Friday, July 23, 2010

Lucas County Law Enforcemen Center

From the History of Lucas County 1978 book

The residents of Lucas County are privileged to have, combined under one roof, the Chariton Police Department and the Lucas County Sheriff's Department.  These two law enforcement agencies were centralized into what is now known as the Lucas County Law Enforcement Center located on Linden Avenue in Chariton, Iowa in 1973.

Formerly, the Chariton Police Department was located in an 8x8 - ft. room in the Chariton City Hall building.  There was just enough room to house the office of the Dispatcher and his radio.  Before radios came into use in the Chariton Police Department in 1966, the city police officer on duty -- yes there was usually only one officer on duty at a time -- was summoned to the City Hall by means of a red light located on the courthouse tower.  When a call was received requesting the assistance of a police officer, the Dispatcher switched on the red light on top of the courthouse and the officer who was trained to be always attentive to that light, responded by contacting the Dispatcher at City Hall.

During the service of 'Mac' McBride as Chief of the Chariton Police in the early 1940's, an automobile was purchased by the City for use by the Police Department as a patrol car.  Before that time, the officer, after seeing the red call light on top of the courthouse and after contacting the Dispatcher by telephone, would call a taxicab to take him to those places where he was needed -- that is, an accident scene, an unsettled home with arguing family members, a fire or the scene of the crime.

The Sheriff's Office, before the formation of the Law Enforcement Center, was located on the east side of the first floor of the courthouse in a room presently occupied by the County Assessor.  The Sheriff and his family formerly lived in the building, which now houses the new Law Enforcement Center.  Behind the former sheriff's residence was the County Jail and the sheriff's wife usually cooked the meals for the prisoners in the jail.  After the remodeling of the Sheriff's residence in the new Law Enforcement Center, the former county jail was overhauled and updated and now serves as the holding facility for prisoners of both the Chariton Police Department and the Lucas County Sheriff's Department.

The Sheriff is the Principal peace officer of the county,  Mainly, through the efforts of Sheriff Wayne Swanson, City Manager Bernard Aulwes, the Lucas County Board of Supervisors and the Chariton City Council, the Lucas County Law Enforcement Center became a reality.

Today the Lucas County Law Enforcement Center is a good example of two governmental agencies with a common goal working in harmony for the people of Lucas County.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Piper's Grocery

Joseph Lincoln Piper and his wife came to Iowa from Illinois about 1890 and settled on a farm near Clio.  Soon after this he bought a general store in Oakley and began a lifelong career as a Lucas County merchant.  Several days a week he drove a huckster wagon, selling groceries and other merchandise to farm families near Oakley.
     When his brother Rob came to work for him, Joe L. went to work part of each week for the railway mail service.  (In 1978, we have no passenger service to Chariton, but many freight trains).  Then, Mr. Piper got on the north branch of the C.B. & Q. (now the Burlington Northern) at Oakley, rode to Chariton, took a passenger train to Chicago where he boarded the mail coach on the train to Omaha, working the mail on the way.  He then rode the mail car on the passenger train bound for Chariton and then home to Oakley on the North Branch.
     In 1900, Joe L. sold the Oakley store and moved his family to Chariton to 1118 Ashland, which was the family home until Mrs. Piper's last illness.  He and his brother, Rob, opened a grocery in the north part of the Hollinger building on North Main and Joe L. continued part time in the mail service.
     In 1903, he bought the Stanley building at the east end of the north side of the square, going into business on his own again.  Piper's Grocery and Market is still active in the same location at this time.
     In a few years time he had bought land for feeding cattle and had built his own slaughterhouse.  He opened a bakery, which specialized in fine pastries, as well as a variety of breads.  He shipped bread by train to Melrose, Derby, Humeston, Corydon, Allerton, LeRoy, Garden Grove and Coin, Iowa on the south branch of the C.B. & Q. and the T.P. & W.
     Free delivery has always been a part of the business, and in those days of little refrigeration and few telephones, there were two deliveries a day, six days a week.  A 6 a.m. each day, Theodore Peterson, Emil Larson and Elmer Patterson left the store with order books and a list of customers to see.  By 9 a.m. the orders were filled and groceries on the way by horse and wagon.  Then Joe L. advertised that he would install a phone for any of these people and pay one half of the monthly fee as long as they remained his customers.
     Every other week, two wagonloads were delivered to the people at No. 1 mine five miles northeast of Chariton.  One wagon carried groceries and one carbide for the miner's lamps and other non-food items.  Gas rationing in W.W. II put an end to daily delivery, and we are now delivering two days each week.
     In 1922, the building was enlarged to cover the half block.  The store itself was a half block long with the market and big cooler at the back.  Another entrance on the east was a loading dock for groceries, and extra stock went by freight elevator to the basement.
     Early each Saturday morning, Joe L. put out a 'Line Call' to each of the party lines in turn saying 'Piper's Store will pay -- cents for eggs today' and give the price to be paid in cash or trade for chickens, butter, cheese, etc.  Piper's script money was used for those who brought in more produce than they could use that day in trade and still wanted the higher trade price.  Often several farm families at a time would buy fresh meal and would sit together around the elevator or the egg candler to visit before going out to spend the remainder of their Saturday in town.
     Pipers roasted their own blend of coffee and also Jumbo peanuts in the shell.  Each Christmas, they sold hundreds of trees.  With the basement full of trees and with trees standing throughout the long store, the fragrance of trees, baked goods, coffee and peanuts is still recalled by the 'old timers'.
     Mr. Piper, (Joe L., as everyone called him), died very suddenly in the summer of 1936.  The bakery was closed in 1936.
     Bob Piper and his wife, Ruth, with John as their teacher, learned to make homemade candy.  This has become a major part of the business since that time, with candies shipped all over the world.  In the last few years a basket shop has been an interesting addition to Piper's Food Market.

