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We continue going around the square beginning with the Mount Ayr Christian Church. The current church building, at 201 W. Monroe, was built in 1981-82 and dedicated March 21, 1982. The previous church here was built in 1913-14 and burned in February 1980 while being remodeled. To my knowledge, the current building is mostly unchanged since its construction. My old friends John and Ainslee Brillo were pastors here from 1999 to 2007. Phil and Doris Kinton were here for decades before that.
The Mount Ayr Public Library was built in 1916 and opened in November of that year. The library was dedicated January 1, 1917. The construction firm that erected the Mount Ayr Public Library, Young & Woodward of Creston, built the Lutrick home at 201 Shelway Drive earlier in 1916. The previous building on the library’s lot burned in 1900 so that corner had been bare for many years. Mount Ayr was elated to have such a beautiful building on the square.
The original filling station on the south side of the square was built in 1919 and was the first service station in Ringgold County. It was called Community Service Station and was operated by Willis Edmundson. I. J. Dalbey, the lumberman, owned the lots where the station was built.
The number of filling stations increased during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The south side station, which was now a Skelly, had to modernize.
The old station was torn down in May 1941 with Claude and Junior Moore as managers. A new, modern station was built and opened in August 1941 with the Grand Opening on Thursday August 14, 1941. Lloyd Denhart leased the Skelly in November 1941 and had it for four years.
I found some information about the construction of the south side Skelly. It was built by C. O. Willey Plumbing and Heating. R. H. Askren was the painter and Curnes Electric Co. of Osceola did the wiring.
An advertisement in the newspaper said all the material for the construction came from Dalbey Lumber Co. Joe and Debbie Murphy, the owners of the former Dalbey Lumber Co., restored the Skelly Station in 2011 and 2012. So, the south side filling station has had a connection to the south side lumberyard for 101 years. Cool.