In Mt. Pleasant

Businesses closing, opening and moving around make 1993 a busy year in town

By John Sloca, News Editor
(“The Mount Pleasant News”, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Thursday, December 30, 1993, page 19)


MT PLEASANT — Continued growth, change and development were hallmarks of Mt. Pleasant in 1993, a year which saw several retail chains close their local stores, one re-opening later, and massive change in a number of other economic development areas.

During one brief stretch of the summer, three long-time women’s apparel stores closed, and a long-time retail outlet also closed. Spurgeon’s and Seifert’s, tied to the same management group, closed their doors during the year. Seifert’s, however, reopened in November under the same management, but after the chain’s founder had put together a family corporation to take over a series of the original stores.

Also closing were the Sear’s catalogue store, run for years by Ardie Simms, who later founded and opened The Trading Post on the north side of the square. Martha Brown’s Ltd. also closed in 1993, but the building did not remain vacant for long, as APAC TeleServices has opened on the east side of the square.

GTE announced it was changing its operations and closed the customer service portion of its offices in Mt. Pleasant by the end of the year. Heritage Cablevision continued operations under TCI of Eastern Iowa, and in the fall, TCI’s total operations were the subject of a buyout proposed by Bell-Atlantic.

As the year came to a close, the community took another blow to its economy, as Pamida closed five of its stores in Iowa, including the Mt. Pleasant store, after business Friday, Dec. 24.

Industrially, things continued at a busy pace. Alaniz & Sons opened its new plant, consolidating several operations centers into a new building on North Iris Road. Federal Express opened a new facility on East Monroe, expanding its operations; and Mt. Pleasant Warehousing opened in the old Alaniz building on East Monroe. Several storage buildings were erected by a development group led by Rande McAllister, and the Stow-n-Go business on the north side of Highway 34 east was expanded.

Decorating Plus closed along North Jefferson and Just For You, a women’s apparel store, opened. Also opening were: Cox Chiropractic Clinic; Mt. Pleasant Eye Clinic (which relocated into a renovated Happy Joe’s building); Body Boutique, where Ashley’s and Satin Stitches had been located; Heart Beats, a wellness/health consulting business operated by Kathy Barney, opened in the professional building; Tai Cuisine in the old Golden Dragon Restaurant site on North Main, Sater Blacksmith operated by Todd Boldt relocated to the old Centre State building, and the East Monroe site of the blacksmith was purchased by Taft-Wiley, which is converting it into an expanded building and storage.

Rebound Sports opened in the Iris City Sports building; Jeans & Gems was renamed Electric Beach, Yaley’s Service & Sales moved to a new location on Winfield Avenue, and LBJ Antiques and The Dairy Stop opened along Highway 34 west. Nuzum-Chittenden was renamed to East Side Ford-Chrysler, and Christner Motors was formally closed. McWhirter’s GM Jeep-Eagle Discount Center was expanded to include a complete line of GM products. Bun’s & Co. closed after many years, and was remodeled and reopened under the same ownership as The Feed Bin. Shear Delight moved from next to the theatre to the old Lorber Insurance branch office site.

Life Investors opened at the old Domino’s site. Ray King moved his business from the old Montgomery Ward’s building to North Main. Class Act changed its name to Classic Design and is now under local ownership. Also making their names known in the local area were: BC Vacuum Systems; All American Turf Beauty, Inc; Henry County Surgical Care; and Audio-Diagnostics.

The Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce reported 34 new memberships during the year.

New construction continued during the year at a hectic pace, as the city issued 38 sign permits, and by mid-December had issued 17 permits for single-family residences (estimated total valuation added to the city’s total, $1,588,515); two permits for duplexes ($260,000 valuation added); 18 permits for additions, repairs and remodeling ($100,100 value added); 14 demolition permits, one permit to move a garage (issued in July); and 18 permits for construction of garages ($121,262 value added).

In commercial areas, the city issued six permits for construction of new stores ($1,303,241 value added); 25 permits for additions, repairs and remodeling ($873,260 value added); and four demolition permits.



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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