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 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, April. 07, 2016, Page 15

By Mike Avitt

Gasoline Alley was a filling station built in 1932 by George Rogers. Mr. Rogers conducted his business about 305 E. Monroe, or about three and a half blocks east of the southeast corner of the square. Remember, East Monroe Street was State Highwy No. 3 in those days. The station opened May 28, 1932 and probably closed in 1941. That's because George and his son Keith built a modern service station, also called Gasoline Alley, at 207 S. Fillmore. It opened June 7, 1941 so I'm guessing the original filling station building was moved to 405 W. Adams sometime soon after that. Father and son Rogers moved out on the highway in 1953, but Gasoline Alley is still standing today. I took this week's picture in 2007.

Many houses in Mount Ayr have either been moved or were used for commercial purposes. The house at 305 E. Monroe was moved there from the northwest corner of the intersection at Taylor Street and Highway 2. The Phillips 66 station was then built on the vacated site. I believe the house at 406 W. Monroe was originally located at Lawhead's corner (West Street and West Madison).

The house at 301 N. Taylor, currently owned by Mr. and Mrs. Scott Stutzman, has been a funeral home and a furniture store. My newspaper notes say this house was purchased by J. J. Dalbey in 1918 from William Thomas Timby. Arch Dunfee bought the property in June 1952 and began the remodeling process. On October 25 & 26, 1951, Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home had its formal opening. Gary Brown bought into the business in June 1972 and Dunfee-Brown sold out to Rhoades-Wilson Funeral Home a year later.

The Mount Ayr Furniture Company, owned by Jack Dailey, began an inventory reduction sale in July 1973. The business opened in early October at 301 N. Taylor after having moved from 121 S. Fillmore. Jake would continue his furniture store here for over 30 more years.

The property at 201 W. Jefferson was the site of the original First Baptist Church when it was built in 1871, The church was sold shortly after the new brick church was built across the street east in 1915. Dr. L. H. Ahrens bought the building from C. A. Lent and the good doctor converted the residence into Mount Ayr's first hospital. This lasted until 1924 when Dr. Ahrens auctioned off his property on September 20th of that year.

Keith and Betty Cole bought the property in late summer 1953 from Merl Whitmore. The building is still standing and is still a residence. I would say it is the oldest house in Mount Ayr and maybe Ringgold County.

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2016

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