Thursday, November 13, 2014

JM Vapes Opens in Chariton

Chariton Herald-Patriot, November 13, 2014
Bill Howes, Associate Editor

Ambassador Call Held at JM Vapes in Chariton

JM Vapes 1130 B Braden Ave. Chariton.  Far left, Jason Schneider and next
to him is Michelle Schneider, his wife and co-owner.
   If you want to quit smoking or vaping, JM Vapes in Chariton can help you kick the habit. Jason and Michelle Schneider are the owners of the business.
    JM Vapes sells both nicotine vaporizers and fluid and they make their own fluid and can also custom make it.  They've been in business for over a year, but this is the first time they've gone commercial with it.  They started a year ago on line.  They would order the product and store it in their garage.  They did sales on-line and locally here in Chariton.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

7th Heaven Café Opens in Chariton

An Ambassador call and ribbon cutting was held at 7th Heaven Café at 1155
N. 7th St. in Chariton on October 16th.  Pictured holding the scissors in the
front is the owner, Connie Wagers.  To the right of her are her employees
Christy Davis and Anita Snook.  (Bill Howes photo).
   For a delicious array of fine food, check out the 7th Heaven Café at 1155 N. 7th St. in Chariton.  It's located where C-Shells and Charlies's used to be and an ambassador call and ribbon cutting was held there on October 16th.  Connie Wagers is the owner.
   The 7th Heaven Café opened on September 15th.  It serves lunch and supper and is open from 11-3 p.m. on Monday and from 11-9 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday.  It is closed on Sundays.
   The 7th Heaven Café serves a variety of foods including hamburgers, chicken and lasagna.  It runs a daily special and Saturday night is Prime Rib night.  There is dine in seating and carry out is also available. 
   The contact phone number for the restaurant is 641-774-8063.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Douglas Ice Cream Co., Inc.

From the Lucas County Notes & Shakin’ the Family Tree Volume 19 Issue 4 October – November – December 2014

From the Chariton Herald-Patriot of April 12, 1917

Douglas Ice Cream Co., Inc.

Chariton and Lucas County Business Men Are Preparing for a Greatly Enlarged Business

   Few people realize the extent and value of the creamery business transacted in this city by the reorganized and rejuvenated Douglas Ice Cream Co., Incorporated.
   Several months ago it was decided to incorporate and expand the business and to this end it was capitalized by local people in the sum of $35,000.
   L. P. Douglas, a practical and experienced man, was placed at the head of the organization as president; R. Lytton was chosen vice-president and Franklin Bell was elected secretary. These three men and E. A. Anderson and L. C. Wineland compose the board of directors, while A. B. Gookin, A. V. Whitlatch and Sherman Shore compose a committee to dispose of stock. Already the concern has a paid in capital of $17,000 and stock sales will be continued until the treasury contains $25,000.
   Branch houses are now operating at Corydon, Creston and Lenox, and increased facilities for taking care of this and other business will be completed about May 1st. A refrigerating plant is now being installed for the keeping of ice cream and this plant will have a daily capacity of 300 to 1,000 gallons, all made and packed by machinery and untouched by the human hand. This machinery is housed in a strictly sanitary room with but one entrance and through which no flies or other pests can enter. It has a capacity of 135 gallons per hour and after freezing the tubs or containers are placed in a cold storage room which cares for 900 gallons stacked on shelves through which liquid amonia passes, registering about zero.
   An adjoining room is used for storing butter and the plant has a butter capacity of 2,000 pounds daily. At the rear of the office a big receiving room for milk and cream is being transferred to huge vats and machinery in the basement by sanitary tubes. 
   Automatic washers are being installed to care for thorough cleansing of all cans and receptacles for cream, ice cream, etc.
  A part of the service provided will be cared for by a ton truck which will operate twice a week over a route through Olmitz, Tipperary, Columbia, Purdy, Melcher, Dallas, Bauer, Newbern, Lacona, Woodburn, Jay and other towns adjacent to Chariton. Shipments of cream from Corydon, Creston, Lenox and other markets cities will be supplied promptly and regularly with ice cream manufactured here.
  The heating plant for the new management will be placed at the rear and away from the manufacturing end of the business, and every department will be kept wholesomely clean and sanitary.
   About May 1st the management will be very glad to show visitors through the new plant.
The days of Douglas Ice Cream
   Hy-Vee most likely is the top-selling brand of ice cream in Lucas County now, but a century ago it was Douglas, manufactured by the Douglas Ice Cream Co. --- chartered in 1913 with capital of $35,000 --- in this building just off the northeast corner of the Chariton square. The builder (and ice cream manufacturer) was Lee P. Douglas, who moved from Chariton to Des Moines with his family during 1922.
   The old photo must have been taken not long after production began. The dray wagon is filled with tubs labeled "Douglas, Chariton, Iowa" and the banners on the wagon and in the first-floor windows of the building behind it read, "Douglas Ice Cream."
   The Chariton Leader reported on Dec. 18, 1913, that "The new Douglas building on Grand street is fast assuming propositions (?!?) and ere long will be completed. It is to be occupied by the Douglas Ice Cream Company in the manufacture of this article for the retail and wholesale trade. The building stands two stories above a high basement. These lower rooms will also be fitted up for business. L.P. Douglas and P.T. Paton have formed a partnership and will soon launch a bottling establishment here.
   The style of the firm is to be known as the D. & P. B. Co. They will equip this establishment with the latest and best appliances and machinery and will put a superior product on the market. Mr. Douglas will have charge of the manufacturing end of the business and Mr. Paton represent the distribution and this will make a strong firm."
   Two months later, on Feb. 12, 1914, The Herald-Patriot reported that "Lee Douglas is moving his ice cream factory into his fine new building north of Palmer's Department store (which was located then on the Charitone Hotel site), and will be ready for business on Saturday of this week. Mr. Douglas and P.T. Paton were in Burlington last week attending the Bottlers' convention and have purchased the fixtures for their bottling business which will also be opened in the near future."
   Neither the ice cream nor the bottling business endured, but the building did. Probably best-known as the Anderson Building, it has housed a locker, offices and apartments. Now owned by Richard Atwell, it continues to serve as an apartment house.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ribbon Cutting At Twilight Tearoom in Williamson

