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BY MIKE AVITT
Farmers State Savings Bank was located at 105 S. Fillmore and we can see the house at 205 W. Madison in the background. The drive-up teller service of U. S. Bank occupies 105 S. Fillmore today.
So, last week I told you the Laughlin and Hass clans started a bank in the former real estate office of George Hass. Less than a year after the bank opened in June 1910, a major change occurred. H. F. Strauser bought a controlling interest in the firm in May 1911. Two years later, L. W. Laughlin and A. A. Ingram were the owners and the partnership came to and end with Ingram in possession of the bank.
In November 1913, Iowa State Bank absorbed Bank of Commerce (the former Farmers State Bank) and Frank Sheldon bought the building at 105 S. Fillmore. Frank Sheldon had worked for Mount Ayr Bank since 1890 and would become its president in 1915. C. S. Palmer and J. E. Holden moved into the vacated bank building in December 1913 with their insurance, loan, and real estate busines. Frank Sheldon bought the Palmer and Holden firm a week later.
Sheldon already had a real estate business of his own outside of the Mount Ayr Bank. The new firm would be called F. E. Sheldon & Co. Clyde Lesan, W. B. Cunning, and Clint Allyn would come to make this a most successful business.
I believe Sheldon & Co. moved to the former Iowa State Bank building (100 S. Taylor) soon after ISB was absobed by Mount Ayr State Bank in 1930. Clyde Lesan bought Sheldon & Co. in 1938. There are two businesses today that were born out of Clyde Lesan & Co.: Ringgold Insurance Services and William H. French Agency.
Meanwhile, back at 105 S. Fillmore, Mary Shafer opened a beauty salon here in September 1931. Hazel Anderson bought the business in January 1934 would operate a beauty shop here until August 1943. Hazel sold a line of women’s clothing part of the time she was here. Crystal Pate bought Hazel’s Beauty Shop in 1947 and closed it in July 1951. She was Crystal Pate Whittington by 1951.
Dr. George Lee opened an optometrist office at 105 S. Fillmore in January 1955. In 1956, Dr. Lee would take over the clientele of the retiring J. B. Currie. Dr. Lee stayed only one year at this address. Marilyn Olney opened a beauty shop here in August 1958, but I don’t know how long that lasted. Opal Foster lived here as of 1973.
The building at 105 S. Fillmore was torn down to make way for the drive-thru service at what is today, U. S. Bank.
Do you remember that the first drive-up teller at that bank was on the north side, not the south side? Yes, and that was in 1981.