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 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, August 06, 2015, Page 10

By Mike Avitt.

It may look like a postcard but this ink blotter was used back when fountain inks were a little messy. When too much ink formed on the tip of your pen, you just dabbed it on the blotter. The blotter acted as a sponge.

Many of us can remember when local businesses gave out calendars, ice scrapers, matchbooks, ink blotters, letter openers, coin purses, key chains, ink pens, and even salt and pepper shakers advertising that business' services or product. I recently got requests for information about a couple of advertising items and I'll tell you about them.

Norma Swartz French asked about her Iowa State Bank coin bank. Iowa State Bank came into existence in Mount Ayr in 1904. In 1937, Iowa State Bank merged with Mount Ayr State Bank to form Security State Bank. So ISB was gone by 1937. Because the coin bank is nickel-plated, I would say it was produced in the 1930s. If it was cast iron, it may be from an earlier period. Some of the familiar names associated with ISB were Walter Scott, Bert Teale, and Earl Hoover.

Mike Zarr said he had an item from the Beaconsfield lumber yard, but he had been told Beaconsfield never had a lumber yard. Oh, yes, they did! My notes from the newspaper say W. V. Doty sold the Beaconsfield lumber yard to I. J. Dalbey about July 1, 1917. Dalbey then sold it to Spahn & Rose February of 1923.

Several years ago, before I started my newspaper index, Jamie Miller asked me about a ceramic saucer advertising L. M. Lowenthal & Co. Now I know Mr. Lowenthal was a jeweler and occupied two different stores in Mount Ayr before moving to Diagonal and buying the J. R. Stewart jewelry business there. Lowenthal eventually moved on to the Dexter, Iowa area.

Not long ago, we were given a calendar at the Depot Museum advertising Elmer McCay as a regional distributor of Standard (I think) Products. I had never heard the name but less than a month later I came across a newspaper ad with his name on it. I think he was here around 1950.

I have some space left so I'll share some Hawkeye Lumber Co. history. Hawkeye Lumber Co., the lumber yard of J. H. Seevers in March of 1907. Seever's yard was where Hawkeye would always be, 201 N. Fillmore. Roy Caldwell would arrive to be the manager September 25, 1918. He would stay until retiring September 1, 1947. However, he must have gotten a really good offer from Dalbey Lumber Co. because he went to work for them one week later. Hawkeye closed in the early 1990s.

Theola Weeda recently donated some advertising spoons to the Mount Ayr Depot Museum and one of them has the Mount Ayr Christian Church engraved in the bowl. Thanks to everyone who saves Ringgold County history for future generations.

NOTES: William Victor Doty was born in Iowa on January 6, 1870, the son of Ezra and Sarah Melissa (Holland) Doty. He was married to Bertha L. Reasoner, the daughter of Zenas E. & Lottie C. (Shimmin) Reasoner. W. V. died in 1936; Bertha died in 1966. They were interred at Oliver Cemetery.

John G. Faris, son of Samuel Davies (1789 - 1824) & Mary Faris, was born on November 4, 1829, Ohio County, West Virginia. He married on August 22, 1867 to Annie Stevens Paris (born April 15, 1843; died September 23, 1936). John was a Civil War veteran, serving in Co. B, 86th Illinois Infantry. John died January 27, 1907, Mount Ayr, Iowa. His mother, Mary Faris, was born December 26, 1803, Ohio County, Virginia and died May 1, 1881, Mount Ayr, Iowa. They were interred at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa.

John Harvey Seevers was born in Linden, Indiana on January 2, 1859, the son of Daniel R. & Mary Catherine (Hall) Seevers. He married Rosanna Jane Lee on December 2, 1905 at Mount Ayr. Rosanna was born January 14, 1862, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, the daughter of Alexander and Rosanna Jane Lee. J. H. died June 28, 1936; Rosanna died September 9, 1933. J. H. and Rosanna were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.

Irvin J. Dalbey was born March 20, 1875, and died in 1962. He was married to Florence Lynn Dalbey, who was born in 1878 and died in 1958. They were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.

Roy Caldwell, the son of Isaac and Nancy Rebecca (Davis) Caldwell, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 26, 1887. He married Mildred May Wessel on March 8, 1912 at Centerville, Iowa. Roy died June 7, 1958. Mildred May (Wessell) Caldwell was born February 22, 1888, and died December 29, 1954. They were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Bell Dairy and Faris business card courtesy of Sharon R. Becker
Transcription and notes by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2015

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