Lucas County Care Facility

From the History of Lucas County 1978 book

On March 11, 1859 Lucas county obtained possession of a farm belonging to George W. Piper.  Mr. Piper was one of several men that had provided bond for the release of Richard Roe who had been convicted of horse stealing.  After Mr. Roe had been released on bond, he disappeared and failed to appear for his indictment.  As a result, Roe's bondsmen were held responsible.  To compensate for Roe's disappearance, the County made an execution levy on Piper's farm and was successful in purchasing the land at a Sheriff's sale.

This farm was intended to be used as the county poor farm, but for some unknown reason was never used as such.  In 1866 the county purchased 135 acres, near the town of Russell, from Mary C. Adams.  In payment for the land, the county conveyed to Mary Adams the farm, which had previously been obtained from George W. Piper.

The County Board of Supervisors submitted a proposition to the people to erect buildings on the Adams farm.  The voters rejected this proposition by a margin of 36 votes for, 656 votes against.

At the September, 1869 session of the Board of Supervisors, the committee reported that they had sold the Adams farm for $3,500 and that they found the William Skidmore farm favorable as a location for the County Poor Farm.  This farm was offered for sale for $10,500 and the farm and buildings were believed to be suitable for a poor farm.  The county had sufficient funds on hand for the purchase and no additional levy was necessary to pay for the land.  When the question was put before the voters in 1869 it was approved.

That same year, L. Stanley was placed in charge of the Poor Farm and remained there until 1871.  Josiah Critchfield was then named superintendent by the Board of Supervisors.

In 1904, The Board of Supervisors found it necessary to build a new house on the farm.  The lowest bidder for this work was Alonzo Hoagland, an architect from Chariton.  The total cost of the County Poor House including such things as heating, drainage, and the architecture fee was $17,200.

When first built, the Lucas County Home was used to provide housing and work for "poor" Lucas County residents.  Thus it became known as the County "poor farm".  Today the Lucas County Care Facility provides residential facilities for the mentally ill, mentally retarded or indigent persons.  The original concept of the county poor farm no longer exists.

The present Lucas County Care Facility is located on the northwest edge of Chariton.  The facility includes a 200-acre farm, farm buildings, machinery, and the homes.  The steward is Alvin Cooper and Matron, Ruby Cooper.

Friday, July 09, 2010

1890 Census

 Taken from Ancestry newsletter of November 2008.  Jana Lloyd is editor.

A Fire Destroyed the 1890 Census, But It Doesn't Have to Destroy Your Search
By Jana Lloyd 17 November 2008

Some said it was a cigarette. Some said it was a conspiracy. But no one really knows for sure what started the fire on January 10, 1921, that destroyed a large portion of the 1890 U.S. federal census.

What everyone agrees on is this: it was a tragedy of immense proportion.  

The census, with critical historical information on more than 6 million people in the U.S., was being stored in the basement of the United States Commerce Department. The other census records were inside a fire- and water-proof vault when the flames started, but the 1890 census was sitting just outside its protective walls.

