HISTORY of REDDING, RINGGOLD COUNTY, IOWA
South Side of the Square, Redding, Iowa
Left to Right: Ralph Main's Newspaper Office, City Millinery, Clint Smith Store
A treaty entered between the Pottawattamies and the United States government on July 15, 1830 relinquished the tribes'
right to the western portion of what would become Ringgold County. The remainder of the land was ceded to the United
States in 1846. When the survey of the county was completed in 1849, the land was opened to settlement.
Samuel M. BAIRD
[(1825-1896), husband of Millie Elizabeth (PARKS) BAIRD (1832-1894), both interred at Fairview Cemetery]
and D. W. POOR settled in Clinton Township in 1856. Harvey WAUGH [died at age 60 years 1895, interment at
Middle Fork Cemetery; husband of Nancy (1834-1888)], Joel BROWN (1830-1913),
Judson GRIFFITH, and
Henry ARNETT [arrived in Ringgold County in 1855,
(1810-1887), interment Middle Fork Cemetery, husband of Lucinda (ca. 1818-1893)] settled in
Middle Fork Township. Each settler bringing his family with him. Other early settlers were Martin P. HOFFMAN (1841-1915),
Curtis WILLEY (1837-1927), A.
HIGGINS, and E. MANNING, all of Middle Fork Township; and, of Clinton Township, J. M. SMITH, T. KENWORTHY, M. M.
MAULDING, A. P. MAULDING, A. FULLWIDER, John H. ALLYN (1849-1933), and E. MANNING.
The 1878 Andreas Atlas shows seven country schools
in Middle Fork Township and four located in Clinton Township.
Ringgold County was formally organized on May 14, 1855.
Redding post office was established on August 30, 1855, but it would be several years before the town was formally platted
and laid out.
Wendell POOR (1799-1884) and 23 other settlers signed and filed a petition in 1858 which was presented by
The petition was for the division of West Fork Township. The petition was ordered which constituted separate townships and
Nelson MASON noted in his History of Middle Fork Township that the first election was held
the first Monday of April, 1858. The judges at this election were John C. STUART (1816-1876), George SHOBER, Allen HIGGINS, with
clerks Jno. A. MILLER and Henry ARNETT. They all received $1.00 for their services, with the exception of George SHOBER
who made the returns and was paid $2.00.
Two petitions presented by W. M. COFFIN was presented on September 9, 1858, asking
the court to removed the northwest fourth of Middle Fork Township and attach it to Mount Ayr Township. The petition stated
that this would better accomondate the citizens of that portion for all political purposes. The court ordered it to be done.
As there was a tie between James J. GRIFFITH (1828-1908) and John McGAUGHEY and William DENNIS during the 1859 election of Constable, another
election was held on December 17, 1859. DENNIS and McGAUGHEY won the election and filled the office.
In 1860 James J. GRIFFITH was appointed by Judge KELLER as the township trustee.
North Side of the Square Looking West, Redding, Iowa
Left to Right: Smith Store (brick building), Dr. Fullerton's Office, General Store, Telephone Office, Gustin Hotel
"Old Redding" was laid out on the north edge of Section 14 with 24 plots covering approximately ten acres. In 1880,
with the arrival of the Leon, Mount Ayr and Southwestern Railroad, the larger town "New Redding" was formally laid out in
south of "Old Redding" in Section 14.
The Leon, Mount Ayr and Southwestern Railroad went from Mount Ayr, through Redding, and on to Grant City, Missouri. Ringgold
County and her townships received stocks from the Railroad which later proved to be worthless. The railroad was taken over
by the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy (CB&Q) Railroad. The Redding Independent newspaper noted on June 10, 1886,
"The prospect of the extension of this branch of the C. B. & Q. Railroad is beginning to look bright. Grant City is getting
stirred about it, and will make every effort in their power to secure the extension."
Redding depot agents included:
Frank HILLHOUSE (1856-1943), Claud BRADLEY, Mr. O. B. MENDENHALL, M. T. FALKNER, W. D. MILLER, J. S. GROVES, and Mr. CALHOUN. Section
bosses included: Daniel E. MALANEY (1869-1954), Earnest "Ernie" CAVENDER (1890-1961), and Grant AKERS. A carrier met the train to deliver mail to the post office.
Carriers included: Alpha Truman BUTLER (1857-1927),
Silas W. ABARR (1863-1942), John Sevaree HOFFMAN (1841-1917), and Charles "Charlie" NORRIS (1866-1939).
There were two passenger trains
a day. No. 117 went north to Mount Ayr and beyond, leaving Redding at 10:54 a.m. daily, except for Sunday; and No. 113,
also northbound, leaving Redding at 6:35 p.m. daily, except for Sunday. No. 114 went south daily, except for
Sunday, leaving Redding at 7:41 a.m.; and No. 118 left Redding at 3:20 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, also southbound.
The CB&Q continued running through Redding until the tracks and rails were removed in June of 1945.
