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This is an old, sharp, and rare photo of the William Henry Rhoades building in Beaconsfield. I say rare because the smaller the town, the harder it is to find pictures. Especially this clear. This picture postcard was produced by J. M. Rinard of Clearfield.
“Store in Beaconsfield,” is hand-written on the back, but I had my doubts. A two-story, brick building in Beaconsfield? Well, yes and no. First, the “yes.”
My newspaper notes say Chris Leathy was erecting a two-story building for W. H. Rhoades in Beaconsfield in early May 1896. The 25’ x 52’ building would house a hardware store on the first floor and an opera house upstairs. However, the building had become wind-damaged during construction. When I scanned the postcard into my computer, I zoomed in and could read, ‘Rhoades 1896 – Opera House,” at the top of the corner.
We can see a large sign that says, “Henry & Park.” On page 139 of the Beaconsfield centennial book (1981), Anna Havely shares her memories. She recalls Floyd Henry and Jack Park operated a general store in the “Wash” Rhoades building. I found out Floyd Henry graduated from Tingley High School in 1901. The only thing I learned about Jack Park is that he was from Tarkio, Missouri. The name Park is another reason I questioned the location of this building as Park is not a Ringgold County name.
William Henry “Wash” Rhoades was born in 1859 and passed away in January 1941. Other passages in the centennial book say Rhoades moved to Mt. Ayr about 1912 and the building burned down in March 1919. There is a low-quality photo of this structure on page 60 of the Beaconsfield centennial book.
And now the “no.” I was studying the construction of this week’s subject and I noticed seams in the upstairs bricks. I believe the upstairs was covered with brick-molded metal paneling. These panels are similar in size and shape to metal panels I removed from a house in New Ulm, MN in 1986. You may also notice the concrete block on the ground floor goes up to only 7 or 8 feet. So, I don’t believe this to be a two-story, brick building.
The centennial book made me aware of another two-story business building. Ed Fierce bought a two-story house at the corner of Fourth and Washington Streets about 1911. Fierce then bought Myron Johnson’s bank and operated it from the first floor. The second story was occupied by Dr. Mulcahy. The brick bank, that later served as the post office, is believed to have been built about 1915. The post office closed in October 1993 and the building was torn down about 2000. The brick bank was across the street east of the Hy-Vee store building.