Chariton Herald-Patriot, August 19, 2014
Bill Howes, Associate Editor

An ambassador call and ribbon cutting was held at the Slykhuis Twilight Tearoom at the Historic Williamson School a week ago.  The Tearoom is now located on the second floor of the school and had previously been located in the school's gymnasium.  Tina and Patrick Slykhuis are the owners and Teresa Buckalew is a volunteer.
The Slykhuis Twilight Tearoom is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Reservations are required and to make reservations people should call 515-707-9621.  The Tearoom's Grand Opening was held August 14th through August 16th.
The Tearoom serves scores, chicken salad on croissants, a choice of salad or soup and assorted desserts.  Tina does all the baking and she and Patrick and Buckalew do the serving and Buckalew is also a waitress.
The Slykhis Twilight Tearoom has been open for the past two years.  Tina explained that they hadn't had a ribbon cutting or the Grand Opening yet because they weren't ready for it and they now have the Tearoom open on the second floor of the school.
For the last year and a half they've had hypnotists perform there.  The Des Moines Playhouse comes down once a month or twice a year to do a murder mystery and gospel singers have also performed there.  All summer the Tearoom has done family reunions.  The Tearoom cooks for birthday parties, reunions and other special events.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Charlie's Restaurant

Chariton Leader, November 12, 2013
Bill Howes, Associate Editor

A new restaurant with a wide array of mouth-watering foods is now open in Chariton.  Charlie's Restaurant is located at 1155 N. Seventh St. in the building where Kum and Go once was across the street from Lucas County Health Center.  Chuck and Lesha Selton are the owners of the new restaurant, which opened Nov. 2.  An ambassador call was held for the opening of the new restaurant  on November 6th.  
Shelton explained why he and his wife decided to open the new restaurant, "We have decided to spend the rest of our lives in Chariton and we were looking for an endeavor that would last us well beyond retirement." he said.  The restaurant is named after Chuck's father, Charlie.  It's the second restaurant opened by Shelton in Chariton with the other being "The Chuckwagon" on Court Ave.
Charilie's Restaurant is open seven days a week.  It's open on Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Charlie's Restaurant offers a lot of comfort foods such as cheeseburgers, cheese balls, French fries and tenderloins.  There are also a lot of specialty items along with various entrees, soups and daily specials.  Along with a sit down restaurant, it offers carry out and drive up.  Lunch and dinner are served right now and Shelton said they will be offering breakfast soon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Charitone Corner

Frank Myers has some very interesting stories about the Charitone Corner on his blog.  You can visit his blog and read these stories at the following websites:  Thanks again Frank

This is the earliest known photograph of the Charitone corner, taken ca. 1868-69. The Opposition House hotel, still clearly identified as such, is located on the hotel corner with Warren S. Dungan's new building (on the current site of Piper's) to the left. We're looking past the northwest corner of the 1858 courthouse here.

