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 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Page 9

By Mike Avitt

I wrote about this building on August 23, 2012 but I have more information now. I initially identified this location as 109 S. Fillmore, but now I'm calling it 105 S. Fillmore. The drive-thru of U.S. Bank on the west side of the square occupies this lot today.

This building was erected by William Laughlin and George Hass in the fall of 1895. The south pane of the glass says, "Laughlin & Hass - Real Estate, Insurance & Loans." The north pane says, "Ringgold County Abstract Co. - Abstract & Title." By 1904, Dr. J. A. Kyle was located here in his practice.

In the spring of 1910, the Farmers State Savings Bank was established in this building. The Iowa State Bank absorbed this bank three years later and Frank Sheldon, president of the Mount Ayr Bank, bought the building. The next occupant was the Palmer & Holden firm dealing in insurance, real estate, and abstract. Frank Sheldon bought this business in December 1913.

I'm not sure about the next two decades although I can take some educated guesses. But, beginning in the autumn of 1931, this building would be home to several respectable beauty salons.

Mary Shafer opened a beauty shop here in September 1931. Hazel Anderson bought out Mrs. Shafer in January 1934. Mrs. Anderson added a line of women's clothing in September 1938. Hazel's Beauty Shop closed in 1943.

I don't know if Hazel re-opened but Crystal Pate bought Hazel's Beauty Shop in July 1947.

Jumping ahead to January 1955, Optometrist George Lee set up shop at 105 S. Fillmore. The building was once again used as a beauty parlor when Marilyn Olney opened a beauty shop here in August 1958. A 1965 Mount Ayr telephone directory still lists this address as Marilyn's Beauty Shop.

This building caught my attention in 1970. It was the first building south of Security State Bank. I went to the bank every two weeks because of my newspaper route and I couldn't help but notice a mailbox by the front door of 105 S. Fillmore. Also, every building on the west side of the square had a sign in front indicating the name of the business. No sign at 105 S. Fillmore and I wondered if someone lived there.

Sure enough, a 1973 Mount Ayr telephone directory gives the name of Opal Foster as a resident at 105 S. Fillmore.

I'm sure the old Laughlin & Hass building was torn down in the 1980s when Security State Bank offered drive-through banking.

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2017


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