Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 09, 2017
By Mike Avitt
When I first saw this plat map, I recognized it immediately. It was a 1919 Sanborn plat and I have had a copy of this map for fifteen years. But, wait. Even though the map is clearly dated 1919, my eye went straight to the Armour Creameries building (304 N Fillmore) which I know was built in 1920. How can this be?
A closer look at the map reveals patches of undated paper glued over the original plat. The front and color match perfectly and the patches are difficult to see. Thanks to Brad Holden for donating this updated plat map.
This scan is of the west side of the Mt. Ayr square. On the cover of the plat book is written, "R. C. Smith." Mr. Smith was a Mount Ayr insurance agent until his passing in 1942.
A look at the west side of the square around 1930 shows the Huggins building on the far left which was built about 1890. C. Campbell and W. Moore had a furniture, carpet, and appliance store in the two south storefronts from 1921 to 1941 when Moore bought out his partner. Mr. Moore sold his business to Barker & Webb in 1945. They sold out to Jake Dailey and Arch Dunfee in 1954. McDonnel Appliance has been located at 121 S. Fillmore since January 1984, Faith Lodge #179 had purchased this building in 1920 and have been meeting upstairs ever since.
The single storefront on the northern third of this building was Rhoades Funeral Home in the early 1920s. The upstairs was often occupied by lawyers, doctors, tailors, and photographers.
The next building north, 117 S. Fillmore, was built by Dr. William Horne in 1902. Dr. F. H. Landes bought this office in 1925 and it became the property of attorney Frank Wilson in 1937.
One lot north is the current home of Abstract & Title Company at 115 N. Fillmore. This building was built in 1946 by Dr. T. I. Moffet and his wife, Silva. Dr. C. T. Lesan, Dr. J. T. Staton, and Dr. C. L. Seaman had offices in an older building on this lot previously.
Next door north at 113 N. Fillmore is Tyler Insurance today, but this building was built as Rosenbaum's Tire Repair in 1927. E. M. Rosenbaum moved to this lot in 1923 and built new after his old building became fire damaged. Before that, produce houses and a beauty station were located there.
Across the alley north is the new (in 1931) post office building. Fire destroyed three buildings in 1927 and new brick buildings replaced them. The Mount Ayr Post Office moved to 111 North Fillmore in January 1923. The post office would move again in 1940 and REC moved in to this building in 1945. Mt. Ayr Cleaners moved in next door in January 1932 and stayed until the mid-70s.
The next lot north, 107 N. Fillmore, was home to the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. in 1928. That's right, an A & P Grocery Store. They only lasted a year and then followed more grocery stores run by Roy Foreman, Earl Caryl, and Dale Kremier. It was also a Gamble's store before becoming Clair Willey's Plumbing and Heating in 1944.
The next building north, 105 S. Fillmore, was written on just recently so I'll continue to 103 and 102 S. Fillmore.
The Mount Ayr Bank was built in 1912-13 at 101 S. Fillmore. The lot at 103 S. Fillmore being empty. The institution became Mount Ayr State Bank in 1915 and merged with Iowa State Bank in 1930. In 1937, the bank reorganized and was now known as Security State Bank. No more dramatic changes would take place until 1968 when an addition was planned for the building. Excavating caused the south wall of the old building to collapse and plans were changed to occupy both lots with the totally reconstructed building. Open House was held July 27, 1969.
Plat map courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2017