January 1895

Looks up the Business Interests of the Town And is Prompted to Make Personal Mention.

(Continued from last week, December 1894)

Zel Pixley, Blacksmith, is the sign of the man that can do at his shop anything in iron, from ironing a buggy or wagon to scientific horseshoeing that he may be called upon to do.

This new livery barn is Vertrees, where good horses and fine carriages are always to be had.

This blacksmith shop is Higgins & Whittaker’s. An old, well-known place where horses almost stop of themselves to get new shoes that save their corns; for horses sometimes have corns as well as their masters.

Ross Brothers have a fine livery barn here, none better in the city, and none where courtesy more uniformly prevails.

Ed Taft is in this rusty old place, but the chances are even up that he clears as much money with his tin shop his second-hand stoves and the Round Oak stove, of which he is the agent, than any store of the kind in the city.

This handsome new building is the Savings Bank. The building is an ornament to the city and the institution a convenience to the people.

Above is the office of Withrow & Kopp, which at the beginning of the year will be known as Babb, Withrow & Kopp, and it is to round a period rather than to give information, that we say, that it will be a strong and leading law firm.

On the same floor, but fronting east and north is the studio of Miss Sue T. Davis, who opened these rooms about six months ago, with the intention of making a vocation of china painting and art needle work. Miss Davis is a Mt. Pleasant girl, and for many years has been an orphan and wholly dependent upon her own energies for self-support. Miss Davis is an excellent teacher and is deserving of the support of those interested in this line of art.

This church here is the home of the Congregational denomination in this city. Its membership has steadily increased during the last decade under the devoted pastoral charge of Rev. O.W. Rogers.

L. F. Willard’s harness shop and salesroom for general horse and carriage equipment supplies is on the ground floor of the next room south, with Dr. Punton’s dental parlor above. He is steadily crowding to the head? for recognition as a successful worker.

This fine front is the double room of R. Eshelman, the oldest and one of the heaviest clothing houses in the city. Mrs. Eshelman occupies a portion of the south side with a large stock of ladies’ wraps, notions, and fine millinery.

Henry Mosley, a good barber, is above one-half of Eshelman’s rooms, and John Tauchert is in the suite above the other half where he makes prime cigars and has done quite as much, if not more than any other to organize successfully the cigar makers’ union.

Schliep conducts a large cigar factory in this room which has made him a fortune with good sound business management.

The Western Union Telegraph office is above where George Owens speeds all messages of love, life, labor, or legislation to the satisfaction of the community.

Hettich’s lunch room and fancy groceries are behind those handsome windows. Should we enter, we should receive the greeting of one of Mt. Pleasant’s most courteous men of business.

W.R. Jane’s hardware is in this large room where he makes a fine display of stoves, tinware, and shelf hardware.

Wallbank & Jones’ extensive stock of gent’s clothing and furnishing goods is next door, where a corps of good clerks is kept busy from early morning till late evening. This place makes a point of goods and prices that go with the most tempting bargains.

Hunter has merchant tailoring parlors above, where his acknowledged skill is placed at the service of his patrons.

Henry Timmerman’s shoe store is next door. Timmerman prides himself goods of standard excellence and prices to suit. This is essentially a “one price house.”

Wm. Schnurr is above Timmerman’s in the room looking east. He is a skilled workman, a worthy citizen, and deserving of patronage.

T.A. Bereman has his law office in the front room on the same floor, and is a safe, intelligent, and conscientious counsellor.

Henry Mills is on the corner. The mills of this store grind sure upright and genial, careful, painstaking and pursuing the cash system, the proprietor is laying up riches in the things of this world, and great satisfaction mentally, from square and honorable dealing.

Galer & Goan, in the suite above, are doing a large loan, real estate, and law business, and are prompt and agreeable to deal with. They are young men who are bound to win success.

Van Allen & Van Allen’s law and abstract office is in this brick building set apart from all others east on Washington street. It has a fine safety vault for the protection of a set of abstract books that the proprietors value at many thousands of dollars. That they are as nearly perfect as such books can be, is true however.

We must not neglect the ladies who are relating themselves in a business way to the public. Three blocks east on Washington street, we find another of our young lady artists, Miss Finette O’Kell, who has classes in oil, water color and china painting, and is teacher of those arts for the I.W.U.

