Thursday, September 30, 2010

Men of Prominence from Lucas County - 1930

Appeared in the Chariton Leader June 3, 1930

This County has Men of Prominence

Many Famous People in the list of  “Who’s Who”, were Born in Lucas County, Iowa

Lucas County has been the birthplace of a number of people who have become famous and have brought honor to their home county. 

Miss Grace Blouse, now of Creston, recently gave us the following names of these native born, who are listed in “Who’s Who In America”.

Nathan E. Kendall, ex-governor of Iowa and ex-congressman, is now of Des Moines.

Dr. Roy Gittinger, Dean of the State University of Oklahoma, at Norman.

Lester J. Dickerson, Algona, Iowa, Lawyer, politician, congressman, and a present candidate for the office of United States Senator.

Charles L. Bartholomew, Minneapolis, Minn., cartoonist, son of the late Col. and Mrs. O.A. Bartholomew.  He is dean of the Federal School of Illustrating and Cartooning at Minneapolis, and his cartoons are extensively used in this country and in Europe.

John L. Lewis, Indianapolis, Indiana, who has been president of the United Mine Workers of America for several years, and his wife is a daughter of Dr. and Mrs. J.C.F. Bell of Lucas.

John H. Morehead, Falls City, Nebraska former state senator and congressman from Nebraska.  He is now governor of that state.

Chas. L. Robbins, Iowa City, Iowa, professor of education on the New York City Training School for Teachers from 1910-1918, and since then employed in the same capacity at the State University of Iowa.  He is also an author and a magazine contributor.

George E. Raitt, Pasadena, California, was the Secretary for the United Presbyterian War Commission in 1917-1918.  For the past nine years he has been Superintendent of Missions, California synod.

Mortimer Wilson, New York, City, musician, composer and conductor who wrote the symphonic score for “The Thief of Baghdad”,  “The Black Pirate”, and other Douglas  Fairbanks’ motion pictures.  His wife was formerly Miss Bettie Lewis, daughter of the late Evan and Corilla Copeland Lewis.

Rev. Frederick B. Palmer, now of Denver, Colorado, a former pastor of the Baptist church here for several years, is also listed.  He is now executive secretary of the Colorado Baptist State Association, having filled that position for eighteen years.  He was born in Mahaska County.

Joe Mitchell Chappie of Washington, D.C., a nephew of the late J.C. Mitchell, and a relative of Mrs. Nettie Douglass, of east Linden Avenue, is well known to many Chariton people, but was not born in this county.  He is now editor of the National Magazine of Boston, Mass., also a writer and lecturer.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Local Architect, William Perkins, Dies

From the Chariton Leader, Aug 13, 1957

W.L. Perkins Dies Following Heart Attack

William L. Perkins, 70, prominent Chariton architect and engineer, died Monday morning at Yocum hospital following a heart attack suffered Friday.  A long-time resident of the community, Mr. Perkins had returned earlier in the week from a vacation with his wife when he suffered the attack. 

Services are now being arranged by the Beardsley Funeral Home.  Rites are pending the arrival of a son, Lt. William L., USN, who is stationed in Okinawa Island.  Also surviving are his wife, a sister, Mrs. W.E. Merrihew of Nevada, Mo., and a brother, Albert of Mobile, Alabama.

Through his many years as city engineer, practically all civic improvements completed since his arrival in Chariton, were made under his direction and supervision.  He served as city engineer and had held posts on the airport commission and other local appointive offices.

As engineer and architect, he supervised construction and planning for East park, the city hall, Masonic Temple, Ritz theater, Yocum Hospital, the Chariton Newspapers building, street improvements, airport construction, water department details including the physical improvements at city reservoirs such as spillways and pumping stations.

As the Secretary of the National council of Architectural Registration Board, Mr. Perkins approved the contracts of training in colleges and universities offering architecture and approved examinations by state boards and certified architects for work in various states.  He also maintained a permanent registry of architects in Iowa, and served as secretary of the Iowa Board of Architectural Examiners.

The municipal airport was one of his great interests and in this instance he turned over engineering fees received from the federal government to the airport fund, giving his services without remuneration.

Mr. Perkins was frequently the center of controversy as his position inevitably involved him in many projects of a controversial nature.  He was seldom concerned, friends testify, feeling such matters were the “price of progress.”