Firemen rushed to the scene to put the fire out, but what wasn’t already destroyed by fire and smoke was drowned in water: 25 % was said to have been destroyed by the flames; 50 % by the smoke and water that followed it.

And what happened to the remaining 25 %? Most of it was shuffled around from place to place until it was finally destroyed in the 1930s.


Don’t despair. While nothing can replace the invaluable information lost with the destruction of the 1890 census, there is still hope for finding your family.

Years ago, started an “1890 Census Substitute” that contained what was left of the 1890 census, plus a few state censuses and other miscellaneous records. In the past month, we’ve added more than 1,000 city directories from the 1890 time period, including 50 million new names total. And more state censuses are slated to be added around February.

Mark Twain listed in an 1890-era city directory for Hartford, Connecticut.

You can visit the U. S. City Diretories page to see a complete list of the new city directories. Or, visit the 1890 Census Substitute page to search the entire Census Substitute, including the new directories.
Oh. And one more thing. While the fire that destroyed the 1890 census was a terrible disaster, it did have at least one good result: outrage at the destruction led to the construction of the National Archives, a permanent place of refuge for our nation’s historical documents—a place intended to protect all our important records from ever meeting the same fiery fate.

Holder's Shoe Repair

From the History of Lucas County 1978 book

George Thomas Holder, Jr. Mr. Holder, known throughout the community as "Tommy", has been repairing shoes here for 43 years.  Tommy is a graduate of the School for the Deaf at Council Bluffs, Iowa.

While in Council Bluffs, he learned the shoe repairing business, working four years in the school shop.  Then he returned here to work at $10 a week in the Earl Clark shop.  After two years, he moved into the Donald R. Spaulding Shop.

When in 1946, Spaulding moved to Colorado, he sold the shoe repair shop to Tommy.  It was a large room in the rear of the Brown Shoe Fit Store.  The shop served a constant stream of patrons. 

In 1963, Tommy built a one-story brick building on the southwest side of the square, and moved his repair shop there.  It is equipped with all the modern power equipment.  However, the old shoeshine stand is still here and used daily.

Tommy was born, July 10, 1917, in Chariton, Iowa, the son of George T. Holder and Pearl Collver.  His father was a railroad worker.  His grandfather, William A. Holder, was born in Tennessee and came to Iowa in 1877; first settling in the Knoxville area and then moving to Lucas County.

December 24, 1939, Tommy married Edna Manley.  Edna was born April 6, 1921, at Hiteman, Iowa, daughter of Joseph Manley and Ada Evans.  Edna was also a graduate of the School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs.  Tommy and Edna were the parents of four children: George T., Jo Anne, Carol and Joseph.  Edna passed away March 11, 1974 at Chariton.  Tommy is now married to Leona Anderson.

Edmon M. Stone and Sons

From the History of Lucas County 1978 Book

Edmond started breeding sheep when he was 11, and by the time he reached voting age, he was shipping sheep to 20 states, transporting them to the railroad station in his model T. Ford.  He was also a breeder of Percheron horses and spotted Poland China hogs and an auctioneer

Edmond and Mary Belle were married in 1919 and went to live on a farm southeast of Chariton in Benton Twp.  The company, Edmond M. Stone and Sons was formed after their two sons were born.  In the early 1940's they had a prize flock of Corridale sheep.

It was in 1938 that Stone opened the Chariton Seed Store, just off the square, handling farm and garden seeds and fertilizer.

By 1946, Edmond and Sons were operating 6 farms, near Chariton, totaling 900 acres, known as The Golden Rod Farms.  They added Suffolk sheep to their breeding stock, some of these being imported from England. 

The Bob Stone Machinery Company was started in 1946, and in 1947 Keith got the Kaiser Frazer automobile agency. 

A familiar and friendly sight in the streets of Chariton is the new Henry J., used by the Welcome Wagon hostess.  Mrs. Paul Holmberg accepted a new Henry J. from dealer Keith Stone.

Many dogs were bred, raised and sold from the farm.  They were sent all over the country as pets and working dogs.

In 1949 a warehouse at 11th and Auburn, was occupied for the machinery company, which delivered many truck loads of machinery.  Later this building was used for The Bob Stone Cordage Co.  The company was formed in 1953, wholesaled binder and baler twine, cordage items and steel products throughout the United States with warehouses in Texas and Louisiana, and offices in Merida, Yucatan, the source of the major portion of the twine and cordage items.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Chariton Airport

From the History of Lucas County 1978 book

After World War II, flyers used the Otto Brown airstrip across the road from the sale barn north of town.  Otto Brown loved to watch airplanes and believed the activity was good for the city as well as his business.  Meanwhile, the city started construction of a municipal airport west of town on Highway 34, where it is now located.

