of Fort Dodge, Iowa
PUBLISHED BY THE BLANDEN FEDERATION OF ARTS
FORT DODGE, IOWA
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALLEN R. LOOMIS • TEXT BY KARL F. HAUGEN
INDEX TO HOMES ON PAGE 119-120
MAP ON PAGE 117
PRINTED BY MESSENGER PRINTING COMPANY, FORT DODGE, IOWA
This book is a picture-story history of 101 Fort Dodge homes. Those who brought the homes into being are chronicled here, as are those who succeeded those first tenants. The homes as well as their occupants are representative of the Fort Dodge community over a time span of more than 100 years.
All of the homes are extant; the publishers regret the absence in the history of many grand old homes no longer in existence.
The homes first appeared in a weekly series in the Fort Dodge Messenger. The photographer’s skill reflects the hobby of Allen R. Loomis, Fort Dodge industrialist, whose grandparents—the A. R. Loomises and the Leon Vincents—were prominent business and cultural leaders in the earlier-day Fort Dodge.
The histories were written by Karl F. Haugen, retired City Editor of the Messenger. Mr. Haugen devoted many hours studying state, county and city records, and interviewed scores of persons.
To Mr. Haugen and Mr. Loomis, as well as to all who so graciously and cheerfully cooperated with them, the publishers extend a grateful thank-you.
BLANDEN FEDERATION OF ARTS
FEBRUARY 6, 1975
of Fort Dodge, Iowa
THE O. M. OLESON HOME
The O. M. Oleson home
1020 3rd Avenue South
O. M. Oleson, pioneer pharmacist and philanthropist, erected this large three-story brick residence with green tile roof in 1906.
Located at 1020 3rd Ave. S. it probably is the only home in the city to have had a pipe organ for many years. The home was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Oleson until 1938 when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Whittemore. Mrs. Whittemore continues to reside in the house following the death of her husband who was prominently identified with the Vincent Clay Products Company here.
The home has a full basement, first floor with living room, dining room, and kitchen; 6second floor with five bedrooms and two baths; and third floor with recreation room and attic storage space.
The pipe organ which Oleson enjoyed playing was removed from the home prior to its sale to the Whittemores and given to Lutheran Hospital’s nurses’ home. The nurses’ home was torn down some years ago during rebuilding work at the hospital (now Trinity Regional West).
Oleson was noted for his countless philanthropic acts. He donated land to the city for Oleson Park in the southeast part of the city and Leif Erickson Park in west Fort Dodge. He was the principal benefactor of Lutheran Hospital when it was organized and began operations here. His widow, Julie Haskell Oleson, willed more than $2 million to the hospital at the time of her death.
Oleson was a native of Norway and came to Fort Dodge as a young man and started in the drug business. In 1894 he erected the three-story brick building at Central Avenue and Eighth Street which was long the home of his drug firm—the Oleson Drug Company. The first floor and basement were occupied by the drug firm which for many years had both retail and wholesale operations. The second and third floors had apartments and some offices. The building was razed in recent years along with other structures to make way for the City Green Parking lot.
Oleson enjoyed good music and in the early 1890s organized the Grieg Male Chorus and was its director for many years. The chorus had a large hall on the third floor of the Oleson building where members rehearsed and held social activities. His love of music led to some composing. One of the numbers he set to music was the celebrated World War I poem by Col. John McCrae—“In Flanders Fields the Poppies Grow.”
THE E. H. RICH HOME
The E. H. Rich home
819 3rd Avenue South
E. H. Rich, a prominent Fort Dodge banker, built this large brick home at 819 3rd Ave. S. in 1880 and it was occupied continuously by members of the Rich family until the recent death of Miss Eva Rich.
Rich came to the city in 1874 and was cashier of the early-day First National Bank for many years—a bank that later was reorganized as the State Bank.
The Rich house is located on a three-lot site at the southwest corner of Third Avenue South and Ninth Street. Foundation of the home is constructed of large hand-hewn limestone blocks 20 inches thick and upper walls are 14 inches thick. The soft burned red brick used on the exterior was produced at a local brickyard using wood logs at that time to fire the kilns.
The house contains seven bedrooms, living room, dining room, music room, kitchen and two bathrooms. The third floor attic area has three large rooms and there is a fourth floor with two unfinished rooms now reached only by a ladder. The interior stairway, doors and trim of the home are of solid walnut, cut out and formed from local walnut trees.
Originally the house had seven open fireplaces, four on the first floor and three in upstairs bedrooms. With the coming of gas heat these were sealed off and six of the eight chimneys on the house removed. The house is now heated by two hot air gas-fired furnaces.
The home was piped for gas lighting long before there was any city gas in Fort Dodge. A large tank filled with naphtha was buried in the backyard and the naphtha was piped to a gas machine in the basement. The naphtha dripped over a large enclosed rotating drum which generated illuminating gas by evaporation. A pump then forced the gas into distributing pipes. Power for this home gas system was supplied by clockwork gears run by gravity from 2,000 pound millstones. Each evening it was necessary to wind up the machine before lighting the gas fixtures.
There were no telephones in the town when the house was built so Rich installed a telegraph line from the home to the bank a few blocks distant. Mr. and Mrs. Rich learned the telegraph code and one day when Mrs. Rich was injured she telegraphed her husband “Come quick—badly hurt.” Mr. Rich ran the distance from the bank to his home and found his injured wife. It was believed the telegraph message saved her life.
In later years the Rich home was completely modernized. In 1973 the house was sold by Willis Rich, last of the family of seven, to Bill and Bruce Algood who are reconditioning and furnishing it in the tradition of the era when it was built. A large floor based mirror from the home was given by Rich to the governor’s mansion—“Terrace Hill”—in Des Moines.
THE DOLLIVER HOME
One of the stately residences built along Second Avenue South prior to the turn of the century is now the Women’s Clubhouse, but for many years it was the home of United States Senator Jonathan P. Dolliver and family.
Built in 1895 and located at 915 2nd Ave. S., the large three-story red brick residence has been owned by the Women’s Club since 1935. While generally known as the Dolliver house it was built by Sen. Dolliver’s father-in-law, George R. Pearsons and occupied by his family for several years. The same year the house was built, Dolliver married Pearson’s daughter, Louise, but it was not until Pearson’s death in 1904 that the Dollivers moved into the home.
The home site originally included four lots. Pearsons, a prominent early-day resident, came here as agent for the Illinois Central Railroad. He served as mayor for two terms and was a member of the school board.
The Dolliver home originally had a parlor, drawing room or music room, dining room, kitchen and pantry on the first floor; five bedrooms and one large bath on the second floor and other rooms on the third floor. In later years the upstairs was extensively remodeled. There is a huge open stairway leading from the first floor to the upper floors.
In the rounded window area of the drawing room there once was a large stone hollowed out for a small pool. A fountain was located in the center of the pool from which water flowed continuously. Goldfish in the pool added charm to the unique window arrangement.
In 1968 the Women’s Club remodeled the house, enlarged the first floor meeting room to the west, removed the old porch and added a small patio and new entrance.
The Dolliver home
915 2nd Avenue South
Dolliver was a prominent Fort Dodge attorney and legislator. He was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1888 and served there until 1900 when he was appointed to the U. S. Senate to fill a vacancy. He was re-elected and served in the Senate until his untimely death Oct. 15, 1910, at age 52.
Sen. Dolliver was prominent in the Republican party and was known nationally. He was in great demand as a speaker and was called the “silver-tongued orator.” In 1900 he was mentioned as nominee for vice president with William G. McKinley who was elected president that year. Had he been nominated and elected he would have been elevated to the presidency after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901.
Dolliver lived very little in the home here because the family was with him in Washington a great deal of the time he was in the House and the Senate. In failing health for some time Sen. Dolliver died at his home here from what was described as a “heart ailment aggravated by over-exertion.”
THE BREEN HOME
The E. J. Breen Sr. residence occupies a prominent location at the southwest corner of Second Avenue South and Tenth Street. Constructed in 1910, the home has been continuously occupied by members of the Breen family since that time.
The house at 925 2nd Ave. S. has a red brick exterior with red tile roof, and is another of the sturdy early 20th Century residences built in this area by prominent families of the city. It has a full basement and three floors. On the first floor are living, dining and cooking areas; on the second floor four bedrooms, sleeping porch and bath; and on the third floor a ballroom.
The Breen family came to Fort Dodge in 1904 from Estherville. The family included Mr. and Mrs. Breen, sons Maurice J. and Edward Jr. and daughter Paulyne. During their early years in the city the Breens resided in houses at Fourth Avenue North and Twelfth Street and Fifth Avenue South and Twelfth Street before their home on Second Avenue South was completed in 1910.
The Breen home
925 2nd Avenue South
E. J. Breen Sr. was in the banking business—was president of the Iowa Savings Bank here and president of the Lehigh Sewer Pipe & Tile Company and the Northwestern Portland Cement Company of Mason City for many years. He organized both of the latter companies. Breen died in 1928.
Mr. and Mrs. Maurice J. Breen and family occupied the home after the death of the elder Mrs. Breen in 1939. Mrs. Maurice Breen continues to reside in the home following her husband’s death and her son, Maurice C., a Fort Dodge attorney, lives with her.
Television executive Ed Breen of Fort Dodge now resides on RFD 2; and Mrs. Emerson Dawson, the former Paulyne Breen, lives at 227 S. 12th St.
Mrs. Dawson, prior to her marriage, conducted classes in dancing in the third floor ballroom of the Breen home. She recalls that she often meets men and women now who were her former students in these classes some 50 years ago.
THE CAPT. BENNETT HOME
This large house at 911 3rd Ave. S.—set well back from the street—was built in 1890 by an early-day businessman—S. J. (Capt.) Bennett who came to Fort Dodge in 1870. It occupies a prominent location at the southeast corner of Third Avenue South and Ninth Street and has a two-story carriage house at the rear.
The three-story residence is built of St. Louis granite-brick with Sioux Falls jasper trimmings, an early-day history of the city notes. It has a slate roof with copper trim. Wide porches extend along the north and west sides of the house.
Since 1923 this spacious home, built by one of the city’s most prominent early-day residents, has been owned and occupied by members of the Schaupp family. Enjoying the gracious living quarters in the home were the late Judge and Mrs. John M. Schaupp, their sons John Jr., and Bradley and Judge Schaupp’s mother, the late Mrs. Emma Schaupp.
Judge Schaupp, a Fort Dodge attorney for many years, was appointed to the Webster County District Court bench in 1944 and served for 19 years before retiring. He died in 1971 at 10age 80. The family residence is now occupied by son John Jr. The other son, Bradley, resides in Cedar Rapids.
The Capt. Bennett home
911 3rd Avenue South
Capt. Bennett, a native of New York, came west as a young man, spending some time in Ohio and Illinois and then went to St. Louis where he remained until the Civil War broke out. He enlisted in the Union Army and spent nearly five years in service. He served first with the 23rd Missouri Infantry and later was captain of Company A, 12th Missouri Cavalry. At the close of the war his unit was one of those sent against the depredating Indians in Wyoming.
Mustered out at Fort Leavenworth he engaged in surveying work for a time before going to Boone and then on to Fort Dodge. He was in the tobacco business here for a time, then left and worked on construction projects for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Quitting railroad work he settled in Tacoma, Wash., and Portland, Ore., and at one time was president of the Tacoma Street Railway system.
Returning to Fort Dodge, Bennett was president of the Commercial National Bank and the Green-Wheeler Shoe Company here. He was active in civic affairs and served four years on the city council and four times was elected mayor of Fort Dodge. He was also a member of the Board of Supervisors and was instrumental in building of the present Webster County courthouse. He died at his home here in 1911 at age 81.
THE M. F. HEALY HOME
This attractive residence at 1218 5th Ave. N., was for many years the home of M. F. Healy, one of Fort Dodge’s and Iowa’s most distinguished attorneys. The home has many unique features, including a round, towerlike area at one corner that extends from the large front porch upward to a pointed cupola on the roof.
The three-story house has living room, library, dining room and kitchen on the first floor. An open stairway leads to the second floor with its five bedrooms and bath. On the third floor are three additional bedrooms.
Healy lived in the home from the time it was completed in 1903 until his death in 1929 at age 66. He and his wife, who was 65 at the time of her death in 1936, reared a family of six 11children in the home.
The M. F. Healy home
1218 5th Avenue North
A native of Lansing, Iowa, Healy came to Fort Dodge with his parents in 1892. He was a graduate of Notre Dame University, attended Harvard University one year and received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1885.
He began law practice in Fort Dodge with pioneer statesman and attorney John F. Duncombe. Later he was in partnership with his brothers, Thomas D. Healy and Robert Healy and his son, Thomas M. Healy. Other well-known attorneys with whom he was associated were A. N. Botsford, D. M. Kelleher, B. B. Burnquist and Seth Thomas who later was a federal circuit court judge.
Healy gained statewide and national distinction as an attorney, orator and political leader. He was active in the Democratic party and attended nine national Democratic conventions. In 1924 he seconded the nomination of Al Smith for the presidency. He was in great demand as a speaker and gave addresses at many public functions and celebrations.
Failing eyesight afflicted Healy in the later years of his life and he was stricken with blindness in 1916. Despite the handicap he continued his law practice until his death 13 years later.
The Healy children included four daughters and two sons—Mrs. Ruth Healy Coughlin, Fort Dodge; Mrs. John (Margaret) Rourke, Providence, R. I.; Mrs. Carl (Eleanor) Mangelsdorf, Rock Island, Ill.; and Mrs. Joseph (Kathryn) Pleck, Evanston, Ill.; the Rev. Kerndt Healy, an instructor at Notre Dame University, and Thomas M. Healy, Fort Dodge, both of whom are deceased.
The Healy home is now owned by Larry D. Lee, a Fort Dodge Senior High School math instructor, who acquired it in 1964.
THE CONRAD LAUFERSWEILER HOME
The Conrad Laufersweiler home
904 3rd Avenue South
The Laufersweiler home at 904 3rd Ave. S. dates its history back to the early years of Fort Dodge. Original portion of the house was built in 1866 by Conrad C. Laufersweiler, a pioneer businessman of the city.
In 1892 the home was enlarged to its present size and modernized. It was occupied by members of the Laufersweiler family until the death of Elsie Laufersweiler in 1969. The property is now owned by Grace Lutheran Church and presently is leased to the Blanden Federation of Arts which conducts art classes there and operates the Hand Art Shop in a portion of the house. There is also a ceramics art shop with a potter’s wheel in the basement.
The two-story house is of brick construction with stucco exterior. It has five rooms and two baths on the first floor and seven rooms and two baths on the second floor. An open stairway with oak railing and spindles leads from the first to the second floor.
Laufersweiler came to Des Moines from his native Germany in 1854 and spent two years there. In 1856 he traveled to Fort Dodge on the Charles Rogers, the Des Moines River steamboat that plied between Keokuk and Fort Dodge in those early years. For a time he lived in one of the original fort buildings here.
On arrival in Fort Dodge Laufersweiler started a furniture and undertaking business. He was an experienced cabinet maker and made most of his furniture by hand. Three sons—William J., John and Charles—later joined him in the business.
The furniture business was located on the south side of Central Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets. It was discontinued in 1929, but the undertaking business has continued since its establishment and is now operated by Welch Laufersweiler.
There were 10 children in the Laufersweiler family—five sons, William J., John, Charles, Albert and Frank; and five daughters, Mary, Bertha, Kitty and twins Edith and Elsie. Mary was the only one of the daughters who married. Her husband was Gustav Hilton and their son is Conrad Hilton, the internationally known hotel magnate who visited Fort Dodge in 1953 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce.
Hilton was guest speaker at that time at an elaborate banquet in the Hotel Warden ballroom. While in the city he was a guest of his aunts at the Laufersweiler home.
THE E. G. LARSON HOME
The E. G. Larson home
300 N. Ninth Street
One of Fort Dodge’s early-day businessmen—E. G. Larson—built the home pictured above in 1881. It still stands erect and stately at 300 N. 9th St.
A huge porch that originally extended across the front of the house is now missing and in its place is a small stoop and second floor balcony with wrought iron railings. Otherwise, the exterior appearance of the home is generally the same as it was in the 1880s and later. In recent years the outside brick walls have been painted white adding to the attractive appearance of the venerable home.
The two-story house originally had 13 rooms which are now divided into three apartments—two on the first floor and one on the second. Foundation walls of the house are constructed of native limestone and upper walls have four layers of brick measuring 16 inches thick.
Larson, a native of Norway, came to Fort Dodge in 1868. Trained in tailoring, he began work in John W. Hardin’s shop, later working in other tailoring shops here. In 1872 he started his own tailoring shop, leasing one side of the room then occupied by C. Rank’s shoe store. Outgrowing the quarters he then moved to Fessler’s building on Central Avenue. A few years later he leased a new brick building owned by Angus McBane and put in a complete line of ready-made clothing in addition to his tailoring department. Business prospered and he bought the building where the store was located.
In 1892 Larson retired from active business and devoted his time to other interests here. In later years he was in the banking business as an officer and director of the Security Trust & Savings Bank which operated until the early 1930s. He was also an officer of the Larson Clothing Company which was sold in 1920 to the Glazers.
There were three sons and two daughters in the E. G. Larson family. They included Ben P. Larson Sr., Olaf Larson, Clarence Larson, Martina and Louise Larson, who was married to Eugene Gates. Miss Martina Larson resided in the family home until 1935 when it was sold. Present owners of the Larson home are Mr. and Mrs. Orrin R. White who purchased the property in 1947.
THE FESSLER HOME
The Fessler home
1110 5th Avenue North
One of the city’s most historic houses is this brick residence at 1110 5th Ave. N. built by pioneer storekeeper and Indian fur trader David Fessler.
The original portion of the two-story home dates back to 1869 when it was erected by Fessler in the northeast part of the town in order to make it easier to conduct his fur trading business with the Indians who camped in the nearby north woods.
Fessler came to Fort Dodge from Germany in 1858 and shortly after arrival opened a trading center and clothing store. He started his fur trading business in his first small home located where the Blanden Art Gallery now stands. It was a considerable distance from this place to the Indian camp so Fessler purchased property in the northeast part of the growing town and built a new home there.
The rear of the present home is the original part of the house built more than 100 years ago. The old time brick is still in good condition as are the basement walls made of stone. In pioneer days there were gunslots in the foundation walls for use in event of Indian attacks.
The house now has four rooms and bath on the first floor and four rooms and bath on the second floor. The property has changed hands many times in past years and is now owned and occupied by George Bradshaw, Fort Dodge attorney, and daughter, Vivian.
Fessler’s home on Fifth Avenue North was reported one of the largest and most elaborate of the pioneer dwellings and included a 20×24 parlor. Adjoining was the flower room with a white gypsum floor and at the rear was the large kitchen. The kitchen was used primarily as a trading place with the Indians when they came out of the nearby woods to sell their furs. They were in groups and always remained at the house for a meal.
Fessler is also remembered for buildings he erected along Central Avenue one of which housed the Fessler Opera House, a popular pioneer entertainment center. Fessler had four sons and three daughters. One of the sons, Louis, was county recorder here for many years.
Mrs. Marion Gilday of Fort Dodge is a granddaughter of the elder David Fessler. Her father was Louis Fessler.
THE LEON VINCENT HOME
The Leon Vincent home
1024 3rd Avenue South
The large brick residence at 1024 3rd Ave. S.—known in earlier years as the Leon Vincent home—was built by a pioneer Iowan who was a civil engineer, railroad builder and gypsum industrialist. The house dates back to 1896 when it was erected and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Leon Vincent.
The house, of exterior brick construction, now has three rooms and bath on the first floor, four rooms and two baths on the second floor, two bedrooms on the completely finished third floor and a large finished basement area.
Ownership of the house has changed several times since it was built by Vincent. At one time it was owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Vincent and later by Mr. and Mrs. Shirley Thornton. In 1965 the Thorntons sold the property to Mr. and Mrs. Paul C. Eide who now, with their family occupy the home.
Leon Vincent, a first cousin of Webb and Beth Vincent, came to Iowa in 1867 and as a civil engineer worked in laying out the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad, now part of the North Western system. He continued in this work until 1873 when he came to Fort Dodge.
In 1881 Vincent was employed as assistant cashier of the Merchants National Bank until its merger with the early-day First National Bank here. He was secretary-treasurer of the Iowa Plaster Association in 1891 and was identified with gypsum operations here for many years. In 161899 he rebuilt and re-equipped the Central Gypsum mill, first of the early-day gypsum plants here. When the U. S. Gypsum Company took over the Iowa Plaster Association in 1902, Vincent remained as manager of the Blanden mill.
Vincent was active in many affairs, one of which was designing and building of the present St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, which replaced an earlier edifice destroyed by fire. He also helped in laying out and beautifying of Oleson Park and in designing of 17th Street as a boulevard.
In 1911, Leon Vincent and the brothers Harry S. and Donald Vincent, sons of Webb Vincent, founded the Vincent Clay Products, Inc., which operated its big plant at Shady Oaks until recent years. Many of the plant’s machines and processes were inventions of Leon Vincent.
In failing health for many years, Leon Vincent died in 1916 at age 69. Mrs. Vincent died in 1928 at age 81. Mr. and Mrs. Vincent were grandparents of Al Loomis, photographer for most of the houses shown in the book.
THE JOHN HAIRE HOME
The John Haire home
502 North Ninth Street
One of Fort Dodge’s earliest businessmen—John Haire—purchased property along north Ninth Street and built the home at 502 N. 9th St. nearly 100 years ago. Haire acquired the property along the west side of Ninth Street from Fourth to Eighth Avenues North in 1878 and platted it as Haire’s Seminary Square Addition to Fort Dodge.
Shortly after purchasing the property, Haire built the north Ninth Street residence. He and his family resided there during his lifetime; then the property passed on to his heirs. In 1941 the home was purchased by the late Verne Schram and his wife Thora.
The Schrams remodeled the home extensively and added a small apartment and garage at the rear of the house. Earlier, in 1914, Haire’s son Jack, had remodeled the house for apartments. Presently there are four apartments, three on the first floor and one on the second floor.
John Haire came to Fort Dodge from his native Ireland in 1855 and entered into the mercantile business. His store was reported to be the third one opened in the newly-founded town and was located at First Avenue South and Sixth Street.
In 1879 Haire was elected Webster County auditor and held that office until 1885. He also served as county clerk of courts and was a member of the Fort Dodge School board and its vice president for 10 years. He retired from active business life here in 1870, some years before being elected to county offices.
Haire and his wife were parents of 10 children, seven sons and three daughters. The sons were prominent in business affairs of the city for many years. They were M. J. Haire, Oleson Land Company; W. W. Haire, Sackett & Haire Drugs; Jack Haire, Fort Dodge Lumber Company; Dave Haire, who served as county clerk; Tom Haire, Haire Clothing Store; Edward and Fred who were associated with Sackett & Haire Drugs. The daughters were Anna, Josephine and Mrs. Margaret Haire Kinney.
