If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
This week’s picture is an ink drawing which appears in an 1887 book called, “Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa.”
I believe the Ringgold Record building was the fourth brick building erected in Mount Ayr (1881) and it is still standing at 119 N. Taylor Street. It has been modified and added onto many times and, therefore, does not retain its original appearance.
Record-News owner Tom Hawley recently gave me an abstract from the former Record-News office at 119 N. Taylor St.
The abstract records ownership of the lot (176) and the dates of ownership. As I read the names, many were familiar including Edward Temple. I had known for years Mr. Temple platted Afton in 1854 but I had little info after that.
A little research revealed Edward’s wife, Jane Emma Temple, is the one who named Afton. One of her favorite poems was, “Flow Gently, Sweet Afton,” by Scottish Poet Robert Burns. Mr. Burns was born near Ayr, Scotland. Yes, Ayr, Scotland.
A Union County genealogical website says Temple platted Afton in the fall of 1854 and Afton soon became the county seat.
The website gives Edward’s address as Des Moines but says he previously lived in Chariton. Chariton is where the Land Office was for recording deeds, land transfers, and abstracts.
I believe Temple was a land agent for the U. S. Government. I’ll find out someday when I get to read his biography which appears in a Union County history book I have yet to read.
When I searched Temple’s name in the Ringgold Record newspaper I found this in the March 13, 1876 edition: “In 1853 Edward Temple and wife deeded the land on which about one half of our town is built to the county.”
Again, I am reminded of Mrs. Temple’s affinity for a poet from Ayr, Scotland. Both Mount Ayr and Ringgold County were officially organized in 1855.
The last name on the abstract is George Stephens in 1881. He is the one who coughed up the money for the brick building at 119 N. Taylor (currently the Daily Flair Boutique), but I see the names D. D. Pratt, Warren Turk, and George Roby ahead of Stephens.
All of these men were editors of the Ringgold Record newspaper. This tells me the previous Ringgold Record office was in the same location.
I’ve already said this building is the fourth brick building erected in Mt. Ayr. Number one was on the lot where Shafer Insurance is and it existed from about 1870 to 1879. Number two is the IOOF Building, 1877-78 to present. Number three was the Timby building at 122 S. Taylor, 1880 to 2018. So number two and number four are still standing.