As we come up Washington toward the west again, we pass the pretty church of St. Michael’s, Rev. D.C. Howard, pastor.

South on Adams Street one block, you see that handsome new house with statuettes. That is the studio of another of our Mt. Pleasant girls, the Misses Schliep, who teach a variety of methods in art, having received instruction in New York city. Their work is said to be excellent.

We are now brought back to the court house—not for trial by judge or jury, but to note the modest aspect of the building as a county structure, and pause to note the fact that the jail is in close proximity to it.

Rouse Brothers drug store is at the corner of Main and Washington streets, where a new stock of goods was put in few months since, the building having been thoroughly renovated, inside and out, and handsomely fitted up for the purposes of their business.

Palmer’s and McCoid’s law offices are above, where counsel to get into or keep out of legal scrape is given with discrimination and solid judgment of law.

H.A. Duncan’s grocery is next to Rouse’s drug store. He started here a few months since with a nice fresh stock, and with present prospects he is likely to succeed.

Buchanan’s insurance, loan and real estate office is over Duncan’s, where he is doing a good business and gaining recognition in business circles, and is a leading realty man in the county.

Black’s is a place where bargains are found, not only in second hand, but in new goods of all kinds. It is emphatically the place where it is safe to ask for anything from a doll to a derrick, from shoes to a shot gun, from candy to calico, on the presumption that you can find it here.

Dr. J.N. Day has his office over Duncan’s, and is ready, day or night, to answer professional calls, and minister successfully to the sick.

W.R. Hill occupies this handsome double room with dry goods, notions and groceries. Hill has a solid trade, keeps old customers and secures new ones, by fair prices, good goods and easy terms.

This meat shop is O’Connor’s. Meat fit for the king’s table can be secured here; juicy roasts and tender sirloins, pork cutlets and mutton chops.

Merchant Taylor, R. Walz, is above, where everything in his line is in the workman’s highest art.

These marble works are those of Peter Melcher, who has seen other dealers in his line come to Mt. Pleasant but leave for other towns, simply because in work and prices Melcher could beat them all.

The office of M.D. Walker, keeper of the records and seals of the K. of P. for the state of Iowa is in the front room over Peter Melcher’s. Mr. Walker has been elected to this position annually for twenty-one years. Other comment as to fidelity and ability is unnecessary.

Koch fills two floors of this store with footwear. His “specialty” is shoes that fit your feet, and shoes that fit the feet of the other fellow. With coarse or fine, from his abundance, any can be suited.

One block south where you see the sign, Mrs. S. McDonald, millinery, is kept one of the largest and best selected stocks of millinery goods in the city, and where as much ladies’ head gear is inside every twelve months as any of the larger and more pretentious houses.

This big roomy place is the farm implements and wagon warehouse of Winters & Foster, who handle car loads of stuff last year and intend to double their trade the coming year.

This handsome corner window is that of Hurley Bros., who carry a fine stock of boots and shoes and all first-class goods in that line.

Miss Leedham has her dressmaking parlors above where perfect fitting, excellent finishing, and good style distinguish her work.

B.F. Millspaugh has his harness shop in this room west of Hurley Bros., where he keeps a good stock of drivers supplies, and turns out work first class in every respect.

These two brick buildings that have no attraction in the windows, are the overflow warerooms for Phillip Summers’ grocery which we shall presently visit on Jefferson Street. These rooms are full of car loads of stuff, flour, salt and various bulky goods which cannot be accommodated in his salesroom.

C.J. Lang has his paint shop upstairs here. Lang has probably drawn a skillful brush over more painted surface inside and outside of homes in this city than any one now in the trade in Mt. Pleasant, for he has been at it for Many, many years.

That stand pipe is the medium through which the unnamable liquid from Big Creek is furnished the city and hospital which for all purposes but those of exterminating fires, watering lawns and supplying engines is of doubtful utility.

That blacksmith shop is where Charley Morse does good work, and this iron clad building is the steam laundry where work as excellent as Chicago or St. Louis can do is turned out.

Above in the second story is the office of Dr. Elliott, an old and successful Henry County physician.

These bright, tastefully arranged windows on this corner are those of the dry goods and millinery house of Grant & WIlliams, where good taste and excellent judgment dominate fancies and fabrics.