Two grandsons of the pioneer businessman are Fort Dodge residents—George M. Haire and John Haire, sons of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jack Haire.
THE DR. EVANS HOME
The Dr. Evans home
530 S. Twelfth Street
The brick home located at 530 S. 12th St. was built in 1913 by Dr. Robert Evans, for many years a prominent physician and surgeon in Fort Dodge. The two-story house has three rooms on the first floor, three rooms on the second floor and an attic area with two rooms.
The house is situated in part of the Fair Oaks addition to the city that once was also the location of the Duncombe deer park and the attractive gypsum block residence of John F. Duncombe and his wife, Mary. Duncombe was a prominent early-day attorney and industrialist here.
Mrs. Duncombe sold the South Twelfth Street building lot in 1909 to Mercie T. Evans, wife of Dr. Evans. Four years later the Evans built the brick home which they occupied for many years.
The house has changed ownership a number of times and once was owned by Mr. and Mrs. John P. Barton. Mrs. Barton was a niece of Dr. and Mrs. Evans. Following the deaths of the Bartons the house was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Al Hayden who now live in Mesa, Ariz. After some remodeling of the house it was sold by Haydens in 1967 to the Don Slotten family. They, in turn, sold the property in 1972 to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Lee Pingel who presently reside there with their family.
Dr. Evans was born in Canada in 1857 and in 1888 was graduated from the Detroit College of Medicine. He began his medical practice in LaCrosse, Wis., and remained there until 1891 when he came to Fort Dodge and opened an office in the downtown area at 516½ Central Ave.
In 1908 he associated himself with Dr. C. H. Mulroney and Dr. W. W. Bowen. After 15 months Dr. Mulroney withdrew from the firm and Dr. Evans and Dr. Bowen continued together for 24 years with offices in the Snell Building. In the spring of 1932 Dr. Evans retired from active practice and in the fall of that year he died suddenly at his home.
Dr. Evans was married to Miss Mercie Thompson of LaCrosse. They had no children but raised two orphan nieces, Sarah and Kathryn Thompson. Kathryn was married to John P. Barton who was a city commissioner here some years ago. Both are now deceased.
THE DR. BOWEN HOME
The Dr. Bowen home
628 S. Twelfth Street
Two Fort Dodge physicians and surgeons who practiced together for 24 years also lived in the same South Twelfth Street neighborhood. They were Dr. W. W. Bowen, whose home at 628 S. 12th St. is pictured above, and Dr. Robert Evans who resided at 530 S. 12th St.
Both residences are of brick construction, fronting east on Twelfth Street, and were built about the same time in 1913. Dr. Bowen purchased his lot in 1912 and erected the house a year later.
The Bowen residence is now owned and occupied by another physician and his wife—Dr. and Mrs. Walter E. Gower—who acquired the property in 1946. The house has one unique feature—lightning rods on the roof.
The home has five rooms and a half bath on the first floor, four bedrooms and bath on the second floor and two finished rooms on the third floor. There is a butler’s pantry and a second pantry on the first floor, both with their original cupboards. In the butler’s pantry is a small heating element to keep dishes warm during the winter months.
Woodwork in the house has the original finish and has never been redone. The Gowers have been told that the excellent varnish finish is the same as used on the early-day Pullman railroad cars.
Dr. Bowen was born in Marion, Ill., in 1869 and as a youth of 15 moved with his parents to Kossuth County where the family settled near Algona. He attended the Algona public schools and later Northern Illinois Normal School in Dixon, Ill. In 1895 he graduated from the University of Iowa Medical college and began the practice of medicine at Whittemore. After five years he sold his practice and went to Berlin, Germany, for a year.
Returning to the United States in 1901 he came to Fort Dodge where he was a prominent physician and surgeon until 1940 when he retired. He and Dr. Evans practiced together for 24 years.
Dr. Bowen was active in medical societies and served as president of the Iowa Medical Society. He was a charter Fellow of the American College of Surgeons which was organized in 1913.
In 1895 Dr. Bowen was married to Miss May King and they were parents of a son, Harold, and a daughter, Lydia. Dr. Bowen died in Fort Dodge in 1944 at age 75.
THE CHENEY HOME
An early-day Fort Dodge banker—John C. Cheney—built this home at 1008 3rd Ave. S. in 1896—another of the fine residences constructed in the 1890-1900 era.
Cheney was one of the organizers of the Fort Dodge National Bank (now the First National Bank) and first president when it began business in 1882. He and his wife resided in the Third Avenue South home until 1913 when it was acquired by J. R. Mulroney. The Mulroney family owned the property until 1931 when it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Tom Kelley.
The three-story house is of frame construction with a large open porch on the front. On the first floor are parlor, dining room, library and kitchen with breakfast nook that earlier was a butler’s pantry. The second floor has five bedrooms and two baths; the third floor includes a large finished room and storage space.
A first floor fireplace in the home is unique in that it won second prize in the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1892-1893. It reportedly was purchased by Cheney and shipped to Fort Dodge for his new home that was constructed shortly after the exposition closed.
The fireplace is made of hand carved oak with red tile around the fire area. The ornate mantel atop the fireplace has a large mirror with lights on either side. Columns on sides of the fireplace are topped by hand carved gargoyles.
Mulroney, who once owned the property was a well-known Fort Dodger and one of the owners and officers of the Mulroney Manufacturing Company. The company produced overalls and work clothes for many years and distributed them over a wide area. The three-story building at First Avenue North and Seventh Street now occupied by the Marso & Rodenborn Manufacturing Company is the former plant of the Mulroney firm.
The Cheney home
1008 3rd Avenue South
Tom Kelley and his wife, Mary Brady Kelley, moved into the house in the fall of 1931. Kelley was a widely-known insurance man who organized the Kelley Insurance Agency now located at 216 S. 8th St. Two of his sons, Robert and Thomas X., are presently members of the firm carrying on the business.
Following the deaths of Kelley in 1958 and Mrs. Kelley in 1959 the property was transferred to Robert and Thomas Kelley and their sister, Mrs. Charles H. McCrea of Las Vegas, Nev., the former Mary Loyola Kelley. The home has been rented for many years and currently is occupied by the Robert Tarbox family.
THE GEORGE GILLMAN HOME
The large two-story brick and cement faced residence at 400 N. 9th St. has been known as the Gillman home since it was built in 1915 by George W. Gillman, a prominent pharmacist and businessman of Fort Dodge.
Gillman lived there until his death in 1959. The house is now owned by William J. Thatcher. Two apartments in the home are currently rented out.
Henry Kehm & Sons—well-known brick masons and home builders here for many years—constructed the house for Gillman. Originally it had living room, solarium, music room, dining room and kitchen on the first floor; four bedrooms, bathrooms and sleeping porch on the second floor. A large attic provided storage space.
Gillman started his drug store here in 1904 at the southwest corner of First Avenue South and Seventh Street in a new building erected by Colby Brothers, who operated a livery barn here in the earlier days. The store was in operation at this location until the spring of 1974 when it closed its doors after 70 years of continuous operation. Roy W. Gillman, son of the store’s founder, was associated with the firm for 56 years and the owner until the store closed.
The senior Gillman, who was 79 at time of his death, was born in Nowlin, S. D., and came 21with his family to Badger at an early age. As a boy he worked in the Campbell & Tower drug store here and later graduated in pharmacy from Highland Park University in Des Moines. After working with Campbell & Tower as a registered pharmacist he opened his own store.
The George Gillman home
400 N. Ninth Street
Gillman was active in pharmacy circles and was a member of the State Board of Pharmacy for 18 years, serving as its chairman several times.
Gillman was also interested in the theater and was president of the Princess Theater Company which built and operated the Princess here for many years. During his years as manager, the theater offered some of the finest vaudeville available and also booked in outstanding shows with celebrated performers. The theater finally closed its doors and in 1939 the building was sold to the First National Bank. It is now the home of the bank at 18 N. 9th St.
THE VINCENT HOUSE
One of the few remaining landmarks in Fort Dodge is the historic Vincent home at 824 3rd Ave. S. The house is now more than a century old, having been built in 1871 by James Swain, a pioneer Fort Dodge resident who was in the wholesale and retail drug business.
The house was purchased in 1879 by Webb Vincent, an early-day Fort Dodge industrialist and one of the founders of the gypsum industry here in 1872. Associated with him at that time in the establishment of the Fort Dodge Plaster Mills were George S. Ringland and Stillman T. Meservey.
The Webb Vincent family moved into the spacious home Oct. 17, 1879. It had been occupied continuously by members of the family until the death in 1969 of Mrs. Anne Vincent, widow of Donald Vincent.
The home has an exterior of red brick—a “soft brick” made from red clay that was found extensively in this area. Foundation walls are of limestone set in mortar. These stones of different sizes and roughly hewn form a foundation wall about seven feet high. Exterior house walls are 30 inches thick and interior walls are 24 inches thick.
Rooms of the house are large. Ceilings on the first floor are 14 feet high, on the second 22floor 12 feet high and on the third floor nine feet high. The third floor included a ballroom, 20 × 50 feet in size, where many early-day parties were held.
The Vincent House
824 3rd Avenue South
The Vincent House was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and in 1974 was allocated $1,200 in federal funds for preservation purposes. The money will be used for restoration of the third floor ballroom in the house.
The beautiful home at the northwest corner of Third Avenue South and Ninth Street has been preserved through the years in excellent condition. It survived a battle in 1957 and 1958 with the Federal Government when it was proposed to raze the structure to make room for the nearby Federal Building and Post Office.
Mrs. Anne Vincent bequeathed the historic home to the Fort Dodge YWCA. Income from a $150,000 trust fund may be used by the YWCA to keep the home in good repair and to redecorate it. The home is now being used by the organization for many gatherings.
THE FORD HOME
Fort Dodge mayor John F. Ford, who served from 1911 to 1919, resided in this Fifth Avenue North home for many years with his wife and five children. Ford won election as mayor when the city’s form of government was changed from the ward system to the present commission system.
The first City Council under the commission form included Mayor Ford, Commissioner Frank W. Collins and Commissioner C. H. (Cad) Smith. At that time Collins was in charge of the department of accounts, finances, public properties and parks. Smith headed the department of public safety, streets and public improvements.
The two-story frame house at 1242 5th Ave. N., which the Ford family occupied was built in 1890 and acquired by the Fords in 1895. The home has changed ownership a number of 23times since the Fords resided there and presently is owned by Mrs. Fatima Habhab, who with her late husband, Allie, purchased the property in 1953.
The Ford home
1242 5th Avenue North
Ford was prominent in Fort Dodge and Webster County affairs for many years. He was born here in 1864 and when six years old moved with his parents to a Jackson Township farm. He lived on the farm for 21 years and then moved back to Fort Dodge. During his years on the farm Ford taught school for 10 years during the winter months.
In 1893 Ford was appointed deputy county auditor under Auditor T. A. Cunningham and served in that capacity for six years, then was elected county auditor and served for another six years. Later he was interested in the R. B. Berryhill store at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Eighth Street which sold books, stationery and had a complete newsstand.
Ford was an outstanding bowler and a member of championship bowling teams of Fort Dodge with other well-known men of his time.
Mr. and Mrs. Ford were the parents of a son and four daughters. They were Howard, Mary, Charlotte, Helen and Alice.
THE ROBERTS HOME
Another of the landmark homes along Third Avenue South is the Roberts home, 919 3rd Ave. S., which housed publishers and editors of The Messenger for many years. Built by George E. Roberts in 1888, the house is a three-story frame structure with large porches that extend along the north, east and south sides.
Occupying an impressive location at the southwest corner of Third Avenue South and Tenth Street, the house has an expansive yard extending southward from the avenue for a considerable distance. Large trees also surround the home.
The Roberts home
919 3rd Avenue South
Beautiful oak and cherry woodwork mark the interior of the rooms on the first floor. A large open entrance hall with beamed oak ceiling is just inside the front entryway. It features oak woodwork and a large fireplace with a carved oak mantel. The open stairway to the second floor is flanked by large columns of Grecian design.
The adjoining library room also has a fireplace and is unique with its cherry woodwork and massive open bookcases. A large handcrafted wood archway over a huge window at the east separates the bookcases. Floors in the entrance hall, library, living room and dining room are of oak. There are four bedrooms and two baths on the second floor and attic space on the third floor. The house has a large basement area, including a cyclone cellar with an arched brick ceiling.
George E. Roberts was an outstanding early-day newspaperman and also served for a time as state printer for Iowa. He advanced from the publishing business here to the office of director of the United States Mint and later to high banking positions.
When Roberts left Fort Dodge in 1898 he was succeeded at The Messenger by his brother, Charles A. Roberts, who also purchased the home at 919 3rd Ave. S. Charles Roberts was head of The Messenger until his death Jan. 1, 1933.
Following the death of Mrs. Roberts in 1957, the Roberts home was inherited by Mrs. John C. Deardorf, the former Catherine Vincent. She presently occupies the stately home.
THE GRIFFITH HOME
One of the fine homes in the south part of Fort Dodge is the residence at 1234 6th Ave. S. whose history dates back to the 1870s. Familiarly known as the Griffith home, it was occupied by the Frank Griffith family for many years.
City assessor records show the original portion of the home at this location was built in 1871, but was remodeled, enlarged and modernized years later. Located on parts of two lots, 25the house has a 93-foot frontage on Sixth Avenue South and 106 feet on Thirteenth Street.
The Griffith home
1234 6th Avenue South
John F. Duncombe, pioneer attorney here, was the first owner of the property before a house was erected there. He sold the lots in 1861 to a William Kellner who, in turn, disposed of the property to William C. Young. The original house is believed to have been built by Young as he retained ownership of the property until 1883.
Frank W. Griffith, an architect who later was manager of the U. S. Gypsum plant here, purchased the home in 1914. Age of the house is shown by the fact that its construction includes solid walnut studdings, walnut floor joists and walnut sheathing. Foundation walls are of limestone.
The two-story house has a shingle exterior. The first floor has living room, L-shaped dining room, playroom, kitchen, screened-in porch and large entrance hall. On the second floor are three bedrooms, bath, screened-in porch and attic space.
Griffith came to Fort Dodge in 1901 to design the Blanden gypsum mill located about a mile east of the present Celotex plant. He also supervised construction of the plant of the American Independent Gypsum Company organized in 1906.
Griffith then went to Chicago with the United States Gypsum Company and in 1908 was transferred to Fort Dodge as manager of the local mill and office. Later he was transferred to Alabaster, Mich., and then returned to Fort Dodge in 1913 as manager of the U. S. G. plant. He remained as plant manager here until 1921 when he resigned to resume architectural work. His son, Stanford W. Griffith, later joined him in the business and is presently head of the Griffith Company architectural firm here. The elder Griffith continued work as an architect until his death in 1953.
The Griffith home is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Daniel F. Carney who reside there.
THE BUTLER HOUSE
This attractive white frame house at 924 5th Ave. N. dates its history back to 1880 and from 1901 until 1945 was known as the Paddy Butler home. During this 44-year period it was 26the home of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick D. (Paddy) Butler and family.
The Butler House
924 5th Avenue North
Earlier the house was the First Presbyterian Church’s manse and was occupied by Dr. J. Milton Greene, the church pastor, from 1893 to 1899. During these years the residence was familiarly called the “Preacher Greene” house.
The two-story house has unique bow windows of a type used in early-day construction. Originally it had a parlor, two sitting rooms, bedroom, bath, kitchen and dining room on the first floor. The second floor had three large bedrooms and there also was an attic.
Albert E. Clark who acquired the lot at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue North and Tenth Street in 1880 built the house that year. He owned the property until 1884 when it was sold to Thomas Sargent, a well-known early-day resident. Sargent kept the home until 1893 when it was sold to the Presbyterian Church for its minister, Dr. Greene.
In 1901 the church sold the house to the Butlers and it remained in the family’s possession until 1945 when sold to Effie R. Davis. J. Aaron Davis purchased the property in 1958 and resided there until 1970 when he sold it to the present owners, Mr. and Mrs. James E. Ackerman of Des Moines.
Butler, who owned the home for many years, was a farmer and livestock raiser in Webster and Humboldt counties. There were four daughters and two sons in the family—Mrs. F. E. Ludgate (Josephine) now deceased; Mrs. Mary Savage and Mrs. T. J. Tokheim (Ina) both of Fort Dodge; and Mrs. George Brennan (Esther) of Littleton, Colo.; John Butler, deceased, and Harry Butler of Fort Dodge.
Mrs. Tokheim, her husband and family resided in Lytton for many years and while there constructed a new home. She was so impressed with the bow windows in her parents’ home here that similar windows were installed in their Lytton home.
The Butler home was remodeled after its purchase by the Davis family and now includes two apartments which the Ackermans rent out.
THE J. B. BLACK HOME
A well-known Webster County farmer, who was also an early-day auto dealer in Fort 27Dodge, built the home at 1102 5th Ave. N. and occupied it with his family for many years.
The J. B. Black home
1102 5th Avenue North
He was J. B. Black who acquired the property at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue North and Eleventh Street in 1893 and erected the home the same year. The home site was purchased from David Fessler, pioneer merchant and fur trader who resided at 1110 5th Ave. N.
Black owned a farm northeast of the city and lived there until the home in town was completed. After moving into town he continued to operate his farm with a hired man.
The large two-story frame house with full basement has been enlarged and remodeled since the Blacks resided there. It has changed ownership a number of times and has been owned by Hassan Habhab since 1947. The house now has two apartments that are rented out.
Black became interested in early-day autos and operated a garage here with a partner, Will Kirkpatrick, under the name of Black & Kirkpatrick. The firm began business in 1908 and continued operations until 1918. The garage originally was at 1104 Central Avenue, but later moved to other downtown locations. During 10 years in business Black & Kirkpatrick was dealer for the line of EMF and Everett automobiles—both of which long ago passed out of the motor car picture.
In addition to his farming and auto operations, Black in his early-days here was in the butcher shop business with the Wolverton Brothers at Central Avenue and Eighth Street. Mr. and Mrs. Black were parents of two sons and three daughters—Ben and Irving, Miss Edna Black, Miss Laura Black and Mrs. Lucy J. Carpenter.
Black owned farm property at the north end of Dolliver State Park and part of this land was sold to the state when the park was established in 1922. Irving Black also farmed some of the land near the park for a number of years. The elder Mr. Black spent the later years of his life at his farm home near Dolliver Park and died there in 1935 at age 79.
THE MESERVEY HOME
President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt was a guest in the Stillman T. Meservey home at 923 1st Ave. S. when he visited Fort Dodge in 1902—the residence that now is the Bruce Funeral Home.
The Meservey home
923 1st Avenue South
The Meservey home was large and spacious with many elegantly furnished rooms on its three floors. There were seven fireplaces in the home which provided heat to the many rooms during the winter months. The first floor included living room, dining room, library finished in black walnut, kitchen and pantry, butler and maid’s quarters. There was also a large reception hall from which the solid oak open stairway led upstairs.
The second floor had a balcony area at the head of the stairs, five bedrooms and two bathrooms. On the third floor is a complete apartment.
Meservey, one of the city’s most prominent early-day residents, was born in Clinton, Ill., in 1848 and came to Fort Dodge with his parents in 1856. After completing his education in the public schools and high school here he graduated from Clinton Liberal Institute with a degree in pharmacy. He returned to Fort Dodge and for some time was associated with the Cheney and Meservey drug firm. That was the start of his meteoric rise as a merchant, industrialist, banker, financier and politician.
In 1886 Meservey bought the property at the southwest corner of First Avenue South and Tenth Street and in 1890 erected the large brick residence. It was the showplace of the town and the meeting place for many social and civic events. During this era the Meserveys entertained President Roosevelt.
Meservey was one of the founders of the gypsum industry here in 1872 and for many years was associated with the U. S. Gypsum Company as secretary. He was also associated with civic and commercial enterprises, including the city’s street railway system. Interested in politics he was elected to the City Council for several terms and served as mayor of Fort Dodge for three terms. He also was elected to the Iowa Legislature.
In 1905 Meservey moved to Chicago where he was active with the U. S. Gypsum Company. In 1908 he sold the home here to Thomas D. Healy and the Healy family resided there for many years. In 1936 it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Byron Wilder who moved their funeral parlor there and it since has been used as a funeral home. Mack B. Bruce acquired an interest in the 29business in 1938 and it operated as Wilder & Bruce until the Bruces purchased the Wilder interest in 1945. Since then it has been Bruces Funeral Home.
THE LARRABEE HOME
The Larrabee home
1222 6th Avenue South
The son of an early-day governor of Iowa—Charles Larrabee Sr. and his family—occupied this residence at 1222 6th Ave. S. for many years.
Charles Larrabee was one of the seven children of Gov. William Larrabee, Iowa’s chief executive from 1886 through 1889. Gov. Larrabee was born in Ledyard, Conn., in 1832 and came to Iowa in 1853, settling at Clermont in Fayette County. His home—Montauk—is now a historical museum there.
Interested in farming he began purchasing land in the northeastern part of Iowa and soon became one of the largest land owners in the state. In 1867 Larrabee was elected to the Iowa Senate and served for 18 years. He was elected governor in 1885 and served four years.
Two of Gov. Larrabee’s children became residents of Fort Dodge—Charles and Frederic. Charles was a land owner, banker and capitalist. Frederic was also a land owner and a purebred livestock raiser specializing in Brown Swiss cattle which won many awards. He also was a state senator from this district.
The Larrabee home here was erected in 1910. The two-story frame house has a large open front porch with heavy supporting pillars. Much of the interior woodwork is solid walnut. The house was owned by the Larrabees until 1944. Since then it has changed hands several times and presently is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Heller Sr. Heller is in the mechanical department at the Hormel plant here and Mrs. Heller is a licensed realtor.
The house now has two apartments. The Hellers and their family occupy the apartment in the main part of the home and the other is rented out.
The Hellers have seven children. They are: twins, Dr. Joseph Heller Jr., a pediatrician in Dubuque and Michael, director of marketing for Emerson Electric in Honeoye Falls, N. Y.; 30Thomas, manager of controls for United Air Lines in San Francisco, Calif.; Robert, a computer programmer and analyst with Lockheed Aircraft in Sunnyvale, Calif.; and David, student at St. Edmond High School; daughters, Diane, married to Richard McCarville of Fort Dodge; and, Elizabeth, student at Iowa Central.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Larrabee Sr. were parents of two sons and a daughter. They are: Charles Jr., a retired Pan American Airlines official in Coral Gables, Fla.; Frederic, a law professor in Nashville, Tenn.; and Mrs. Lawrence Heileman, the former Anne Larrabee, in Bridgeport, Conn. The elder Larrabees are now deceased.
THE BRENNAN HOME
The Brennan home
560 3rd Avenue North
John J. Brennan, store owner and city commissioner in later years, built this large two-story brick residence in 1899 and resided there for 24 years. Located at 560 3rd Ave. N., it occupies the northwest corner of Third Avenue North and Seventh Street.
Brennan and Charles Furlong operated the Furlong & Brennan store here from the late 1890’s until 1920 when it was closed. The store which featured groceries and general merchandise, was located at the northeast corner of the City Square.
