Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What was the occasion in Chariton?

Now what do you suppose was going on in Chariton when this old photograph of a band marching alongside the north side of the square was taken at some point after 1893 but well before the turn of the 20th century? I'm speculating that it might have been related to festivities during 1894 surrounding dedication of the new (and current) Lucas County Courhouse, but that's just speculation --- so don't quote me.

I can tell you more about some of the buildings, however. The brick building in the foreground, containing three street-level storefronts, was known sometimes as Mallory's Brick because it had been built during 1870 by Smith H. Mallory. "Brick" was added because all other buildings on the north side were in 1870 of frontier-town frame construction, so "brick" was remarkable at the time.

This old building was a survivor, the only structure west of the alley to survive a series of major and minor fires that burned everything between it and North Main Street --- several times. Eventually, it was torn down and after 1900 replaced by the current double-front building that houses U.S. Bank.

Rose's (photography) Studio was on the second floor and perhaps that firm's chief photographer was responsible for this image.

The triple-front Brown Block, just east of the alley and dated 1893, probably was the newest building on the north side when this photo was taken.

I'm not sure who occupied the easterly Brown Block storefronts, but the one nearest the alley was occupied by A.E. Dent & Co., purveyor of dry goods and shoes. Albert Eli Dent, born during 1832 in Ohio, was a distant cousin of mine who first was employed by, then became the partner of, pioneer Chariton merchant David D. Waynick. His marriage in 1879 to David Waynick's daughter, Orilla, probably facilitated that business partnership. During 1886, Albert became sole proprietor after operating a similar business for a time in Cambria. Not long after 1900, the Dents left Chariton to settle in Washington state.

The Piper Building was in place at the east end of the north side when this photo was taken, but the area now filled by the Blake Building (now Ben Franklin) and the I.O.O.F. Building (Lindy's Closet) appears to have contained a two-story frame building, a gap and then a double-front one-story wooden building. The sign on the storefront closest to Piper's may read "Eureka Bakery," but I can't be sure.

The old hotel, sometimes known as the Chariton House, that dated from the city's earliest days still was in place on the northwest corner of the square when this photo was taken. It would be replaced by a department store, which burned; a legendary but temporary gospel tabernacle; and finally, by the Hotel Chariton.


There are two interesting stories, to me at least, in The Register this morning. The first involves Oak Grove Cemetery near Lehigh in Webster County (northwest of Des Moines) where erosion has deposited some occupants unceremoniously in a ditch and threatens the final resting place of others. This has been going on for two years, apparently, and no one is willing to step forward and take responsibility for rectifying the situation. Fortunately, there are no similar situations in Lucas County. I can think of a couple of cemeteries where erosion could become a factor, but so far it hasn't.

The other involves Liz Kruidenier, now dying of cancer at age 85 and among the last of a generation of priviliged, progressive Iowa women (the late Louise Rosenfield Noun was another) who devoted themselves to causes many benefitted from --- the arts,  civil rights, Planned Parenthood and more.

Her life-long partner was the late David Kruidenier, a member of the legendary Cowles family, publishers at a time when most major newspapers still were privately owned of The Des Moines Register & Tribune and The Minneapolis Star & Tribune, and a social activist alongside his wife.


We're still dodging frost here, and the flowers still are blooming --- remarkably late into October; it can't last much longer. Tonight's predicted low is 32 and tomorrow's, 30, and that may be the end of it. I finally gave in yesterday morning and turned the furnace on and admitted it was time to find an extra blanket. We're pretty good at denial in Iowa, but that can go on for only so long.


Ed said...

I turned my heater on yesterday. *sigh* I wish it could remain fall forever.

Wanda Horn said...

Your photo showing Rose's Studio caught my eye because the photographer, Clarence Rose, was an older half-brother of my grandmother, Charlotte Rose Roberts. We have several old family photos from his studio. Clarence left Chariton in the early 1890s and went to New Mexico hoping to find a cure for his "consumption." However, when his health continued to deteriorate, he went to the home of his aunt in Benedict, Nebraska, where he died in October of 1894.

Wanda Horn said...

Oops! Clarence Oridell Rose died in October 1899, not 1894.