Lucas County still was on the eastern fringe of the frontier immediately after the Civil War when the first substantial structure was built on the northeast corner of Chariton's square --- Lot 7, Block 8, original plat. This was Thomas Jefferson Musselman's Opposition House hotel, which developed, briefly, a reputation as a rip-roaring establishment offering, among other amenities, strong drink, fistfights, perhaps even wild women.

It's hard to judge the accuracy of all that after nearly 150 years, however.
But if the site were stained by sin, perhaps it was washed clean 50 years later when, in 1921, it became the site of the biggest religious revival the south of Iowa ever had seen.

It's been quite a ride.

It's not clear what had been located on this lot prior to 1867. Platted during 1849, it traded hands frequently.
When Chariton pioneer Joseph Braden arrived in town during January of 1853, the post office was located in a log cabin on this corner. Braden recalled it, as follows: "The post office was kept in a one-story log building, one room with small shed kitchen, situated on the northeast corner of the square. I well remember my first visit to it. I wanted to mail a letter in the evening at about 8 o’clock, as the mail would leave early in the morning. Finding the post office was kept in a private dwelling, I knocked at the door; a voice responded, “Come in.” I did so and found myself in the bed room, which was also the living room and post office. The postmaster was out, his family in bed. I placed my letter on the table as directed and departed." (Chariton Herald, March 27, 1902) This is the earliest known reference to a building on the lot.

During August of 1863, William H. and Mary Huyck purchased the ground from Joseph N.B. Bowen, listed in the 1860 census as a Chariton Township farmer. The Huycks held onto the property for four years --- an ownership record.

During their years of ownership, the Huycks were operating a grocery store as well as an auction and commission merantile operation on the north side of the square, so whatever buildings may have been here could have served as both their home and a part of those operations.

The Huycks sold the lot to Thomas J. Musselman on Oct. 30, 1867, and it's my guess that he began construction of his new hotel shortly thereafter.

Musselman had arrived in Lucas County single, about 19, from Indiana ca. 1852, the vanguard of a family party that arrived the following year and included his parents, Daniel and Tabitha Musselman; brothers Darius, Daniel Jr. and John; and sister and brother-in-law, Eliza (Musselman) and William Walker Baker.

Thomas married Sarah Ann Watson in Lucas County on Nov. 12, 1854, and when the 1856 state census of Lucas County was taken, they were living with his mother and brothers northwest of Chariton, near Whitebreast Creek, in what became years later the Oakley neighborhood. Thomas and his brother, John, were identified as carpenters in that census; brother Darius, as a miller. Daniel Jr. was the farmer.

By 1860, Thomas and Sarah had prospered. Still a resident of the Oakley area, his occupation was listed as farmer in the census of that year and the value of his real estate holdings totaled $4,000, not an insubstantial amount at that time.

Thomas's youngest brother, John, identified as an artist in the 1860 census, enlisted during July of 1861 as a private in Co. B, 6th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, but died in service a year later, on July 14, 1862, at LaGrange, Tennessee. Shortly thereafter, Thomas enlisted himself --- as 2nd sergeant in Co. K, 34th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and set off for war. His term of service was brief, however. He was discharged for disability on March 30, 1863, at St. Louis, and returned home to his family in Lucas County.

Why Thomas named his hotel the Opposition House in those boom years immediately after the war ended isn't known. It may just have indicated that he was in competition with the St. John House and the Hatcher House, Chariton's other hotels of that time, both operating on the south side of the square.

Many years later, when the Hotel Charitone was opening for business in November of 1923, a Herald-Patriot article about the hotel site offered some sketchy and inaccurate information about the Opposition House, reportedly based upon the memories of older residents. Nearly everything that could have been wrong in the article was, but there's no particular reason to doubt the physical description of the building given there: "about 45x60 feet, with main entrance on the south as at Hotel Charitone, but nearer the corner. (It) was a two story frame structure .... The hotel office was in the corner room, as in the present new structure, and the dining room joined the office on the east. In the basement was the bar, well equipped and stocked to serve incoming thirsty travelers who had come perhaps ten to thirty miles on horseback or in wagons."

