Saturday, June 05, 2021

Susan Day's Russell History: The businesses (Part 3)

This concludes a three-part transcript of Susan Day's History of Lucas County's Russell, first published in 1914 and then republished during October of 1932 in The Russell Union-Tribune. The first installment may be found here and the second installment is located here. Today, Miss Day tackles in considerable detail the history of Russell's business community between 1867, when the town was founded along the newly built Burlington & Missouri River Railroad tracks, and 1913.

It helps a little, when reading this, to know that Russell's first business district faced north --- and the railroad tracks and depot. As the years passed and the number of businesses increased, these original buildings were replaced by newer buildings on the south side of the same block, facing south and Shaw Street, which became known generally as main street.


In July 1890, S.H. Mallory and Frank Crocker, of Chariton, under the firm name of S.H. Mallory and Company, started the first bank in Russell, known as the Russell Bank. They began business in a small wooden building on the lot now occupied by the building in which Mettlin is located, but in the same year, 1890, they built the room across the street now occupied by Pyle's restaurant, into which they moved the latter part of the year. In 1896 the brick bank building was erected, and in 1897 the bank was moved into the building. In 1904 Thomas Brandon bought a half interest in the bank, and it continued business until the failure of the First National Bank of Chariton, in 1907, when, owing to the business relations of the two, this bank settled all business affairs and was closed. The present bank, the Russell State Bank, began operation in April 1908. It was started by a joint stock company of 25 members, each member owning a $1,000 share of stock. P.A. Rockey, cashier. Alfred Goodwin was cashier of the first bank during the entire period of its existence, about seventeen years and three months.

The first newspaper published in Russell was in the 1870s. Abouut 1875 or 1876, O.H. Wood had an office at Melrose and published the Melrose Plaindealer and also printed a paper there which he circulated in Russell, called the Russell Enterprise. It lasted only a few months. In 1886 a lawyer by profession but a small newspaper "starter" by the name of J.Y. Styer was printing the Melrose Times and he located an office in Russell and started a paper called the Russell News, and J.G.  Kreider was put in charge. He only ran it a few weeks and H.W. Gittinger then bought it of Styer and ran it 18 months, selling to to Asa Whitten in 1888. Gittinger went to Oklahoma and came back after several months --- 25 years ago this fall, just as Whitten was moving the plant to Pella, Iowa, to which point he moved the paper and called it the Pella Republican. Russell was without a paper for a few weeks when Gittinger started the Russell Riview, which was later moved to Lucas. In 1890, J.H. Clinton started the Russell Recorder. Later it passed into the hands of the Browns, Harry Brown being the editor.  In 1897 several of the citizens of Russell formed a company, bought an outfit and started the Russell Union, with F.C. Roach as editor. Then for several months Russell had two newspapers. On July 3, 1897, Gittinger came from  Pleasantville, Iowa, bought the Union stock, and ran the paper for four years. About six weeks after Gittinger took the Union, the Browns moved the Recorder to Lacona. Gittinger sold the Union to J.L. Long, who  sold to W.G. Baker, who operated the shop a few months, selling back to Long. This occurred in 1905. Long then sold it to F.N. Eldridge and Mrs. L.C. Wilson, the latter of whom ran it for a time, when it passed into the hands of Harry Keller, who is the present owner and publisher.

The first doctor to locate in Russell was Dr. Sanderson, who did not remain long. In 1871 Dr. Sprague located here and continued in practice several years, then went to Illinois. Dr. Hatton located in Russell about the same time as Dr. Sprague, and remained four or five years. Dr. C.B. Powell came to Russell in 1871, and practiced for two years. He then spent one year in California, returning to Russell, where he remained until 1884. During the winter of 1875 he took his second course of lectures and graduated in the spring of 1876. He continued to practice medicine in Russell until his death in 1900. Dr. Hawk located here and practiced for several years at the same time with Powell and Palmer. Dr. R.H. Wood located in Russell in the spring of 1878, and remained about four years. Dr. I.S. Buzard succeeded Dr. Palmer in 1900, and continued the practice until 1909, when he left and Dr. Hills succeeded him. Dr. Nelson came from Confidence to Russell in 1895 and continued to practice here until 1906, when Dr. J.B. Robb succeeded him. Dr. Lawrence practiced here for several years at the same time with Buzard and Nelson.