The Brennan house originally had a large entrance hall, sitting room, parlor, living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen and half bath on the first floor; five bedrooms and bath on the second floor. The Brennan family lived in the home until 1923 when they built a new brick house at Sixth Avenue North and Tenth Street. The house at 560 3rd Ave. N. has changed hands a number of times and is now owned by D. R. Gumm of Fort Dodge. The house has six apartments that are rented out by the Gumms. A large open porch extends along the south and east sides of the house.
Brennan was born in Kingston-on-Hudson, N. Y., and came to the Fort Dodge area with his parents in 1881. The family settled in Elkhorn Township where they farmed and raised cattle. In 1886 Brennan’s father, also named John, purchased six lots north of the Pleasant Valley.
After the Furlong & Brennan store was closed, Brennan was associated with M. J. (Joe) Haire and John Laufersweiler in the Oleson Land Company here. In 1924 Brennan was appointed to the City Council of Fort Dodge as commissioner of parks and streets following the death of Commissioner H. R. Beresford. He held the council office until 1931.
Brennan died in 1945 at age 84 and Mrs. Brennan died in 1947 at age 82. The Brennans were parents of three daughters, Mrs. Edmund Condon of Fort Dodge, Mrs. Norma Kelly of Davenport and Mrs. Eleanor Lawler, now deceased.
THE ROBERT HEALY HOME
The Robert Healy home
1126 5th Avenue North
The house at 1126 5th Ave. N. was the home of the Robert Healy family for many years. Healy and his brothers, Michael F. and Thomas D., were widely-known attorneys here.
The home, which has been remodeled and modernized in past years, is now owned and occupied by J. A. Leary.
Robert Healy was born in Lansing, Iowa, in 1872 and came to Fort Dodge with his parents when eight years old. After his schooling here he attended Notre Dame University and then completed law studies at the University of Michigan. Two Healy sisters—Kate and Lizzie—also attended Michigan University. While at the university Robert Healy met Iva Bruce, a student from Birmingham, Mich., and they were married in 1900.
After graduating from law school in 1898 Robert Healy practiced law in Rockwell City for two years. Upon the retirement of A. N. Botsford, he then became associated with his brothers Thomas and Michael and B. B. Burnquist in the practice of law in Fort Dodge.
Later Robert Healy practiced law alone here for a time and then he and Maurice Breen were partners for a number of years until Healy’s death in 1929 at age 57.
The home at 1126 5th Ave. N. was built in 1900 and purchased by the Healys in 1902. It was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Healy and their children, Louise, Iva and Bruce until 1917 when they moved to a residence a block east. Later another of the Healy brothers—William—resided there.
Peter Russell, well-known to several generations of Fort Dodgers, was employed by the Healys for many years while they lived in the 1126 5th Ave. N. house. He worked as a groomsman in charge of the family’s driving horses and a pony and also did yard work. He continued with the family until resigning to take over as parlor car porter with the Fort Dodge Des Moines & Southern electric line.
Mrs. Robert Healy, now 97, lives in Chicago with her daughter, Louise. Another daughter, Iva, now Sister Jean Gabriel, taught in Rock Island, Ill., and St. Louis, Mo., and is now with Cathedral High School in Chicago. The son, Bruce, resided in Chicago for many years until his recent death.
THE KIRCHNER HOME
The Kirchner home
106 S. Thirteenth Street
This early-day Fort Dodge home—built in 1866—is unique in that it is still occupied by one of the members of the family of the builder.
The home was constructed by Jacob Kirchner, one of the first of a number of industrially minded pioneer businessmen to locate in this growing little town over a century ago. Located at the southwest corner of First Avenue South and Thirteenth Street, the house carries the address of 106 S. 13th St.
Elmer Kirchner, son of this pioneer factory and flour mill operator, and his wife, Wilma, reside in this historic home which they have occupied since 1936. Two other sons of the elder Kirchner are also Fort Dodge residents. They are Jacob Kirchner Jr. and John Kirchner—practicing attorneys. Elmer is a retired farm manager and real estate broker. Prior to the time 33the Elmer Kirchners moved into the house, it was occupied by Jacob Kirchner Jr. and his mother for many years.
The elder Kirchner built the home after purchasing Block 18 in the area between Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets and First and Second Avenues South. Of two-story frame construction, the house is painted white and has green shutters. In the years since it was constructed, the house has been remodeled and modernized.
Kirchner was born in Germany and at the age of 2 came with his parents to the United States. They settled first in Bern Township, N. Y. and after several years moved to Iowa and settled in the Peterson area. When gold was found in Colorado Kirchner joined the rush there, found some gold and returned home.
Before moving to Fort Dodge in 1866 Kirchner bought and sold thousands of acres of land in Clay County. On arrival here he built a saw mill, sash and door factory at First Avenue South and Twelfth Street. Later he rebuilt the sash factory into a large modern flour mill that produced the finest white flour, whole wheat, meals and various milling staples. He operated the mill for more than 30 years. The mill finally was closed, was idle for six years and in 1912 burned to the ground.
Kirchner was active in Fort Dodge affairs, was one of the founders of the Commercial National Bank and served on the City Council in 1874, 1875, 1879 and 1880. His brother Christian was also elected to the council from another ward. The elder Jacob Kirchner died in 1909; Mrs. Kirchner died in 1962.
THE ABEL HOME
The Abel home
1333 2nd Avenue South
A former Webster County treasurer and brick and tile company officer built the original section of this spacious residence at 1333 2nd Ave. S. in 1891. He was John H. Abel, a native of 34Germany, who came to the United States in 1867 at age 13 and lived on a farm in Colfax Township for several years.
In 1888 Abel moved into Fort Dodge and three years later purchased two lots at the southwest corner of Second Avenue South and Fourteenth Street where he built his home. In 1904 he enlarged the house.
W. H. Koeper purchased the home in 1934, enlarged and remodeled it into a funeral home which he operated until selling the business to L. O. Guenther in 1947. Guenther merged the business with Bruces in 1972 and the house later was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Raphael Halligan of 1415 2nd Ave. S. They, in turn, did some further remodeling and now have two apartments in the house which are rented out.
Abel was engaged in various activities here before being appointed deputy county treasurer in 1892 under C. W. Newton. He served in this capacity until 1896 when he was elected to the treasurer’s post for two terms.
After leaving the county treasurer’s office, Abel became interested in the brick and tile business here and was president of the Fort Dodge Brick & Tile Company from 1900 until 1922. This clay plant was in the northwest part of the city near the east end of the Hawkeye Avenue bridge over the Des Moines River. The brick plant was sold in 1922 but continued operations for a time and then was closed. Abel retired from active work after the clay plant was sold.
Abel was interested in other businesses in Fort Dodge including the Fort Dodge Serum Company, Plymouth Gypsum Company and the Fort Dodge Foundry. He was also a director of the Fort Dodge National Bank (now the First National Bank) in its early years.
Active in church work he was treasurer of the Iowa District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod from 1893 to 1912. He died in 1946 at age 91. Mr. and Mrs. Abel were parents of two daughters and a son—Miss Mathilda Abel, now deceased, Mrs. W. H. (Amanda) Koeper and A. C. Abel, who was assistant Fort Dodge postmaster for many years.
THE AMOND HOME
This large frame house was built in 1902 by John W. Amond, widely-known Fort Dodge coal dealer and farm land owner. Located at 1024 6th Ave. N., it has a large open porch that extends across the south side and a portion of the east side—one of few such large porches on homes here. Ionic columns support the roof over the porch.
The first floor includes parlor, living room, dining room, kitchen and butler’s pantry, hallway and vestibule. A large open stairway with a landing area or nook leads to the second floor where there are five bedrooms and bath.
All of the first floor rooms have parquet oak floors, oak woodwork and the stairway nook is paneled in oak. Ionic columns and an archway mark the entrance to the large dining room with its plate rail and built-in china closet. The living room has its original fireplace with tile hearth and red oak mantel with large mirror.
The original chandeliers in the downstairs rooms are combination gas and electric and there is a large art window on the east side with stained and leaded glass. A large two-story carriage house is at the rear of the lot.
Amond was born in Alsace-Lorraine (part of France) in 1861 and came to the United States with his parents who settled in Illinois. Later the family moved to Iowa and acquired farm land near Barnum. Amond purchased large tracts of Webster County land which he farmed for many years. In addition he owned a coal mine southeast of the city and was in the coal business here for many years with offices on Central Avenue and south Eighth Street.
Mr. and Mrs. Amond were parents of six children, three of whom died during their early years. Others were Mrs. Edna Hogan, well-known artist and widow of Jack Hogan, Fort Dodge; Mrs. Bernard Steinle and Jack Amond, both of whom are deceased. Jack Amond was in the coal business with his father and also managed the family farms until his death. He and 35his wife, Eva, moved into the Sixth Avenue North home in 1929. The property is now owned by Mrs. Peter (Eva) Paterson.
The Amond home
1024 6th Avenue North
The Amond Coal Company ceased operations here in 1945 after having been in continuous business since 1895. Amond died in 1925 at age 64. Mrs. Amond died in 1949.
THE KELLEHER HOME
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis M. Kelleher built this home at 701 Crest Avenue in Snell Place in 1921 and resided there with their family for 26 years. Kelleher, a prominent Fort Dodge attorney, practiced law here for more than 60 years and was widely known for his legal activities.
The house, of brick and frame construction, is spacious and has rooms on first and second floors as well as in the basement. The first floor includes living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, conservatory, three bedrooms and bath. There are fireplaces in the living room and family room. On the second floor are three bedrooms and bath and large walk-in linen closet. The basement has a drive-in garage and five rooms including a large recreation room. There is also a screened-in front porch.
The house has changed ownership only twice since it was built. In 1947 the Kellehers sold the residence to the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Dodge and it was the home of ministers of the church until 1960. On May 25, 1960, it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Maurice E. Stark who presently occupy it with their family. Stark is a well-known tax attorney.
Kelleher died in 1964 at age 92 after a distinguished legal career here since 1902. After graduation from the University of Iowa law school in 1893 he began law practice in Des Moines and then went to Pomeroy where he remained until moving to Fort Dodge.
He was associated with a number of Fort Dodge attorneys including the Healy brothers, William S. Kenyon, Maurice O’Connor, Richard F. Mitchell and his son John Kelleher. During World War I Kelleher was appointed to the War Trade Board in Washington, D. C., by President Woodrow Wilson. Later he was named solicitor for the Bureau of Internal Revenue and special assistant to the United States Attorney General in trial of cases throughout the country.
The Kelleher home
701 Crest Avenue
Mr. and Mrs. Kelleher were parents of five children—Leo of Fort Dodge; John of Waukegan, Ill.; Edward and Mrs. John Staff of Milwaukee, Wis.; and Mrs. James Hart of Highland Park, Ill. Mrs. Kelleher is now a resident of the Marian Home in Fort Dodge.
THE DONALD VINCENT HOME
This Second Avenue South residence was identified for years by the huge landmark oak tree in the front yard. Reported to be more than 100 years old, the tree still stands in the yard at 1010 2nd Ave. S.
The house was built in 1909 and occupied by the Donald Vincents and their daughters, Catherine and Nancy, until 1932 when they moved into the historic “Vincent House” at 824 3rd Ave. S. Presently the house is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Jahn Jr., who purchased the property in 1951.
Mr. and Mrs. Vincent acquired the building lot in 1908 and the following year erected the spacious two-story brick home. The first floor has living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and lavatory; the second floor has four bedrooms and bath. The finished attic has one room.
The front yard tree—known as the “Hawkeye Oak”—was once recognized as the finest example of its species (burr oak) in Iowa. It was graceful and majestic in earlier years with spreading branches that extended well over the sidewalk and street. At one time it received a plaque from the Garden Club of Iowa for its outstanding appearance and age.
The tree now has lost many of its stately limbs and today little attention is paid to it. Removal of the lower limbs started some years ago when a house mover cut off one branch. In an attempt to give it symmetry other branches were then cut off.
After Mr. and Mrs. Vincent and family moved from the home it was rented from 1932 until 1945 by Mr. and Mrs. Alan Loth. Mrs. Winston O. Larrabee, widow of Charles Larrabee Sr., purchased the property in 1945 and resided there until selling it to Mr. and Mrs. Jahn in 1951.
Donald Vincent was prominent in business and industrial affairs, being one of the organizers of the Vincent Clay Products Company and for years was an officer of the Fort 37Dodge Grocery Company. He was also identified with banking interests here, serving as president of The State Bank for many years. Jahn is in the furniture refinishing and upholstering work. He and his wife are also antique collectors and have remodeled the interior of their home for displays of their collections. They also own the adjoining corner house which they are remodeling into a future gift and antique shop.
The Donald Vincent home
1010 2nd Avenue South
THE ELECTRIC HOME
Residents of the city who have lived here for about 50 years will probably recall that this home was popularly known in the mid-1920s as the “electric house.” Built by A. S. Jackman, a Fort Dodge electrical contractor, the home located at 1117 N. 19th St. is presently owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Merlin B. Hays and family.
The home was one of the first built in the Elmhurst Acres area just west of Dodger Stadium. It is located on a lot with a 120-foot frontage on Nineteenth Street and extending 265 feet eastward to the stadium parking lot.
Jackman, who owned the Jackman Electric Company at 924 Central Avenue, built the two-story brick home in 1923 and incorporated the most modern electrical installations at that time. When completed Jackman, in cooperation with the Fort Dodge Gas & Electric Company, arranged to have open house and invited Fort Dodge and area residents to visit it. The newest and latest electrical appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, toasters and the like were on display along with beautiful electrical fixtures in the various rooms.
The basic arrangement of the home has not changed much through the years but owners did considerable remodeling to fit their needs. The first floor includes spacious living and dining rooms, family or TV room, kitchen and bedroom with half bath. The second floor has three bedrooms and bath. There is also a large floored attic and a full basement. The house originally had a tile roof but this has been replaced with new type roofing. All spouting on the 38house is of copper. The home is set back a considerable distance from Nineteenth Street and there is a circular driveway leading to the house.
The Electric Home
1117 No. Nineteenth Street
Mr. and Mrs. Hays purchased the home in 1959 from John and Ann Doud who acquired it in 1955. Other earlier owners were Arthur Westerman, Richard Paul and Robert Lentz.
Hays, present owner of the attractive home, is a virologist with the Fort Dodge Laboratories. He and his wife are parents of four children—three boys and a girl.
THE MINKEL HOUSE
This Fort Dodge home—known for many years as “the Minkel house”—dates its history back nearly 100 years as it was built in 1876, according to county records. Located at 1008 6th Ave. N., the home has been remodeled at various times during these many years and is presently owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Moses. They purchased the property in 1961 and added a combination living room and bedroom with bath on the east side.
The house now has a living room, dining room, three bedrooms and two baths on the first floor and two bedrooms upstairs. Two wood-burning fireplaces—one in the living room, the other in the east bedroom—have now been converted to gas.
The house acquired the Minkel name because it was owned and occupied by L. H. Minkel, Fort Dodge school superintendent and his family, for many years. Minkel came to Fort Dodge to take over the school position and continued as superintendent until 1923. The Minkel family resided in the Sixth Avenue home during this period and for many succeeding years when Minkel was in the insurance business here. The Minkel heirs sold the home to Mr. and Mrs. Louis C. DeFoe, who in turn, sold it to the Moses family.
Mr. and Mrs. Minkel were parents of five children—Lewis Minkel, now retired and living in Laguna Hills, Calif.; Eleanor, now deceased who was married to Roger Files of Fort Dodge; Dr. Roger Minkel, now deceased; Elizabeth (Betty) Myser of Ketchikan, Alaska; and Willard Minkel of La Mesa, Calif.
Minkel purchased the home when he came to the city early in 1911. John F. Duncombe, pioneer Fort Dodge attorney and industrialist, acquired the lot on which the house is located in 1864. In 1872 he sold the lot to Julia A. Ingersoll and it was during her ownership that the 39home was built.
The Minkel house
1008 6th Avenue North
Stories about the house relate that it once was occupied by a Dutch seaman who built a cupola in the style of a ship’s pilot house on the porch above the front entryway. It was removed many years ago.
Mr. Moses, the present owner of the house, is an Illinois Central Railroad conductor. He and his wife are parents of three daughters, all of whom are married and living elsewhere.
THE CONWAY HOME
An early-day lumber dealer—Owen Conway—who came to the United States in 1845 from his native Ireland and to Fort Dodge in 1865 built the house at 400 S. 8th St. in 1882.
Conway, who was in the hardware and lumber business here, resided in the home with his family for many years. The house remained in possession of members of the Conway family until 1946 when it was sold to John J. Williams. It was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ray Howick who remodeled the first floor into a spacious apartment for themselves. Mrs. Howick continues to reside in the home following the death of her husband.
A large porch extends across the front of the house which faces the east. Square columns standing atop railing posts support the porch roof and are joined together with ornate wood trim. Windows of the house have distinctive outdoor arched tops and there are pointed dormers with windows on the four sides of the roof.
The home originally had a living room, parlor, dining room, master bedroom and bath and kitchen on the first floor; six bedrooms and bath on the second floor. The second floor has been converted into a large apartment with three baths and there is also an apartment on the third floor. Rooms downstairs are large with high ceilings, floors are of oak and doors have double board casings.
Conway’s first business venture in the city was a hardware store and in 1869 he established a lumber business at First Avenue South and Fifth Street that continued until 1939. Conway’s sons James and John, were in business with him for many years. After the business was incorporated in 1914 as the Conway Lumber Company the firm included Owen, John, James and Ed Conway, the latter a son of John Conway.
The Conway home
400 So. Eighth Street
James, Dave and Eustace Conway, sons of the pioneer, operated a general merchandise store at 612 1st Ave. S. and Dave, Eustace and Owen P. Conway also had a general store and lumber yard in Moorland. Two other sons, were in business in Clare—F. D. Conway, lumber and grain, and C. P. Conway, general store. The elder Owen Conway died in 1916.
Two grandchildren of the founder of the Conway firms reside in Fort Dodge. They are Miss Delores and Owen Conway. There are also two great grandsons living here—Ray and Robert Conway.
THE THIEDE HOME
Franz Thiede, who owned and operated a brick plant here for many years, built this large brick residence in 1890. The 14-room house at 520 N. 2nd St. has changed little since it was built and today is owned by a son, Frank Thiede and the estate of the late Elma Thiede.
The house occupies the back portion of a lot that has a frontage of 160 feet on Second Street and extends back 230 feet. The first floor of the large, sturdy residence has a hall, parlor, living room, dining room, sunroom, kitchen, bedroom and bath. On the second floor are six bedrooms.
Rooms on the first floor have 10½ foot ceilings and woodwork throughout the house was cut from native lumber. The hall and parlor have walnut woodwork as does the stairway to the second floor. Other rooms have oak woodwork and oak floors. Doors and woodwork in the house shine with the original varnish applied in 1890.
Thiede was born in Germany and studied masonry and architectural work there. He came to the U. S. in 1858 and at the age of 21 arrived in Fort Dodge and began masonry work. In 1883 he and Charles Heileman organized a brick manufacturing company and built a plant near the east end of the Hawkeye Avenue bridge over the Des Moines River.
The plant operated under the name of Thiede & Heileman until Heileman’s death in 1895. In the spring of 1896 the company was reorganized under the name of Thiede & Company. 41Later the name was changed to the Fort Dodge Brick & Tile Company and continued under this name until the plant was sold in 1922.
The Thiede home
520 No. Second Street
The company manufactured a high grade paving, building and sidewalk brick and blocks as well as drain tile. One of the firm’s specialties was a fine quality white pressed brick used in many homes and business buildings here. Much of the brick used in paving streets in the city in the early days came from the Thiede plant.
Thiede erected several downtown buildings, also houses, and had a part in the building of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. After a long and successful business career in the city, he died in 1925 at age 88.
THE OLSON HOME
A house patterned after a “cozy cottage in Norway” is the Olson home at 1301 3rd Ave. N.—the home of Mr. and Mrs. Evan Olson, their son Bjorn, and daughter, Mrs. Doris Olson Wood, for many years.
The Olsons were women’s apparel designers and tailors and their expert work was widely known. Olson and Mrs. Wood also were artists and their paintings gained for them a wide reputation.
The Olson house which has rooms on first and second floors, dates back to 1897 when it was built on a lot across the street from its present location. The original site was at the east end of Johnson Place. When this block-long street was cut through from Twelfth to Thirteenth Streets in 1911 in order to provide building lots in a previously inaccessible area, the Olson house was moved to the southeast corner of Third Avenue North and Thirteenth Street—its present location.
The house remained in possession of Mrs. Wood for many years after the death of her parents and she continued her tailoring and art work there. After her death the property was sold in 1969 to Mrs. Helen L. Moreland who presently resides there.
Olson turned out many fine oil paintings during spare time from his tailoring work. Mrs. Wood’s art work was mostly in water colors. Both spent many hours in wooded areas around the city sketching and then completing the paintings at home. Mrs. Wood also made a trip to 42Norway where she did extensive sketching and painting. As a result many of her water colors were scenes from Norway. She also turned out paintings of farms and rural area scenes.
The Olson home
1301 3rd Avenue North
Mrs. Wood painted and decorated the kitchen of her home in the style of Norwegian kitchens. It became so widely known that a picture of the kitchen and a story about her work appeared in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The interior of the home has been remodeled by Mrs. Moreland and the downstairs now includes a living room, two bedrooms and a kitchen. The second floor has one bedroom and a bath. Walls have been painted, new floors laid and jalousie doors installed. Exterior of the house is painted red and growing on the outside walls are five different varieties of ivy plants.
THE WRIGHT HOME
This was the residence of a pioneer businessman and early-day railroad official—Thomas H. Wright. Built in the late 1880s, the home at 209 S. 7th St., has been owned and occupied by members of the Wright family since then. Many changes have been made in the home since it was constructed. In the late 1930s it was modernized, a new entryway was added and brown cedar shingles were applied to the exterior.
Isaac Garmoe, another pioneer businessman here, bought the property in 1873. Ten years later it was sold to Thomas H. Wright who later erected the house which is still owned by his two daughters—the Misses Marie Wright and Florence Wright. Marie is a retired Fort Dodge Senior and Junior High school social studies teacher; Florence is the former organist at First Presbyterian Church.
The two-story frame house has two living rooms, dining room and kitchen on the first floor; three bedrooms and bath on the second floor. A garage is at the rear of the lot where once was a two-story barn that housed the family’s horse, buggy and sleigh.
Mr. Wright was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1840 and came to the United States in 1871. He moved to Fort Dodge in the early 1880s where he was trainmaster for the Illinois Central Railroad’s Sioux City division. Later he was owner and partner in the hardware business here 43with S. J. Robertson. Their store was at Central Avenue and Sixth Street.
The Wright home
209 So. Seventh Street
After retiring from the hardware business, Mr. Wright was in the real estate and insurance business. He also was an officer and director of the First Trust & Savings Bank, a division of the old First National Bank, now the State Bank. Always civic minded, Wright served on the public library board in the days of Capt. W. H. Johnston, one of the city’s early library presidents. He was also a member and officer of the First Presbyterian Church.