At about the same time Thomas was building the Opposition House, John V. Faith was launching his Chariton Democrat (issues of The Democrat from its second edition, dated Oct. 19, 1867, forward are the earliest Chariton newspapers to survive. The Patriot commenced publication in 1857, but early issues have vanished).

First mention of Musselman enterprises in The Democrat came in its edition of Jan. 25, 1868, when a town council resolution was published ordering Thomas to build sidewalks around the west and south fronts of his hotel or face the consequences --- city-built sidewalks and a bill (or lien against his property). Several other property owners were named in the resolution, too, including my recently widowed aunt, Anna Margaret (Redlingshafer) Rosa, then living in a log building just north of the hotel that also had housed the business of her late husband, John, dead of typhoid.

By December of that year, the Opposition House apparently had acquired something of a reputation. Editor Faith reported in his edition of Dec. 3, with the headline "Another Row" --- "The Opposition House is becoming somewhat noted for its opposition to everything like good order and peace in the community, but we are not prepared to say whether the institution is or is not justly entitled to this notoriety. Be that as it may, Mr. Thomas Musselman, the proprietor, and Francis Rockhold, of Jackson township, locked horns on Tuesday, but as Rockhold had already taken several horns too many, he acquitted himself in a rather disgraceful manner. In short, Thomas licked him. They were both arrested, and, as the fight seemed to have been rather of a mutual character, Justice Woodward fined each of them five dollars and costs. We learn that Rockhold was again arrested for striking a woman but have learned nothing further. Mr. Musselman has fully retrieved the honor he lost in his set-to with Thomas Mason, Esq., a few weeks ago, and now we hope peace will reign in the Opposition."

The hotel was in the news again on Aug. 3, 1869, when The Democrat reported, "Just as we expected, last Thursday night, as usual, there was a dance at the Opposition House, and naturally enough a row was on the programme. Sugar bowls, plates and other ware flew promiscously and some fellow got his head cut with a knife."

In that same edition, it was reported that Thomas had decided to change the name of his business --- most likely anticipating its sale --- to City Hotel (The south-side St. John House was by this time known as the Chariton House, so that name was unavailable).

"The Opposition House is no more," the Democrat reported, "Mr. Musselman having discarded that belligerant ticket for the more euphonious title of the City Hotel, and the establishment is now decket with signs and letters accordingly. Mr. Musselman possesses the one faculty of making hotel-keeping pay, and if there were but one thing for which he deserves credit, it would be for his ability to meet all opposition in a friendly spirit, ignoring the less manly disposition that impels one to result with brute force whatever he conceives to be an indignity. Tom has shrewdness in more respects than one."

It's not clear what John Faith was up to with his characterization of Thomas here, but it most likely was not a friendly gesture.

On Aug. 31, 1869, The Democrat reported the hotel's sale: "This property changed hands last week, Mr. Gallagher, whom we have mentioned, having finally succeeded in making a trade with Mr. Musselman. He gives eleven thousand dollars for it. Mr. Gallagner has long been a resident of Rome, Henry county, and comes amongst us with the best reputation as a man. He will overhaul, renovate and clean out the hotel, and introduce such changes as, it is hoped, will make the house a credit to the place."

Part of the transition proceeded as expected. Thomas and his family moved to Rome to take over Gallagher's dry good store (and other property that was part of the deal) while the Gallaghers moved to Chariton. Very soon, however, Thomas was accusing James Gallagher of looting his Rome business before turning over the keys --- an accusation that ended up in court, launching a legal battle that continued until 1874.

John Faith was outraged, writing in The Democrat of Oct. 26, 1869, "And now for a man of Tom Musselman's standing character and reputation in this community, where his bad conduct and criminal course of life has been the subject of so much remark, to come here and attempt to bring shame and disgrace upon such a man as Mr. Gallagher, and upon such a family as his family, is simply an outrage upon decency.... We await the result, fully confident that Mr. Gallagher and his family will come out of the difficulty with their reputation unsullied by the mean disposition of an unprincipled, bad man."

Several months later, not long before leaving Chariton himself, Faith had a few parting words for Thomas as his case against Gallagher continued to drag on through the courts: "Musselman --- How much there is in that name that brings up visions of bad men, loose women, drunkenness, crime and hell!"

