HISTORY of TINGLEY, RINGGOLD COUNTY, IOWA
CB&Q Depot, Tingley, Iowa
Several settlers in Ringgold County who wanted mail services met around
the year of 1867 in the home of William "Tingley" CORNWALL with the purpose of
establishing a post office at his home. They agreed to take turns carrying
the mail from the nearest point [Afton in Union County] to connect with
the stage line.
The name "Silver Street" was submitted
to the U.S. Post Office Department, but was rejected because there was
another post office by the same name in Iowa at the time. It was suggested
that CORNWALL send in his own name, which he did. Consequently the name
"Tingley" was approved. Tingley CORNWELL was appointed as the
The post office was moved to Edgar SHELDON'S place in
1868. The farmers and were also relieved of their
mail carrier duties. At the time, Tingley was located in Sand
Creek Township - later Union Township - and later still Tingley
When the Humeston and Shenandoah Railroad [in partnership with the Burlington and Wabash Companies]
came through the northern part of Ringgold County in 1881, the railroad
land for the future site of Tingley from area farmers.
The town company bought 200 acres
of land from the AVENILL Brothers, F. W. HARDING, and George SWAIN. The
railroad was operational by the spring of 1882. Several businesses
were established and Tingley had 200 residents.
Tingley was incorporated in 1883 with 211 residents, and named indirectly for Tingley CORNWALL. Tingley CORNWALL taught
in Union Township during the time when the township was subdivided with the new township named for him.
The town of Eugene, located approximately five miles north, was eventually absorbed into the town of Tingley. The Goshen
Depot moved to Tingley in 1890.
Tingley's depot closed in 1945. Then it was used for various comminuty meetings
such as the Lion's club.
After Ally JARRED purchased the Tingley depot in the 1960's, he was removing the floor boards under the agent's office and
found numerous whiskey bottles. The depot is now used as a heavy equipment shop.
When Tingley was incorporated, George SWAIN had built the
first store and was the postmaster. Other businesses that followed
were HOWLAND and McCREIGHT; John HAVER and Company; PARRISH and
TAYLOR Hardware; John KELLEY, grocery; V. D. COLLES, drug store; J.
J. BERRY, livery and feed stable; J. R. & W. L. EMBREE, lumber;
Alexander BEARD & Son, lumber; R. E. BURKE, contractor &
builder; Levi COON, blacksmith; C. C. BOSWORTH, coal dealer; and John
ROWELL, harness shop.
By October of 1886, other businesses in
operation in Tingley were JONES, and WILCOX and T. A. FISHER, general
merchandise; J. M. DUNBAR, clothier; J. R. STEWART, jewelry; TAYLOR
& SWAIN & GARSIDE & Son, hardware; R. W. SELBY & Co. and
T. P. ASBURY, livery; Charles CARMICHAEL, meat market; E. M. STEVENS,
restaurant; Mrs. Sadie JOHNSON Millinery; barbers D. B. ALLEY and
McCLOSKEY & WINES; John WINES, shoe shop; A. A. ELDER, furniture;
Willis KARR, Pacific Hotel; C. H. ENNIS, lumber; George HALE, station
agent; J. J. McCREIGHT, grain buyer; E. C. EDINGTON, sewing machines; and
Mrs. E. C. EDINGTON, dressmaker. A
Christian Church had been built, and J. GETTINGHER had founded a
newspaper, The Tingley News.
Afton, Union County, Iowa
October 5, 1882
The new and thriving town of Tingley, Ringgold County, was visited by a fire one day last week. Dr. St.
JOHNís drug store and several other buildings were razed to the ground, including a new furniture store-room. We
understand the buildings are being replaced.
Tingley fire of 1894
In December of 1894, Tingley
suffered one of the worst fires in Ringgold County. Losses mounted to
$40,000. The fire started in the general store, then spread to the east
and to the west. Among the buildings destroyed were the bank and the
In the fall of 1895, Tingley and Mount Ayr were
connected by telephone with the telephone office located in Dr. BERT'S
office. A rural mail route was established in 1903. The Tingley Coal
Company was founded in 1903, but no coal was ever found.
S. BRECKENRIDGE opened a grocery store on May 23, 1921. The BRECKENRIDGE
original store was a small room located approximately one-half block of
the present  location. He moved onto his present location on May 1,
1923. Acquiring the CARTER Hardware, BRECKENRIDGE completed his store
Other Tingley businesses in operation in the year of 1921
included Joe SHEESLEY General Merchandise; Mr. MILLER'S Store; and HICKS
Tingley's first physician was Dr. L. E. St. JOHN, who
remained approximately 2 years. Dr. James NICHOLS and Dr. R. W. SELBY
opened their offices in either 1866 or 1887.
