Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, March 09, 2017, Page 9
By Mike Avitt
Bobbi Bainum gave me a list of Ringgold County structures that are on the National Register of Historic Places. The NRHP was established by the U. S. Federal Government in 1966 and has more than one million sites registered. The Ringgold County list can be found at www.nationalregisterofhistorialplaces.com/ia/ringgold/state.html
The first building in Ringgold County to be placed on the register is the old Ringgold County Jail. It was built in 1895 and served as the county jail until 1927 when the new jail was built on the fourth floor of the new courthouse. In 1928 the American Legion Post 172 bought the old jail and used it until 1978 when their new building was finished. The old Ringgold County Jail, at 201 E. Monroe, was added to the NRHP in 1979 when the owner was Leta "Jo" Davis Farmer Wiseman Ross. Today, the law office of Jim Pedersen is housed in the historic hoosegow.
The Ringgold County Courthouse was added in 1981. The courthouse was built in 1927 in a Tudor Revival style. Not too many changes have been made to the courthouse but I know the windows were replaced in 1974 and an elevator was added some years ago.
1983 was the year the Mount Ayr Public Library made its appearance on the NRHP. The library was built in 1916 with a grant from the Carnegie Foundation. A celebration for the library will be held this summer.
The Lee Shay farmhouse is located about one mile south of the Maloy corner and it was put on the NRHP in 1986. This is the only residence on the list I have.
The polygonal barn of W. J. Buck was entered onto the list in 1986. I don't know anything about this structure or even its location.
Mary Waugh was the person who petitioned to have the Middle Fork (Methodist Episcopal) United Methodist Church added to the register. She succeeded in 1990 and this is the only Ringgold County church on the list. Middle Fork was built in 1886 and is still active.
The last building on this is the Hy-Vee store in Beaconsfield. Added to the register in 2007, this building is recognized as the first Hy-Vee store as it was the first store owned by David Vredenburg and Charles Hyde with no other owners involved. The old store is still used as a meeting hall.
I know the NRHP refuses to register buildings that have been greatly or even moderately modified. The Mount Ayr Depot Museum would probably not qualify since so many changes have been made to the original structure. But I'm sure there are many places in Ringgold County that would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2017