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 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, March 10, 2016, Page 4

By Mike Avitt

The Redding Centennial book has a little information on the Union Savings Bank, seen here on the far left. I'll combine that information with my notes from the Mount Ayr Record-News and the Redding Herald

In November 1905 the Peoples Bank and the Redding Bank merged to form the Union Savings Bank. Birt Amick and W. G. Schancke were the directors but I don't know which bank each belonged to. My notes say the Union State Bank changed hands in March 1908.

In November 1913 a bank was organized with C. R. McDill as president, W. A. McClanahan as cashier, and D. M. Rich handling real estate and insurance. I believe this bank to be the Redding Savings Bank. In 1921, F. R. Stout sold his interest in the Redding Savings Bank to John Hoover.

Meanwhile, the Union Savings Bank (USB) was undergoing chages, as well. S. R. Emerson and O. L. Whitlach sold their interest in USB to C. A. Hammer, G. E. Hammer, and C. A. McElvain in April of 191. Two years later, C. A. Hammer sold his interest to Clifford McElvain.

The year 1923 would be disastrous for both banks. The Union Savings Bank caught fire March 17 and was destroyed along with Crouch & Combs grocery store next door south. The brick building appears to have been put back into service, though, as a 1980 phot I've seen of that corner shows the same brick pattern as our 1910 photo.

The Redding Savings Bank was robbed August 12 of that year and it was no ordinary robbery. Five men used two seperate explosions to blow the vault and took a hostage in the process. Local folk, hearing the first explosion, came from their homes to investigate and were fired upon by the robbers. The crooks were caught the next day in Missouri and in less than 30 days were convicted and sentenced in Ringgold County Court.

Article regarding the robbery and conviction of robbers from August 15, 1923 Mount Ayr Record-News.

In 1925, officers of the Redding Savings Bank were T. A. Aneal and D. M. Rich. This bank would merge with Union Savings Bank in February 1928, leaving Redding with one bank heading into The Great Depression.

The USB did not survive the stock market crash of 1920 and closed its doors for good February 23, 1930. The next news I see about the old bank building is July 1933 when Max Tripp opened a grocery store here. In September 1934 Hugh Naill of Blockton opened a grocery store in the same location. I believe the Community Bible Church met here in the 1960s.

I don't know what the occasion was, but there seems to be many children in this week's picture. I can see the fourth building on the east side has a barber pole near the door and two doors south of that was the produce house. Reidlinger's store, second from the end on the east side, is the only building left standing from this photo. The buildings on the south side facing the camera are the City Millinery (left) and a general store once owned by Clint Smith.

The Redding Post Office, which occupies the south side of the Redding square today, seems to have been built in 1922. My notes say A. F. Parker, the current postmaster at the time, bought the lot from D. M. Rich and hired A. D. Baird and E. F. Jennings to build the new post office.

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


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