The following doctors of dentistry practiced here, some for a longer, some for a shorter period of time: Morgan, Silvernail, Sutton, Stote and Huston.

In 1868, R.R. Fogg located in Russell, working at the carpenter's trade until in March, 1879, he started the lumber yard, which he continued to run until 1902, when he sold to McKlveen & Eikenberry.

The mill was built in 1869 by Frank Morgan and George Boggs. Morgan was the miller, but in 1871 Boggs bought Morgan's interest and sold the mill to Daniel F. Comstock in 1872. In 1888 Comstock sold the mill to Eikenberry.

The following named persons have engaged in the buying and shipping of stock from Russell since it was started: William Skidmore, Simon Scott, Amos and D.M. Clark, James Grayson, John Gaston, A.F. Jenkins, Dale & Oldfield, Jeffries & Dale, Branham & VanDyke, Tom O'Donnell and Eikenberry.

The first store business carried on in Russell was in the first depot where Douglass & Elliott brought in a small stock of general merchandise. About the year 1869, Elliott erected the first store building in Russell, across the street south from the depot. He bought the interest of Douglass and moved into this building, where he continued in business until 1875, when he built the brick store building now owned by him and into which he moved his goods. He sold an interest in the stock of goods to George Renslow in 1876, who continued in business with him for some time. In 1879 he sold the store to Cook and Clinton. The same year they divided the stock, Clinton moving to the Goodwin building he had brought, and Cook moving to where McKinley now is, which building he had just erected. Hasselquist and Wilson Kennedy soon put a stock of goods into the Elliott building and continued the business for some time, when Hasselquist bought Kennedy's interest. Hasselquist moved his stock of goods to the Cook building. H.W. Elliott and James Kennedy put in a stock of goods and carried on the business for some time. Elliott sold the stock to Allen, after which it passed through several hands and finally fell to John Fryer, who sold it out at auction. In 1909 G.L. Jennings established a general store in the building, which he still runs.

In 1869 Henry and Alfred Goodwin established a general store in the Goodwin building. In 1871 they sold to Cook and Allen, later Allen sold to Calk, and he soon sold to Clinton. Cook and Clinton ran this store until they bought the Elliott stock, when they moved to that building, but did not remain long. Clinton moved back to the old Goodwin building, now owned by him and Cook moving to his own store building. This was in 1879, In 1882 Cook sold to Samuel Kern, who ran the store until his death in 1884. At the settling of the estate the stock was moved to Zero. Hasselquist moved his stock from the Elliott building to this building in 1887. January 1, 1890, he sold an interest in the store to Charles McKinley, and April 6, 1897, McKinley bought Hasselquist's interest. McKinley ran the store until March 10, 1911, when he sold the stock to Thomas Welch, who ran the store until November 24, 1911, when he left and the store passed into McKinley's hands again, and he has continued to run it to the present time.

William Branham started a store in the building where Carpenter's barber shop now is, and in 1881 he sold to Frank Youtsey and C.T. Scott. In a short time Youtsey bought the interest of Scott, and took in E.J. Hatcher as partner, then in a few months Youtsey sold to Hatcher, who continued to run the store there until he built his brick building in 1893 into which he moved and continued the business until he sold to Zedda Wiltsey in 1902. Wiltsey died in 1904, and W.L. Werts ran the store as administrator of the estate until March, 1905, when he sold it to E.G.  Latham.

Edwin A Marshall started in the store business in December 1911, in the building where King now is. In July 1912, he sold out to King, who still continues the business.

Stores were started in the early history of Russell and run for a short time by the following persons: Rev. Fuller in the Goodwin building. Bob Stanley in the same building and he sold to Westfall  Davidson. Oller and McMains in the building where Mettlin's drug store now is. Vance in a building across the street from the depot.

In the first starting of Russell, Westfall & Tedrick ran a grocery store in a room on the northeast corner of the block south from the depot. They sold to Clevinger and later A. F. Jenkins and Wm. Larrick sold groceries in the same building. These stores were run in the 1870s. George Plotts ran a grocery store some time in the 1880s in a room where Mettlin now is. Sam Clark started a grocery store in the 1880s, where Carpenter's barber shop now is, and he sold to George Ewald, who moved to the place where Mettlin now is. Rockey bought an interest with Ewald and on December 1, 1904, he sold his interest to E.G. Latham. Ewald and Latham continued the business there until March, 1905, when they moved to the Hatcher brick building which Latham had bought. Ewald soon sold his interest to Latham, who is still in business at the same place.