“Few individuals have so left their imprint on Chariton or are likely to do so in the future as Mr. Perkins,” close friends commented following his death.  “He was proud of his service to the community.”

Distinguished in state as well as local Masonic circles, he held numerous high positions.  His illustrious Mason career included serving as Grand Master of Iowa, 1945-1946; Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Iowa and Chapter 22 of Chariton; Past Grand Treasurer of Grand Commandery of Iowa; Past Grand Master of the Chariton Blue Lodge; Past Secretary of York Rites Bodies of Iowa, the Commandery and Blue Lodge; a member of the Scottish Rites or Consistory; past Secretary of the A.F. & A.M. No. 63 of Chariton; a member of the honorary Red Cross of Constantine and a member of the Shrine as well as the Council and Commandery.  He was a chief organizer of Council No. 42 of Chariton and was a 32nd degree Mason.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

William L. Perkins, Local Architect Receives Profession's Top Honor

Appeared in the Chariton Leader on May 23, 1950

Last week, at its annual meeting at Washington, D.C., the American Institute of Architects conferred the highest honor of its profession on William L. Perkins of Chariton, IA.

This is the Kemper Award and it is given for the architect giving the most distinguished service in the profession during the preceeding year.

Perkins is the first man to receive this honor.  The award was established in 1948 and last year no architect was judged as worthy of receiving it.

This comes as a distinct honor to Perkins – not only being the first man to receive it, but also indicates the esteem in which he is held by his fellow architects.

The recipient is chosen by the board of directors of the American Institute of Architecture and is chosen as being “the architect giving the most outstanding service to the profession of architecture in the United States during the year.”

Only one such selection is made in one year.

Soon To Hold Special Day in Chariton

Chariton Leader
September 24, 1929

The First Lutheran Church Will Celebrate 60th Anniversary, and Gives a Brief Sketch of its History.

By Rev. E.J. Earlandson, Pastor

     The sixtieth anniversary of the First Lutheran church of Chariton will be celebrated with special events and services October 4, 5 and 6.  Thus for over half a century this church has sought to serve this community with the preaching of the word of God.
     First Lutheran Church was organized November 3, 1869, with the late Rev. M.F. Hokanson, then of Munterville, Iowa, presiding.  There were thirty charter members at the time of whom only one is now living, Mrs. Augusta Johnson, who resides a few miles from town.
     There being no resident pastor at first, services were conducted by visiting pastors and lay-preachers.  The first regular pastor was the late Rev. M. Frvkman, a graduate of Augustana Seminary, then located in Paxton, Illinois.  He was ordained to the ministry in June 1875.  It was in this year also that property was secured and the old church was built.  After serving his first charge until 1880, Rev. Frykman resigned and moved.  In 1882 the next paste, the late Rev. A.J. Ostliu, then of Mayville, New York, accepted the call here with an annual salary of $400 and parsonage, which had just been built, a small building, only 20 by 26 feet.  In 1884 he resigned and left.
     A vacancy then occurred until 1886, when Rev. P.A. Edquist accepted a call and filled the pulpit here until his resignation in the summer of 1889.  During the vacancy, which then occurred, various theological students served the church for longer and shorter periods until Rev. G. A. Swanburg received the call and became pastor on his ordination in June 1891.  The young pastor entered upon his work here and to Rev. Swanburg falls the distinction of having served Fist Lutheran Church longer than any other pastor either before or after him.  He served here until his resignation August 8, 1900, and is at present serving Trinity Lutheran Church, Wankegan, Illinois.  Mr. Swanburg’s successor was the late Rev. J.P. Borg, who began his work here with the turn of the century, 1900.  It was during the pastorate of Rev. Borg that the present inviting and serviceable church edifice was built at Eighth street and Roland avenue in the year 1903.  the corner stone was laid on May 4, 1903 by the Rev. Dr. A. Northem, then president of the Iowa conference and at present superintendent of the Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa.  In 1907 Rev. Borg tendered his resignation to the congregation and left.
     On June 5, 1907, Rev. O.A. Elmquist was called and entered on his work here Reformation day, October 31 of the same year.  After an energetic pastorate here of about two years, Rev. Elmquist resigned and left in April 1910.  The next incumbent was Rev. S. C. Franzen, who served from May 1910 until the autumn of 1913.  During his charge the present cotamodious parsonage was built and other improvements were made.
     The third pastor to serve First Lutheran Church as his first charge was Rev. Frank R, Carlson, who was ordained in June 1914, and immediately began his work here.  His term of service extended until 1916, when he resigned and left for Kewanee, Illinois.  Rev. Carlson is at present serving Tabor Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois.
     For a few months Rev. J.O. Lindquist served the church during the year 1918, but left for duty as U.S. Army chaplain in which capacity he is still serving at Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio.
     Rev. C.A. Johnson served First Lutheran Church from 1918 until 1924, a period of six years.  He is at present serving the Lutheran congregation at Attica, Indiana, and Danville, Illinois.
     Rev. Carl Lundgren served this congregation form 1925 until May 13, 1928, when he moved to Sheffield Pennsylvania.  During the summer of 1928, the congregation was served by Rev. E.J. Erlandson, who was then a theological student.  On January 1, 1929, a pastoral call was issued to him to become pastor of the church on his ordination.  Rev. E. J. Erlandson was ordained June 9, 1929, in connection with the Augustana Synod convention, held in Rockford Illinois, and his pastorate here August 4, 1929.  Rev. Erlandson is the fourth pastor to serve this congregation as his first charge.
     The Anniversary festivities on October 4,5 and 6 are fittingly planned as an observation of the passing of another decade in the history of the work laid down on this community by First Lutheran Church; and this congregation is ever ready and willing to serve this community in the future in helping individuals to live better lives—better because Christ-filled.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Perkins Apartments

