Monday, December 14, 2015

What Was New in 1872: All the rest

This is the third and final installment of a long article published in The Chariton Patriot of Jan. 3, 1873, looking back at all the construction projects --- down to the last barn --- undertaken in Chariton during 1872. Earlier posts have featured the Mallory Opera Block and the B.&M.R. Railroad's new Depot/Depot Hotel

The first building mentioned was Mallory's North Side Block, on the current site of U.S.Bank just west of the alley on the north side of the square. The parade photo, taken 1894-1901, shows the entire block (with Rose's Studio upstairs); the postcard, view, its place in the north side lineup. This building was rather small --- divided into three narrow storefronts, one of which always was a bank. But it survived fires that destroyed its neighbors to the west and survived until 1910, when it was replaced by the current building.

During construction of the new building, a small frame structure was built in the street and it housed State Savings Bank operations while the old building was demolished and the new one built.

The article concludes with a few paragraphs boosting the town --- and Lucas County. Much of what was predicted actually happened, although not on the projected schedule. Obviously, no rail line was built directly to Chicago, but the new north-side Rock Island line came along in 1912-1913. It was only then that the coal fields of northeast Lucas County were opened. Not long after this article was written, however, coal became a big industry in western Lucas County, near Lucas. What was not predicted here was the new rail line built during the 1870s to connect Chariton and Indianola, thus providing rail access to Des Moines, too.


This is a substantial brick, two stories high, with three store rooms below and six rooms above, part of which are now occupied by the Patriot office. Cost $8,000.

Lot Curtis' Mill might be mentioned next. It is better known perhaps as Warren Mills, having formerly been located in Warren township, three or four miles southwest of town, but Mr. C., seeing very plainly that Chariton was the hub, and the business center of a large area of country, decided to establish himself here, which he did during the last summer by erecting in the north part of town a new three-story frame mill building, in a substantial manner, so as to make it one of the permanent improvements to Chariton. The mill is valued at $8,000.

Lewis Bros. have improved their two mills in the way of a new boiler for the lower, and an engine room for the upper, to the amount of $1,400.

On the square in addition to the two brick blocks already mentioned (Mallory Opera House and the Mallory Block):

Law & Becker have built on the north side a comfortable room which is now occupied with a harness shop. Cost $1,000.

Jesse Lewis has also put in a new front and otherwise improved his grocery room on the south side, to the amount of $300.

A new front has been added to the building occupied by L.F. Maple's Book Store which adds much to its looks at a cost of $100.

T.E. Palmer & Son have very materially improved their commodious store room at an expense of $1,000.

N.B. Branner has refitted up some of his buildings on the southeast corner and expended $800.

R. Irwin has built a very handsome residence in the south part of town. The house is two stories high, contains some ten or twelve rooms, and cost about $3,000.

Col. Warren S. Dungan has added a second story to his residence and provided it with bay windows, verandas &tc., &tc., so that it makes one of the neatest residences in town. He expended about $1,000.

T.W. Fawcett has added a porch and other improvements to his house, making it good enough for even an ex-editor of the Patriot to live in. Cost $600.

W.F. Hatcher has built a one and a half story house in which he is now with wife and babies snuggly domiciled. Cost $800.

E. Copeland has overhauled the old D.N. Smith property, fitting it up in the best of style at an expense of $600.

S.F. Stewart of the firm Stewart & Son is cozily ensconced in a neat cottage of four rooms recently built for about $800.

Joseph Braden, of Braden & Co., has improved his residence to the amount of $600.

S.H. Vansickle, grocer on the east side, has been spending lots of money on his already nice property. He has built a two-story addition, containing six or eight rooms, including a good cellar. Cost about $1,500.

Our dentist, C.T. Brant, has had a carpenter at work nearly all summer fitting up in still better style the large house purchased of Wm. Brown. He has spent nearly $500.

Henry Simpson, who sells goods at the southeast corner, has built a good substantial frame residence in the south part of town with a two-story front. Cost about $1,000.