William Hawkins started a grocery, probably in the 1870s, in the Vance building, southeast of the depot,  which was afterward moved to the south room of the building where W.L. Werts now is. Momyer sold groceries for a short time in a building south from the depot, also Myers was in the business there for a short time.

In April, 1905, W.T. Curtis and J.A. Hepenstall commenced business in the room now occupied by Carpenter, Curtis with groceries and Hepenstall with boots, shoes and clothing. Curtis continued the grocery business until 1909, when he traded the stock to Jacob Werts who, in about three months, closed it out at auction. Hepenstall continued his business there until 1909, when he moved to his present location, adding a stock of groceries to his business. October 19, 1912, he sold an interest in the store to Henry Hancock, and they are still continuing the business.

The first drug store was started by a man named Willey, in a building north from the depot. He sold it to J.F. Sprague, who ran it in the same place for three of four months, but in 1870 he moved to a room he had built south from  the depot.  He continued in business here until 1873, when he moved to a building he had erected on the southwest corner of the block east of this, and where he continued in business until his death in 1906. His son, P.F. Sprague, continued the business until 1911, when it was sold to Hills, who now runs it.

In 1875 Esau Powell and Asa Elliott built a room and started a drug sore where the Lewis Hardware store now stands. In a few months Elliott bought Powell's interest, and sold a half interest to Jacob Werts. they continued in business together about a year when Elliott sold his interest to Werts. This was about the year 1887. Werts then moved to the next block east, to where the meat market now is. Werts sold to A.J. Mettlin in 1904, who moved to where he now is January 1, 1907.

F. H. DeLano came to Russell and started in the jewelry business in 1878, in a little room south of the railroad track and east of the hotel. In 1879 it was moved across the block to the north side of what is now Main street. He continued the business until 1887 when he went to California. In 1892 he returned to Russell and again started in business. In 1898 he moved into the building where he is still located.

About the year 1878 Harvey Cook started a clothing store in the building east of where Carpenter now is. Later he moved to where Howard King now is, where he sold to William Newell, who ran the business until his death in 1898. The stock was then sold to G.B. VanArsdale and William Allen who continued the business for a short time when Allen sold to Van Arsdale, who ran the business for some time, then sold out to some men who shipped the goods to Missouri.

In 1871 Newton Howell came to Russell and started in the harness business in a building north from the depot. He remained in this location but a few months when he moved to a room north from the hotel but south of the railroad track, by the grain office of  Boggs and Plotts. He remained there a few years, then built the house and removed to his present location. This business, as carried on by father and sons, is the oldest business firm in Russell.

In 1912, J.W. Thomas started in the harness business in the room where he is still located.

In 1873, A.J. Woodman came to Russell and erected a business house east of the hotel, and in 1874 started in the hardware business. In 1879, he moved the building to the south side of the block, off the ground which is now an alley, and continued in the hardware, furniture and undertaking business. In 1895, he built and moved into the brick building which he now occupies. His is the second oldest business firm in Russell.

The first millinery shop in Russell was run by Miss Maggie Stearns in the Comstock residence in the first part of the 1870s. Others who have run millinery shops here were the Elder sisters, for several years in a room south of the Goodwin store building, Martha Rosemond, in a room west of the present millinery shop. She sold to Mrs. Jackson. At one time Mrs. A.F. Jenkins ran a shop. At the beginning of the 1890s, Emma Ewald started a millinery shop in the room where Hepenstall now is and continued the business for several years, then sold out to Mrs. Dell Beagley. In 1905, Emma and Carrie Ewald bought the stock of Mrs. Beagley. In 1906, Carrie bought Emma's interest and continued the business there until 1909, when she moved to the brick building show now occupies, which had just been built for that purpose.

The first blacksmith shop started in Russell was on the lot where Enoch Loudon's residence now stands, and was run by A.G. Tremain. He afterward moved to the corner where the Sprague building now stands. In 1874 he sold to Cotter and the building this shop occupied was torn down to give place to the Sprague building and the shop was moved away.

In 1875, B.F. Litzenburg opened a blacksmith shop in a building about where the Pyle restaurant now stands. He ran the business there for a number of years, then sold to Moses Lenhart, who soon moved the shop to a room west of Latham's store. In 1900 Lenhart sold to E.C.  Lewis, who ran it there about three years, then built the shop and moved to his present location. In 1913, Lewis built his store building and put in a large stock of hardware and farm machinery.

