Another IAGenWeb Project
(From "Nashua Reporter, 1955, Page 26, Centennial Edition)
Republic Was Thriving Village Until It Lost Its Post-office
"Richland Center" Was Original Name; Village Began In Year 1881
Losting Post-office Was First Blow; Once Had Hall Seating 300
Republic lost its place on the map when it lost its post office. But today it is still a very definite community in the center of
Richland Township, though only a church and school bear the name.
In 1881 when the Methodist church was out just west of the little school house, a small village began, on the crossroad of Sections 16, 17, 20, and 21. Because of its location it was called Richland Center.
Joel Parson, who in 1834 had plowed the first furrow in the township, had now set up a blacksmith shop on the corner southeast of the school.
Fred Hall built a store on the southwest corner at the crossroad. Parson built a bigger blacksmith shop west of the store.
On July 1, 1837, a post office was established at the Hall store, with John Hall as first postmaster. Len Knight of Nashua a lad of fifteen, delivered the mail on horseback. He had received special permission from Lawyer Perrin of Nashua.
Because of another Richland Center, Iowa, a new name had to be chosen for the post office and village. Republic was chosen in 1887.
The little village changed postmasters often. After John Hall we had Amos Hall, J. W. Pierce and C. J. Strike and Mrs. Charles Chambers.
Nov 1, 1904, a rural route, a branch of the Ionia route, was established with Mrs. Kitty Ransom as carrier. The post office was in her home. She carried the route for thirty years, retiring in 1934. Later the branch route was joined in the regular Ionia route. Mrs. Ransom received honorable mention as the only lady mail carrier in the United States with such a record.
After the establishment of a post office, Moodys built a store in 1890 on the southwest corner of Sec. 16. This is today the dwelling of the Lee Strike family.
A creamery was built in 1890 slightly north of the Moody store. The butter-makers were Jake Eckstem, Cecil Carr, Will Leighton, Sam Binne, Manly Parson, Charles Herrin, Jess Rose, Fred Ladd and possibly others. This creamery was torn down in 1906 and the lumber was used to build a barn on the Ed Feuchtwanger farm.
By 1890 John Hall owned the store and post office. He sold to J. W. Pierce in 1892. This store burned in 1909. It was replaced with the public hall which Pierce and Parson had built in 1897. This hall seated 300 people. It was moved east onto the store site. Store keepers were Will Tucker, Charles Chambers and Bert Aurands. This store burned in 1915 and the village, as such, lost its place on the map. The community is still known as Republic because the church and school still keep the name.
Contributed by Claudia Groh. Transcribed by Mike Peterson.