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 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 02, 2017, Page 4

By Mike Avitt

This building was built in 1965 as Don's Ayrliner. Hy-Vee moved here in 1992 and I took this photo before Hy-Vee upgraded their sign.

David Vredenburg and Charles Hyde are the founders of Hy-Vee and they worked together for many years before starting a store in Beaconsfield, Iowa in 1929.This Beaconsfield store would later be recognized as the first Hy-Vee Food Store.


Both Vredenburg and Hyde were members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and worked for the General Supply Company, based in Lamoni, and owned by the RLDS. The General Supply Co. was a wholesale distributor of groceries and dry goods to the stores it owned and others.

David Vredenburg [1884 - 1949] was General Manager of the General Supply Co. and spent most of the years 1922 - 1930 in Lamoni. Charles Hyde [1883 - 1970] seemed to be a trouble-shooter, if you will, and worked at many different locations, including Ringgold County. The information I'm about to share comes from the Mount Ayr Record-News.

In April 1923 the General Supply Co. opened a branch store in Mount Ayr on the southeast corner of the square. Charles Hyde and his family are expected to move here from Woodbine, Iowa, ad Mr. Hyde will manage the store. Roy Foreman, former manager of the Decatur City store, will assist.

Charles Hyde went to Lamoni in August 1924 to take charge of the meat department there leaving Roy Foreman in charge of the Mt. Ayr store.

A big change came in January 1925 when the General Supply Co. bought the grocery store of E. B. Wall at 108 W. Madison (the north side of the square). Roy Foreman remained as manager when the General Supply Co. moved to its new location. David Vredenburg helped with the invoicing and arrangements.

The store then liquidated its line of clothing and dry goods in September and October of 1927 to focus on upgrading the grocery department. Charles Hyde arrived to help with the conversion to a strictly modern "cash and carry" grocery store. The store at this time was often referred to as the Supply Store leading me to believe the General Supply Co. was either no longer associated with the store or was a part owner. This was a common practice with Hyde and Vredenburg.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hyde opened a store in Kellerton in October 1927. It is believed Hyde was half owner with the General Supply Co. being the other owner. The newspaper says Hyde and his family set up residence in the Dwight Burham property. I don't know how long this store lasted.

The Mount Ayr store upgraded again in March 1930 when a refrigerated meat case was added. Earl Lane was also hired at this time to help in the store. Most grocery stores offered home delivery and the Supply Store was no different.

Roy Foremen left in March 1932 and opened his own store in April 1932 at 107 S. Fillmore. I didn't see any more advertising for the Supply Store after September 1932. But Charles Hyde would return.

In October 1947, Hyde's Food Store bought Bliss Food Market at 110 W. Madison. Hyde and Vredenburg had incorporated their partnership in 1938 so both gentlemen were owners of this store. Hyde's changed the name to Hy-Vee in August 1952 and they moved to the former United Food Market building at 107 N. Fillmore in September 1962. They moved briefly back to 110 W. Madison, in July 1964, after a fire caused a great deal of damage. Hy-Vee returned to 107 N. Fillmore in November 1964.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2017


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