During Redding's railroad day, the livery barn was a center of activity, located west of the northwest corner of the
town square on the north side of the street [now a vacant lot where there is a garden. Those who own the lot say they still
uproot horseshoes and horseshoe nails when they till the garden]. Passengers who arrived by train often rented a team
or hired a driver and team to get around. Those who were leaving Redding would leave their teams at the livery barn. Those
who ran the livery barn included W. T. SMITH (1845-1923), George HUNTSMAN, EMMET and WELLS, Byron NORRIS, Gus HAZEL, and Henry RILING (1863-1939).
Jimmy HIMES, a bachelor, lived in the livery barn for a while, He drove a horse-drawn school hack in 1917 and 1918.
Redding was incorporated in 1882
and during its prime had a population of more than 300 residents.
The first postmaster of "Old Redding" was John BAIRD in 1855. J. W. CROUCH was the first known postmaster of "New Redding"
in 1886. From 1893 to 1897, Andrew AMICK was the postmaster, succeeded by John ABARR. Other Redding postmasters were A. F. "Frank" PARKER, 1912-1914;
Fred WALLACE [PARKER and WALLACE alternated until 1934, depending on which political party was in office]; Katherine WALLACE,
1934-1959; Vera COMBS, 1959-1976; and Martena MOBLEY who was commissioned in May, 1977. Clerks and assistants included:
Vera COMBS, 1951-1959; Doris MONDAY, 1960's & 1970's; Nina WALLACE; Margaret HAWK; Guy PARKER; Mrs. A. F. PARKER;
Mary CAVIN; Mamie HERREN; and Bernice ABARR in 1982.
On July 1, 1902, rural Redding residents began receiving free rural delivery of their mail. There was one route with
Daniel M. "Doc" HARRIS as the mail carrier. The Mount Ayr Record-News noted on July 2, 1924, "D. M. HARRIS, mail carrier
on route 1, Redding, will at the end of this week have completed twenty-two years of service. Mr. HARRIS has never used an auto in
making his daily trips. He has handled a total of 1,650,000 pieces of mail and holds the record in the county for the number
of trips he has made."
Other rural mail carriers included: Ralph SCOTT; Homer Foster, Sr.; Mason HERREN, Samuel R.
SHAFER; Weldon W. SMITH, 1920-1924; Carl QUICK, 1924-1956; Earl KELLY, 1930-1967; Ansel JONES, Marshall MATTHEWS until
transfer to Mount Ayr in 1971; Rue MINOR until 1981; and Richard SNETHEN. Substitute carriers have included: Kenneth
LAMBERT, Glen QUICK, Ansel JONES, Marion JENNINGS, Harold MEKEMSON, Howard GUTHRIE, Howard JARVIS, and Tom JAMESON.
Redding Post Office was changed from 3rd class to 4th class on June 30, 1967.
A Methodist Church was built in 1884.
Redding's city officials in 1886 were Mayor F. M. WILSON, Marshal James Manroe BAIRD (1854-1950), Deputy Marshall F. RAWSON, and the following
Councilmen: Dr. W. E. LAWHEAD, Joseph ALBEE, Milt SULLIVAN, L. P. MILBURN, John H. ALLYN (1849-1933), and J. W. BEAMAN.
Redding showed great
promise of becoming a prosperous town during its early years. However, several disasterous fires
nearly wiped the town off the map. One fire was in April of 1884 on the northwest corner of the square. Five buildings
were destroyed. In following July of 1884, the entire north side of the square was consumed by flames. Redding never
recovered from the last fire.
Looking North, Redding, Iowa
Left to Right: Blacksmith Shop, Polly SHAW House, Livery Barn
Redding's town officials in 1904 were Mayor Oliver J. TARDY (1859-1920), Recorder Ralph SMITH (1874-1954), Health Officer
Oscar L. FULLERTON (1850-1932), Marshal
Asa HARRIS (1867-1955), Street Commissioner E. F. JENNINGS (1867-1922), Treasurer W. G. SCHANCKE, Assessor John w. ULLERY
(1867-1957), and Councilmen: John B. RICHARDSON (1846-1908),
Edward E. "Ed" AMICK (1878-1950), Daniel M. HARRIS (1865-?), and Harlan ABARR (1872-1953).
Redding Park, circa 1908
Union Savings Bank, Redding, Iowa
At one time there was a bank known as Peoples Bank. There is an advertisement in 1904 for the Redding Bank, stating, "Pay
your taxes at the Redding Bank." Redding Bank also provided safety deposit boxes. Officers of the Redding Bank were
president A. M. SCHNACKE and cashier W. G. SCHANCKE. A. M. and W. G. SCHANCKE were later officers of the Union Savings
Bank which was organized sometime before 1908. The Union Bank was destroyed by fire on a Sunday morning in 1922. Also lost
in the fire was the McCLANAHAN Drug Store., both buildings located on the north end of the east side of the town square.
While a new bank building was being erected, The Union Savings Bank conducted business out of the Redding garage [which still
stands on the north side of the square.]
Later officers of Union Savings Bank were O. L. WHITLATCH, Roy LEE,
Sam EMERSON, and Al TALG. Employees of the bank over the years include Kelt SMITH, Clifford McELVAIN, Bert AMICK (1869-1928),
W. H. TILTSON, Cad HAMMER, and Thomas Jefferson "Tom" STEPHENS (1858-1933).
Ezra W. McPHEETERS (1854-1928) and Dr. Oscar L. FULLERTON (1877-1958) served as directors.