Faith's opinion to the contrary, the Musselmans seem to have settled down comfortably in Rome. Tom's occupation was given in the Henry County census of 1870 as retired merchant and, during 1880, as butcher. By 1900, following the death of his wife, he had moved with his youngest daughter, May, to Agency, where at age 67 he was operating another store. By 1910, he had returned to Rome --- and died there on Aug. 6, 1918, aged about 85.

For 10 years, his grave in Rome's Grant Cemetery remained unmarked. Then, during 1928, a Frank Dold, then living at Rome, applied for a veteran's tombstone to mark Tom's final resting place. Some disagreement arose about how the last name had been spelled, however, and "Mussleman" was decided upon. The stone was shipped to Rome and duly installed, but for better or worse, Tom Musselman is now proceeding through eternity under the wrong name, Thos. J. Mussleman. John Faith probably would have enjoyed that.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ben Franklin Building

This article appeared in The Lucas Countyan on April 4, 2013.  Written by Frank Myers.  You can read more of his articles at:  The Lucas Countyan

The Blake-Ben Franklin Block

George W. Blake opened Chariton's first store devoted exclusively to hardware during 1865 in a wood-frame building on the west half of the lot now occupied nearly 150 years later by this handsome 1901 structure that still bears his surname embedded in its cornice.

By 1869, when this photo was taken, Blake was doing business in the most easterly of three nearly identical two-story buildings toward the left of the image. "Hardware" is painted across the top of its facade. Whether he built it or bought it along with the lot (purchased from Walker W. Baker on Oct. 21, 1865) isn't known.

In this photo, the northwest corner of Chariton's second courthouse is at far right; the new Opposition House hotel next, on what now is the Hotel Charitone corner; then continuing to the left across North Grand Street, Warren S. Dungan's new two-story building (on the site of Piper's), a single-story business building and two vacant lots. Blake purchased the most westerly of those lots a few years later, giving him room to expand and his family, sufficient space to build the current Blake Block.


Blake was born July 7, 1841, at Brewster, Maine, came to Iowa at age 17 and had gotten as far as Ottumwa, where he was working as a clerk, when the Civil War began. He enlisted in Co. K, Second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was chosen to be second, then first, lieutenant of that company. He was wounded so severely at the October 1862 Battle of Corinth that it was thought he would not recover, but he did and served honorably until his discharge during 1864, coming to Chariton the following spring.

During September of 1866, the rising young businessman married Caroline Edginton, a native of London and daughter of Edward T. Edginton, a Chariton pioneer who arose to considerable prominence and then fell from grace after the Civil War as the result of a financial debacle involving his service as county treasurer.

By 1881, when Caroline died of tuberculosis, the family was living in a grand home in southwest Chariton. The household included the three Blake children --- Charles Arthur, Harriet B. and George Clarence, ranging in age from 12 to 1 year --- as well as Caroline's somewhat disgraced father.

During 1887, George married again, to Tamar Arabell Chickering, and continued to operate his north-side hardware store until Dec. 20, 1900, when he died unexpectedly at home.

None of George's survivors had an interest in operating a hardware store and so it was closed after his death and the old building torn down and plans made to construct the current building on its site. The Chariton Herald of May 9, 1901, reported on construction plans for the building as follows:

A double store building will be built by the G.W. Blake estate on the north side of the square. The block will have a brown stone front adorned with stone pillars on the first story, with a brick front on the second story. The two store rooms will be the same size as the west side block (a reference to the Ensley-Crocker Block), 20 x 90 feet each. The building will be a very handsome one, and will be located on Mr. Blake's lots, on the east half of the north side, where the old frame building has recently been torn away. The second story will be occupied with office rooms. Brewer & Paton, the one-price clothiers, have already arranged for a lease on one of the store rooms and will move their clothing stock into it as soon as the building is completed. The other store room is not yet rented."

The facade here appears to be primarily of brick with stone accents, but the report suggests that the ground floor originally included more of the same stone used for the entire facade of the Ensley-Crocker Block, constructed on the west side during the same year.

As built, two Blake Building storefronts were separated by a staircase accessed from the street that led to the "office rooms" on the second floor. When the two storefronts were combined to form a larger retail space, the stair was moved to the west side of the building where it continues to offer access to the second floor, now apartments.

The designer probably was Chariton architect O.A. Hougland, although that has not been documented. The year 1901 was a banner year for Chariton's square and, in addition to the Blake Block and the Ensley-Crocker Block it also brought construction of Virginia Branner's new thriple-front block, very similar in material and detail to the Blake Building and facing it across the courthouse square from the south side (a site now occupied by the Ritz Theater/Connecticut Yankee Pedaller building and the Harbor House Christian Bookstore building).