That small building sandwiched in between its taller neighbors does a good grocery business. Hoaglin runs it, and he literally runs the business. Mrs. Hoaglin conducts millinering successfully in the rooms of the second story, and has a fine trade, especially from the country.

This three-story building is Summer’s retail grocery, where immense quantities of staple food supplies are sent out to the community every year.

Miss Lucy Roberts has parlors above, where she teaches piano and guitar, has a good patronage and is highly esteemed by her pupils.

Wingate deals in musical instruments, silverware, firearms books, and conducts a repair shop for fine mechanical work, behind that three-story front.

J.L. Brunner & Brother’s fine taste is displayed in that immense window, behind which is a complete stock of fine furniture which is literally crowded into the three stories.

Chas. Howe in this extensive room has a large stock of groceries, and has won and holds trade by reason of close attention to business and the purpose to please his customers.

The Ross sisters conduct a successful trade in queensware in the room behind those windows where you see the handsome china. Quiet, careful and painstaking, they have established a reputation for fair dealing and good business qualities.

Miss Prince above, with the aid of quite a corps of seamstresses, runs one of the leading dressmaking shops in the city.

Thomas Lash’s dry goods house is next. Not as pretentious as some of his competitors, yet he keeps a steady patronage and paying trade. That is the oldest dry goods house in the city, that has neither changed location or hands in more than three decades.

This is not Delmonico’s, but the Palace restaurant, where Nichols successfully caters to the appetites of epicurious.

The Gas and Electric Light Co. occupy that handsome room behind this new glass front. The gas works and electric light plant are at the foot of West Monroe Street, but the general office management is here, under Mr. Howard Snider.

And this busy place where you see three ladies entering is Morony & Baker’s, popularly known as “Dennis’s”, where most ladies go to look for goods before deciding their purchases.

Those handsome windows are Van Cise & Co’s, druggist and accomplished pharmacists, presumably the equal of any in the city, as Mr. Van Cise is a graduate of the Philadelphia School of Pharmacy, and for years in business here.

Miss Maggie Rourk is one of our most careful and painstaking dressmakers and has a good trade with people of exacting taste, and has her shop upstairs here over Morony’s.

No. 107 has recently been occupied as an auction room for the surplus stock of ready-made clothing of Coopers, which is next door and is selling out.

In connection with Cooper’s is a merchant tailoring department under the charge of T.O. Thorson and John Woodburn, both well-known and skilled workmen.

In the suite above, are the millinery and dressmaking rooms of the Misses Kaeleon, who do the best sewing and cut and fit in a skillful manner.

That handsome room next door was the scene of the poultry show a few weeks ago, and on Christmas day the Salvation Army fed a half hundred children who would otherwise have had but an “every day” dinner.

The First National bank occupies this corner, is a solid institution and is conducted by a corps of able and accomplished business men.

The corner suite of rooms is occupied by those fashionable dressmakers, the Melcher sisters. The telephone office is upon the same floor with Miss Ida Davis as the courteous “hello” girl.

This barber shop is the good one recently conducted by Charley Davis and if I am not mistaken, the same men run it that assisted Davis.

Gladden’s sales room is on the north side to the west of this corner block where fine buggies, wagons of the best make, farm implements of all sorts and kinds are sold. The bargains secured here have gladdened the hearts of many a customer in Henry County.

Above is Saunders’ Opera House, just now the scene of the religious zeal and fervor engendered by the preaching of Mrs. Woodworth, the lady evangelist who has been holding meetings there for two weeks past.

In Prince’s old iron work shop on West Monroe Street, Arthur Williams, that most excellent of blacksmiths, has opened a shop, and if skilled work will draw, Williams will get his share of trade.

Whitney, the master mechanic, has his shop over Williams, and contracts large jobs or small, as patrons desire.

This church with the Queen Anne front belongs to the Christian or Campbellite denomination. Rev. Naylor is the well-beloved pastor, and breaks the bread of life to the people according to his perception of it, from the Scripture.

The old and reliable house of Ross, the lumbermen, has its office on this, West Monroe Street, one-half block west of the park.

Mr. Allsup has his carpenter shop here, somewhere near Ross Brothers, and is a most excellent workman.

While just west of this, Chas. E. McLeran’s salesroom for pianos, organs and sewing machines is located.

Hargrave & Son occupy this magnificent front with carpets, curtains and rugs upon the second floor.

