Snapshot of History

June 16, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT A friend was asking me about the commemorative blocks placed in the sidewalks, around the Mount Ayr square. The blocks are etched with the names of towns, communities, and post offices, and the year they were established. There are about 44 of them. My friend didn’t understand that some of these post…

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Snapshot of History

June 9, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT We all have our “favorite” blizzard or winter, but this week we’ll look at a winter very few, if any, remember – the winter of 1936. The Mount Ayr Record-News began reporting on Ringgold County’s worst winter on January 23, 1936. Nearly all of the county roads were blocked by the latest…

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Snapshot of History

June 2, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT I found some very early information about Ringgold County’s only main line railroad, the Chicago Great Western. This week’s picture shows a typical CGW depot. The Minnesota & Northwestern Railroad was reorganized as the Chicago, St. Paul, & Kansas City Railroad on June 1, 1886. The C,St.P,&,KC soon purchased the Wisconsin, Iowa,…

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Snapshot of History

May 26, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT The REC building is located at 1502 W. South Street in Mount Ayr. But, I just learned, the current name of the outfit is Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative. This building was erected in 1975-76 by Roe Implement. Two events took place in 1945 that resulted in a business boom for Ringgold…

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Snapshot of History

May 19, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT I got a request from Richard Hogue of Colorado. He is writing a book about his genealogy and I want to share his Ringgold County connection. Richard’s father was Charles Hogue who graduated from Kellerton High School in 1927. Charles went to work near Schaller, Iowa after high school and spent the…

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Snapshot of History

May 5, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT I took this week’s photo in April 2005 and it appears the old telephone office was vacant at this time. Let’s look at some of Mount Ayr’s telephone history. I find it remarkable that telephone service in Mount Ayr, which began in 1895, came so far ahead of things like electricity (1909)…

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Snapshot of History

April 28, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT I was asked which buildings were original to Lesanville. There are just two on their original foundation and that is the barn and the farmhouse in front of it. Paul Ramsey organized the Ramsey Farm Foundation, with Phil Burmeister as president, and the barn at Lesanville was restored by the Iowa Barn…

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Snapshot of History

April 21, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT I found something really interesting about the religious life in Knowlton, so I’ll just share everything I have. On July 20, 1922, lightning struck the Methodist Church and burned it to the ground. What the newspaper said about the history of the building came as a shock to me. This church building…

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Snapshot of History

April 14, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT I took this week’s photo while Keith Adams still had his barber shop in the north end. Keith’s Barber Shop closed about the first of February 2008. The Kellerton IOOF Hall stands where the St. Joe Hotel once stood. In my early research, I thought St. Joe Hotel was another name for…

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Snapshot of History

April 7, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT Florence Lawhead supplied me with a Sun Valley Lake newsletter, dated June 1973, which contains information I did not previously have. I will use that newsletter and the May 31, 1973 Record-News for this week’s article. The marina was already built by June 1973 as a square dance was planned for July…

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