The Blake and Branner blocks were further united by the stone barley-twist finials that crowned their facades, a detail added a few years later to the new I.O.O.F. building just east of the Blake, as well.

The Blake Building remained in the hands of George Clarence Blake and his descendants until at least the 1980s making it, perhaps, the piece of real estate on the square owned for the longest time by the same family. Gary and Betty Pepping, long-time owners of Ben Franklin, owned both the business and the building, however, as does the Felderman family, which continues to operate Ben Franklin in the tradition of a town-square variety store.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Piper's Candy Store

The following article appeared on Frank Myers Blog on April 2, 2013.   Click here to see his articles: Lucas Countyan

Joe L. Piper, who purchased during 1908 the grocery store still operating at the intersection of Braden Avenue and North Grand Street as Piper's, might be surprised to learn that the business is now, during 2013, the oldest on the square with an enduring name. He would have no trouble recognizing the Piper's Building, however, 14 years older than the business and looking much as it always has.

So far as we know, the Piper's Building is only the second to stand on this single-front lot. Col. Warren S. Dungan, prominent Chariton attorney, state legislator and Iowa lieutenant governor just home from Civil War service, purchased the property on Dec. 6, 1866, from Edward T. Edginton, among other things a real estate speculator, and probably during the next year built on it a two-story frame building with commercial space below and his and other offices on the second floor.

During 1893, Dungan was elected Iowa's lieutenant governor and moved to Des Moines for his two-year, 1894-95, term. As a result, he closed his law office and sold the building on Jan. 12, 1894. The purchaser was Lizzie Eikenberry, recent widow of Daniel Eikenberry, one of Chariton's most prominent residents. The commercial tenant was Fred C. Stanley, at the time Chariton's most prosperous grocer.

Daniel Eikenberry, who died at age 68 on Oct. 11, 1893, had left his widow and two minor children, William A. and Sarah E, a substantial fortune. Lizzie, an astute businesswoman, managed her share of the estate. Daniel --- with Lizzie's assent --- named his friend, Henry Kubitshek, to manage the shares of his children. Property on the square at that time was considered among the best possible investments for liquid assets.

In addition to the Dungan lot, Lizzie also purchased the two single-front lots immediately to the west during 1894, both also occupied by wood-frame buildings. It probably was the viability of Stanley's business that motivated her to invest in a fine new brick building to house it while leaving the other two frame buildings much as she found them to generate rental income.

At roughly the same time, Kubitshek decided to invest some of the Eikenberry children's assets in an equally fine but larger double-front brick building for J.T. Crozier, another of Chariton's most prosperous merchants, on the southeast corner of the square.

Mrs. Eikenberry's intentions were announced in The Chariton Herald of Feb. 22, 1894: "Among the prospective building improvements for this season is a new two story brick building, to be erected for Mrs. Eikenberry, on the Dungan corner recently purchased by her."

In order not to disrupt Stanley's business, permission was obtained from the Chariton City Council to move the old frame building sideways off its foundation into what now is North Grand Street so that the business could continue to operate. The same strategy was adopted for Crozier before construction of his new building began.

On March 30, 1894, The Chariton Democrat reported that "preparations are being made to move the building occupied by Fred Stanley out into the street, while the new building is being erected."

The new building was completed during July and Fred Stanley celebrated by, among other things, investing in a fine new delivery wagon. "It is a beauty,"The Democrat of July 13 reported, "and is the work of Schreiber & Co. Fred says it is available for picnic parties, etc., and that he won't charge any more for groceries now than he did before he purchased the wagon."

Lizzie Eikenberry continued to own the three north-side buildings until her own death at the relatively young age of 49 on Dec. 30, 1901. They then passed into the joint ownership of her children, W.A. Eikenberry and Sarah (Eikenberry) Sigler.

During May of 1904, the Eikenberry heirs sold the three buildings for $20,000 to Chariton's I.O.O.F. lodge, which then announced plans to remove the two frame buildings and construct in their place the fine new I.O.O.F. Building that still stands in that location, just west of the grocery building.