About 1878 George Berry built a blacksmith shop on the corner where Ashba now is. In about 1882, he sold to McKinley and Doolin who, in 1886, sold to Thomas Ashba. Ashba continued the business until 1905, when he sold out to P.F. Plymate, who ran the shop until 1907, when he sold it back to Ashba, who has run it since then.

The hotel building was erected by the Goodwins in 1869, and Alonzo Goodwin ran the hotel for one year, then sold to Harvey Cook, who ran it until in 1871. He sold to Levi Wilson. In 1873, Wilson sold to Mrs. Ferree. In October, 1878, I.N. Morrison went into the hotel and and continued until 1880. He was running it when the railroad company put in the double track in 1878. A.G. Marshall ran the hotel from 1881 to 1883. Others who were for a time proprietors of the hotel were Wm. Stearns, Wm. Simpson, Mrs. Sylvester Cole, and the present proprietor, G.S. Jennings. George Whittlesey ran a restaurant for several years in the building now occupied by Thomas with his harness shop. After the VanDykes left the hotel, Mrs. VanDyke started in the restaurant business in the first bank building where she continued until her death in1907, when it passed into the hands of here sister, Mrs. Myrtle Larimer, who after married Earnest Pyle, and they are still carrying on the business.

In 1891 a Cooperative Company started the Russell Creamery and ran it about 18 months, when it was sold at auction. It was purchased by W.J. Marshall, who organized another company called the Russell Creamery Company and they ran the business for nine years, when it was traded for land in Missouri and the creamery buildings were torn down.

When I.N. Morrison ran the hotel, he started in the livery business on a very small scale, and ran it for a short time, then sold to C.T. Scott. Scott ran the business a few months and in 1880 sold to A.G. Marshall, who in the fall of 1881 sold to R.T. Huston, who started in the business with two horses and two ponies, a spring wagon and a top buggy. The stock cost $400. This was all the means he had so as the business the first winter was not enough to pay hotel bills, he and Homer Shirer kept "batch." The livery business increased slowly until during the next year he stared the buying of horses for the eastern markets which rapidly increased the livery business, and it continued to increase until before he purchased his automobiles, he had use of 10 or 12 head or horses, and at present he keeps about eight head of horses and two automobiles for livery purposes.

The second business house built in Russell was occupied by Holman and Young as a saloon. It was the first building east of M.W. Elliott's first store building and was built the latter part of 1869. All the saloons run in Russell were in the different buildings in this block south from the depot and the last one run was by old Mr. Risher, who was in business at the time of his death in 1884. Between the time of the starting of the first saloon and of this last one, saloons were run, some for several months, some for but a short time, by Tom Cunningham, Wm. Mullen, Tom Burns, Gallagher, Feeney,  Harry Beagley & McKlehany, John Eman & Gus Hilderbrand, W.Y. Barber, Mrs. Quinlan and a man named White.

There has been a garage in Russell for several years, and at the present time there are two. The T.F. Lemley Company started in first, and a short time ago the other was started by Clark and Cooper.

Russell has a fine telephone exchange. It was started a number of years ago, probably in about 1898, by H.M. Hatcher, who ran it for several years and then sold to Pumphrey in about 1902. He ran it for a few months and sold it to Ira Wells. Wells ran it until 1904 and sold to J.B.  Harkins. From Harkins in passed into the hands of the Farmers' Mutial Telephone Company and in 1913 there were 143 village phones and 37 rural lines entering the central office to which were attached 385 rural phones.

Ten years ago Russell held her first Farm Festival, which was such a decided success that there has been one held each year since, each one equaling, if not surpassing, the previous ones. The display of stock and farm products is not surpassed by any county fair in southern Iowa. And the display of fancy work, and the culinary department is something of which the ladies of the community are justly proud.

Russell has the name of being one of the neatest, cleanest, best cared for village in southern Iowa. Her citizens are an upright, moral, God serving people, proud of their homes and their town.

So we say:  Here is to Russell. May the blessings of God wait upon her, and the sun of glory shine round about her. May the gates of honor, peace and happiness be always open to her. May no strifes, nor envyings nor sorrow ever disturb her. May the influence for good emanated by her widen, deepen and brighten until the Arch Angel shall proclaim the end of time and the dawn of eternity.

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