There were six children in the Wright family—two boys who died during a diphtheria epidemic; Misses Marie and Florence Wright; Thomas H. Wright Jr., who died in Cedar Rapids in 1970; and Robert L. Wright of Oklahoma City. The elder Mr. Wright died in 1932 at age 92.
THE VAN AULT HOME
This house at 1040 9th Ave. SW has been known as the home of Fort Dodge’s “Santa Claus” for the past 39 years. “Santa Claus” is, of course, Van J. Ault, 79, who was the official Santa for the Boston Store here for 25 years and during that time greeted thousands of youngsters in the store’s toyland.
Van retired from his interesting occupation some years ago but occasionally now will don the red and white costume and appear at a party. Van figures he played the part of “Santa Claus” here for a total of 49 years. While he spent much time as Santa he was a meat cutter by trade and worked for the A. & P. Store here many years ago. Later he and his son John purchased the Kubicek Grocery on Tenth Avenue Southwest and operated it for a time.
The Ault home is located on property that once was owned by Major William Williams who platted Fort Dodge in 1854 and was its first mayor and postmaster. The property has changed ownership many times since then and was acquired by Van’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. 44John Ault, in 1905. The first deed of record for the property was dated 1864—a conveyance to C. C. Smeltzer.
The Van Ault home
1040 9th Avenue Southwest
Original portion of the present house was built during the 1860s. Since then it has been modernized extensively. Van and his wife purchased the property in 1936 and have lived there since that time. The house had four rooms when built, no porches and the exterior was marked by 1 × 12 vertical siding. Van enlarged the house by adding two rooms, bath, two large porches and a full basement. Van’s brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Winneka owned the house prior to its purchase by the Van Aults.
Mr. and Mrs. Ault were parents of four children—Robert with the Celotex Corporation in Knoxville, Tenn.; John who owns Big John’s Place; Ray, owner of Ray’s Meat Market; and Mrs. Paul (Lola) Lynch of Pioneer.
THE LOHR HOME
This sturdy brick residence was built 80 years ago in northeast Fort Dodge when there was only one other house (the Lou Alger home) to the east of its location at 1831 10th Ave. N.
Known for years as the Lohr home, it has changed ownership a number of times and for the past 29 years has been owned and occupied by a number of well-known business and professional men here. Present owners are Mr. and Mrs. M. James Hutchison who have lived in the home since 1967.
The two-story house has a one-story brick addition on the east side—built in recent years. Walls of the original home are of solid brick construction so popular more than three quarters of a century ago. The first floor includes the family room in the addition, living room, dining room, kitchen and bath and three bedrooms and bath on the second floor.
The exterior brick is painted white and windows have black shutters. The roof overhang is also painted black to match the roofing. The house occupies two lots with a frontage of 75 feet 45on Tenth Avenue North and 190 feet in depth.
The Lohr home
1831 10th Avenue North
The house was built in 1895 by Michael Lohr who came to the United States from his native Germany and settled in Fort Dodge in 1894. He purchased a 3½-acre tract of land along Tenth Avenue North from David A. Haviland who had acquired it from the federal government in 1857; built the house and lived on this acreage for many years.
Lohr’s son, Peter J. Lohr, acquired the house and adjoining property in 1911 and retained possession until 1941 when it was deeded to his daughter Alice M. Thomas. Warren A. Downs, manager of the Sears store purchased the home in 1946 from Alice M. Thomas and husband, Bernard J. Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas had lived in the home from 1938 to 1946.
Later owners and occupants of the home were L. H. and Virginie Anderson of the Jones Piano House; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kirkberg of Kirkberg Jewelers; Mr. and Mrs. Jon McClure of McClure Engineering; and Mr. and Mrs. Hutchison, the present occupants. Hutchison is president of First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Fort Dodge. The house has been extensively remodeled and modernized in recent years.
Peter J. Lohr, who owned the property for many years, farmed east of the city before moving into the home. He then was employed by the Thompson Buttertub Company here and later was a rural mail carrier. Three of his sons—Ray, Clarence and Walter—live in the city.
THE CRAWFORD HOME
Architecture of the late 19th century features this large house at 302 S. 8th St., which has now been converted into a four-apartment building. Built in 1875, the two-story frame house was owned and occupied for many years by Robert W. Crawford, an early-day druggist in Fort Dodge.
Two large Ionic columns mark the main entryway on the east side of the house which stands at the southwest corner of Third Avenue South and Eighth Street. Crawford purchased 46the lot on which the house stands from Thomas Snell, a pioneer real estate dealer here. The house has changed ownership only a few times since Crawford constructed it and presently it is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Peter J. Salvatore who acquired it in 1965. There are two apartments on both the first and second floors. One of the downstairs apartments is occupied by the Salvatores.
The Crawford home
302 So. Eighth Street
All of the rooms are large and typical of the style of the era when it was built. One of the downstairs living rooms has the original fireplace and there is an attractive circular stairway leading to the upstairs.
Crawford was in the wholesale and retail drug business during the early years of Fort Dodge. He erected a large building at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Sixth Street—known as the Crawford Block—in which his store was located. The structure was destroyed in the big fire that struck the area in December of 1956.
A product known as “Gopher Death” was developed by Crawford which was manufactured and distributed through the Fort Dodge Chemical Company which he organized. The product was widely sold throughout the nation. In 1945 the company was purchased by Jewell A. Johnson, a Fort Dodge druggist, who continued its operation until he sold the business in 1970.
There were three children in the Crawford family—a daughter and two sons. The daughter, Mary, was married to E. F. Armstrong, a long-time pharmacist here with the Oleson Drug Company. Mrs. Armstrong was prominent in Fort Dodge and Iowa circles; taught English in high school and was appointed to the State Conservation Commission. The sons were Charles, who operated the Crawford Hotel here and Robert, now a physician at Burlington.
Crawford-Armstrong addition in the north part of the city was opened by the two families for which it was named and Crawford-Armstrong Park was their gift to the city.
THE JOHN M. MULRONEY HOME
The Mulroney home
302 So. Seventh Street
Another of Fort Dodge’s brick residences built by pioneer businessmen is the one pictured above which dates back to 1871. Erected by John M. Mulroney, it is located at 302 S. 7th St.
The two-story house was built of soft red brick manufactured by one of the city’s early-day brick plants and they are generally in good condition after more than 100 years. Basement walls are of native stone.
Additions have been made to the house since it was constructed—on the west and south sides. The original part of the house has seven large rooms, hallway and stairway and is now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Janssen who acquired the property in 1944. The additions to the house have apartments.
John M. Mulroney was born in Ireland in 1832 and came to the United States at age 16 and took part in the 1849 gold rush in the west and prospered there. He then returned to the middlewest and settled in Emmetsburg where he engaged in the cattle business. He married Jane Evans there in 1858 and they moved to Fort Dodge. On arrival here he purchased and operated a general store on the south side of the City Square. Some time later he sold the store and with Webb Vincent, E. H. Rich and G. L. Rich organized the original First National Bank here.
Mulroney and his wife Jane, were parents of the following children: Mary, who became the wife of Ed O’Connell; John E. Mulroney, father of attorney John Mulroney who was a judge of the U. S. Tax Court in Washington, D. C. for many years; Joe, Will and Louis, all of whom were associated with the Mulroney Manufacturing Company which had its first plant at Central Avenue and Tenth Street, the present location of Wahkonsa Manor. After fire destroyed the plant the company built the three-story brick building at First Avenue North and Seventh Street now the home of the Marso & Rodenborn Company.
Two other sons were Charles, a physician in general practice here for some years; and Edward, 48a lawyer who lived in Missoula, Mont. After the death of his first wife, Jane, J. M. Mulroney married Hannah Byrne of Moorland. They were parents of two sons—Robert, a lawyer who also practiced in Missoula, Mont., and Frank, in the Flaherty & Mulroney clothing store here.
A large barn was built south and west of the Seventh Street home to house the several horses, carriages, sleighs and racing carts which Mulroney owned. He generally had one or more horses in county fair harness races in the area. A large box stall in the barn was used as a boxing ring.
Two grandsons and one great grandson of pioneer John M. Mulroney reside in Fort Dodge. They are William V. (Bill) and Richard J. (Dick) Mulroney who operate the Mulroney Insurance Agency founded by their father Will Mulroney; and Gary Mulroney of Mulroney Construction Company, the great grandson.
THE METHODIST PARSONAGE
The Methodist parsonage
1518 3rd Avenue North
The former First Methodist Church parsonage, where the author of “best seller” novel “One Foot in Heaven” was reared, is this residence at 1518 3rd Ave. N.
Hartzell Spence was the writer and his father—the Rev. W. H. Spence—was pastor of the church here from 1909 to 1917. The story relates the life and experiences of the Rev. Mr. Spence and family while here and in other parishes. Following publication of the novel, it was made into a hit motion picture in the early 1940s.
The Rev. Mr. Spence, 34, was assigned to the Fort Dodge church in 1909 and Hartzell Spence recalls in his book that President William Howard Taft came to the city shortly after 49that to visit U. S. Senator J. P. Dolliver. The President gave Hartzell a “pat on the head” during that visit, he notes.
The original Methodist church in Fort Dodge was built at the southeast corner of Second Avenue South and Seventh Street in 1858. The second church was erected at the northeast corner of First Avenue North and Tenth Street and dedicated in 1878. This church, around which the novel revolves, was a stately red brick edifice with a towering steeple. Just to the east of the church was the large two-story frame parsonage built in 1893 which was the home of the Spences.
This parsonage was in use until 1914 when it was sold and moved to the Third Avenue North location where it is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. C. P. McGrane. Removal of the house was made necessary to make way for the present First United Methodist Church which was dedicated in 1915. First Church now has its parsonage at 1211 N. 11th St.
Mr. and Mrs. McGrane acquired the property at 1518 3rd Ave. N. in 1939 and have since resided there. It has been extensively remodeled and modernized and now has four rooms, bath and music room on the first floor and four bedrooms and bath on the second floor.
The novel by Hartzell Spence tells of the wrecking of the old red brick church in 1914 and building of a tabernacle one block east of the church site where services were held until the new edifice was completed. Much of the book is devoted to the life of the Spence family in Fort Dodge, including many youthful events in Hartzell’s life told in a fictional vein.
The Rev. Mr. Spence left Fort Dodge in 1917 to take over a church in Omaha. Later he had Methodist charges in Sioux City (Morningside College) and Mason City.
THE COLBY HOME
The Colby home
215 No. Fifteenth Street
One of Fort Dodge’s early-day residents, who for many years operated a widely-known livery business here, built the house pictured above in 1885.
He was W. H. H. Colby who came to Fort Dodge in 1870 and established a livery and lumber business. Fifteen years later he erected the home at 215 N. 15th St. which is now owned and 50occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Hilken and family. The Hilkens purchased the property in 1963 and reside there with their children, David, Janet and Danny. Hilken is employed at the Geo. A. Hormel & Co. plant.
The one-story frame house faces the west and sets far back from Fifteenth Street. It has a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, bath and a full basement. An open porch extends along two sides of the house. In past years the house has been remodeled and modernized.
Colby was born in Vermont in 1840 and came to Wisconsin in 1859 where he operated a livery business in Sun Prairie. After 11 years there he and his family moved to Fort Dodge where he established his livery and lumber business. After a short time he quit the lumber business in order to devote full time to the livery and transfer business.
Colby’s brother, Charles, was associated with him in the business under the name of W. H. H. Colby & Bros. The firm’s operations included livery, hacks, bus and baggage transfer line. Their horse-drawn vehicles met all the trains arriving at the various railroad depots in the city and carried passengers and baggage to hotels and homes.
The Colbys erected a large brick building on the north side of the City Square where they carried on their extensive business. Their address was listed in old city directories as 426-428 Central Avenue.
After building the north Fifteenth Street home, Colby purchased the half block area just to the north of the home. Old timers recall that he brought many horses from his livery barn out to this area to graze on the grassy ground.
There were two children in the W. H. H. Colby family—a son Fred G. Colby who was bookkeeper for the livery firm; and a daughter, Miss Nellie Colby.
Frank Ulish purchased the Colby home in 1936 and the Ulish family resided there until 1949 when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Glen E. Yates. Owners of the property prior to its purchase by the Hilkens were Mr. and Mrs. Everett W. Mason.
THE McQUILKIN HOME
A prominent furniture dealer—A. D. (Archie) McQuilkin—who advertised “The Big Store With Little Prices,” erected this attractive home a short distance from the business district in 1911.
McQuilkin established his business here in 1902 and nine years later built this south 12th St. home. It is now occupied by Mrs. E. B. Dawson, who with her late husband, Dr. Dawson, purchased the property in 1937.
The two-story brick residence faces west at the corner of Third Avenue South and Twelfth Street. The house originally had living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway on the first floor; four bedrooms, sewing room and bathroom on the second floor. In later years some remodeling was done to the interior, including installation of 1½ more baths and paneling of the basement for a recreation area. A study area with bookcases and a workshop for the late Dr. Dawson were also completed.
McQuilkin was born in Pennsylvania in 1864. His father was a farmer and came to Iowa and located in Benton County in 1866. McQuilkin remained on the farm until 15 years of age before going to LaPorte City where he worked as a drug store clerk. Later he operated a meat market for four years and then took a job as a traveling salesman for a publishing concern.
He began his career in the furniture business in Burlington and remained there 11 years. In 1902 he moved to Fort Dodge and opened a furniture store at 817 Central Ave. As business increased he purchased the lot adjoining his first store and in 1913 erected the six-story building which the McQuilkin company occupied for many years with extensive stocks of furniture, carpets, queen’s ware and allied lines. The company continued in business until 1943 when it was sold to the Home Furniture Company which then took over occupancy of the big building. The Home later moved to 611 Central Ave.
The McQuilkin home
227 So. Twelfth Street
The main floor of the McQuilkin Building is presently occupied by the Lazy M shoe store; upper floors are occupied by the Boston Store furniture department and Sperry & Hutchinson (green stamps).
McQuilkin was prominent in the affairs of Fort Dodge and was active in the First Presbyterian Church. He died in 1926 at age 62. Mrs. McQuilkin died in 1942. The McQuilkins were parents of four children—Mrs. Granger P. (Marjorie) Mitchell of Fort Dodge; Mrs. Eleanor Terrill, now deceased; and two daughters who died in infancy.
THE LEIGHTON HOME
The former E. I. Leighton home at 1120 3rd Ave. N. was built by the founder of the Leighton Supply Company of Fort Dodge. It is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Struve.
The Struves acquired the house in 1969 and have completely modernized the interior and made many exterior changes such as adding old-fashioned posts, trim and railing to the large front porch.
Leighton built the home in 1901 following plans drawn by architect J. H. Albright. The Leighton family retained ownership of the house until 1946 when it was sold to Mrs. Marie Friday, who in turn, sold it to the Struves.
Originally the house had a reception room, parlor, dining room, kitchen and pantry on the first floor; five bedrooms and bath on the second floor and three bedrooms and storage room on the third floor. The arrangement now includes reception room, living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and utility room on the first floor; four bedrooms and bath on the second floor and an apartment on the third floor with living room, three bedrooms and bath.
The entire house now has a pleasing antique motif with suitable furnishings to complement this style. All woodwork now has a natural finish—a project of the Struves. Red carpeting 52covers the floors in the living room, hallway and the open stairway to the second floor. The reception room has a homemade wool-braided rug. Antique furniture is used in the downstairs rooms and in the second floor bedrooms. Exterior of the house has been painted red and all trim is white.
The Leighton home
1120 3rd Avenue North
E. I. Leighton was born in Vermont in 1867 and came to Fort Dodge in 1885 where he learned the tin and hardware trade. From 1889 to 1893 he was a partner in the retail hardware firm of Arthur & Leighton and then for seven years was with Leighton Brothers retail plumbing shop. In 1900 Leighton went into the wholesale plumbing and heating business and in 1909 organized the Leighton Supply Company. He was secretary-treasurer and general manager of the firm for many years.
The present five story Leighton building at First Avenue South and Thirteenth Street was erected in 1911 and has been headquarters since then for the firm. The company operates in northwest and north central Iowa and is a wholesaler of plumbing, heating and industrial supplies.
Leighton was prominent in state plumbing association circles and active in civic groups here including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, YMCA, Boy Scouts and the First Methodist Church. He and Mrs. Leighton were parents of a daughter, Gertrude, and a son, Lucius.
THE CHARON HOME
For 33 years this residence was the home of Louis Charon, prominent Fort Dodge merchant and his family. Built in 1905 at 1332 2nd Ave. N. it was occupied by the Charons until 1938.
The Charon home
1332 2nd Avenue North
Charon headed the Boston Store here from the time it was established in 1898 until his death in 1940 at age 69. He acquired the lot at the northwest corner of Second Avenue North and Fourteenth Street early in 1905 and built the home that year.
The house has living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and large hallway on the first floor; three bedrooms and bath on the second floor and bedroom and storage room in the attic area. A large open porch originally extended across the front of the house.
The Charons sold the house in 1938 to E. G. Sear. Presently it is owned by Dr. John Sear of Alden. In past years the house was remodeled. Tan colored shingles and green shutters were applied to the exterior walls and the front porch was cut in half.
Charon was born in Germany and learned the retail trade there. He came to the United States in 1892, lived in Savannah, Ga., for two years and then moved to Sioux City where he was employed by Davidson Bros. store. In 1894 he came to Fort Dodge and opened Davidson’s store. He continued with the company until 1898 when he bought out the store and established the Boston Store with Adolph Tuerke as his partner. The store then moved to Central Avenue between Seventh and Eighth Streets.
As business increased, the need for larger quarters led to erection in 1914 of the present six-story Boston Store Building at 809 Central Avenue. A disastrous fire in 1922 destroyed the interior of the store but it was immediately rebuilt and enlarged.
Charon was married in 1902 to Clara M. Tuerke and they were parents of three children, two sons and a daughter. Maurice Charon was associated with the store for many years and was president and general manager. Another son, Louis, was secretary of the corporation. Both were with the store until it was sold in 1974. The daughter, Clara Louise, a twin of Louis, is married to Herbert Horn and resides in Webster City.
In addition to his outstanding merchandising in the retail field, Charon was active in civic affairs—was chairman of the Associated Retailers, a director of the Credit Bureau and a 54member of the Iowa Association of Retailers. He was also a member of the Fort Dodge school board and the Chamber of Commerce.
THE JACOB BROWN HOME
The Jacob Brown home
510 3rd Avenue South
Jacob Brown Sr. started a grocery business in Fort Dodge in 1870 that continued for a record breaking 95 years and in 1896 built this home near the business district—at 510 3rd Ave. S.
The Brown Grocery began operations in a store building at 15 S. 6th St. and continued in that location until 1965 when it ended nearly a century of service to customers in the city and surrounding area. During this time it was always operated by members of the Brown family.
The Third Avenue South home is now owned and occupied by Miss Rose Brown, one of only two members of the family still living.
Brown came to Fort Dodge in 1864 from Germany and shortly after arrival here enlisted in Company F of the 11th Iowa Infantry and was in service until the close of the Civil War. Returning to Fort Dodge after the war he bought the South Sixth Street property where he first had a blacksmith shop. Later he gave up this work and opened the grocery store in 1870. The two-story brick building which housed the store is now owned by Mrs. Doris Brown, widow of John Brown.
In 1864 Brown was married to Wilhelmina Schultze and they were parents of six children—Jacob Brown Jr., Louise Brown, Mrs. Kate Etzel, Mrs. Nettie Brown, Frank Brown and Mrs. Minnie B. Leiss. Two years following Mrs. Brown’s death in 1885 Brown married Henricha Becker and they were parents of five children—Rose, Anna, Amelia, John and Christine, now Mrs. Harris of Pittsburgh, Pa. She and Rose are the only survivors of the Jacob Brown family.
The two-story brick home at 510 3rd Ave. S. has a living room, dining room, bedroom and bath and large kitchen on the first floor; four bedrooms and bathroom on the second floor. In the basement is a large brick kettle built into the chimney which was used for heating water needed in washing clothes and making soap. There is also a cyclone cave in the basement.
Brown died in 1915 at the age of 71 years. Members of his family recall that on his arrival in Fort Dodge he first made his home with the Christopher Arnold family in a log cabin located near the Wahkonsa School (now the school administration office building). This cabin is now at the Fort-Museum here.
THE THOMAS HOME
The Thomas home
1200 10th Avenue North
This large and attractive northside residence was for 50 years the home of Seth Thomas, former Fort Dodge High School principal and later U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge. Located at 1200 10th Ave. N., it was the home of the Thomas family from the time it was built in 1912 until sold in 1962 to Dr. Roger E. Drown.
Presently the house is owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hancock who acquired it in the fall of 1974 from Mr. and Mrs. Don F. Carney. Carney, owner of Don Carney Used Auto Parts, and his wife purchased the Thomas home in 1965 and lived there until moving to their new home at 1227 11th Ave. N.
The two-story house is of frame and stucco construction with full basement and porches on both the east and west sides. On the first floor are living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bath, front hall and curving open stairway to the second floor. The second floor has four bedrooms, bath and enclosed porch. The downstairs bedroom and full bath were added some years after the house was built and this addition included a garage underneath.
The west porch has been converted into a family room and the east porch is a room for social activities. The 10 upstairs windows on the main portion of the house have stained glass insets and there are also stained glass insets in the living and dining room windows.
Judge Thomas, a native of Ohio, was educated in the east and was a school teacher and 56principal before coming to Iowa in 1900. In 1902 he was named principal of the Washington, Iowa, high school and served there for three years. He came to Fort Dodge in 1905 and was principal of the high school here until 1909. He studied law during the summer months at the University of Michigan and received his law degree at Iowa University in 1910.
Thomas began his practice of law here with Healy & Healy and from 1910 to 1928 was a law partner of M. F. Healy. He was appointed assistant U. S. district attorney for northern Iowa from 1914 until 1921.
Later he was a law partner of Alan Loth and in 1933 was appointed solicitor of the U. S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D. C. He served there until 1935 when he was appointed judge of the Circuit Court of Appeals, 8th circuit, with office in Fort Dodge. Thomas was a judge of this court for 19 years, retiring in 1954. He continued to make his home in Fort Dodge and died in 1962 at the age of 88.
Judge Thomas was the father of two children—Reynolds B. Thomas, a Fort Dodge attorney; and Mrs. Franz (Eleanor) Van Alstine of Pocahontas. He was prominent in legal circles and was president of the Iowa State Bar Association (1931-1932). He was a member of the Webster County, Iowa and American Bar Associations and served as president of the Fort Dodge Chamber of Commerce two years. In 1947 he received special recognition as one of the 50 prominent living alumni at the 100th anniversary of the University of Iowa.
THE SAUNDERS HOME
The Saunders home
1108 4th Avenue North
Dr. C. J. Saunders, a well-known Fort Dodge physician, who came to the city in 1893, built this spacious home at 1108 4th Ave. N. in 1907. During the following 23 years it was the home of the Saunders family until sold in 1930 to Dr. C. J. Jensen, a local chiropractor, and his wife, Agnes.
