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BY MIKE AVITT
I have cropped this week’s photo to make it more newspaper friendly. Shown are houses in Sheldon Heights in Mount Ayr looking north: 107, 103, and 102 Shellway Drive. You might be able to see the houses at 107 and 102 were built on the same floor plan.
Sheldon Heights was named after Frank Sheldon and his house, on the far right in this week’s picture, was the first one built in 1913. Mr. Sheldon joined the Mount Ayr Bank firm in 1890 and would be its president by 1915. Sheldon sold his house to Carson Williams in 1934.
Sheldon Heights was previously known as White’s Grove and the Chautauqua events were held here, as well as athletic contests. Sheldon bought the property in January 1913, divided the land into lots, and began to develop the new addition to the city of Mount Ayr. J. O. Fry and Henry H. Wilson were the first to buy lots. They were soon followed by Dr. D. R. Dudley, Bert Teale, and Howard Tedford.
J. O. Fry, part owner of the Mount Ayr Bank, built the second house at 107 Shellway Drive. Mr. and Mrs. Fry moved in October 1914. It is seen in this week’s photo on the far left. Mr. and Mrs. Craig Elliott occupy the house today.
The brick house at 103 Shellway Drive was built for H. H. Wilson and he moved in February 1915. Mr. Wilson was a grocer, grain buyer, land owner, and farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Routh occupy this house today.
In April 1916, Dr. Dudley, a dentist, had his house going up but I don’t know where it was located. I would think very near the others. Local builders J. W. Mapel & Son erected the house. Also in 1916, Young & Woodward of Creston were building the house at 201 Shellway Drive for Howard and Regina Tedford. Howard Tedford and his father, Rev. J. H. Tedford, were once owners of the Ringgold Record newspaper. Jeff and Kim Lutrick own this house today.
Mount Ayr High School football games were played at Sheldon Heights until 1922 and tennis courts were being used until at least 1921. I believe sports had left Sheldon Heights by the mid-20s.
The former Ringgold County Hospital was under construction by 1949 at the south end of Shellway Drive and I think that was the perfect place for it.
Thanks to Justin and Chanelle Cole, current owners of the Sheldon house, for this week’s photo. I know the photo was taken after 1918 because of the street lights.