Snapshot of History by Mike Avitt
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Another high-quality picture postcard donated by Mari McGehee. Notice the streetlight hanging from a wire above the street. That was Mount Ayr’s first form of street lighting as electricity came to town in 1909.
On the corner is Iowa State Bank with Bevis Bros. (insurance, real estate, farm loans) located upstairs. The building housing Iowa State Bank was built in 1892 as Citizens Bank. Iowa State Bank would stick around until 1930. Next door is J. A. Williams clothing and shoe store. Williams moved in January of 1906 and left in June of 1927. This coincided with Dr. C. C. Lawhead buying the building at 102 S. Taylor. This building was lost in a fire in 1977.
My favorite part of the photo is the south side of East Madison. I don’t have a good photo of these buildings from the early days but I have some information.
I can zoom in far enough to see Will Dowling’s blacksmith shop on the corner where the fire station is today. Across the street west of Dowling’s is a livery barn. Guy McCullough converted this barn into apartments and offices in 1935.
The building where Lefty’s Club Tavern is today was built in 1897 as the Twice-A-Week News newspaper office. After Walter Beall sold the paper in 1907, John Endsley bought the building and started a meat market here. I can see part of the sign where I enlarge the picture. Other who operated a butcher shop here were U. S. G. Lynch, Charles Bentley, and Poor & Farmer. The building west of Lefty’s is occupied by Hair, Etc. and was built in 1907 by Dr. F. C. Smith, a dentist. Dr. Smith also built the house at 104 W. Jefferson in 1905 occupied by Scott and Laura Peterson. Dr. Smith’s father-in-law was Jacob Rabb and Mr. Rabb built (with J. H. Seevers) the brick structure at 110 W. Madison in 1890.
I have some space left so I’ll share a recent discovery. A blurb in an October 1918 newspaper says a Pentacostal Church is under construction at Pleasant Hill. On the front page of the February 5, 1919 Mount Ayr Record-News is the announcement of the dedication of the Pentacostal Church in Middle Fork Township. Brother John Globen is in charge. I had been looking for this info for quite some time.