Dr. Jensen, who died in 1970, had his office in the house for many years. His widow now owns the property and lives in one of the apartments in the house.
When built in 1907 the Saunders house originally had living room, library, dining room and kitchen on the first floor; four bedrooms and bath on the second floor and two finished rooms on the third floor. The house has been enlarged and remodeled in past years and now has six apartments.
Dr. Saunders was born in Iowa City in 1862 and graduated from high school there as valedictorian of his class. He studied medicine at the University of Iowa, graduated from medical school in 1885 and began his practice in Iowa City. In 1886 Dr. Saunders opened an office in Audubon and practiced there for one year, moving then to Clare where he was a widely-known doctor for six years. At Clare he also operated a drug store and helped organize a bank.
In 1893 Dr. Saunders came to Fort Dodge and had his first office in the newly constructed Oleson Building. After the First National Bank Building (now the Beh Building) was constructed in 1908 he moved his office there. He was a radiologist and had one of the first X-ray machines in the city.
Later Dr. Saunders had offices in the Carver Building and was associated with a number of doctors. He continued practice here until his death in 1928 at the age of 66 years.
Active in medical circles he served at one time as president of the Iowa Medical Society. He was interested in a number of Fort Dodge enterprises including the Fort Dodge Telephone Company, First National Bank, Oleson Land Company and the Street Railway System.
Dr. Saunders was married in 1907 to Lucy Merrill of Bangor, Me., and they were parents of a son and two daughters. They are: Merrill Saunders, Fort Dodge realtor; Miss Katherine Saunders, a Chicago librarian; and Mrs. Robert (Helen) Thackaberry, a university instructor in Akron, Ohio. Mrs. Saunders died in Fort Dodge in 1949 at age 72.
THE THATCHER HOME
This attractive two-story residence is one of the many fine homes erected along Tenth Avenue North after the Crawford-Armstrong Addition to the city was platted.
Built in 1916 at 1201 10th Ave. N., by O. M. Thatcher, it was the Thatcher family home until sold in 1965 to Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hancock. The Hancocks resided there until the fall of 1974 when they sold the house to Dr. John E. Duro, Fort Dodge dentist. The Hancocks then moved across the street to the residence at 1200 10th Ave. N. which they purchased from the Don Carneys. The Carneys, in turn, moved to their newly-built home at 1227 11th Ave. N.
The frame and stucco house has a red tile roof such as used on several of the homes built in the area. The room arrangement of the house includes a living room, library, dining room, kitchen and half bath on the first floor; four bedrooms and bath on the second floor. It has a steam heating system now fired with gas. After their purchase of the home, the Hancocks remodeled and modernized the kitchen.
Thatcher was a native of the town of Grimes and both he and his wife were graduates of Valparaiso University in Indiana. After completing his education Thatcher went into the banking business at Luther and remained there until 1914 when he sold out his interest and came to Fort Dodge.
A few years after arriving in the city Thatcher was one of the organizers and officers of the Webster County National Bank and its affiliate, the Webster County Trust & Savings Bank. They were located in a large double room in the Wahkonsa Hotel Building at 919-921 Central Avenue.
Later Thatcher was in the insurance business here for many years, part of the time under the name of Thatcher & Weiss following his purchase of the firm owned by Henry Weiss.
Married in 1907, Thatcher and his wife resided in Luther until 1914. They were the parents of two sons and a daughter—Dr. W. C. Thatcher, a retired Fort Dodge physician and 58surgeon now living at Woman Lake near Hackensack, Minn.; Dr. Don Thatcher, who was lost on a military flight across the English channel during World War II; and Mrs. Wayne (Mildred) Warren of Humboldt. A grandson is William Jeffrey Thatcher, who was elected Webster County attorney last fall and began serving in this office Jan. 1.
The Thatcher home
1201 10th Avenue North
The elder Thatcher died in 1968 at the age of 83 years. Mrs. Thatcher died in 1967 at age 81.
THE COREY HOME
Frank Corey, a native of Webster County, erected this large brick residence at 1238 6th Ave. N. in 1914 and it was the home of the Corey family until 1922.
The house has changed ownership a number of times since then and is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Dennis F. Mallinger and family. Mallinger is president of the Mallinger Truck Lines.
Corey sold the home to Fred E. Gamble in 1922 and it was owned later by George Schnurr, Fort Dodge industrialist and banker; Mr. and Mrs. Gus Glaser of the meat processing firm; and their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. John G. Graham. The Mallingers acquired the home in 1971.
The buff colored brick home has a red tile roof and fronts to the south on Sixth Avenue North. The first floor includes living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, half bath and large hallway. The second floor has four bedrooms, a children’s room and two full baths; the third floor has a large recreation room.
Corey was born in the Holiday Creek area southeast of Fort Dodge. As a young man he moved to Lehigh where he resided until 1903 when the family came to Fort Dodge. Corey was interested in the brick and tile business and for many years was principal owner and president of the Corey Pressed Brick Company which had its plant and office in Lehigh. The company manufactured the noted Lehigh red, buff and ornamental pressed building brick as well as sidewalk brick.
The Corey home
1238 6th Avenue North
The company introduced its products in 1894 and they were widely used in Fort Dodge and area homes and in sidewalks. In addition to his brick plant operations, Corey was interested in several banks and served as their president. Three brothers were associated with Frank Corey in the brick and tile plant—Silas, George and M. N. Corey who also owned the “Morning Star Mill” at Lehigh.
The Coreys resided in a large frame house on Sixth Avenue North before their brick home was constructed. The frame house was then moved to a lot directly to the west and is now owned and occupied by Mrs. Esther K. Thorsen, 1230 6th Ave. N.
Corey and his wife, the former Caroline Tyson, were the parents of three daughters and a son. They were Mrs. Louis (Eva) Neudeck, Mrs. Paul (Roxie) Tinkham; Miss Lucile Corey, for many years a widely-known violinist and music teacher; and Frank Tyson Corey who was killed by lightning in 1923 at the Neudeck farm northwest of the city.
THE JOHNSON HOME
Johnson Place—a one-block long street extending from Twelfth to Thirteenth Streets—was platted and laid out by E. H. Johnson, Fort Dodge attorney, who also built this large brick residence.
The home at No. 5 Johnson Place was occupied by members of the Johnson family from the time of its construction in 1920 until Mrs. Johnson’s death in 1961. Since then it has been the home of Mrs. Dora Holman Tellier, Mrs. Johnson’s companion for many years and a well-known former Fort Dodge High School mathematics instructor. The house is now owned by a son, Wallace Johnson of Berkeley, Calif.
Of brick construction with red tile roof, the home has two stories, full basement and attic. The first floor includes entrance hall, large living room, sun room, dining room, kitchen, children’s room and half bath; the second floor has five bedrooms and complete bathroom.
Johnson was born in Raritan, Ill., in 1877 and died in Fort Dodge in 1940 at age 63. He moved with his parents to a farm in the Coalville area in 1891 and lived there until the family moved to Fort Dodge in 1901. He was educated in schools here and then attended Drake 60University where he completed his law studies. Returning to Fort Dodge after being admitted to the bar he began a law practice here that continued until 1940.
The Johnson home
No. 5 Johnson Place
After acquiring property between Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets and Second and Fourth Avenues North Johnson platted the area in 1910, had a street cut through and named it Johnson place at the suggestion of a member of the City Council.
Johnson sold lots along the street and built his first home there at No. 8 Johnson Place. Later he erected the house at No. 5 Johnson Place in 1920 where the Johnsons’ family of a son and two daughters were reared. They included Wallace of Berkeley, Calif.; Eleanor, known by her stage name Eleanor Prentiss during her theatrical career and presently in public relations work in New York City; and Olive, now deceased, who was married to Carlton Coveny of Los Angeles, Calif.
Wallace is a prominent industrialist and engineer and president and principal owner of UP-RIGHT, Inc., of Berkeley, a pioneer company in the manufacture of portable aluminum scaffolds, radio towers and wine grape harvesting machines. He served as mayor of Berkeley for two terms and has authored two books—“Responsible Individualism,” and “The Uncommon Man in American Business.”
E. H. Johnson was prominent in church, Masonic Orders and Republican circles here. He served on the school board several years.
THE CHUMLEA HOME
This large frame and stucco house is now the home of Dr. and Mrs. Paul L. Stitt, but for many years it was known as the Chumlea home.
Located at 605 N. 13th St., it was built in 1914 by Miles P. Chumlea, who came from Sioux City to take over as vice president and general manager of the Lehigh Sewer Pipe & Tile 61Company.
The Chumlea home
605 No. Thirteenth Street
The Fred Hagans acquired the residence in 1936 and resided there with their family until 1951 when the home was sold to Dr. and Mrs. Stitt. The Stitts have occupied it since that time.
The house has a large living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook (formerly the pantry), sun porch and powder room on the first floor; four bedrooms, sleeping porch and two baths on the second floor; bedroom, bath and storage area on the third floor.
Dr. and Mrs. Stitt have four children—two sons and two daughters. They are: Dr. Michael W. Stitt, associated with his father in the practice of medicine here; Marc P. Stitt of Fort Dodge; Mrs. Dan (Beth) Culver, a junior high teacher in Moline, Ill.; her husband teaches in Augustana College; and Mrs. Mark (Jane) Anderson of Des Moines, a teacher in Van Meter special education school; her husband is attending the College of Osteopathic medicine in Des Moines.
When the Lehigh Sewer Pipe & Tile Company was sold by E. J. Breen, the company founder, to George Avery of Sioux City, Chumlea came to Fort Dodge in 1914 to take over management of the company.
For many years the company had its offices in the First National Bank Building, later moving to First Avenue South and Eleventh Street in the building now dismantled but formerly occupied by the Laufersweiler Funeral Home and the Union Trust & Savings Bank. The clay plant was sold in 1964 to the W. S. Dickey Clay Manufacturing Company and offices were moved to Lehigh.
Chumlea continued as an official of the firm until his death in 1917. Roy Dallam, who had been associated with the company for many years was then named general manager and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 1955.
THE HAWLEY HOME
The attractive Hawley home at 604 N. 13th St. is probably the only Fort Dodge residence with the date of its construction—1912—set in large figures in the brick work on one of its exterior walls. The home was built by A. W. Hawley, who engaged in diversified farming but 62specialized in Royal Belgian draft horses.
The Hawley home
604 No. Thirteenth Street
The home has changed ownership only twice since it was built in 1912. In 1942 it was sold to Forrest Hagerman, an official of the Tobin Packing Company. The Hagermans occupied the residence until 1953 when it was sold to D. E. McTigue and his wife, Elizabeth (Betty). Mrs. McTigue continues to reside in the home since the death of her husband in 1965. There are three sons in the family—Michael, Brian and Dennis.
A. W. Hawley was born in Bridgeport, Conn., in 1875 and after a few years in the banking business made a trip to Iowa and settled in the Pioneer area. He brought out a large supply of nursery stock and planted many homesites around Pioneer. In the late 1890s Hawley established his home in Jackson Township of Webster County. He was married in 1902 to Martha Waller.
Hawley made several trips to Belgium to purchase breeding stock for his Belgian draft horse operations. His farm was known as “Whip Tree” because of a cottonwood tree that grew there by chance. Mrs. Harold B. Freeman, the former Susan Hawley Atwell now living in Whittier, Calif., recalls that her father had groves, orchards and various plantings on the farm.
The Hawleys built their home in Fort Dodge and moved here so the children could attend city schools. The house has undergone interior remodeling since it was built. Room arrangements on the first floor now include reception hall, living room, dining room, kitchen, den, powder room and sun porch. The upstairs has four bedrooms, full bath, large walk-in closets and screened-in porch.
Hawley continued active farming for six years after moving to Fort Dodge. Later he managed a number of farms he owned, judged horses at the Iowa State Fair and showed his prize horses at various fairs and shows. For a time he was in partnership in the horse business with Roy Ives who farmed near Duncombe.
The Hawleys were parents of three children—Mrs. Harold B. (Susan) Freeman of Whittier, Calif.; Mrs. Louis (Betty) Kelso of San Mateo, Calif.; and Richard (Dick) Hawley, a retired Pan-American pilot now living in Seattle, Wash. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hawley are now deceased. Mr. Hawley died in 1932 at age 57; Mrs. Hawley died in 1942.
THE HELSELL HOME
The Helsell home
1003 6th Avenue North
F. H. Helsell, prominent Iowa lawyer, jurist and banker occupied this large brick residence at 1003 6th Ave. N. for many years. Judge Helsell and family acquired the house in 1919 and retained possession until 1943.
The house stands at the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue North and Tenth Street. Built in 1906 of brown brick, it has two stories, attic and basement. A large porch extends along the north and west sides.
The home has living room with fireplace, vestibule, dining room and kitchen on the first floor; five bedrooms and bath on the second floor. The attic is completely paneled and carpeted for a recreation room.
Present owners and occupants are Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Pett who acquired the house in 1970 from James and Mildred Kempley. Pett is with the Georgia Pacific Corporation. Other earlier owners were Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Hughes and Mr. and Mrs. Fred S. Thornley.
Judge Helsell was born in Ohio in 1857 and came to Iowa with his parents in 1864. After completing his education and legal training he began the practice of law in Sioux Rapids in 1882. In addition to his private practice he was local attorney for five railroads—Chicago and North Western, Rock Island, Milwaukee, Missouri & St. Louis and Illinois Central.
In 1898 Helsell was elected a district court judge. He left the bench after two and a half years and became active in banking, helping to organize a number of northwest Iowa banks. He was an officer and director of these banks.
Helsell was married in 1880 and he and Mrs. Helsell were parents of five children—a son and four daughters. They were Charles A. Helsell, who was his law partner here for many years; Glenora, married to Don G. LaGrange; Corrine, married to John Q. Adams; Laura, 64married to Roy L. Liddel; and Miss Virginia Helsell.
Judge Helsell and son Charles were in law practice together until the father’s death in 1927. Following his death Charles was named district attorney here for the Illinois Central Railroad and later was promoted to solicitor general of the railroad with offices in Chicago. B. B. Burnquist then succeeded Charles Helsell as district attorney here.
Judge Helsell was active in the Masonic orders, Knights of Pythias and the Elks. A prominent Republican he was a delegate to the national conventions of 1888 and 1896.
THE MUELLER HOME
The Mueller home
615 3rd Avenue South
The “Mueller home” at 615 3rd Ave. S. stands on an historic site that dates back to the early days of Fort Dodge. It was at this location the congregation of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church erected its first house of worship—a small building constructed of gypsum rock and familiarly known for many years as “the old stone church.”
The congregation was organized in 1863 and the following year built the stone church on Third Avenue South property purchased from Fort Dodge’s founder Major William Williams. Although the present St. Paul’s edifice was erected in 1885-1886 the congregation continued ownership of the stone building until 1895 when it was sold to J. M. Mulroney.
The present house at 615 3rd Ave. S. was built in 1896 on the church site. When the old stone church was torn down some of the gypsum rock was used in the foundation of the house. Records show that J. R. Mulroney acquired the property in 1911 and resided there until 1913 when the house was sold to William F. Mueller, Fort Dodge hardware dealer.
The home has been owned and occupied by members of the Mueller family since 1913 and is presently owned by a daughter, Miss Ruth Mueller. The house has been remodeled in past years and now has four apartments—two on the first floor and two on the second floor. Miss Mueller resides in one of the downstairs apartments.
William F. Mueller was born in Fort Dodge in 1877 and began his hardware career in a store owned by Harry Vincent. Later Vincent formed a partnership in the hardware business with Mueller, Franz and Bruno Thiede and the firm began operations in 1911 as the Thiede-Mueller Hardware Company at 516 Central Avenue. After some years the store moved to the Thiede Building at 815 Central Avenue and later returned to the original site at 516 Central. The Ferguson True Value Hardware store is now located in the building where the Thiede-Mueller firm had its beginning more than 60 years ago.
In 1951 Mueller retired and sold his interest in the firm. He died in 1955 at age 77. He was prominent in hardware circles and served as president of the Iowa Retail Hardware Association and was a director of the Iowa Hardware Mutual Insurance Association for more than 30 years. During his business career Mueller was a member here of the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, the Chamber of Commerce and the United Commercial Travelers.
He and Mrs. Mueller (the former Emma Thiede) were parents of seven children: Ruth, Mrs. Ray (Helen) Adamson, Mrs. Robert (Wilma) Ackerson, William J. Mueller, Mrs. Frank (Dorothy) Barry; and Mrs. Carl (Gertrude) Tunwall and Frank Mueller, both deceased.
THE COLLINS HOME
The Collins home
1307 3rd Avenue North
The residence at 1307 3rd Ave. N. is probably the only one in Fort Dodge with concrete wall construction—somewhat of a novelty when it was built in 1911. The two-story house was constructed by E. W. Collins, a coal dealer here for many years.
Collins came from a Webster County family whose members pioneered in the coal mining and gypsum industry in this area and were of an innovative turn of mind. He had an idea for a house that would be built differently than the usual run of houses and put the idea into practical use in 1910 after buying the Third Avenue North lot in 1909.
The house has double-wall concrete construction, giving it both exceptional structural strength and an insulating air space between the two walls. Wood forms were made for the walls and concrete poured into them. Facing of the exterior concrete walls is unique. Instead of making the walls flat, Collins devised forms so that the poured concrete would simulate wood siding. This gave the house an outward appearance of an ordinary wood siding frame home. The unusual features attracted considerable interest among those associated with home construction.
The Collins family moved into the home after it was completed and lived there until 1917 and then moved to 1245 5th Ave. N. which has since been the Collins home. The concrete home which presently has two apartments is now owned by Hubert McMahon, 1129 S. 17th St.
A brother of E. W. Collins was Tom Collins who engineered and put into successful operation the first underground gypsum mine in the area. This was shortly before the turn of the century when he and others organized the Cardiff Gypsum Plaster Company.
E. W. Collins was married in 1900 to Alice Quealy and about that time started a retail coal business in the city which he operated until his retirement in 1937. He died in 1945 at age 77; Mrs. Collins died in 1961 at age 88.
The Collins were parents of three children—two sons and a daughter. They were Edwin, deceased; Allan of Fort Dodge; and Kathleen of Rochester, Minn. Allan and his wife reside in the family home at 1245 5th Ave. N. They are parents of 11 children. Allan retired from postal service several years ago and is now employed in the office of Iowa Beef Processors here.
THE SMITH HOME
One of Fort Dodge’s first city commissioners under the present form of government owned and resided in this home at 1205 5th Ave. S. for a number of years after acquiring it in 1910.
He was C. H. (Cad) Smith, public safety commissioner from 1911 until his death in 1919. He was elected to the city council when the commission form of government was adopted. Elected at that time with Smith were John F. Ford, mayor; and Frank W. Collins, streets commissioner.
The large frame house was erected in 1891 by Charles B. Hepler, a well-known contractor here for many years. He was also associated with David Brown in the Fort Dodge Planing Mill. The lot at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue South and Twelfth Street was part of a tract of land purchased in 1861 by John F. Duncombe, pioneer attorney and industrialist.
Smith purchased the house in 1910 from E. J. Breen and it remained in possession of the Smith family until 1948 when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Cooper. At that time Cooper, a plumber, converted the house into a duplex dwelling and the apartments have since been rented out.
The house originally had five rooms on the first floor—living room, library, dining room, solarium, kitchen and pantry; the second floor had four bedrooms, sleeping porch and bath. The third floor attic area also had two finished rooms. The house had large front and back porches.
Smith was born in Pennsylvania in 1867 and came west as a young man to Grinnell where he attended and graduated from Grinnell College. Moving to Fort Dodge he then was employed by The Messenger until entering public service.
Smith was married in Fort Dodge to Grace Hepler, daughter of Charles B. Hepler, the contractor. They were parents of three daughters—Mrs. Margaret Lowrey of Seattle, Wash.; Elizabeth, deceased; and Mrs. Thomas (Gretchen) Porter of Fort Dodge.
Mr. Smith died in 1919 at the age of 52 years; Mrs. Smith died here in 1948.
The Smith home
1205 5th Avenue South
THE HORN HOME
For many years this residence at 1201 6th Ave. S. was the home of Paul Horn, widely-known cabinetmaker, inventor and industrialist. Built in 1908 it stands on a lot generally known at that time as the highest point in the city.
Mr. and Mrs. Horn and family resided in the house as it was originally built until 1924 when it was completely remodeled. After remodeling the house included a large kitchen with breakfast nook, dining room large enough to seat 18 persons and with a built-in buffet expertly crafted by Horn which covered the entire south wall of the room. Also on the first floor were large living room with solarium, family room and powder room.
The upstairs of the house is reached by a stairway that divides at a landing. One section of the stairway leads to the area with two bedrooms and bath; the other to three bedrooms and bath. The third floor has two rooms. The Horns retained possession of the home until 1964 when Mrs. Horn moved to Friendship Haven.
Horn had many hobbies in addition to his unique skill at woodworking. These included stonework and growing of special flowers. The basement of the house was completely finished and included his hobby shop with both wood and metal working equipment. Attached to the house on the south side is a small greenhouse where Horn raised many flowers.
A native of Germany, Horn learned cabinetmaking there and came to Fort Dodge in 1902 and worked for a time at the Fort Dodge Planing Mill. In 1909 he established his own business here known as the Paul Horn Cabinet Works where he manufactured store fixtures and repaired fine furniture. It later became the Horn Manufacturing Company.
In 1922 he invented Horn Folding Partitions for use in schools and public buildings throughout the United States. Some years later—in 1938—Horn invented the Horn Folding 68Bleachers that were made here and installed in school gymnasiums in all parts of the country. During World War II the Horn company made and installed large airplane hangar doors for military installations throughout the US.
The Horn home
1201 6th Avenue South
In 1943 Horn retired from the company and his four sons took over active management. They expanded operations and added farm equipment to their line of products. The company erected the large manufacturing facility at the southwest edge of the city which was later sold to the Brunswick Corporation and then to Avco-New Idea. It is now owned by the Kraus Manufacturing Company, a farm machinery company.
Mr. and Mrs. Horn were parents of six children: Frederic G., Herbert, Robert, Walter, now deceased; Mrs. Herbert Blaess and Mrs. John Barnes. In addition to his manufacturing activities, Horn was active in civic and church affairs here and a member of the board of Lutheran Hospital (now Trinity Regional West) for 26 years. He died in 1963 at age 86; Mrs. Horn died in 1973 at age 96.
THE LARSEN HOME
A Norwegian youth, who came to the United States in 1889 and later became manager and partner in the Oleson Drug Company here, built this house and resided there until his sudden death in 1941. He was Thorvald S. Larsen, who was 18 when he arrived in this country.
After a short stay in Minneapolis he accepted a job as a pharmacy apprentice with O. M. Oleson at his store here. That was the start of Larsen’s long and successful association with Oleson, a pioneer Fort Dodge pharmacist and noted philanthropist.