I had just left the Genealogy room at the library and decided to drive around Chariton a little bit before heading back to Russell.  I was on 8th street and was turning my head back and forth when I spotted a two story red brick building nestled among some very high trees.  I turned around and went back to Lucas Street and pulled in front of this very interesting building.  I knew it was old, but had never seen any pictures of it before.  I knew it must have some history.  I called Darlene Arnold and she found several articles.  I will post them to the blog on separate weeks. (Lynne Wilson)

The first one is titled:  Perkins Apartments and was written by Faith Boyce and was given at Chapter OS, P.E.O., Chariton, Iowa on October 17, 1994.

When I started to work on this program back in those hot days of last June and July, when I wanted to stay indoors where it was air-conditioned, I was surprised to find there was no mention of the Perkins Apartments or the architect, builder William Perkins, in the library, the Lucas County History Book, Lucas County Pictorial Book, Bob Piper's book or Mrs. Tuttle's book, "To Catch a Prairie Chicken"; although Mr. Perkins' name was mentioned in the Lucas County History book article on the Masonic Lodge as having served the Grand Lodge of Iowa as Grand Master in the years:  1944-1945 and 1946.

What information I did receive was from:  John Baldridge, Helen Miniskin, Adalaid Stoko Krocker, Joe Rhudell, Catherine Cross, Bonnie Stone, Irene Fuller and the most information came from Lucille Judd.  Mrs. Krocker who now lives in Kansas City, said she was a very small girl probably three or four years old and living next door, when the apartment was built in the early 1920's probably around 75 years ago at 736 Lucas Avenue.

When first built, it was a one-story duplex and then probably, ten years later a second story was built on, with two 2 bedroom apartments on the first floor and two 2 bedroom and 1 one bedroom apartment on the second floor and the one bedroom apartment was between the two bedroom apartments.  Each apartment has a large living room with a dining area in one end, two (or one) bedrooms, kitchen and bath with laundry facilities and storage in the basement.  The building is of brick and stone outside and the inside walls are of concrete.  Helen said it was impossible to drive a nail in the wall without drilling a hole first.  The windows have steel frames with very little wood used on the inside, making the building as fireproof, as possible.  There is a cement archway at the left side of the building leading into the backyard.  The backyard is still lovely, after all these years, with the original large curved back cement bench with the side pieces embedded with rock, a cement stone arch, birdbath, fireplace and large trees making a canopy over the yard.  This makes it a lovely, cool place to be on warm afternoons and evenings.  At the east corner of the back yard, is a small two-story office building with an outside stairway to the second floor which was added to the building when the offices of the National Council Architect Registration Boards was moved here.  Abe Hass has his law office in this building.  Next to the office building is a one-car brick garage.

