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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Pictorial History of Ringgold County Printed

Images of America: Ringgold County

Images of America: Ringgold County.
Cover photograph is of Kellerton, Iowa on a Saturday night, circa 1950's.
The crowd has assembled to watch a local talent show.

A new pictorial history book illustrating the history of Ringgold county through vintage photographs dating back to the 1840s is being released this week. This book, "Images of America: Ringgold County," will take readers on a nostalgic trip down memory lane through the towns of Mount Ayr, Caledonia, Diagonal, Ringgold City, Beaconsfield, Redding, Kellerton and the former town of Knowlton. The images and brief information on each picture were put together co-authors Mike Avitt and Sharon Becker.

A book signing will be held during the Smokin' in the Ayr Days event Saturday, July 23, at the Depot Museum from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. where the book will be available.

Readers will get a glimpse of the first Hy-Vee store (founded in Beaconsfield in 1930) and many other important community landmarks such as churches and schools. They'll also see many photographs of the people and families that contributed to making the county what it is today.

"Anyone who grew up in Ringgold county can look at the pictures in this book and tell multiple stories on many of the photos. Our ancestors built these schools and churches; they drove these roads and tilled this soil," said Mike Avitt, who co-authored the book with Sharon R. Becker.

The book will be available at area bookstores, independent retailers, online retailers and through Arcadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or

Mike Avitt spent much of his life in Ringgold county. He is active with the Mount Ayr Depot Preservation Corporation and has written a history column in the Mount Ayr Record-News. His Snapshots of History column continues weekly in the Mount Ayr Record-News. His first book, "Pages and Pictures from the Past … Ringgold County, Iowa 1855-2005" was published in April of 2009.

Sharon R. Becker grew up in Decatur county on a Century farm located northeast of Grand River. Becker, who is self-taught, puts her computer skills to work as co-ordinator for both of IAGenWeb’s Ringgold and Cerro Gordo county websites. She is the coordinator of IAGenWeb's History website, writing many articles for this project. She is also an avid photographer and has had poems and short stories published in several state and national publications.

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smokin' in the Ayr Days Activities

. . . The Princess Theater showed a "History of Mount Ayr" slide show and a book signing for "Images of America: Ringgold County," a new book of historical photos of the county was signed by Mike Avitt and Sharon R. Becker at the Depot Museum during the day [Saturday, July 23, 2011].

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News, July 2011



Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, August 10, 2011

Mount Ayr Library News

New to the library: Images of America: Ringgold County by Mike Avitt and Sharon Becker, in memory of Jack Moore from the Clyde Brand family.


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