The first airport commission was Bob Jones, Druggist, Charles Rowe, Jeweler, Wm. Stuart, Lawyer, Lloyd Moore, Flyer, and Wm. Perkins, Engineer.  Using U.S. State and local funds the airport has been improved to where it is one of the best landing fields in this part of the state.  Now equipped with an all weather runway, radio, beacon, lights, repair facilities, storage hangers and an administration building.  Dwaine Dunigan manages the airport at this time.  Les Larrington has farmed the part of the land not used by the airport operation for many years in partnership with the city.

The airport is a skyharbor, giving Chariton a connection to everywhere.

The Civil Air Patrol came into being when a group of private flyers offered their personal planes and volunteered their services to patrol the coastline for submarines or other enemy craft.  At that time there were not enough airforce planes or personnel to do this and the huge training job ahead.  Later in the War the C.A. P. was made an auxiliary unit of the Air Force.  The W.S.A.F. furnished all sorts of surplus material for training of cadets in the C.A. P.  The cadets then had an invitation to join the Air Force or civilian air related work.  Many of our local people went on to good careers in air transportation.

Russell "A Town of Pride and Progress" (continued)

This is a continuation of the stories about Russell from last month.  These articles appeared in the Russell Union-Tribune (unknown date).

Businesses in Russell

Russell has come a long way in business since that general store in the depot way back in 1866.

The first store building in Russell was by H.W. Elliott in 1869, and stood across the street south from where the depot now stands.  The second business establishment in Russell was to the east of this building, and was a small saloon operated by Holman and Young.  The taverns in Russell did not prosper and changed hands several times before they were completely eliminated in 1884.  Russell now boasts that it is the largest town in the state of Iowa that does not have a tavern or a liquor store.

It would take a whole book to name all the people who have operated businesses  which have existed in Russell.  Some of these businesses which no longer exist include:  clothing stores, a harness shop, movie theater, jeweler and repair shop, meat market, millinery shop, paint shop, livery stable, hotel, co-op creamery, and bakery.

The oldest business presently operating in Russell is the Woodman Hardware and Appliance Store.  It was founded by Alfred J. Woodman, who came to Iowa from Maine in 1873.  Mr. Woodman erected a hardware store on the north side of the tracks, east of where the hotel stood.  The business was moved in 1879, and later in 1895 to J.H. Woodman who is now successfully engaged in its operation.

At present there are many business firms engaged in operation in Russell to fill the needs of its citizens.
Recreation and Organizations
Since the early days of Russell, there have been a great number of organizations and recreations established for the pleasure and entertainment of the town's citizens.

In 1870, the Irving Literary Society was organized with regular meetings held on Saturday evenings.  At these regular meetings a literary programme, debate and newspaper reading session was enjoyed.  The society later disbanded.

In 1874, the Russell Music Assocation was organized.   They met on Saturday evenings to study music and sing.  In 1875, they held a week's convention, climaxed by a concert at the Methodist Church, after which the organization was disbanded.

In 1870, the Russell Union Agricultural Society was born.  Elijah Allen was the president of this very successful society.  They operated somewhat similar to the county fair, but having no good grounds upon which to conduct meetings, they were allowed to disband (1879).

In 1886, the Frank Nolan Post No. 208, G.A.R. was organized with twenty charter members.  In 1890, the Frank Nolan Relief Corps, No. 222 was organized with twenty-one members.  In 1920, the Charley Clark Post No. 308, of the American Legion was organized.  The Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion was organized in 1924.

Russell also has an organized Sportsman's Club, and Commercial Club which sponsors many community suppers, banquets and fund raising projects.

For the youth of the community the Legion sponsors softball and baseball games, teen age dances and other activities.  There are also boys and girls scout organizations in the community whcih provide excellent training for the youth.  A municipal band holds concerts on Saturday evenings during the summer months, in which many of the town's young participate.

There were and are numerous social clubs in this community which contribute the pleasant and friendly conditions in Russell.  These societies not only welcome new people to the community and make them feel at home, but they contribute financial aid to worthy charities and make calls on the shut-ins, and elderly of the town.