Fred Stanley continued to operate his store in the 1894 building until he retired during late December of 1908 and sold the business to Joe L. Piper. The Chariton Herald of Dec. 10, 1908, reported that transaction as follows:


A deal was consummated Monday of this week whereby J.L. Piper purchased the Fred C. Stanley grocery stock, fixtures and good will and he is now in possession of the establishment. Mr. Piper is not new to the grocery business having conducted a store at Oakley for six years, in connection with his brother, R.D. Piper, and for two years after his brother came to Chariton. The new proprietor of the Stanley store has lived in Chariton almost five years and is quite well known by most citizens of this town. He has been in the railway mail service for some time and is glad to get back into the business he is so well acquainted with and likes. Until he can be relieved of his duties in the mail service the establishment will be in charge of Mr. Stanley and all customers and friends of the retiring proprietor will be as kindly treated in the future as they have in the past.

The I.O.O.F. Lodge retained ownership of the grocery building as an income-generating property until Jan. 1, 1913, when Piper purchased it. Since that date, the business and the building have had the same owners.

When Joe L. Piper purchased the building, the rear of the lot was occupied by a wood-frame annex that may have been the original 1867 building in its final incarnation. During 1922, that building was demolished and the current rear third of the Piper's building, brick rendered in stucco, was constructed. The Herald-Patriot of Aug. 10, 1922, reported upon this project as follows:

"Workmen have finished tearing down the old Piper Grocery produce building on the alley way at the rear of the store and are now laying the foundation for a new and modern ware room to be built on as part of the store building proper. The new room will be 30 x 22 1/2 feet."

The store continued to operate under various configurations of family ownership until Joe L. Piper's son, Bob, and his wife, Ruth, became sole owners in 1946. After Bob Piper's death during 1987, Jim and Anne Kerns took over the business while retaining the Piper's name and traditions. It passed to their daughter, Jill Kerns, in 1999 and she continues to operate it. Under Jill's ownership the Braden Avenue front was restored after brickwork began to sag. Beyond that, the building looks much as it did when Fred Stanley moved in 120 years ago.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hy-Vee "Corn Meal Merchants"

From the History of Lucas County 1978 Book

Hy-Vee Southern Iowa
"Corn Meal Merchants"

Charles L. Hyde and David M. Vredenburg pooled meager resources in 1930, to form a partnership in the operation of general stores in Beaconsfield and Grand River, Iowa.  This was the nucleus of what today is known as Hy-Vee.

The first office and warehouse were located at Lamoni.  In 1945, the company, seeking better rail service and a more dependable source of supply, relocated to Chariton.

Imagine a small country store in the 1930's, shelves leaning into the aisles, casting an almost cavern look.  Eggs being candled in the back room by an incandescent bulb; aroma from the coffee grinder perfumes the air with a scent like no other.   A long wood pole is propped near the breakfast cereal section, reaching upward, the owner flips the Quaker oats container from the shelf.

In 1978 sales exceeded $580,000,000 with its own fleet of tractors and trailers, electronic ordering systems, a half million square feet of warehouses and offices; more than 9,000 employees and 119 stores in five states.

The first warehouse-office building was 72,000 square feet.  It was two years under construction, completed in 1948.

In 1940, managers introduced the shopping cart and customers had to serve themselves.  Like anything else new, customers complained, but these "baby carriages", as they were sometimes called, were here to stay.

One of the biggest changes came in 1949, when Hy-Vee advanced into the "Supermarket" era by introducing the "drive-in" concept and a "store with a parking lot."

The explosion of store construction was launched in the '60's, but it was the 1950-1960 era that matured Hy-Vee and provided the foundation for its future successes.  Wide aisles, automatic doors, large parking lots, automatic check outs, air conditioning, self service meat, produce display cases, pastel colors, automated cash registers, delicatessens, bakeries, drug stores and carts.

By their 25th anniversary in 1962, the 50th store had been opened and in 1978, 118 stores were serving the public with groceries and drug store supplies.

The first conveyor system was installed in a Hy-Vee store in 1970, delivering grocery sacks from inside to outside where bags were placed into customers cars at the curb.

The 4th largest employer in Iowa in 1978 was Hy-Vee.  It had more than 9,000 employees throughout its five state area.  At least 20 new stores were under construction in 1978.

The original Chariton warehouse of 72,000 square feet in 1948 had grown to 473,000 square feet in 1978.  The company, in 1978, had 575 men and women on a full and part time basis employed in Chariton.

Hy-Vee's slogan of "Where There's a Helpful Smile In Every Aisle",has helped to make this chain of stores what it is today.