Mt. Pleasant Daily News”, Wednesday June 6, 1923, page 1
Mount Pleasant, Iowa

There is an unusual readjustment in local business circles. The many changes of ownership of buildings has resulted in many changes of business locations and according to rumors a number of very important business changes are looked for within the next thirty days.

The firm of Fye & Campbell, known as the Mt. Pleasant Transfer Co., will go out of business at once. They will offer at public sale June 9th their entire equipment of motor trucks, and moving equipment and everything on the premises. Mr. Campbell will return to the farm and Mr. Fye will look into something else.

The purchase of the Willits building on North Main street by Dr. J.J. Pitcher and which premises are now occupied by Mr. Stewart Craig with his harness business will make a change. Dr. Pitcher who owns the building to the south will remodel and make modern his new purchase. It is probable that Mr. Craig will arrange to remain there as the location is a good one.

The purchase of the National State bank property by the Crane Brothers will make changes on that corner. Mr. McNew has already moved out and has occupied the rooms vacated by Dr. Payne on West Monroe street and Dr. Payne will later open up new offices at the first door west of the new First National Bank building. The telegraph office will move into the McNew place.

The new Masonic building will bring in two new concerns as the two store rooms will be rented without doubt to desirable people. The new meat market on the west side has vastly improved conditions there. At the southwest corner of the square the shoe repairing shop of Mr. Lebercheck is going to be moved to Salem and the building has been leased by Mr. Weir, its owner, to the Rukgaber’s who will open up an agency for the Chevrolet cars. This move will also greatly improve the general situation on the west side. Logically the west side should be a fine retail district and the last few months has tended to bring about better conditions.

Several deals of major importance are pending and which will be of tremendous interest to the town. There are rumors of another powerful oil company coming in here with a fine filling station and its representatives are hard at work trying to secure a suitable location. There is talk of further adjusting of the banking situation as regards sites and locations and with the disposal of the National bank corner as the pivotal problem, the suggestion being that the Henry County Savings bank purchase and occupy the National State Bank location and some other business take over the Savings bank corner. The matter has been hanging fire for some time and no decision reached. It is known that Phillip Brody is looking for a location here and as soon as he can find what he wants he will purchase or lease and re-enter the retail business. A chain store is also sending a representative here with a view of locating and a number of other deals that are of interest to the town are being considered.

Taken all in all the financial and general business situation in this city is about as promising and satisfactory as it ever has been in the history of the community. There seems to be more tendency to real team work and united effort and if a Commercial Club can be organized whose sole business will be to work with the other civic bodies for the material interests of this city, great progress can be continued. The farmers have two tremendous organizations which aggressively look after the affairs of the farming business and there is no reason why the business men should not perfect an organization to look singly and effectively after the business interests of this town.

In its list of things to be done as printed in Friday’s paper we neglected one item that must not be overlooked. That item is the removal of the oil tanks from the area on Broadway at the turn table. Omitting the question of fire hazard, the matter of civic pride should force the unsightly premises to be cleaned out. Those oil tanks should be down on the “K” line or east of town. They must be forced out of the very civic center of the community. Two oil companies are down on the “K” line and it is assumed that if the fifth comes in it will locate down there too. Only the Collins and the Standard are up on Broadway and with little insistence they could be influenced to move somewhere else.

And another thing in reference to civic pride. We can’t understand how the Fairfield Bill Posting company – got by in their erection of the huge bill boards at the Lincoln St. crossing. This big bill board is not only an eye sore but it obstructs the view to the west along the tracks and greatly adds to the danger of that dangerous crossing. The old bill board rotted down and we can’t understand how it happened that the city authorities or the railroad permitted the erection of a new one. All over the country there is being a war waged on these great bill boards which of course occupy strategic positions from the advert sing standpoint, but they are hideous in town and should be suppressed. It is discouraging to work hard to beautify the town and then to find these nightmares springing up. For instance, East Washington street can boast of one just being erected in the midst of its residential section and on one of the most attractive residence properties in town. Can you beat it?

Then there is another thing that should be accomplished and that is the substitution of man-controlled gates at the four principal grade crossings in for the electric bells which are worse than useless. The electric bells indicate nothing. They ring at the right time and they ring at the wrong time. They will not ring when trains are close and they will ring for hours with not a train in sight. Sometimes they will ring and the lights will not show and sometimes the lights will show and the bells will be silent. If a man sees the signal swinging it may or may not mean danger. If the signal is silent, it may or may not mean safety. There is absolutely no dependance to be placed upon them. The only reliable system is a man stationed at the Lincoln St. crossing where he can see trains from all directions and in his tower by the use of the compressed air control the crossings at Adams, Main and Broadway. This can be brought about and the city authorities were wrong in permitting the installation of the electric signals instead of gates. It will take time to get the change but it can be done by hanging onto the job.

