Commentary on photos from Elaine Spunaugle Jeter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clarinda High School (first pic #1). This was used as H.S. from early 1900's until ca. 1930, when it became the Junior High. The building was "condemned" in about 1950, right in the middle of a school year, as I recall. Big panic! Some of the students were sent to the old McKinley School building which had not yet been torn down. It faced west - i.e. the boulevard. Correct address is 13th & Main Street, yep...
Clarinda High School (2) this is an older photo than the first pic above,but same building.
Clarinda High School (3) is the high school that was built around 1930, and torn down recently to relocate the library. It actually included the OLD OLD (1870's) high school within its walls. Faces Grant St. between 15th & 16th.
Clarinda High School (4). This is the OLD OLD original high school building, built around 1870, facing Grant St. between 15th & 16th Streets on the plat originally dedicated by the City for schools. Rather than replace it, it was gutted, and the lower part became a gymnasium and the upper part an auditorium and then the circa-1930's high school was built wrapped around it (more or less). Saved them a bunch of money, I understand. (This sounds like one of Ralph Spunaugle's ideas, by the way, though he never mentioned it. Well, he was certainly not the only money-saver around in Page County.)
"Clarinda Iowa Junior High Building" is actually the second (built early 1900's) high school building that was turned into Jr. High from around 1930 until about 1950 when it was condemned. Some civil engineer claimed it was about to fall down, so it was condemned, but they had a heckuva time knocking it down; "probably would have outlasted the Egyptian pyramids if it had been left alone", as Ralph Spunaugle said to me. Grandpa didn't think much of that engineer's opinion! Same building as 1 & 2 above.
I think you can safely date the first Lincoln School photo with the Eastern red-cedar trees lining the sidewalk at ca.1936/1938 or so. It looked exactly like that when I entered first grade there in 1940, except maybe the trees were a little bigger, but not much bigger. It always seemed like such a long walk from the street to the school on that sidewalk.
The second "Lincoln School" photo is unfamiliar to me. If it was on the same property as the above one, it had to have been torn down by around 1920, because the later Lincoln School (with the trees lining the sidewalk) was showing its age when I went there from 1940-1946, cranky radiators, balky windows, cracked blackboards (made from real slate), noisy plumbing and all.
The third "Lincoln School" photo looks to me exactly like the old McKinley School building, built in the 1880's or thereabouts. This building was still used as late as around 1950, when the Jr. High was condemned and students were moved into the old McKinley building. It was probably torn down in the early 1950's. In other words, I think it is almost certainly McKinley grade school (not Lincoln), & photo probably not later than 1920 and maybe much earlier. Of course it is possible that McKinley was not its first name?? However, when my father went there around 1914 or so it was definitely called McKinley because he told me so. It was located between 12th and 13th, at about Nodaway Street, as I recall. I think its replacement has also been torn down by now.
The "Clarinda State Hospital Greenhouse" looks familiar, but I don't even know where the "stage" was located (or if it was used later on). In the spring and summer they would have programs on the hospital lawns. I don't even know which building had the "stage"--that photo is really an oldie...
The 15h Street photo is looking North from the corner of 15th and State Sts.
The SE view from the Courthouse is circa 1939 or 1940.
The "Municipal Pool" was never owned or run by the City so far as I know. It was owned and operated from the 1920's on by the American Legion Post in Clarinda. I was under the impression that the Legion also owned the land, but I don't know for sure.
The "Main Auditorium of the Presbyterian Church" is a photo of the Sanctuary of the Presby. Church that burned down in the 1970's. I think the photo can be dated some time in the 1920's. I remember being told that Carrie Loranz' father purchased that pipe-organ so his daughter could play it. She was still playing for services into the 1950's (well, sort of playing it), poor Carrie; she taught piano when she was younger. Carrie's sister Bertha Loranz was my kindergarten teacher in the old kindergarten building that was right next to & immediately south of the then-junior-high at 13th & Main Sts. Henry Loranz, their father, ran a "building & loan" company cate-cornered acrss from Taylor's pharmacy; he died before 1930.
The old "Armory" building later was remodeled and held the Clarinda Theater and the City Offices. It burned down a few years before the Presbyterian Church. Maybe about 1971? One of the highschool classes was in the midst of a reunion, so they all went to the fire. Or so I was told by Maurice Bender, anyhow, class of 1951. Not sure about the year, though. It was located on East Washington Street just one block from the square, and faced south. The photo was taken before the theater's marquee's were added, so that means before 1930, I would guess. I always remember it being the Clarinda Theater, but people still called it the "Armory".
The grey house to the right of the Methodist Church was the parsonage. That is also a real "oldie" of a photo. From my memory, the building was the same shape but by the time I remember it there was a coat of grey stucco covering it.
My father told me about the KSO station--it was there from 1925 until 1932. It moved to Des Moines. You might want to link to its interesting history at:
Perhaps they would also like to link to the photo on the Page County IAGenWeb site!!
The photo of the Henshaw Hotel is probably dated around 1900. This frame building was (is?) on Lincoln Street, the middle of the block between 15th and 16th, facing north. I would be amazed if it is still standing, but who knows? It was still there in the 1950's, that much I know, partly turned into apartments then.
Well, that's about as far as I can get today. Hope this gives you some stuff for the site.