The first celebration held in Russell was the 4th of July celebration held in 1868, and was recorded a success.  The annual celebration which has remained a tradition with Russell and has gained fame in Southern Iowa in the Farm Festival or Homecoming.  The first Homecoming was held in 1904.  This celebration includes a parade which has always been a success, displays of various kinds, and some special added attraction such as a barbecue, circus or carnival.

We have tried to make a list of mayors which have served Russell through the years, and the Town Clerk, Mrs. Mona Coop provided us with a list, compiled from city records which we think is accurate.  It dates back to 1900, and we have added two names from our records which take the year back to 1892.  We sincerely hope we have not omitted any names.

Starting from the present and working back through the years, they are as follows;  James Brunt, Neal Pierce, Guy Smith, Gover Milleson,  Guy Smith, James Brunt, Walter Greenlee, John Woodman, P.F. Sprague, A.B. Clinton, W.L. Werts, H.A. Turbot, W.L. Werts, Harry Keller, Al.L. Latham, Alfred Goodwin, A.F. Jenkins, J.W. Eastes.  J.A. Hepenstall, J.W. Cook, Thos. W. Woods and J.H. Cook.

(This story will continue next month)

The Fourth of July

From the Lucas County Newsletter Volume 14 Issue 4 2009
 by Ev Brightman

Ev put this in the newsletter to show what type of short story could be entered in the Fair and hopes this will encourage participation.
A child of seven lay half asleep, being gently nudged by the cool south breeze of a clear July morning.  Suddenly, an awareness came, which bolted her into the day, "Good gracious, it is the FOURTH OF JULY!"

    In the early years of my childhood and many before that, the fourth of July was a hallmark of celebration in small town/rural America.  Chariton, Iowa was one of those small towns.  The entire extended family; aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and parents, would pile into my Dad's pick-up truck ready for a full day/evening trip to town.  In the late forties and early fifties, more than one trip a day the seven miles to town was unheard of; at least in our family.  Excitement ran high as everyone wanted to leave early to beat the heat and get a good spot on the court house lawn.  Everyone, that is except Aunt Esther, who always thought she had to get her dishes done at the last minute.

    In those days, prior to Dutch Elm Disease, Chariton was blanketed with huge Elm trees which shielded all beneath from the sun.  The lawn of the court house was covered by a patch work of quilts and blankets on the fourth.  Everyone wanted to select the perfect family spot.  Once the quilt was down, it became the family base of operation for the day.  All belongings, picnic basket, quart jars of tea and water (the ice was provided by snow cones in later years) were left under the watchful eye of at least one appointed family member at all times.  It was expected that family check in periodically.  As long as I can remember, the carnival, "Hale's Shows of Tomorrow" filled three sides of the square with rides and what seemed like hundreds of game booths providing arm loads of trinkets and chalk figurines. (I wish I had kept more of them).  Rides were from a quarter to fifty cents so you could make yourself as sick as you liked for a relatively small investment.  My birthday is the fifth of July.  As a small child I made the logical conclusion that the Merry-Go-Round came for my birthday.  The adults in the family loved to provide a few extra dollars to see me enjoy the day.

     Our phone was still a party line at that time which meant that you did not discuss things of importance or talk for any length of time.  You expected to catch up on the news with friends either on Saturday night, Church, or local celebrations.  People shared life under those Elms.  If you got hot, (of course you got hot, it was the fourth of July) you could join the water fight when the Chariton Fire Department brought out Old Betsy, the horse drawn pumper; or women could go to the ladies rest room/lounge in the basement of the court house.  Those two large rooms live in my memory.  There were chairs and lounges where ladies could rest or visit, a baby bed and a wonderful cool flowery oasis after a long hot trip to town.  One could go to the movie theater, the only building that was air conditioned, but that might mean missing something important going on outside like talent shows or the band concert.

    The cool of the evening brought street dancing and crowds of people, shoulder to shoulder, from surrounding towns.  My family loved to watch my cousins dance...they were proud.  The celebration culminated with fireworks at the East Park and the usual thunderstorm which inevitably followed.  This event was the mile marker for our family history.  Stories of the events were told and retold and embellished along the years:  My cousin's hair catching on fire from the fireworks while marching in the band, my Mother going into labor with me at the fireworks thinking she had eaten too many green peas, and the neighbor boy and yours truly getting lost in the crowd during a storm before being rescued from a house porch by the sheriff.  My first words from law enforcement, "Please stop crying!"

    Hale's Show of Tomorrow, the Elms and many family members are gone.  The memories, togetherness, family love and pride live on in each of us who had the good fortune to have been a part of that celebration in time.