Mrs. Pontius’s dressmaking establishment is in the front room over Hargrave’s, where seamstresses are kept busy, and no thought of hard times prevails.

This drug store next door to Hargrave’s is Waible’s, removed from Main Street a few months since.

Templin & Woods do business at this stand, where for many years they have drawn and held a large trade from all parts of the county by the simple process of keeping goods of standard excellence, at prices that compel competition in other houses, and by letting people of the county know where they are, what they have and how much it will cost.

R.J. Pierce’s grocery is next door and is well conducted, has a good stock, and accommodating service.

Above Drs. Smith & Linn have their office and consulting rooms and are recognized as excellent physicians.

Across the hall is the office of the Daily News, under the proprietorship of Rogers & Throop, with J.D. Howard’s job office in connection.

Walker & Dallner’s hardware is below the News office, and their customers are numerous and courteously treated.

The third story over the News office and Drs. Smith & Linn’s suite of rooms is the Library Hall, a handsome room where a fine library and reading room is conducted by the private enterprise of a few ladies for the last twenty years.

The west side meat market is the next, where care is taken to serve the public to all sorts of meat supplies after the most satisfactory manner.

Charley Clark and John Morony seem to vie with each other as to which shall keep the cleanest grocery, make the most attractive fruit display and send out the most goods to customers.

Wheeler’s bakery with the red front, has established itself with the public and draws a trade of which any house may feel proud.

It is no lie to say that Ly-on’s drug store next door to the north is one of the best appointed in the city, while the fine display of photos in Smith’s windows speak of the excellence of their work.

Above, Williams, general all-around worker of general repairs and tinkering, will help any who need gasoline stoves or almost anything else fixed up.

Burket’s hardware and tin shop is bright and attractive as a new pin. No. 1 work is what this home puts out along with right prices for all their goods.

Wm. Hoaglin’s handsome windows attract our attention. The draping is artistic and arrangement such as to attract attention and silently invite inspection to one of the largest and most available stocks of dry goods in the city, for Hoaglin’s motto is small profits and quick sales.

This three-story furniture house is H.T. Bird’s well-known place. The presumption is strong that Bird has handled a large proportion of the furniture sales in the city during the last few months.

Mrs. Anderson’s Millinery rooms are behind those attractive windows, and she holds her custom by her efforts to please.

There are a few more business places by which we will drive and make a note or two, for at this season we wish to give greetings to every person doing business in Mt. Pleasant. Around on Main Street, north from the square a block or two is Mrs. Hollowell’s restaurant, where meals are served and lunches at all hours can be had and fruits and confections abound.

One block from the park on south Main, Dr. O.F. Pitcher has his residence and office. This physician has a large practice and uniform success.

Near the college on Main is the Dyall Brothers photograph gallery, and Ed Moore’s grocery, where all sorts of goodies are to be had.

Fiddler has a grocery nearby, and on North Jefferson, Harrison, the veteran meat market man, supplies lots of customers from the north side with first meat of all kinds.

John Morrow’s grocery is next and fills many a market basket from the north before it reaches the down town dealers.

That rig you see yonder is one of the Mt. Pleasant Oil Co, which delivers oil in the city, and for a distance of ten miles into the country, and is a convenience to the public.

That milk wagon is Hill’s, whose dairy is north of town, and the one we saw near the park is Coles’, whose dairy is south of town. Both deliver good milk and give good measure and secure the good wishes of their patrons because of it.

This square, three-story house on West Washington street, is a hotel—well known as the “Wiggins House”—a quiet place on a quiet street, where they set a good table with pleasant attendance under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Pickard.

We will drive south on White Street until we come to the cigar factory of Leedham Bros., where they fill extensive orders for the wholesale and retail trade through southeastern Iowa.

Farther down on South White Street, Gus Jericho has machinery for renovating feathers and mattresses, and will do first class work for all who need it in his line.

The gentleman we just met with that little daisy of a pony, is McClary, the successful superintendent of the water works.

Let us now take a drive out to the extensive greenhouses of J.W. Thompson’s for some carnations for our boutonnieres, and return by way of the West End green houses for some of its notable rose buds to decorate our horses’ bridles, as we make the spin down the avenue to the hospital, where we shall be courteously received and given a look at the perfect order which pervades the entire building under the general direction of Dr. Gilman and his able corps of assistants. The grounds are beautiful and the drives the most perfect in the city. Here many are restored to health and usefulness in society and the home.