The Union Savings Bank advertised in May of 1925 that "The modern bank is the only safe place to keep your money."
Officers in 1925 were T. A. ARNEAL (1847-1935), David M. RICH (1860-1944), and employees John HOOVER, W. A. McCLANAHAN, M. C. McDILL, and Claud STOUT.
The directors were Charles M. WAUGH (1870-1951) and Phillip "Phil" STUDER (1877-1954).
In the late 1920's the two banks of Redding consolidated. With the
bank failure and closings across the nation in 1931, Redding's bank closed, never to open its doors again.
Celebration in Honor of the Arrival of Ayr Line Road
Redding, Iowa, May of 1911
A great celebration in May of 1911 was held in honor of the arrival of the Ayr Line Road through Redding. The road was
provided the shortest distance between Des Moines, Iowa, and St. Joseph, Missouri.
Redding's town officials in 1945 were Mayor Ralph MAIN, Clerk Elbert E. EDWARDS (1873-1952), and
Councilmen: Griver C. WRIGHT (1891-1980), James A. MILLER (1884-1974),
J. J. TODD, Ralph SMITH (1874-1954), and George GRIFFITH (1877-1949).
Redding's town officials in 1955 were Mayor George B. HAWK, Clerk Guy H. PARKER (1899-1975), and Councilmen: Harvey Franklin
MAUDLIN (1884-1971), Jeremiah Howard PARKER (1915-2003),
James A. MILLER (1884-1974), Jerry HIATT, and Owen K. LAMBERT (1904-1966). Neil NORRIS was later the Mayor.
The Farmers and Merchants Mutual Telphone Company was organized in 1902 with fifty telephones. This was on a
party-line system with several families on the same service line. It was possible to listen in to other people's conversations
if they were on the same party-line. Although not many people admitted it, this was a popular pastime of its day.
phone company was owned by shareholders with a share costing $10 and yearly dues [in 1920] of $6.00. Those who didn't own shares could have telephone service
by paying for switch fees. Switching hours were usually from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
If the telephone lines went
down, people normally repaired the lines themselves.
Old Telephone Office, Redding Iowa
Courtesy of Mount Ayr Depot Museum
Telephone operators of the Farmers and Merchant Mutual Telephone
Company included: Florence HOFFMAN, Olive HOFFMAN, Sadie M. JAMESON (1887-1978), Effie E. HOLLAND (1873-1960),
Oscar HUDSON (1893-1954), Myrtle HUDSON, Aileen MAUDLIN,
Gladys PUGH, Frona J. RICHARDSON (1879-1959), Ada EATON (1884-1978), Ruby WALKER, Nana ZERCHER, Maude QUICK, Mrs. PROCTER,
W. A. HAZEL, Mrs. SEATON,
Fern HAZEL, Anna Gustie HAZEL, Mance HAZEL, Bertha Logan McGLEN, Eula Logan TALG, Dorothy LYNCH,and Mr. and Mrs. Tom FARTHING.
Assistants over the years include Kathleen THOMAS, Ada Mae MILLER, Pauline MILLER, Bill TODD, and Bernice (MALOY) LYNCH (1895-1984).
The Mutual Telphone Company sold to Hawkeye State Telphone Company and dial services were installed in February of 1968.
In 1968, Redding and Diagonal were two of the first towns in the State of Iowa to install a
dial telephone service.
Redding's town officials in 1982 were Mayor Richard SNETHEN, Clerk Janis DENNEY, and Councilmen: Tom KELLY, Eldon BOESE,
Greg WESTFALL, Mike BAINUM, and Jim HULLINGER.
The population of Redding numbered 450
residents in 1896. The 2000 census population of Redding was 78.
Blacksmith Shop at left & Redding Opera House (brick 2-story)
Courtesy of Mount Ayr Depot Museum
Ringgold County History, Compiled and written by the Iowa Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Iowa, Sponsored
by Ringgold County Superintendent of Schools, Mount Ayr, Iowa. 1942.
WPA Graves Survey
Redding, Iowa: The First Hundred Years: 1882 - 1982
Written & Submitted by Sharon R. Becker, 2008; updated May of 2010
Redding, 1898, by J. M. BAIRD
Ringgold Roots Salutes Redding, 100th Anniversary
Vintage Redding, Courtesy of Friends of Old Redding
Rural Mail Delivery:
Patrons of RR 2, Redding, 1916
Patrons of RR 1, Redding, 1918
Dial Telephone System, 1968
Redding High School
Redding High School, 1912
Assembly of God Church
Community Bible Church
Middle Fork Methodist Episcopal Church
Middle Fork Sunday School Classes & Organizations
Sunday School Class, 1913
United Methodist Church
Vacation Bible School, Methodist Church, 1951
United Presbyterian Church
Vera COMBS, Postmaster 1959-1976
Dr. Oscar & Eva FULLERTON
"Uncle" Will HUNT
Earl KELLY, rural mail carrier
Ollie "Posy" (MIMS) MILLER