The Larsen home, a large white frame structure at 1302 4th Ave. N., was built in 1903. It is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Leo Kelleher and family who purchased it in 1953 from C. M. Bodensteiner. The Bodensteiners acquired the residence in 1944.
Interior of the home is substantially the same as it was when built. The downstairs has a large living room, library, dining room, kitchen and pantry, half bath and hall leading to the open stairway to the second floor. On the second floor are five bedrooms and bath. A large 69open porch extends along the south and west sides of the house.
The Larsen home
1302 4th Avenue North
Larsen studied pharmacy while working as an apprentice and became a registered pharmacist. In 1900 he took over management of the Oleson Drug Company store at Central Avenue and Eighth Street. The store occupied the first floor and basement of the three-story Oleson Building erected in 1894 and a downtown landmark until razed in 1971 to make way for the City Green parking lot.
Larsen was married to May Larson of Fort Dodge, daughter of Olaf Larson an early-day contractor and bridge builder. They were parents of six children—Helen, deceased; Rolf, Dr. Harold Larsen, deceased; Dr. Frank S. Larsen, Robert and Carl Larsen.
Larsen was a widely-known businessman of Fort Dodge. He was 70 years of age when killed in an auto accident at Second Avenue North and Thirty-second Street in 1941. Mrs. Larsen died in 1968 at age 89 at Friendship Haven where she resided for a number of years.
THE CARVER HOME
A well-known eye, ear, nose and throat doctor in Fort Dodge—Dr. W. F. Carver—erected this attractive home at 905 Northwood Ave., in 1920. Earlier he had maintained his office and residence in a large house at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Tenth Street built in the early 1890s by Col. Leander Blanden. This historic structure was razed in 1915 to make way for the present Carver Building.
The two-story Snell Place house was built of buff colored brick but in later years the exterior was painted white. The first floor includes a hall, large living room with marble fireplace, sunparlor also with fireplace, dining room with built-in china closet, large kitchen and breakfast room modernized in recent years and a half bath. The second floor has four bedrooms and bath.
The Carver home
905 Northwood Avenue
The large plastered attic room has been painted and made more livable. The attic has 12 large drawers for storage; these measure 36 inches wide, 12 inches deep and pull out 50 inches.
Dr. Carver purchased the Snell Place lot in late 1919 after his discharge from overseas duty during World War I and built the home in 1920. In 1938 it was sold to L. G. Shannon. Following Mr. Shannon’s death the house was sold in 1957 to Gene Gutknecht. He and his wife and family presently occupy the home. The house now has all natural birch woodwork following an extensive refinishing project by Gutknecht.
Dr. Carver was born in Madison County in 1869 and graduated in 1894 from the Louisville Medical College, a division of the University of Kentucky. He started his general practice of medicine in Murray, Iowa. Following his marriage, the couple moved to Fort Dodge in 1900. They built a home at 1420 4th Ave. N. in 1904 and lived there for a few years and then purchased the Blanden House at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Tenth Street.
The family resided in the historic house until it was decided to raze it and erect a downtown business and office building. The first two floors of the Carver Building were built in 1915 and later six more floors were added. The Blanden house had a conservatory in the south portion where plants and flowers flourished beautifully the year around. Ceilings in the house were 13 feet in height and all wood work was solid walnut. Doors were heavy—from two to three inches thick.
Dr. and Mrs. Carver had three children—two sons who carried on the medical profession and a daughter. They were Dr. W. F. Carver Jr., now retired and living in Arizona; Dr. James Carver, now deceased; and Mrs. Susan Carver Anderson of Seattle, Wash.
THE REYNOLDS HOME
A. S. R. Reynolds, an early-day Fort Dodge merchant who constructed the three-story Reynolds Block Building at Central Avenue and Seventh Street, also erected this home at 1202 4th Ave. N. Reynolds and his wife resided in the home for many years after it was completed in 1910.
The Reynolds home
1202 4th Avenue North
The house, now a two-family duplex, is presently owned by Rillmon E. Hoskin, 1037 N. 24th Place, and apartments are rented out. Both are substantially the same—living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bath. Earlier owners of the house were Allen R. Loomis, who acquired it in 1937, and Mrs. Matina Constantine who purchased it in 1952.
Reynolds built another house here in the 1890s at the northwest corner of First Avenue North and Ninth Street. The Reynolds family occupied this home until 1910 when it was sold to the YWCA which continued to use it until 1913 when it was sold and moved to Fourth Avenue North and Ninth Street. The YWCA then built its present building at the site. (See story elsewhere in this book on the YWCA house).
Known as “one of the state’s capitalists,” Reynolds was born in Missouri in 1844 and came with his parents to Iowa in 1846. He was reared and educated in Delaware County and at age 18 enlisted in Company G of the 6th Iowa Cavalry in 1862 and served until 1865.
In 1872 Reynolds came to Fort Dodge and purchased a grocery store at 523 Central Avenue which he operated for a year. He then erected a building at 521 Central Avenue, moved the grocery there and continued business at that place until 1882. Reynolds next built the three-story building at the northeast corner of Central and Seventh. He used the west half of the ground floor for his grocery store—where the Commercial National Bank later was located. He operated this store until 1894 when he disposed of the business in order to devote his attention to management of property interests.
Space on the east side of the first floor of the building was rented out and offices occupied the second floor. The third floor was rented to the Masonic Orders and later to the labor unions. In later years the third floor was removed. The building now has apartments on the second floor and the Wicker Jewelry and Friesth Appliance Center on the first floor. Jerry Neeson now owns the building.
Reynolds was active in many affairs here, was a member of the Masonic Orders and served 14 years on the Fort Dodge school board. He was an uncle of Charles H. Reynolds, Webster County surveyor and later city engineer of Fort Dodge for 31 years.
THE GOLDSWORTHY HOME
The Goldsworthy home
1302 5th Avenue South
This large brick residence has occupied the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue South and Thirteenth Street since 1891 and for many years was known as the Goldsworthy home because of an early owner and builder.
In later years it was owned by a noted artist, china painter and art instructor—Miss Edna Richardson—who taught painting to many Fort Dodge and area women. The house, located at 1302 5th Ave. S., is now owned by Mrs. Katherine Gilligan.
A large hall inside the front entrance leads to the oak staircase going to the upstairs. The first floor includes large living rooms, dining room, den, kitchen and half bath. There is a fireplace in one of the living rooms and another fireplace in an upstairs bedroom. There are three bedrooms and bath on the second floor. Upstairs ceilings are 9 feet high, those downstairs are 10 feet high.
Oak was used throughout the house in the floors and woodwork that shine elegantly despite their age. Old-fashioned inside window shutters are found in the two living rooms and dining room.
John Goldsworthy, a carpenter and cabinetmaker, purchased the corner lot and built the house in 1891. He also built a small shop at the rear of the lot where he continued his work for many years. In 1919 Goldsworthy sold the property to Clarence and Allie Hoyt Wakeman who, in turn, sold the brick residence to Miss Edna Richardson in 1920.
Miss Richardson was born in 1874 at Bath, N. Y., the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Richardson. She came to Fort Dodge with her parents at an early age and after completing her schooling began art work, doing oil painting and china painting.
Her artistic ability became widely-known and she started art classes at her home and also taught art in other towns. She was especially known for her beautiful china painting and many persons in Fort Dodge and the area now have dishes painted by her or by some of her students. The room in the house now used as a den was the classroom where students did their china painting.
Miss Richardson resided in the large brick house until her death in 1945. The property then was bequeathed by Miss Richardson to Mrs. Gilligan (Katherine) who was her nurse prior to her death. Mrs. Gilligan and her husband, Thomas, have occupied the home since 1947.
THE LEARY HOME
The Leary home
225 So. Seventh Street
A large house with huge columns reminiscent of elegant southern plantation homes has dominated the northeast corner of Third Avenue South and Seventh Street since shortly after the turn of the century.
It is the house at 225 S. 7th St., built in 1901 by Dennis E. Leary, a prominent Fort Dodge grocer for many years. Ownership of the property has changed several times and the house is now owned by Robert Walters who acquired it in 1956.
The house has now been converted into five apartments—two on the first floor, two on the second floor and one in the attic area. Walters resides in one of the downstairs apartments—others are rented out.
Originally house had a large hall, living room, parlor, dining room, kitchen and pantry on the first floor. The second floor had four bedrooms, bath, den and large hall. All floors were of hard wood and walls had much beautiful fresco work. Leary purchased property in 1893 at Third Avenue South and Seventh Street which had a small house on the lot. This remained until 1901 when it was moved to Second Avenue South and Third Street to make way for the large Leary home.
Leary, a native of Boston, Mass., came to Waverly, Iowa, with his parents and remained there until 1893 when he moved to Fort Dodge. On arrival here he purchased property at the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Seventh Street and established a grocery store there. He operated this store until 1903 when fire destroyed the building.
Leary then purchased a building across the street on the north side of Central Avenue and opened another grocery store which he continued to operate until 1910 when he sold the business to Tom Welch. Ownership of the building continued in Leary’s name.
Leary was married in 1892 to Ellen Foley and they were parents of two sons—John A. Leary and Dennis E. Leary, both of whom reside in Fort Dodge. The elder Leary died in 1910 at age 48. Mrs. Leary died in 1950 at age 91.
The Learys had a large barn at the rear of their home where they kept horses, a surrey with fringe on the top and the wagon used for delivering groceries to customers in the city. One of the owners of the Leary home after it was sold was Dr. W. E. Alton who had a private hospital and office there. His hobby was boat building and he built a number of boats.
THE MERRITT HOME
The Merritt home
1119 6th Avenue North
The large two-story brick home at 1119 6th Ave. N.—with huge columns supporting a canopy extending across the front of the house—was built in 1914 by a Fort Dodge real estate dealer and insurance representative.
Known for several years as the Merritt home because it was owned by W. N. Merritt, it later was known as the Faville home, the Thompson home and the Barrett home. Since 1961 it has been owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Anver Habhab and family.
The house has four rooms on the first floor—living room, den, dining room and kitchen; the second floor has four bedrooms and bath and the attic also has one bedroom. The Merritt family resided in the home from the time it was built in 1914 until early in 1918 when it was sold to Fredrick F. Faville, a Fort Dodge attorney who came to the city from Storm Lake.
Mr. and Mrs. Faville, son Stanton, and daughter, Marion, lived in the home until 1921 75when it was sold to Mrs. Martha Thompson, widow of S. H. Thompson who owned and operated the Fort Dodge Cooperage Works here. Faville, a law partner of Robert Healy, was prominent in legal circles and in 1920 was elected to the Iowa Supreme Court. The Favilles then moved to Des Moines where their son Stanton, was a well-known attorney in later years.
The cooperage firm operated by Thompson was located in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue North and Fifth Street and manufactured wooden buttertubs, tanks, cisterns and casks as well as barrels for stucco, apples and oatmeal. Following Thompson’s death the company was operated by members of his family including the late M. T. Thompson.
The Thompson family retained ownership of the house at 1119 6th Ave. N. for some time after Mrs. Thompson’s death. In 1940 it was sold to S. L. Barrett, who for many years was sales manager and later president of the Fort Dodge Laboratories. The Barretts owned the property until it was purchased in 1961 by Anver and Betty Habhab.
The exterior front of the home was remodeled by the Habhabs in 1968 and the large canopy with four columns extending from ground level to the roof line was added. It covers an open patio area. Habhab operates Anver’s Lounge in downtown Fort Dodge and the Rose-A-Rio Restaurant and Lounge in the Crossroads.
THE CARTER HOME
The Carter home
510 So. Twelfth Street
A Fort Dodge industrialist who operated a culvert manufacturing company and an iron and steel mill here more than a half century ago, built this large home at 510 S. 12th St. in 1915.
He was Charles L. Carter, who with a number of other Fort Dodgers organized and operated the Fort Dodge Culvert Company in the vicinity of Sixth Avenue North and Seventh Street. In addition to the south Twelfth Street home he also erected the three-story building at 1018-1020 Central Avenue known in recent years as the Dunsmoor or Dee Building. This building is now owned by Dodger Homes, a partnership of Fort Dodge men including Leo Bevien, William Gibb, Gene Marchi and Richard Koberg.
Carter purchased the building lot for his home in 1914 and the following year erected the home which has a stucco exterior. Originally the house had a large living room that extended 76across the front interior, a sun room, dining room and kitchen on the first floor. On the second floor were three bedrooms, two sleeping porches, sewing room and bath.
Carter’s Central Avenue building had living quarters on the second and third floors known as the Carter Apartments. The first floor had a large room occupied by various business firms through the years and another room leased out to a motion picture theater. The theater operated under the name of the Majestic, Pokadot and finally the Dodge. The building apartments are now known as the Dee Apartments.
The Fort Dodge Culvert Company had its original plant at 529 N. 7th St., only a short distance from the Fort Dodge Baseball Park where the city’s Central Association League teams played their games. Carter was secretary-treasurer of the culvert firm.
From culvert manufacturing the company expanded into the steel and iron business and operated under the name of Fort Dodge Culvert and Iron Mills Company. The office was at 14 S. 6th St., plant and steel mill at 624 N. 7th St. Carter was president of the firm; C. E. Kitchen, vice president; and R. M. Stevens, secretary-treasurer. In 1923 the company again changed its name to Fort Dodge Culvert and Steel Company with Carter as president; J. W. Amond, vice president; W. L. Tang, secretary-treasurer; and W. G. Warner, sales manager. The business continued in operation until about 1927.
A. R. Williams, Fort Dodge realtor, purchased the Carter residence in 1938 and the Williams family resided there for many years. The house is now owned by Williams’ widow, Irene M. Williams and apartments are rented out.
THE GADD HOME
The Gadd home
710 Elizabeth Avenue
One of the early residences constructed in Snell Place after it was platted was this large and comfortable home. Located at 710 Elizabeth Ave., it was built in 1920 by C. W. Gadd, a well-known Fort Dodge banker.
The two-story red brick house with red tile roof and white wood trim faces the northeast in an attractive setting surrounded by an expanse of green lawn, shrubbery and flower beds. At the rear of the house is a screened-in patio.
Gadd purchased the building lot in 1919 and the following year erected the residence which was occupied by his family until 1928. The home was then sold to J. B. Butler and the Gadds moved into an apartment. A short time later the house was purchased by Charles F. Isaacson, Fort Dodge merchant—one of the organizers of the Gates Store here. The Isaacson family owned the property until 1970 when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Dale C. DeFoe who presently reside there with their family. DeFoe is owner of DeFoe Motors.
The home has spacious rooms including a living room that extends across the front of the house, solarium, dining room, kitchen and half bath on the first floor; four bedrooms, two full baths, playroom and den on the second floor.
Gadd was a native of Rolfe and lived there until 21 years of age. He then moved to Buffalo Center where he began his banking career with the First National Bank of that community. He resided there for 30 years before coming to Fort Dodge in 1920 and operating a real estate business dealing principally in farm land.
In 1929 Gadd became associated with the bank now known as The State Bank and was active in its management until his death in 1949 at age 78. He was executive vice president of the bank until 1944 when he was elected chairman of the board.
Gadd was active in civic affairs, including the Fort Dodge Betterment Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. Married in 1900 he and Mrs. Gadd were parents of five children—Robert Gadd and Mrs. Lyle (Louise) Sells, both of Fort Dodge; Clem Gadd, now deceased; Mrs. Kenneth (Eunice) Edwards of Silver Springs, Fla., and Richard Gadd of Atlanta, Ga. Mrs. Gadd died here in 1936.
In addition to his banking interests, Gadd was also identified with the gypsum industry and served for a time as treasurer of the Cardiff Gypsum Company.
THE MONK-ANDERSON HOME
This house at 910 5th Ave. N. dates back to 1884 when it was built by Dr. Casper D. Koch, an early-day musician in Fort Dodge. Later it was the home for many years of a prominent educator—Prof. John F. Monk—and a widely-known social worker and YWCA executive—Miss Lynn S. Anderson.
The two-story frame house is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Walter J. Gurnett who acquired it in 1959. There presently are four apartments in the house—two on each floor. One of the downstairs apartments is occupied by the Gurnetts.
Windows in the house are typical of the era when the house was built and are long and narrow. Three windows in the front living room extend from the floor to the ceiling.
Dr. Koch acquired the building lot and erected the home in 1884. Evidence of the years he spent in the house came to light some years ago when sheet music with Dr. Koch’s name was found in the attic of the home.
The house was purchased in 1901 by S. J. Robertson, a Fort Dodge businessman, who resided there until 1910 when he sold the property to Mrs. J. F. (Helen) Monk and her sisters, Lynn S. Anderson and Florence A. Anderson. Prof. and Mrs. Monk and the Anderson sisters occupied the home at various times during later years. Monk was a professor at Tobin College here and owned the college in partnership with C. V. Findlay. The college was located at the northwest corner of First Avenue North and Seventh Street and at one time had between 400 and 500 students in its various departments.
Monk was married in 1892 to Helen M. Anderson and they were parents of four children—Florence, Melville, Dorothy and John. The father was prominent in Fort Dodge affairs—was president of the Chautauqua Assembly, director of the Commercial Club and president of the official board of the First Methodist Church.
The Monk-Anderson home
910 5th Avenue North
Miss Lynn Anderson became sole owner of the 910 5th Ave. N. house in 1936 and retained possession until 1951. A native of Clarence, Iowa, she came to Fort Dodge in 1904 after completing her education and teaching for a time. She helped organize the YWCA here and was its first physical director and secretary. Leaving the YWCA she worked for the Webster County Welfare Department and then was probation officer here for many years. She taught a Sunday School class at the First Presbyterian Church for 20 years, was a member of the Fort Dodge Business & Professional Women’s Club and the Story Tellers Club. She received the Kiwanis Club’s “Golden Ruler” award some years prior to her death in 1972 at age of 100 years.
THE FINDLAY HOME
A Fort Dodge mayor—C. V. Findlay—who served as the city’s chief executive for 10 years, owned and occupied this house for many years. The two-story frame house at 1707 8th Ave. S., was built in 1895 by Charles Hayler and sold in 1901 to James Findlay.
The home remained in possession of members of the Findlay family until sold to Mr. and Mrs. Donald Pieper in 1953. In 1973 it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Gary D. Reel who presently reside there with their two children. Reel is a sheet metal worker with Northwest Furnace Company.
The house has undergone some remodeling but has substantially the same room arrangement now as in past years. The first floor has living room, dining room, family room, kitchen and bath. The second floor has four bedrooms, (one used as a children’s playroom) and bath.
C. V. Findlay acquired the home in 1910 and lived there with his wife and family for many years. Born in Illinois in 1866, he came to Iowa and Clay County with his parents in 1871. Six years later the Findlays moved to Webster County and settled in Otho Township. He attended schools in the area and then graduated from Highland Park College in Des Moines. Returning to Fort Dodge Findlay was elected Webster County superintendent of schools and served in that capacity for a number of years.
The Findlay home
1707 8th Avenue South
Findlay then purchased Tobin College in partnership with J. F. Monk and the two operated this widely-known educational institution for many years. The three-story frame college building was located at the northwest corner of First Avenue North and Seventh Street. It burned down in 1929.
In 1899 Findlay was married and the couple were parents of two sons—James Franklin Findlay and Maurice Findlay. Mrs. Findlay was an early secretary of the YWCA.
Findlay was elected to the city council while the city was operating under the ward system of government and served during 1910 and 1911. Still interested in civic affairs Findlay later was elected mayor of Fort Dodge in 1923 under the commission form of government established in 1911. He was reelected to four additional terms, serving a total of 10 years in the mayor’s office. His tenure of office was the longest of any of the city’s mayors until Albert Habhab was elected mayor in 1959 and served continuously through 1973—a total of 14 years.
THE STUDEBAKER HOME
Dr. John F. Studebaker, who established his medical practice here in 1908, built this large two-story house at 2018 8th Ave. N. in 1914. Dr. Studebaker and family occupied the home until he retired in 1942 and moved to California.
The house was then sold to Richard Hess, U. S. Gypsum plant manager here; then to Mr. and Mrs. Roy V. Murray in 1947. In 1948 the property was sold to Robert M. Kelley, Fort Dodge insurance man, and Mrs. Kelley who occupied it with their family until 1974 when it 80was purchased by R. Thomas Price, Fort Dodge attorney and Mrs. Price. The Prices now reside there.
The Studebaker home
2018 8th Avenue North
Originally the house included living room, parlor or music room, dining room, library used by Dr. Studebaker for his medical books, large kitchen and bath on the first floor; four bedrooms, sleeping porch and bath on the second floor. The house has been remodeled and modernized at various times, the Kelleys adding a family room on the north side 15 years ago and a bedroom and bath on the second floor.
Grounds around the house were extensively landscaped with trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetable garden, small fruit orchard, grape arbor and raspberry bushes. An octagonal summer house and a tennis court were also on the grounds.
Dr. Studebaker was born in Pearl City, Ill., in 1874 and later moved to Summerfield, Kan. He graduated from MacPherson College and then attended the University of Illinois School of Medicine and took postgraduate work at Harvard School of Medicine. He had his first office in the newly completed First National Bank building here and engaged in general medical practice until 1916 when he began specializing in surgery.
He was a World War I veteran serving in the Army Medical Corps. After his discharge from service Dr. Studebaker returned to Fort Dodge and in 1922 joined with Dr. E. F. Beeh and Dr. A. A. Schultz in building the Physicians Clinic, a two-story structure at First Avenue North and Tenth Street, where they had offices for many years. Four additional floors—devoted to apartments—were added in 1928 and given the name Biltwell Apartments.
Dr. and Mrs. Studebaker had two children. Their son Dr. Leland F. Studebaker practiced medicine in California. He died in 1971 at age 63. The daughter, Miss Rowena Studebaker resides in Fort Dodge.
THE TRAUERMAN HOME
One of Fort Dodge’s most unique residences is this Spanish-type home at 725 N. 21st St.—built in 1925 by furniture store owner Joe K. Trauerman. The attractive home is now owned 81and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Lunn and family. Lunn is a Fort Dodge attorney.
The house is similar to those seen in the southwestern United States where Spanish architecture is much in vogue. Exterior of the house is of stucco, painted a pleasing yellow with black trim. Front of the house is distinguished by three arches supported by two black columns. Behind and set back of a small patio area are large French-type doors opening out from the west side of the living room.
A traditional Spanish-type wall extends from the southwest corner of the house to the south lot line, providing privacy for the back yard.
The Trauerman home
725 No. Twenty-first Street
An entry hall just inside the front door leads to the large living room with high beamed ceiling and a Spanish style fireplace. Other rooms include a dining area, kitchen, two large bedrooms and bath and another bedroom over the garage. Just off this bedroom is a veranda over a portion of the garage. The backyard has a large screened-in porch and patio.
Trauerman came to Fort Dodge from Sioux Falls, S. D., in 1921, purchased the C. H. Pill Furniture Store and changed the name to the Home Furniture. He remained in active operation of the store until 1940 when he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, but retained an interest in the business. The Trauerman home changed ownership several times after that until purchased by the Lunns in 1970.