The walls of the new First National bank are now getting up to the first story and the outlines of the building are slowly developing. It is going to be a handsome building.

The work of taking down Old Central is progressing rapidly and, in another week, it will be down to the ground level. We hear a lot of talk about the good old building methods and how they don’t build as solidly now as they did fifty years ago, but that is not bourne out by what is being found at Central. Brick are found in the walls too soft to be used today and break up when any attempt is made to clean them. Of course, there are thousands of good brick. Nothing, however, indicates the dangerous condition of the building than in the fall of the ceiling of the old high school room. While the carpenters were trying to get off the sheeting which formed the ceiling of the old high school room, it started coming off in great sheets, a hundred square feet at a time and went crashing to the floor below. Insecure fastening or else rotten joist had so weakened the hold that a heavy jar would soon have started the fall. All shows that it would have been folly to undertake the remodeling of the building.

The ice plant is moving right along. The big steel tank in which the ice is frozen is riveted together and other work is being pushed fast. The new filter is at work and it is large enough to filter and clear the water used in the steam boiler. By July 1st a real ice plant will be about ready for operation. It was a fine project and a wise expenditure of public funds.

Mr. W. H. Woodson and Miss Bertha left Monday on a real automobile trip that will last all summer. They go from here to Des Moines and then up through the northwest, including the Yellowstone Park, to Seattle, then down the Pacific coast to Southern California and then home by the Southern route. They will get back about the first of September as Miss Bertha will teach again this fall. They will have a great trip and see much that is wonderful and worth while. Their Mt. Pleasant friends hope that they will get along without a puncture or a blow out.

Mr. John G. Abraham left Sunday evening for Cedar Rapids where he conferred with the management of the Redpath Chautauqua people relative to his trip of speaking under their management. Mr. Abraham’s first appearance was Tuesday at Anamosa, Iowa, and then he will speak once a day for the season. He will be in Northern Iowa and Minnesota during the entire course. His team mates will be six beautiful girls who will be with him on the entire trip. The girls give the opening on afternoons and then Abraham gives his lecture and in the evening the girls give the full program. They all go in two Ford cars, John driving one and one of the girls the other. While John has not seen his fair companions, the advance program indicates that they are a handsome lot of young ladies, which are bound to give a pleasant flavor to the trip. Abraham is not limited to his lecture and has about concluded to talk most of the time on the political and social status of the countries he visited during the winter. Judging by the literature that the Bureau is sending out, they are banking heavily on Abraham as a star attraction. We pre-predict that he will be one of the most popular speakers on the program and will be signed up for another year. Abraham will make more clear money during the few weeks of his lecture tour than he would in a whole year of farming.

What has become of the “Twilight League?” This question is being asked everywhere. Has professional base ball driven out this popular evening pastime? Everybody hopes not. The News hopes that the Twilight League can be re-organized. It gave lots of fun to a lot of men who enjoy amateur base ball and it gave a lot of fun for those who like to see amateur base ball. The shop men would like to enjoy the league either as players or bench warmers and so would a lot of others. We shall miss the Blues and the Browns and the Greys and the Reds and so will a lot of others if they allow this fine and wholesome summer program to go by default. Get together, you base ball amateurs and breathe the breath of life into the Twilight League.

The News enjoyed a very pleasant visit this morning from Mr. Theo Hull of Barttlesville, Oklahoma and who after being gone for over half a century is back to visit the scene of his boyhood. Mr. Hull was the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hull who lived near Columbus Junction and being good Methodists, they moved here in 1866, to give their children the advantages of our college. They lived here until 1871. Mr. Theo Hull was here in college two years. President Wheeler was at the head of the school then. The Hull family lived on Jay street, which runs south from the freight house. Mr. Reuben Eshelman lived just north of them, and Capt. Beckwith on the south side of their home. On the College campus were but two buildings, Pioneer and Old Main. While he was in college, the P E O was organized. Mr. Hull stopped off here primarily to visit his old boyhood chum, Mr. W.F. Burket and together they are going over the town hunting up some of the old sights.

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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