As the roads are fine and our rig nobby, before we stop, we will take in some outside places that we need our carriage to conveniently reach.

This array of chicken houses belongs to Hanson, the fellow that took so many prizes at the poultry show a few weeks since.

Farther on, half a mile is the big Ross Spring, where the mastodon bones were found, and that building on the hill south is the county house where this big pump needs pure water for the use of its inmates. The house of hope to the worthy homeless, in their helplessness the world over. Among all public institutions none are more worthy of good works than this class, when well and conscientiously conducted as is this one in Henry County under O.R. Sensibaugh.

This elevator is owned by Ketcham Bros. and in this mill close by is turned out the car loads of flour that are shipped to all posts east and west north and south by this firm, beside the great quantities consumed in the locality.

East here, near the old depot is where the Mt. Pleasant Road Grader Co. have located their shops and a large number of manufactures were turned out during the past year and have taken leading place in the estimation of the public in several states and territories.

This is the I.W.U. That is the main building, the smaller one was the original building, but is now occupied by Dr. Rommel for the purposes of the Iowa Conservatory of Music. This new building is College Chapel and Science Chapel, and Science Hall, and that across the street east, is the German college.

On South Jackson Street, corner of Front, is the large handsome church, St. Alphonsus, the religious home of the Catholics, Rev. Father Bassler, pastor. This new brick adjoining is the parish school conducted by the Sisters of Humility, in a most thorough and capable manner, with a roll of seventy-five pupils.

Crossing over to South Jefferson Street, one block to the east we find this neat unpretentious, but commodious church where the German Lutheran denomination holds regular services.

Bowman & Kaufman do a leading business in coal and grain and are square dealing reliable men whose reputation is identified with Mt. Pleasant in its best business interests.

Comstock’s scale works across from Bowman & Kaufman’s. The simplicity, accuracy and durability are the special features of these machines. Mont Saunders has introduced large numbers of these machines throughout the state.

The cold storage that is to be soon built will occupy this corner here on Adams Street just south of the railroad where the old meat market was. It is in the hands of an association of leading business men, whether they have incorporated or not I cannot tell.

And there is a canning factory also in the thoughts of the people or the papers. It is in the air anyway and in due course like all other creations it will unquestionably find expression in material form like all other good thoughts that become things.

The largest mechanical industry in wood in the county is conducted in this steam planing mill on east Henry Street by Leedham & Baugh. Nominally a sash and blind factory, it turns out high grade work in doors, fancy mouldings and ornaments, and in fact almost everything used in first class building.

Somebody has said that “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Realizing the value of home industries and the need of purifying individual towns as well as individual people, a factory was established last year for the manufacture of soap—’94 soap—both laundry and toilet, and both are high grade and deserve to merit success.

East on Henry Street is the Swedish Lutheran church where Rev. Eckelberg ministers to the spiritual needs of a goodly number of our citizens, who prefer the Word in their dear mother tongue. Thank God, the spirit of truth is the same whatever the national language. There are two churches where our colored citizens worship regularly, of the Baptist and Methodist denominations.

At this Christmas season it is pertinent even for the pew to ask “how long, Oh Lord! how long - “before creeds, which are the notions of men about the nature and relations of God, Christ and man will be melted away by the divine loving spirit of Christ in the soul of believers, when all from the least unto the greatest who have the consciousness of the divinity within, shall say with Paul, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, for all are one in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Dr. Farr has his office at his residence a block west of the Wiggins House, and has a large office and general practice.

And now for Whitford’s livery from whence we started, and if you have enjoyed the trip, we will pursue our observations later if you like, and visit our schools and churches one by one, of which we are very proud.

Taken as a whole, a more business-like, wide awake, and upright set of business men would be hard to find in any city. Each would draw a prize and every one deserves success.

To all upon whom we have called, we will give cordial New Year greeting, hoping that pleasant relations will prevail among of the several members of the Mt. Pleasant business family, one toward another, during the coming year.

(“The Free Press”, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Thursday, January 3, 1895, page 1)

Resource provided by Henry County Heritage Trust, Mount Pleasant, Iowa; transcription done by Rebekah Stone, University of Northern Iowa Public History Field Experience Class, Spring 2024.

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