By Mike Avitt
I took this photo but did not date it. I know it is pre-2008. My brothers and I mowed Don's yard in the early 1970s and someone in the family had shoes repaired here at that time. Don moved his repair shop to his home in 1967 and I thought about this picture when Richard Pence suggested I write an article about Mount Ayr businesses located at residences. Richard and I came up with a pretty good list. I'm going to focus on the years 1951 to 1971.
Junior Reynolds had a tire repair shop behind his house at 500 N. Hayes. Mr. Reynolds may be best remembered as a long-time operator of the Skelly station on the south side of the square.
Hazel Davis had a pottery and ceramic shop in her home at the south end of Dunning Avenue. The house was relocated on south Highway 169 a few years ago.
Loren Lamb had a hunting and fishing supplies shop in his home on South Cleveland Street. I patronized that shop in the early 70s and remember seeing fishing lures, bobbers, stink bait, and other fishing-related items. I believe he sold guns and ammunition, also.
J. B. Currie practiced optometry in his home at 307 W. Madison beginning in the late 1940s. He retired in the mid-50s and the house was razed a couple of years ago after catching fire. The lot is now used for parking by the United Methodist Church.
William Kibbe repaired shoes in his home at 200 E. Adams Street. Mr. Kibbe located his business here in the fall of 1945 but I don't know when he retired. He was still active in the 1950s.
Dr. D. D. Taff, a chiropractor, moved his practice to his home at 205 S. Fillmore in 1938. He practiced here until his passing in 1951. His widow, Viola, later operated a beauty salon in this house.
Iris Beauty Salon began in 1951 at 603 East Madison. Iris (Culbertson) Osborn attached a mobile home trailer to her residence to be used as part of the business at some point but the trailer has since been removed. The business is still going today and has had the same name and been in the same location since 1951. And I was fortunate enough to take a photograph of the beauty salon when the trailer was still attached.
The West End Bike Shop was located at 116 Dunning Avenue in the early 70s. I remember it but don't ever remember doing business there. I think the owner was Orrin Wheeler and I think the business started in the late 60s and lasted until the early 70s.
Gerold's (Willey) Plumbing and Heating started in his home at 806 East Madison, probably in the early 60s. Gerold built the house next door at 804 East Madison and used the property for storage space until moving in to it. By this time, Gerold's Plumbing and Heating was selling appliances, too. The business moved into the new building at 306 South Garfield in 1971.
The ladies will recognize I skipped many beauty parlors located in people's homes so I'll have to update this article sometime soon. Thanks to Richard Pence for the idea!
Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2017