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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 post master.

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 Township.


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 purchased the 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.


Tingley, 1880's


The Enterprise
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 livery stable.

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.


Tingley, 1912

William 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 [1976] location. He moved onto his present location on May 1, 1923. Acquiring the CARTER Hardware, BRECKENRIDGE completed his store site.

Other Tingley businesses in operation in the year of 1921 included Joe SHEESLEY General Merchandise; Mr. MILLER'S Store; and HICKS and WEEDA.

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.


Tingley, 1914


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. His
father Roy was a 1895 graduate of Tingley High School. Roy and
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
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
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 1976

Written & Submitted by Sharon R. Becker, 2008; updated April of 2010; updated October of 2015








Ringgold Roots Salutes Tingley IA


Tingley Churches
    Baptist Church
    Church of Christ
    Faith Presbyterian Parish
    Christian Church
    United Methodist Church
    United Presbyterian Church
    Wishard Chapel


Tingley Gas Station


Tingley Post Office


Tingley School
    Tingley High School Graduates. 1893-1959


Tingley, 2009

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