari and I’ll share another one next week.