Harold W. Burch joined Trauerman as an officer of the Home Furniture in 1933, coming here from Clinton. In 1950 Trauerman sold his remaining interest in the business to Burch and the late Kitty Munn. Earlier (in 1947) the Home purchased the McQuilkin Furniture Store, transferred its operations to the McQuilkin building and remained there until 1960. The store then moved to a new building at 611 Central Ave. In 1972 the business was sold to the Kelly Furniture Company. In 1974 the Elliott Home Furniture took over the 611 Central Avenue location.
Trauerman and his wife. Lucille, were parents of three children—two daughters and a son. They are Betty Frantz, Weslaco, Texas; Marjorie, New York City; and Joe Trauerman Jr., Palatka, Fla. The elder Trauerman resides in San Jose, Costa Rica. Mrs. Trauerman is deceased.
THE W. V. MULRONEY HOME
The Mulroney home
625 No. Thirteenth Street
A Fort Dodge work clothes manufacturer is credited with re-designing and remodeling this Haviland Homestead Addition home at 625 N. 13th St.—a home whose history dates back to 1880.
He was W. V. Mulroney who, with his brother J. R. Mulroney, was associated for many years in the operation of the Mulroney Manufacturing Company. The company was a widely-known maker and distributor of work clothes and gloves under the trade name of “Fort Brand.”
The two-story frame residence is now owned and occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Theodore J. Michelfelder. It is located on two lots at the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue North and Thirteenth Street.
Room arrangement of the house after it was remodeled by Mulroney included living room, hallway and open stairway to the second floor, dining room, kitchen with walk-in pantry, playroom, solarium and enclosed back porch on the first floor; five bedrooms, bathroom and sleeping porch on the second floor. Rooms now include living room, entry hallway, parlor, dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, bedroom and bath on the first floor; five bedrooms, bath and kitchen on the second floor. An apartment area on the second floor is presently not in use.
Mulroney acquired the property in 1914 and immediately remodeled the existing house. An additional basement area was excavated, the house was moved farther back from the street and turned around so that it fronted to the west on Thirteenth Street. Room arrangements were changed and the house modernized. The house has also been remodeled in recent years by the Michelfelders and other owners. The Mulroney family resided in the home until 1932. Through the years the house changed ownership several times, the Michelfelders acquiring it in 1966.
W. V. Mulroney was the son of pioneer settlers, Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Mulroney. Born in 1867 he attended local schools and in 1890 with a brother, J. R. Mulroney, established the 83Mulroney Brothers General Store, operating it until 1905 when they organized the Mulroney Manufacturing Company which had its first plant at the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Tenth Street. After fire destroyed this building the three-story building at First Avenue North and Seventh Street was constructed and the company operated there for many years. Later it was sold to Marso & Rodenborn.
In 1927 Mulroney entered the insurance business under the name of Mulroney Insurance Agency. The agency is now operated by his sons William V. (Bill) Mulroney and Richard J. (Dick) Mulroney. The elder Mulroney was married in 1896 to Elizabeth Howard and they were parents of six children. They are Mrs. Eleanor McKenzie, Miss Helen Mulroney, Mrs. Gertrude Barnes, Miss Elizabeth Mulroney, William and Richard. Mulroney died in 1950 at age 82; Mrs. Mulroney died in 1952, also at age 82.
THE CHASE HOME
The Chase home
1320 10th Avenue North
This large English-type residence at 1320 10th Ave. N. was built in 1926 by Dr. Sumner B. Chase, a well-known eye, ear, nose and throat specialist. It is now owned and occupied by Don N. Kersten, Fort Dodge attorney, his wife, Merope, and family. They acquired the home in 1961.
Dr. Chase and his wife, Edith, purchased lots in the newly-platted Crawford-Armstrong Addition in 1922 and four years later built the main section of the beautiful and authentic English style home. In 1933 the Tudor or playroom wing on the east side of the house was added.
The house has main floor, upstairs area and full basement and there are five fireplaces of various sizes. The present first floor arrangement includes living room, dining room, television room, kitchen and breakfast area that originally was a maid’s room and bath. There is also an entrance hallway. A recent addition to the house is a large open deck along the north side overlooking the wooded and ravine area. The upstairs has four bedrooms and two baths.
The Tudor room has an impressive cathedral-type ceiling and a balcony. All windows have leaded and stained glass imported from England. Furnishings in the room include a massive wood hutch and a large refectory table with heavy carved legs. The hutch is part Jacobean period and has panels reported to be 400 years old. Both the hutch and table were imported from England to give more British authenticity to the Tudor room. The ceiling light fixture in the room was made from a large wooden wheel once on a horse-drawn bus operating here in the early 1900s.
The house is in a beautiful wooded setting and there is a curved driveway leading to the garage under the rear portion of the house. Exterior of the house is of scrolled natural finish cement with blue and olive green wood trim.
Dr. Chase, a native of Waterloo, began practice in Fort Dodge in 1916 a year after receiving his medical degree at the University of Iowa. He spent his entire medical career of 45 years in the city, retiring in 1961 and moving to Mt. Pleasant where he died in 1964 at age 76. His widow now resides in Mt. Pleasant and a daughter, Mrs. George (Rosemary) Haire lives in Fort Dodge.
Dr. Chase was active in county, state and national medical societies and was surgeon for the Chicago Great Western and Illinois Central Railroads. He was a member of the American Association of Railway Surgeons.
THE KENYON HOME
The Kenyon home
1229 2nd Avenue North
The Kenyon name was associated with this large two-story residence at 1229 2nd Ave. N. 85from the early 1900s until 1938. Built in 1901, it was acquired in 1902 by Mrs. Harriett A. Kenyon, widow of the Rev. Fergus L. Kenyon, an early-day minister of the First Presbyterian Church here.
Mrs. Kenyon deeded the house in 1909 to her daughter, Miss Charlotte Kenyon, a well-known Fort Dodge music teacher. Following her death the property was transferred in 1937 to her brother, A. M. Kenyon, Fort Dodge Serum Company executive. Elmo Hoffman, local realtor, purchased the home in 1938. Both he and Mrs. Hoffman (Goldie) are deceased and the property is now owned by the Hoffman’s daughter, Miss Vanna Hoffman.
The Hoffmans remodeled the home which now has a large apartment on the first floor which they occupied and two smaller apartments on the second floor.
The Rev. and Mrs. Kenyon were parents of three sons and a daughter. They were William S. Kenyon, for many years a United States Senator from Iowa and later a U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge; A. M. (Dick) Kenyon, associated with the serum company for many years; F. A. Kenyon, a banker at Washta; and Miss Charlotte Kenyon.
The Rev. Mr. Kenyon came to Fort Dodge in 1885 and served the Presbyterian Church here until the following year. He then founded the Fort Dodge Collegiate Institute which later became Buena Vista College. The school was moved from Fort Dodge to Hawarden and then to its present location in Storm Lake where it is now Buena Vista College, operated by the Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Mr. Kenyon died in 1902.
William S. Kenyon was a prominent attorney here for many years, was Webster County attorney and district court judge. In 1911 he was elected U. S. senator from Iowa and served until 1922 when he resigned from the Senate and was named a federal Circuit Court judge. He maintained an office in the federal building here during his years as a judge and when in Fort Dodge lived with his sister in the home at 1229 2nd Ave. N. In 1929 during his judicial career Kenyon was named a member of President Herbert Hoover’s Law Enforcement Commission. Judge Kenyon died in 1933 at age 64.
A. M. Kenyon was secretary of the Fort Dodge Serum Company (now the Fort Dodge Laboratories) for 28 years until his retirement in 1946. Two of his sons reside here now—Robert P. Kenyon and Bruce Kenyon; a third son Fergus Kenyon, lives in Lewiston, Idaho.
THE WOLFE HOME
This sturdy-looking cement block house—known for many years as the ‘stone house’ or the ‘castle’—has occupied the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue North and Sixteenth Street since 1908.
Henry W. Wolfe purchased the corner lot in 1903 that extended along Sixteenth Street from Fifth to Sixth Avenues North and five years later built the big house. In 1910 he erected the cement house just to the north—at the Sixth Avenue corner.
The house with the address of 1530 5th Ave. N. is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bocken, 831 N. 21st St. who purchased it in 1965. Many years ago it was converted into a duplex with two apartments that are rented out. Each apartment has a living room, dining room, kitchen on the first floor and two bedrooms and bath on the second floor.
A unique feature of the house is the corner tower-like area that extends from the ground floor to the attic. At the roof level is a cupola with six windows and a peaked roof. Wolfe, a Spanish-American War veteran brought back many mementoes of the Philippine Islands which he displayed in cases in the cupola area. There was also a landscape mural painting on the six sections of the wall.
Mrs. A. F. Jessen, 2442 10th Ave. N. is a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Wolfe, and relates interesting information about the house where she lived with her parents. Original interior arrangement of the house included a large living room, entry hall, dining room, library with fireplace, kitchen and pantry on the first floor; four bedrooms and bath on 86the second floor, the bedroom above the library with a fireplace.
The Wolfe home
1530 5th Avenue North
The house was occupied by the Wolfes until 1918. In 1923 it was acquired by Dr. E. M. Van Patten, a well-known osteopathic physician here, and the Van Pattens resided there for many years. Since then the house has changed ownership several times.
Wolfe built the home when he was associated with the Iowa Hydraulic Stone Company which had its plant in the area where the Hormel plant is now located. The company manufactured cement blocks, ornamental stone and special forms of cast work. Wolfe was secretary and general manager of the stone company and F. C. Minogue was president. After the company ceased operations Wolfe was employed at the Fort Dodge post office for some years. He died in 1955 at age 83; Mrs. Wolfe died in 1970 at age 92.
THE STEVENS HOME
The two-story brick residence pictured above was built on a site in the northwest part of the city that was deeded by the United States of America to the State of Iowa in 1862. The tract of land was part of the area later transferred by the state in 1874 to the Des Moines Valley Railroad Company and then in 1875 to the Des Moines and Fort Dodge Railroad Company.
Located at 510 3rd Ave. NW, it was known as the Stevens property for many years. Presently it is owned by Sterling Ainsworth, a great grandson of Socrates G. Stevens, an early resident of Douglas Township. Stevens came to Webster County in 1857 and purchased a large farm in Douglas Township. In later years the farm adjoined the northwest Fort Dodge city limits and included the building site where the original Stevens home was erected.
The Stevens’ had a daughter, Mary, who took over operation of the farm following the deaths of her parents. In 1906 she replaced the old farm house with the present attractive 87house and resided there until her death in 1929. The Stevens also had a daughter Julia who was married to W. C. Ainsworth. They were parents of Harriet Ainsworth and W. L. Ainsworth, a widely-known farmer and the father of Sterling Ainsworth who now resides in the Stevens house.
The Stevens home
510 3rd Avenue Northwest
The house has foundation walls of solid granite blocks two feet thick. Oak woodwork was used throughout the house and floors are solid oak, an inch in thickness. First floor of the house has living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry, large music room and half bath. The upstairs has four bedrooms, sewing room and full bath. A porch extends across the south and east sides of the house.
Socrates G. Stevens, who established the Douglas Township farm, was born in North Carolina in 1811. Married in 1835 he and his wife came to Oskaloosa in 1856 and the following year began their farming career in Webster County. Their daughter, Mary, was 15 years old when she came to Iowa with her parents. She completed schooling in Oskaloosa and after coming to the Fort Dodge area was a school teacher for 22 terms.
Following the death of her mother in 1888 Miss Stevens quit teaching and remained at home and helped to operate the farm. She was reputed to be one of the most efficient business women of Webster County and after the death of her father in 1901 she successfully carried on the farm operations.
Ownership of the house and surrounding farmland was transferred to Harriet Ainsworth after Miss Stevens’ death in 1929. In 1939 the property was bequeathed to Sterling Ainsworth. For a time in the early 1930s the house was leased out and the Red Feather Inn, a popular dining place, operated there.
THE E. F. ARMSTRONG HOME
This large residence at 1302 10th Ave. N., was one of the first constructed in the Crawford-Armstrong Addition to the city after it was platted in 1910. Built in 1911 by E. F. Armstrong, a 88well-known pharmacist and drug company officer, the house remained in possession of the Armstrong family until 1948.
The Armstrong home
1302 10th Avenue North
It was then sold to Dr. J. J. Foley, a Fort Dodge dentist. Following his death the home was acquired by Arthur H. Johnson and his wife, Ann. The Johnsons completely remodeled the house giving it a traditional and attractive English style of architecture.
The first floor has living room, family room, dining room, kitchen and half bath; the second floor three bedrooms and two full baths. The third floor has a large bedroom, walk-in storage closet, two double closets with sliding doors and a built-in chest of drawers. A large recreation room is located in the basement, complete with sauna bathroom, full bath and laundry.
Exterior of the house features gray cement walls with tobacco brown wood trim and roof of heavy split cedar wood shakes. The front porch and patio area has a red brick wall—bricks being from the old Chicago Great Western depot which was razed some years ago. Adjoining the house at the rear is a family room and double garage.
The Johnsons occupied the home until the summer of 1974 when it was sold to Dr. and Mrs. Gary LeValley. The Johnsons then moved into their new home at 1640 N. 22nd St.
Armstrong, who built the house at 1302 10th Ave. N., was married to the former Mary Crawford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Crawford, well-known early Fort Dodge residents. Mrs. Armstrong was prominent in Iowa circles and was a member of the State Conservation Commission when Dolliver State Park was dedicated in 1925. The Armstrongs were parents of a daughter, Elizabeth.
For many years Armstrong was associated with the Oleson Drug Company as a pharmacist and vice president of the firm. Later he was in the Crawford-Armstrong real estate firm and manager of the Fort Dodge Chemical Company.
THE WELCH HOME
A Fort Dodge shoe dealer, E. A. Welch and his wife, Helen, built this attractive English 89type home nearly 50 years ago at 1105 Crawford Avenue. Designed by Mrs. Welch and architect Frank Griffith, the house is patterned after the Ann Hathaway Cottage at Stratford-on-Avon where author William Shakespeare resided.
The Welch home
1105 Crawford Avenue
The two-story home has gray cedar shingle shake siding with white wood trim and a thatched shingle roof. The first floor includes hallway inside the front entrance, living room with arched entryway, a den converted from a former porch, kitchen with glassed-in dining room, bedroom and bath.
The formal dining room on the first floor has a round walnut table with six leaves—a gift from Miss Maude Lauderdale, first curator of the Webster County Historical Society. There are also 12 walnut chairs, a gift of O. M. Oleson, pioneer Fort Dodge pharmacist and uncle of Mrs. Welch. The upstairs had two bedrooms and full bath and a large attic playroom. The house is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Richard O. Welch and family.
E. A. (Ed) Welch was born in Fort Dodge in 1875 and had two brothers—Sam and W. R. (Dick) Welch. Sam was in the shoe business with Ed; Dick was in the drug business, operating the drug store in the Carver Building (now O’Connell Drugs).
Both Ed and Sam were sales representatives for the Greene-Wheeler Shoe Manufacturing plant here for many years. In 1907 they purchased the Ed Rank Shoe Store at 607 Central Ave. and operated it under the name of Welch Bros. Shoes. After a year in this location the store moved to 818 Central Ave. where it remained until moving in 1963 to its present large and attractive location at 915 Central Ave.
Richard O. Welch, son of E. A. Welch, joined his father in the shoe store in 1930. The elder Mr. Welch retired from the firm in 1947 and died in 1953. Mrs. Welch, now 96, is a resident of Friendship Haven.
Dale Happ joined the firm in 1952 when he and Richard Welch became sole owners of the business. They reorganized the firm as the Welch Shoe Company with Welch as president and Happ as vice president and treasurer. Sale of the store to four employes was announced late in January with Robert L. Thiele one of the purchasers to be president and general manager of the firm. Welch will remain as consultant and assistant for one year. Happ will retain an association with the store but will take an extended leave of absence.
THE HAVILAND HOME
The Haviland home
926-928 3rd Avenue North
The two-family residence pictured here is believed to be the first of its kind built in the city and dates its history back to 1870, according to city assessor’s records. Located at the northwest corner of Third Avenue North and Tenth Street, the house was the homestead of Andrew J. Haviland, noted horticulturist, who came to Webster County in 1855.
Old-time photos of the house show that it has not changed much since it was erected 105 years ago. Of two-story frame construction, the house has two identical apartments with addresses of 926 and 928 3rd Ave. N. Each apartment has a living room, dining room, kitchen and utility room on the first floor; two bedrooms and bath on the second floor.
There is a basement area where old hand-hewn beams can be observed and there is a tunnel leading from the furnace room to the outdoors so as to make removal of ashes easier.
The residence is presently owned by Mrs. John K. Jensen of Palatine, Ill., and her son John K. Jensen Jr. of Green Bay, Wis. Mrs. Jensen is the daughter of K. D. Miller, one-time superintendent of schools in Fort Dodge, who purchased the property in 1939 from the estate of Rowena H. Haviland.
A. J. Haviland was born in Pawlings, N. Y., in 1820 and did some carriage making and contracting in the east before coming to Webster County in 1855. He located in Cooper Township north of the city where he farmed for six years and then moved into Fort Dodge and in 1870 built the Third Avenue North residence. He resided there with his wife, the former Mary Colby, and their four children.
Two years after his arrival in the county he established the Fort Dodge Nursery at the north edge of the city and operated it along with his farm. He was a noted horticulturist and was well-known throughout the northwest part of the state as an authority in this line of work. Following his death in 1888, Mrs. Haviland and children continued to make their home in the old homestead until her death in 1901.
Historians report that “The Evergreens” at the north edge of the city, formerly used as a nursery by A. J. Haviland, was “one of the most beautiful places to be found in or around Fort 91Dodge.” W. C. Haviland, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Haviland, was credited with planting the first apple trees in Cooper Township. Later he had the large apple orchard at the north edge of the city.
THE JOSELYN HOME
The Joselyn home
310 Northwood Avenue
A graduate pharmacist, who later manufactured mineral feeds for livestock, built this impressive Snell Place residence at 810 Northwood Avenue in 1922. He was Ed S. Joselyn who moved his manufacturing operations from Rockwell City to Fort Dodge in 1921 and continued in business here until 1930.
Mr. and Mrs. Joselyn and family resided in this large home until 1932 when it was sold to Charles A. Helsell, Fort Dodge attorney. Helsell was transferred to Chicago in 1938 as solicitor general for the Illinois Central Railroad and the house was then sold to Dr. and Mrs. E. F. Beeh.
Present owners of the home are Herbert Bennett, Fort Dodge attorney, and his wife, Geraldine, who acquired the property in 1964 from the estate of Dr. Beeh. They reside in the attractive residence with their daughters, Karen, and twins Kathy and Kris.
The house has huge white columns that extend upward to the roof and outline the front entryway—typical of its Colonial style of architecture. An arched front doorway opens into a large hallway with a stairway leading to the second floor. The first floor includes living room with large fireplace of red brick and white colored woodwork, dining room, kitchen and butler’s pantry, breakfast room, library and sunroom. The second floor has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, sewing room and large cedar closet. On the third floor is a large party room, two bedrooms and bath.
At the rear of the house is a large garden area with terraced slope, a small “teahouse”, a 92bridge over the ravine, flower beds and garage.
Joselyn was a native of New York state and after completing pharmacy studies he came to Stratford where he was in the pharmacy business. Later he moved to Rockwell City and established the Joselyn Stock Food Company and began manufacturing feeds for livestock. He moved operations to the Brady building here in 1921. Joselyn discontinued the business in 1930 and in 1934 moved to Webster City where he operated a drug store. He died in 1941 at age 73.
Mr. and Mrs. Joselyn were parents of three children—Robert of Chicago; Marion of the Joselyn Press Printing & Stationery firm of Fort Dodge; and a daughter, Catherine of Palmerton, Pa.
THE KIME HOME
The Kime home
728 Crest Avenue
Dr. J. W. Kime, a Fort Dodge physician and surgeon who was credited with getting the city to change its water source from the Des Moines River to deep artesian wells, erected this large residence in 1918.
Dr. Kime came here in 1884 and began the general practice of medicine and later specialized in the treatment of tuberculosis at his sanitorium just north of the city. He built his attractive home at 728 Crest Ave. after Snell Place was platted in 1915. It combines an exterior of red brick and natural stone from the area.
The home is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Fletcher who purchased the property in 1971. The Fletchers reside there with their two daughters and a son—Kathy, Jody and David. Another daughter Mrs. Bobby Clark resides in Omaha, Neb. Previous owners include Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Stowe, Dr. and Mrs. Arthur P. Echternacht and Dr. John D. Rasmussen.
The house has three floors and a basement. On the first floor are large living room, sunporch, dining room, kitchen, half bath and front entryway. The second floor has four 93bedrooms and full bath; the third floor has two rooms. The basement has a large family room.
Dr. Kime was born in Shelby County in 1855 and entered the University of Iowa for a general course at age 18. Later he studied medicine and received his medical degree in 1883. After a year in Angus he came to Fort Dodge in 1884.
In connection with his treatment of tuberculosis, Dr. Kime constructed a large sanitorium one-fourth mile north of the city limits. Built of brick and stone it was widely-known for years as Kime’s Sanitorium Boulder Lodge.
After the sanitorium was discontinued the building was converted into living quarters and for many years was occupied by Mrs. Jett Wray who also remodeled it into an elaborate place for parties and dinners. She changed the name to Wraywood and the present Wraywood Manor apartments are built around the original structure. At one time the building was also a popular night club.
Dr. Kime was a state lecturer on tuberculosis and active in medical groups. His wife, Sara, was also a graduate physician and assisted her husband in his work. They were parents of two daughters—Marian and Isabelle.
Interested in things pertaining to the city Dr. Kime was elected to the city council for one term under the ward system of government. He was an advocate of pure drinking water and campaigned for many years for water from deep wells. It was largely through his efforts that the city began sinking deep artesian wells and drawing water from them for city uses. The first well was completed in 1907 and there are now seven such wells in use.
THE DAMON HOME
The Damon home
710 Northwood Avenue
A Fort Dodge architect—E. O. Damon Jr.—who began his career as a naval architect—designed and built this Colonial-type Snell Place home in 1916. He and his family resided in the home for many years while he was busy designing many houses and buildings.
Damon died in 1948 at age 72 and in 1949 the home was sold to Paul E. McCarville, Fort 94Dodge attorney, and his wife, Helen, who have since resided there.
Located at 710 Northwood Ave., the three-story brick residence faces the east. At the rear of the house and attached to the garage is a large screened-in summer porch the McCarvilles built some years ago. It has been a popular place for the McCarvilles and their family that included two daughters—Mrs. Mary Alice Coleman, Fort Dodge; and Mrs. Carl A. Nelson, Wayzata, Minn.
The house has traditional colonial styling with white shutters on the first floor windows and green shutters on the second floor windows. Third floor windows are set into dormers. A large hall extends east to west through the house from the front door entrance and there is a staircase with mahogany railing and white spindles from the first to the third floor.