Henry Law of Law & Becker's firm, has also built a two-story residence in the north part of the city. When done will cost near $2,000.

Dr. Wilson, who bought property near the northwest corner of the square, has remodeled it, and put it in nice order for his residence and office. Spent about $500.

Jacob Yengel has moved back his old residence and replaced it with a much better one, a story and a half high costing him about $1,000.

J.A. McKleven, new barn, cost $450. Jesse Lewis, new barn, cost $200. Theo Vandervelt, new house, cost $300. G.P. Gustuson, new house, cost $250. A. McMainee, addition to house, cost $200. John Martin, new house, cost $800. R.A. Hemphill, addition, cost $200. Joseph Suple, new house, cost $800. Wm. A. Barrow, new house, cost $500. James Crosby, new house, cost $600. Pete McDonald, new house, cost $400. John Johnson, new house, cost $200. Dr. D.W. Waynick, improvements, cost $200.

The Methodists beautified their church at a cost of $300.

In addition to the above we will mention the improvement of our Court House and Public Square. The former has been neatly painted and the latter surrounded with a No. one picket fence, and a row of posts to which is attached a heavy iron chain which provides a convenient place for hitching teams, and also protects the fence. For these public improvements our citizens are indebted to H.H. Day, Joseph Sprott and R.P. Meek, our worthy and public spirited county commissioners.

The City Council comes in for our thanks for providing a suitable number of street lamps, by means of which our square is well lighted whenever required, as well as new sidewalks, &tc. The total cost to the town and county for these things is not far from  $3,500.

During the last summer a barn has been built on the County poor farm, which is so close to town that we will mention it in this connection. This is 42x52 feet in size, besides a wing on each side 18x18. It is built in the best manner and in the hands of Mr. J. Critchfield, the popular superitendent. The farm will be a profitable investment for the county. It cost about $1,500.

The total cost of these various improvements foots up $115,000 (including the Mallory Opera Block and the Depot and Depot Hotel).

This is a very good showing especially when we consider the hard times which has compelled many of our country towns to stand still during this time.


And now a few words in regard to the general prospects for the future. Chariton is situated in the geographical center of the state east and west. Sixty miles from Ottumwa on the east, and about the same distance from Des Moines on the north, and within the last two years has been taking shape for one of the


The location of the Chariton branch of the B & M railroad at this point (40 miles of which is now completed) and the intention of the company to push it through at an early day to connection with the network of roads southwest of us, has given us reason to expect before many years several other roads. In fact companies are already organized to build a road north and south through this place, giving us direct communication with the State capitol and St. Louis, and also one running in a northeast direction toward Chicago.

The great benefit to be derived from the latter is the abundant supply of coal that will give us. It is intended to run directly through the best coal field in the State if not in the Union, and it is only about 20 miles to where veins of from 6 to 9 feet in thickness will be reached, so that the expense of transportation will be but little.

In this connection, we will say that we have a reasonable quantity of native coal which is found in veins of from 20 inches to three feet in thickness within two and three miles of our town. This coal is of very good quality and sells on the streets at from 13 to 16 cents per bushel, and further than a shaft is now being sunk near the city limits with a view of ascertaining the depth of the veins immediately beneath us.

If coal is found in sufficient quantity the requisite amount of capital stands ready to engage in the production of this staple article on a large scale. It is believed by those well informed in regard to the geology of our country, that this will result in the permanent employment of a great number of miners at this point.

Of the country surrounding our town, it is not necessary to say much, as we will take occasion to speak of this at some future time, besides the well known fertility of the soil of southern Iowa, and the general enterprise of its population is a matter on which the people of the whole country area already well informed.

We will therefore close our article by saying to those not residing here, and who may read this copy of our paper, that if you want to locate in one of the best countries of the new world and in one of the nicest and most enterprising young cities of the west, come to Chariton, and if you wish to take one of the best county papers in Iowa, and learn more of our state, subscribe for The Chariton Patriot.

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