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Snapshot of History

February 2, 2022

BY MIKE AVITT Alan Smith sold the Mount Ayr Record-News to Tom and Tami Hawley on August 1, 2012. In Alan’s last, “Thoughts & Other Things,” article, dated May 26, 2016, Alan explains he had offers to sell the newspaper to corporate enterprises, but felt the Record-News may lose its “community” personality. He wanted the…

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Snapshot of History

January 26, 2022

BY MIKE AVITT The 1980s and 1990s saw big advances in newspaper technology, which contributed to a more attractive look. Photos had a sharper image and color photographs were now viable. The Mount Ayr Record-News made its first appearance on the World Wide Web in April 1999. Mark McDaniel of Redding helped with the design.…

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Snapshot of History

January 19, 2022

BY MIKE AVITT Jack and Helen Terry had owned the Lamoni Chronicle since 1950 and published the Kellerton Globe for almost three years. In 1966 it was time to raise the stakes and buy a county seat newspaper, the Mount Ayr Record-News. The Terrys took possession April 1, 1966 from Frank and Iona Spurrier. Iona…

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Snapshot of History

January 12, 2022

BY MIKE AVITT Last week we left off in the year 1912 when Mount Ayr went back to having two newspapers. In 1913, the number went back up to three. In May 1913, Weldon Laughlin published the first issue of The Independent, a newspaper aligned with the Progressive Party. Mr. Laughlin was an attorney, banker,…

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Looking Back with Lora Stull

January 5, 2022

One Hundred Years Ago (From the Mount Ayr Record -News, Thursday, January 11, 1922.) Ellston News: E. Dempsey opened his harness and shoe shop at his place April 11, 1921, and at the close of the year had repaired 2,152 shoes, which certainly is a good starter for the first nine months in a new…

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Snapshot of History

January 5, 2022

BY MIKE AVITT In 1899, Randolph Beall left his brother Walter in charge of the Twice-A-Week News, and Randolph set out to compile his Ringgold County Directory of 1899. It is said Randolph visited every household in Ringgold County to get a complete and accurate directory. Many copies of this book still exist. The Mt.…

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Snapshot of History

December 29, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT We see the Beall brothers in front of Randolph’s real estate office at 105 E. Madison. Randolph was located here from 1921 to 1944. Newspapers were the only public medium in 1890 and they were full of politics. Nearly every newspaper endorsed political candidates. In August 1890, George Kirby and Randolph Beall…

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Snapshot of History

December 22, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT The second story of this week’s picture has a sign for the Mount Ayr Journal. In 1886, the Journal was located at 121 N. Taylor and would remain there for the rest of its life. The Headlight newspaper, begun in 1877 in the interest of railroads coming to Ringgold County, had become…

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Snapshot of History

December 15, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT I scanned this week’s photo from page 369 of the book,”Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa (1887).” This is one of the earliest history books of our county. This building still stands today at 119 N. Taylor in Mount Ayr. I recently found out the former Mount Ayr…

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Snapshot of History

December 8, 2021

BY MIKE AVITT After years of searching, I finally found the beginning of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows building in Mount Ayr. It was constructed in 1877, two years before the railroad arrived, by John Currie and the Mt. Ayr Odd Fellows Lodge. John Currie was, I believe, the second owner of the Mount…

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