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Let’s see if we can finish our tour of the Mount Ayr square buildings this week.
The building that houses the Mount Ayr Record-News at 122 W. Madison was built in 1977 by Bill Warin and Verd Bailey as their law office. Production Credit Association moved here in 1980 and the Record-News located here in 1988.
The Mount Ayr Post Office was built in 1939-40 and is now more than eighty years old. It has been modified and updated on occasion. The Corn Parade mural was hung June 11, 1941.
The Mount Ayr Bank, seen in this week’s picture at 101 S. Fillmore, was built in 1912-13 by owner George Allyn. There were two other banks in Mt. Ayr at this time: Bank of Commerce and Iowa State Bank.
With Frank Sheldon as President of Mount Ayr Bank in 1915, the firm was reorganized as Mount Ayr State Bank. The Bank of Commerce was absorbed by Iowa State Bank in late 1913.
Not much changed for either bank until the Stock Market Crash of October 1929. In April 1930 the two banks merged as Mount Ayr State Bank with the location being 101 S. Fillmore. Mount Ayr State Bank reorganized in 1937 and Security State Bank opened its doors July first at the same location. Mount Ayr would have only one bank for about fifty years (we now have four).
The next big change came in 1968 when Security State Bank sought to enlarge its building on the vacant lot to the south. In June of 1968, during construction, the south wall gave way. A decision had to be made and a new building was the result of the negotiations. Security State Bank opened in its new building in July 1969.
In 1981, a drive-thru teller was added on the north side of the building. In 1983, the building at 105 S. Fillmore was removed, a second story was added and a drive-thru teller was installed on the south side of the bank building.
Now we’re ready for the name changes: Hawkeye Bank (1984-1996), Mercantile Bank (1996-?), Firstar Bank (?-2002), and US Bank (2002 to present). US Bank is the only bank in Mount Ayr that is not on Highway 2.
My earliest memories of Security State Bank were going to the bank where I paid the Des Moines Tribune the money I collected on my paper route (1970-71). Veronica Markley was usually the teller I dealt with. My first checking account was at Security State Bank in 1974. I often wrote checks for as little as one dollar.