When Mrs. Perkins moved to California several years after the death of Mr. Perkins, the apartment building was sold to Melvin Tuttle, who sold it to Bob Comb's and Bob Stone.  It was then sold to Mr. Moody, then to the National Bank, and to Bill Pardock, the present owner.  All through the years, the building has always been fully rented.

Mr. Perkins designed many buildings in Corydon, Knoxville, Chariton and other surrounding towns.  He was the architect for the Masonic Temple dedicated in 1937 and Lucile Judd thought he was the architect for the City Hall, High School, Yocom Hospital, Legion Hall, Porter Smyth's stucco house, and other brick buildings and homes in Chariton.  He liked to work with brick, stone and cement always insisting that the 'Best Brother's', Clyde and George, do the brick laying, as they were the best in the business.  He was also instrumental in getting Red Haw State Park built with the CCC camp and saw that trees were planted.

Lucille Judd had gone from her home in Colorado to visit an aunt in Chicago and found work as a typist-secretary in the offices of The National Council Architect Registration Boards and it was there she met Mr. Perkins, as well, as other prominent architects, among them Frank Lloyd Wright who visited the offices several times.

The office of the National Council Architects Board had offices in Chicago and was formed by the University of Illinois when the need was found for an organization to examine and license the many graduating architects wanting to begin practice.  Mr. Perkins was often in the Chicago office and when the director became ill, Mr. Perkins became the director and moved the offices to Chariton around 1940 bringing Lucille and his office assistant to manage the offices.  The first floor of the building was the States office with the second floor the National office.  It was a busy place, hiring Catherine Cross, Flo Palmer Burley, Lucille and Mr. Perkins' assistant to handle all the work.  Each applicant had to submit a resume and record of schooling, 4 blueprints, and 4 pictures of the completed work of the buildings.  This was then typed up in order, the pictures and blueprints taken to a local photography shop since there were no copiers in those days and then the entire resume and pictures were taken to the newspaper print shop to be printed.  It was then brought back and put in folder form in the States office and then sent upstairs to the National Office where the material was checked, notarized and a copy kept in the National office.  Then a copy was taken to the Post Office and sent by registered mail to the architect wanting to be certified and licensed.

After several years, the office was moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Lucille remembered one time when Mr. Perkins was working at his drafting board in the upstairs office that had windows all around for light... a fly kept bothering him, and he reached for something to swat it and absentmindedly picked up a hammer and hit the fly on the window breaking it out.  She said Mr. Perkins was a wonderful, kind boss.  I remember him as a short, stout, pleasant man.  Mrs. Perkins always called him Sunny.  Joe Rhudell remembers when Mrs. Perkins would open the window in their upstairs apartment and call him to lunch by yelling "Sunny, lunch is ready", not bothering to use the telephone.  They had one son, Bill, who was a graduate of Annapolis Naval Academy.  Mrs. Perkins was a tall, erect, regal looking lady with beautiful long gray hair that she wore in waves around her face with a round low bun at the back.  She wore beautiful large hats to church and was a faithful worker in the Methodist Church and DAR.  She loved to drive and was always picking up people in her large, shiny black Ford that never had a speck of dust or dirt, inside or out.  She was a beautiful seamstress and all her life sewed for others.  She made darling children's clothes, a dozen at a time for Bidwell-Riverside Mission in Des Moines, several times a year, from material she furnished or friends bought for her, or from churchwomen.  They were beautiful little dresses that looked like they came from an exclusive children's shop.

When Mrs. Perkins could no longer care for herself, she moved to a retirement home in California to be near her son and his family.  She remained there until she died a year ago, at the age of 103.  She still did sewing of little dresses and other handwork for others until she lost her sight, at around 90 years of age.  She had lost her husband, son and daughter-in-law but has two surviving grandchildren.

I feel the Perkins family was a prominent part of Chariton history and should have been mentioned somewhere in the books about Chariton history.  Faith Boyce.

Frank Myers has more about William Perkins on his blog "Lucascountyan".  September 14.  Preservation Sunday.

I will be submitting more about William Perkins in future articles.  Lynne