One of Tingley's famous sons was Hall of Fame college football coach Daniel Earle McGUGIN
(1879-1936). His obituary and photograph may be found in the Ringgold County Obituary files.
Renowned artist Jackson POLLOCK's parents resided in Tingley.
father Roy was a 1895 graduate of Tingley High School. Roy
Daniel Earle McGUGIN were classmates.
Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, June 24, 1954
Three hundred and twenty-five persons from nine states and 27 towns registered Saturday afternoon and evening during the open house of the Tingley State Savings Bank to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment.
In response to a special invitation to the 50th anniversary observance of the founding of the Tingley State Savings Bank, Hon. F. E. SHELDON of Saratoga, CA (one of the original directors of the bank) wrote an interesting letter, reminiscent of the early days in the Tingley community. The letter (printed in full) tells of the naming of Tingley, re-location of the post office, the coming of the railroad, how drunken workers turned Tingley into a "wild west" town, the burning of business houses, the establishment of the bank and many other history-making events.
Another honored guest at the anniversary observance was A. R. (Bert) HASS, one of the original directors and first cashier of the bank. He called to mind business establishments and proprietors in Tingley in 1904:
four general stores, operated by George SLENTZ, Harry SPURRIER, H. TUTTLE and HEYER Brothers;
two drug stores, owned by W. ELDER and T. ASBURY;
two lumberyards by C. RICHARDSON and G. RICHEY;
furniture and undertaking by H. EDWARDS;
a hardware store by Job NELSON;
a hardware and tin shop by Tom FOSTER;
a grain elevator by O. TALBOTT;
a meat market by Frank HURST;
a harness shop by J. MAHAFFEY;
and a restaurant and bakery by Lew LANHAM.
W. WATSABAUGH was publisher of the Tingley Vindicator; Maggie POLLOCK served as postmaster; E. CULP as the blacksmith; Roy McDOWELL and Perry BUCHANAN were draymen; and the community was served by doctors M. HANNLLY, L. HINSDELL and H. WHISLER.
Transciption by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2012
Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, March 20, 1958
Fire of unknown origin totally destroyed the two-story I.O.O.F. building in Tingley early Sunday morning. The fire was discovered about 12:45 a.m. but had gained such headway that it was impossible to save the building. The building was erected soon after the town of Tingley was established by Charles SWAIN, hardware merchant. I. F. HALL also operated a hardware store in the building until his retirement and later it was occupied by a drug store. The second story was devoted to lodge and club meetings. A tractor, owned by the town, and two cars stored in the building were removed undamaged. Insurance on the building, owned for the past 30 years by the I.O.O.F. Lodge, had expired February 15 of this year.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2015
The 2000 census population of Tingley was 171.
Mayors of Tingley, Iowa 1884 through present
1884 - C. C. BOSWORTH
1885 - A. A. ELDER
1886 - J. R. STEWART
1889 - W. C. SMITH
1890 - Samuel GALLOWAY
1891 - W. SMITH
1893 - William E. ELDER
1895 - G. E. HAMMANS
1897 - C. V. NICHOL
1898 - William E. ELDER
1900 - J. R. STEWART
1900 - J. C. MAHAFFEY
1901 - Charles M. RICHARDSON
1904 - Harry SPURRIER
1905 - I. B. FRAZEE
1906 - Hiram WHISTLER
1906 - C. M. RICHARDSON
1907 - A. J. FAUST
1908 - H. W. EDWARDS
1912 - Luir F. HALL
1914 - John O. NELSON
1916 - John F. FRASER
1918 - H. E. BERRY
1919 - Jas. A. VERPLOEGH
1920 - H. WHISLER
1924 - F. F. BROWN
1926 - J. F. FRASER
1928 - O. C. HOUSE
1930 - J. F. FRASER
1932 - C. W. LENT
1934 - O. W. ROUSH
1936 - J. F. FRASER
1939 - C. W. LENT
1940 - John CLOUGH
1946 - Dr. SHUMAKER, pro-tem
1946 - O. W. ROUSH
1948 - Lyndon RICHARDS
1950 - Cliff GILES
1954 - E. M. BRECKENRIDGE
1957 - Alvin TULL
1959 - Dave JOBE
1960 - Harry ARCHIBOLD
1960 - Cyril GREENE
1966 - Clarence WEEDA
1967 - Allyn JARRED
1980 - John CLARK
2004 - Elmer BRADLEY
2011 - Nancy JARRED
2016 - Jeremy PHELPS
2017 - Larry JARRED
Mount Ayr Record-News, July 03, 2008
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.
Pictorial History of The Tingley School and Students:
1883-1976 Tingley High School Alumni Assn. Tingley, Iowa
Written & Submitted by Sharon R. Becker, 2008; updated April of 2010; updated October of 2015