The first floor has large living room with fireplace, dining room, sunroom, butler’s pantry, second pantry and half bath. The second floor includes a master bedroom, two other large bedrooms, sunporch, study, children’s room and two full baths. A sitting room, bedroom, bath and attic storage space are on the third floor. All woodwork in the house is white but doors are dark mahogany.
A large pastel landscape hangs over the fireplace in the living room. The original painting depicts an attractive country scene and was the work of Robert Reaser, a widely-known artist who resided in Fort Dodge for a time.
Damon, a native of Northhampton, Mass., took his naval architectural training in Scotland, returned to the U. S. and practiced for a time in the south before coming to Fort Dodge in 1912. He was married to Georgia Mason and after Snell Place was platted they built their Northwood Ave. home. Damon was well known for his architectural work that included the addition to Mercy Hospital (now Trinity East), the City Hall and Wahkonsa School.
The Damons were parents of two sons, Mason Damon, Buffalo, N. Y.; and Kent Damon, Rochester, N. Y. Following the death of his first wife, Damon was married to Edna Wheeler Dougherty.
THE JACK HAIRE HOME
The Jack Haire home
815 Northwood Avenue
A native Fort Dodger—Jack Haire—who was in the lumber business here for 45 years, erected this Snell Place home in 1922. It is located at 815 Northwood Ave.
The house is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Glenn R. Schnurr who purchased it in 1960. Schnurr is vice president of the Federal Mortgage and Investment Company of Fort Dodge. The Schnurrs have five children—Matt, Sally, Donald, Pat and Tom.
The home has spacious rooms including living room, dining room, library, kitchen, butler’s pantry, breakfast room and bath on the first floor. The second floor has five bedrooms, sleeping porch and three baths. A recreation room is located in the basement. At one time there was a tennis court in the area just south of the house.
Jack Haire was the son of John Haire, pioneer Fort Dodge businessman. Born in 1877, he attended local schools and later graduated from the Des Moines College of Pharmacy. He was a partner with his brother, Will W. Haire, in the Sackett & Haire Drug Store for 10 years before going into the lumber business.
In 1909 Jack Haire and George W. Mason, who was a partner in the Mason & O’Connell Lumber Company, purchased the Chapin Lumber Yard located at First Avenue North and Sixth Street. The name was changed to the Fort Dodge Lumber Company and the business operated until 1954 when it was sold to the Joyce Lumber Company. The Joyce firm continued at the First Avenue North location for the next five years.
Haire’s two sons joined their father in the lumber business—George in 1931 and John in 1935—and they continued in its active management until the firm was sold to the Joyce Company. Jack Haire retired from the lumber business in 1954. In 1962 he died at age 85.
Haire was prominent in state lumber circles and active in Fort Dodge affairs. He served as a director of the Fort Dodge Serum Company, the State Bank and the Fort Dodge Telephone Company.
Married in 1907 to Margaret Mason, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Mason, they were parents of three sons—George and John, both of Fort Dodge; and Dr. Mason Haire, Boston, Mass.
THE KERSTEN HOME
Dr. E. M. Kersten, founder of the Kersten Clinic in Fort Dodge, erected this large Snell Place residence at 712 Crest Ave. in 1924 and it was occupied by members of the Kersten family until 1959.
Dr. Kersten, a widely-known surgeon, came to Fort Dodge in 1916 and practiced here until 1957 with the exception of two years he was in service during World War I with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He was a first lieutenant in the Medical Corps in charge of Field Hospital No. 34 overseas.
The two-story brick home has an interior arrangement that includes entry hall, living room, dining room and kitchen on the first floor; four bedrooms and bath on the second floor. There is also a family room on the landing halfway up the stairway to the second floor. The third floor attic has two large rooms used for recreation by the family. Years ago an amateur (ham) radio unit was installed there and operated extensively.
The home is now owned and occupied by Fred Breen, Fort Dodge attorney, and his wife. They acquired it in 1972.
Dr. Kersten was born in 1892 in De Pere, Wis., a suburb of Green Bay. After attending schools there he enrolled in Marquette University’s Medical School and graduated in 1913. He began practice in Two Rivers, Wis., and remained there until 1916 when he came to Fort Dodge.
He was married in 1917 and he and Mrs. Kersten were parents of five children—all of whom were reared in the Crest Avenue home. They are Drs. Herbert, Paul and John Kersten of Fort Dodge; Don Kersten, Fort Dodge attorney; and Mrs. William (Frances Anne) Wolfe of Chicago.
Following World War I service, Dr. Kersten returned to Fort Dodge and entered into medical practice with Dr. F. E. Seymour with offices in the Snell Building. Later he officed in 96the Carver Building until founding the Kersten Clinic in 1952. His three doctor sons joined him in the clinic’s medical staff after it was founded.
The Kersten home
712 Crest Avenue
Dr. Kersten was one of the state’s prominent surgeons during the more than 40 years he practiced here and was a member of professional groups during this time. He was associated with the clinic until his death in 1957 at age 65.
THE WILLIS RICH HOME
A Fort Dodge couple—Mr. and Mrs. Willis F. Rich—built this large brick residence at 701 Northwood Ave. in 1924 and have lived there continuously since then. The Riches planned and constructed the home more than 50 years ago, have lived there all of this time and also reared a family of three children there.
The stately English style home was constructed of red brick with a red tile roof. The house is surrounded by trees and green ivy vines cover the north and west sides.
The home has large and comfortable rooms on the first floor—living room with fireplace, sunroom, entry hall, dining room, kitchen, breakfast room and half bath. All floors are of hardwood. The second floor includes master bedroom, sleeping porch and three other bedrooms, bath and sunporch.
Insulation materials were not in use in the 1924 era but architect E. O. Damon’s plans specified four dead-air spaces to serve as insulation in the house between the exterior brick wall and the interior plastered wall. The method worked successfully.
Rich is from a family of bankers, his father E. H. Rich being one of the early prominent bankers here. He followed in his father’s footsteps and in 1932 was cashier of the First Trust & Savings Bank and assistant cashier of the early-day First National Bank. At that time he quit the bank and went into the property supervision, real estate, insurance and loan business. Mrs. Rich was his partner in the business.
The Willis Rich home
701 Northwood Avenue
At one time the Riches were supervising 100 city properties and 45 farms. Later he was president of the Union State Bank of Rockwell City and director of the Pocahontas State Bank and the Renwick Savings Bank.
Rich has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church here since 1899 and now has the distinction of being a member of the congregation longer than any other living person. He is a veteran of World War I.
Mr. and Mrs. Rich are the parents of three children. They are Willis F. Rich Jr. of Minneapolis; Mrs. J. C. (Eunice) Norby of Pasadena, Calif.; and Robert E. Rich, Centerville. Mr. and Mrs. Rich are trailer enthusiasts and have visited all the states by trailer except Alaska and Hawaii. In 1972 Rich sold his business because of impairment in his hearing and he says they are now enjoying retirement in the “old homestead” more than ever.
THE L. E. ARMSTRONG HOME
This buff brick home at 775 Crest Avenue was built in 1919 by the late L. E. Armstrong, business and industrial leader of Fort Dodge. It was purchased in 1941 by K. S. Fantle and in 1954 by its present occupant, C. M. Bodensteiner, president of Fort Dodge By-Products.
The house is 100 feet long, with a red tile roof. There is an old-fashioned “tea house” on the property and a two-story garage with living quarters on the second floor.
The home’s first floor has living room, dining room, kitchen, butler’s pantry, den, four bedrooms and two full and two half baths.
The second floor living quarters have living room, dining room, two bedrooms, two baths, kitchen and den.
The third floor has two bedrooms and bath and a children’s ballroom.
The house has oak ceiling beams in downstairs rooms and the living room has oak paneled walls. At the top of the living room walls is a decorative border of cut velvet originally put in when the house was built. An oak stairway leads to the second floor and the staircase and upper floor areas have imported tooled leather wallpaper that was hung by workmen from Italy. The original grand stairway had a lounge area halfway between the first and second floors. Furnishings included a grand piano.
Armstrong began business in Fort Dodge in 1886, establishing the Plymouth Clothing Store at Central Avenue and Sixth Street. He promoted the store in a unique way, purchasing what was reported to be the first auto delivered in Iowa in 1899, a Winton costing $1,000. Hitching a pony cart to the auto he gave customers and friends a ride from his store around the 98City Square and back again.
The L. E. Armstrong Home
775 Crest Avenue
After purchasing clay and gypsum land in the area, Armstrong established the Plymouth Gypsum Company in 1903 and the Plymouth Clay Products Company in 1910. Ten years later he established the Iowana Gypsum Company. Both were sold in 1922 to the Universal Gypsum Company, predecessor of the National Gypsum Company now operating here. Armstrong also organized the Plymouth Processing Mill for soybeans.
Armstrong was president of the Fort Dodge National Bank (now the First National) from 1924 to 1936. He was interested in promoting Fort Dodge and the area and organized the Hawkeye Fair & Exposition in 1919 and was its president. He served as president of the Fort Dodge Chamber of Commerce from 1916-1919.
THE CHARLES LAUFERSWEILER HOME
The residence at 911 Northwood Ave., was for many years the home of Charles C. Laufersweiler, well-known funeral home operator and son of a pioneer Fort Dodge businessman. Laufersweiler acquired the home in 1918 and resided there until his death in 1941 at age 72. His wife continued to make her home there until her death in 1943.
Mr. and Mrs. Welch Laufersweiler purchased the home in 1945 and have since lived there with their family. The house has a red brick and stucco exterior.
The present room arrangement on the first floor includes an entry hall, sun parlor, living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen, half bath and family room with fireplace and full bath. The second floor has a hall, five bedrooms and bath; the third floor has a large bedroom and walk-in cedar closet.
Mr. and Mrs. Welch Laufersweiler were parents of three daughters and four sons—Mrs. James (Ann) Tornabane, Mrs. Edward (Jean) Micus, Susan, Thomas, John, and Joseph. A son Mark died in 1971.
Charles C. Laufersweiler was born in Fort Dodge in 1868, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Conrad C. Laufersweiler who established a furniture and undertaking business here in 1856. He was one of ten children in the family that included Mary, who was married to Gus Hilton, their son is Conrad G. Hilton, the hotel magnate; Bertha, Kitty, twins Edith and Elsie; William J., John, Albert and Frank.
The Charles Laufersweiler home
911 Northwood Avenue
Charles followed his father in the undertaking business in 1893 and William J. operated the furniture business. In 1914 the undertaking business was moved from its Central Avenue location to a new three-story building at the corner of First Avenue South and Eleventh Street. First floor and basement were devoted to the mortuary and apartments were on the second and third floors. The furniture store continued in business until 1929.
In 1952 the Laufersweiler Funeral home erected its present large building at Third Avenue South and Twelfth Street. Welch Laufersweiler joined his father, Charles, in the funeral home in 1930. Since 1941 he has been owner and operator of the business.
The Burnquist home
704 Crest Avenue
THE BURNQUIST HOME
This is another of the attractive Snell Place homes erected in the 1920s. Located at 704 Crest Avenue, it was owned and occupied by the B. B. Burnquist family for many years.
Built in 1924 by Emmett Mulholland, a Fort Dodge attorney, the house has successively been occupied by attorneys, doctors and a packing plant executive. Mulholland sold the house to the Burnquists in 1927 when he and Mrs. Mulholland moved to Long Beach, Calif. Presently it is owned by John J. Murray, Fort Dodge attorney, and his wife, Joan. The Murrays acquired the house in 1961 and now reside there with their three sons and daughter—John, Mike, Steve and Sheila.
The first floor of the house has an entrance hall, living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen, den with half bath and sunporch. The second floor has four bedrooms, two baths and sunporch. The basement was remodeled into a recreation room by the Murrays. They also remodeled the kitchen, installing a Franklin stove and making it into a “country kitchen.”
Mr. and Mrs. Murray added a double garage and a large cement patio with historic wrought iron railing. The railing came from balconies of the Oleson Building at Central Avenue and Eighth Street when it was razed to make way for the City Green parking lot.
B. B. Burnquist, who practiced law in Fort Dodge for 60 years, was a native of Dayton. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Burnquist, he was born in 1884, attended schools in Dayton and graduated from Fort Dodge High School. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1907 with a law degree and began practice in Fort Dodge. Burnquist was associated with various law firms here starting with the Healy brothers. Later he was in the firms of Healy, Burnquist & Thomas, Price & Burnquist, Helsell, Burnquist, Bradshaw & Dolliver and Helsell & Burnquist.
Burnquist was prominent in Republican politics and was Webster County Republican chairman, state Republican chairman and served as Webster County attorney. He died in 1967 at age 83; Mrs. Burnquist preceded him in death in 1964. They were parents of two sons and two daughters—William S. Burnquist; Boyd Burnquist; Mrs. N. H. (Betty) Batchelder and Mrs. Howard (Caroline) Borgerding.
THE MOELLER HOME
Walter J. Moeller, Fort Dodge furnace company owner, acquired this residence at 1324 3rd Ave. S. shortly after it was constructed in 1906. His father, Ferdinand, an early-day carpenter and brick manufacturer here, built the two-story house on a lot he purchased in 1889.
Late in 1906 the residence was sold to Walter J. Moeller and he and his wife, the former Elizabeth Zuerrer, moved into the home. The two-story house has eight rooms—living room, parlor, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bath on the first floor; three bedrooms on the second floor.
Walter J. Moeller was born in the Vincent area of Webster County, one of a family of five children. His brothers and sisters were Frank C. Moeller, a prominent banker for many years; William H. Moeller, dry goods store owner; Mrs. Elizabeth Zuerrer and Mrs. Clara Zuerrer. He attended schools at Vincent and in Fort Dodge when his parents moved here. He began his business career at the Furlong & Brennan grocery and general merchandise store on the city square.
In 1912 Moeller and Oscar Dahlien formed a partnership and established the Dahlien & Moeller Furnace Company at 115 S. 12th St. The two continued in business together until 1915 when the partnership was dissolved. Moeller then began business as the Moeller Furnace Company in a new three-story brick building at 114 S. 12th St.—the present location of the firm. The first floor and basement of the building are devoted to the firm’s furnace, air conditioning and sheet metal operations. The upper floors of the building have apartments.
Moeller was joined in the operation of the business by two of his sons—Walter E. (Bud) Moeller in 1927 and Willis H. Moeller in 1945. A third son Art F. Moeller was with the firm for a brief time but then began a business career. In 1957 Art and Henry R. (Bud) Trost 101established the Trost-Moeller Insurance Service, Inc. which they now operate.
The Moeller home
1324 3rd Avenue South
Walter J. Moeller retired from the furnace company in 1946 and the business has since been operated by the sons Bud and Willis. The elder Mr. Moeller died in 1966 at age 86. Mrs. Moeller died in 1958. The Third Avenue South home is now owned by the three Moeller sons and currently is rented out.
THE CHARLES A. BROWN HOME
A Fort Dodge clothier—Charles A. Brown—erected this Snell Place residence in 1923. Located at 1102 Summit Ave., the large two-story brick home was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Brown and family until sold in 1939 to Mr. and Mrs. E. M. (Ed) Klapka. At that time the Browns moved to California.
Present owners and occupants of the house are Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Woodruff who purchased it in 1968 from Klapka’s widow, Pauline. Klapka was executive vice president of the Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Fort Dodge from the time it was organized in 1919. He died in 1967. In 1967 Home Federal merged with First Federal Savings and Loan Association.
Woodruff is a partner in Woodruff-Evans Construction of Fort Dodge. The Woodruffs and their family have occupied the Summit Avenue home since the fall of 1968. Their children include two daughters, Anne and Laura, and four sons, David, Tom and twins Don and Bill.
The home’s room arrangement on the first floor includes entrance hall, living room, dining room, sun porch, kitchen, breakfast room and room for removing soiled clothes, muddy shoes and rubbers with closet and lavatory. The second floor has four bedrooms, sun porch and two baths. Another room with bath for the Woodruff girls is on the third floor. The basement has a children’s recreation room.
Charles A. Brown came to Fort Dodge in the 1890s and began work for L. E. Armstrong at the Plymouth Clothing House. He continued his association with the Plymouth until 1908 when he purchased the store and changed the name to Charles A. Brown, the Plymouth 102Clothier. In 1903 Harry L. Kurtz began work at the store and after Brown purchased the business Kurtz bought an interest in the store.
The Charles A. Brown home
1102 Summit Avenue
The Plymouth remained at Central Avenue and Sixth Street until 1914 when Brown leased the first floor of the new Snell Building and opened a large store there. The store remained there until 1927 when it moved to its present location at 917 Central Ave.
Brown was active in the store until he sold his Snell Place home in 1939 and moved to California. Kurtz then took over management of the business. Later Brown sold his interest to Robert R. Kurtz and Richard F. Rosien who are now officers of the firm. Harry Kurtz retired in 1964.
Brown and his wife were parents of two children—Walter, now deceased; and Marian, Mrs. Malcom Beck of Montebello, Calif. Brown died in 1965 at age 88. Mrs. Brown is also deceased.
THE KURTZ HOME
Harry L. Kurtz, a Fort Dodge clothier for more than 60 years who earned the title of “Fort Dodge and Iowa booster extraordinary,” built this home in 1916 directly north across the street from Duncombe Athletic Field.
The two-story house with stucco exterior was his home until his death in 1970 at age 86. It remained the Kurtz family home until Mrs. Kurtz’ death in 1973 after which it was sold to Mrs. Margaret G. Siefert who now resides there.
Duncombe field was the home of Fort Dodge High School athletic teams from 1915 until 1940 when Dodger Stadium was dedicated. During these 25 years football games, track meets and other school events were staged at Duncombe Field, practically in the Kurtz’ front yard.
The Kurtz home at 1636 7th Ave. N. has the following room arrangement—living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bath, sun parlor and enclosed patio area on the first floor; two bedrooms and large storage space on the second floor.
Kurtz came to Fort Dodge in 1903 from his native Lisbon and went to work for L. E. Armstrong in the Plymouth Clothing House at Central Avenue and Sixth Street. When Charles A. Brown purchased the Plymouth in 1908 and changed the store name to Charles A. Brown, the 103Plymouth Clothier, Kurtz purchased an interest in the business. The store continued at Central and Sixth until 1914 when it moved to the new Snell Building at Central and Eighth and took over the first floor. In this location the store was considered “the finest men’s store in Iowa.”
The Kurtz home
1636 7th Avenue North
In 1927 the store moved to 917 Central where it has been continuously since then. Brown retired and moved to California and Kurtz then took over active management of the business. He continued as manager and vice president until his retirement in 1964. Kurtz was joined in operation of the store in 1951 by his son Robert R. Kurtz, now president of the firm. Richard R. Rosien became a part owner in 1959 and is secretary-treasurer.
Kurtz was active in civic affairs during his long career as a retail clothier and was a member of the Riverfront Commission which developed Loomis Park. He served on the Chamber of Commerce and Betterment Foundation boards, was chairman of the Associated Retailers, a member of the Rotary Club and the Masonic Orders.
Kurtz and his wife, Lucile, were parents of three children—Robert R., Mrs. Worley (Betty) Brown, and Jane, a twin of Robert, now deceased.
THE RHODES HOME
The attractive two-story frame residence at 1721 8th Ave. S. was the home of Daniel Rhodes, well-known Fort Dodge abstractor and insurance man, and his family for nearly 40 years. Rhodes acquired the house in 1909, a short time after it was built. In 1921 he completely remodeled and modernized the exterior and interior of the house.
When the Rhodes family took over the home, the property was extensively landscaped with trees and shrubbery. The planting of trees included Duchess, Wealthy and Whitney apples, plums, cherries, mulberries, butternut, hard and soft maple, oak, elm and fir. All are now gone.
After its remodeling the house had the following arrangement: first floor—hall and music room, living room with fireplace, sun porch, dining room, butler’s pantry, kitchen and 104breakfast room; second floor—four bedrooms, sleeping porch and bath. The dining room has walnut woodwork and a built-in walnut buffet. All other downstairs woodwork is natural finish oak.
The Rhodes home
1721 8th Avenue South
Rhodes died in 1946 at age 76 following a successful business career. Mrs. Rhodes and family continued to reside in the home until 1948 when it was sold to John R. O’Neill and his sister, Ruth O’Neill. Later the property was owned by Miss O’Neill and her sisters Mrs. Maude Kempley and Mrs. Marie Geiger. They sold the home in 1961 to Dr. and Mrs. Charles L. Dagle who presently occupy it with their children. Dr. Dagle is associated with the Kersten Clinic.
Rhodes was born in 1870 on a farm southeast of Fort Dodge, attended local schools and graduated from Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa). He taught school for a time and then went into partnership with J. B. Butler in the firm of Butler & Rhodes, abstractors, realtors and insurance agents. In later years Rhodes was president of the Home Building & Loan Association and an officer of the Iowa Savings Bank. Following his death, the Butler & Rhodes business was sold in 1947 to James Fitzgerald.
Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes were parents of three children—Miss Rachel Rhodes of Fort Dodge; Thomas J. Rhodes of Fallbrook, Calif.; and Daniel Rhodes, Santa Cruz, Calif. Mrs. Rhodes died in 1973 at age 91.
THE TROST HOME
Henry Trost, who came to Fort Dodge in 1883 from his native Germany, and later became a well-known realtor and insurance representative, erected this large residence at 1231 6th Ave. S. more than 70 years ago. Trost acquired a Sixth Avenue South lot in the spring of 1901 and built the home later that year.
The Trost family resided in the home until 1913 when it was sold. Ownership then changed several times and in 1966 the house was sold by Melvin Mandelko to Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Yetmar who presently reside there with their six children. Yetmar is associated with 105the Kolacia Construction Company.
The Trost home
1231 6th Avenue South
The original room arrangement of the house included entrance hall, living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bath on the first floor; four bedrooms and bath on the second floor. Later upstairs and downstairs sun porches were added on the back portion of the house. The Yetmars have done some remodeling and instead of a first floor bedroom they have a family room and on the second floor five bedrooms, two baths and a children’s room. The front porch was also remodeled and modernized.
Trost worked as a section hand for the M. & St. L. Railroad during his first four years in Fort Dodge and later was employed as a salesman in the Haire Clothing Store. After several years he joined James H. Coughlin in the real estate and insurance firm of Coughlin & Trost. When this firm was dissolved he went into partnership with E. H. Peschau in the real estate and insurance firm of Trost & Peschau. When illness forced him to give up active work the business was purchased in 1937 by Trost’s son Ewald G. Trost and his wife Ermalee. They continued its operation until 1957 when Art F. Moeller and Henry R. (Bud) Trost established Trost-Moeller Insurance Service which they presently operate.
The elder Henry Trost was married here in 1891 to Anna Gunther and they were parents of six children—Frieda Becker, Erna, Ewald, Lorenz, Marie and Esther Trost. All are deceased except Mrs. Becker and Esther Trost. Mr. Trost died in 1937 at age 70. Mrs. Trost died in 1964 at age 92.
THE ACHER HOME
The white Colonial-type home with green shutters at 919 Northwood Ave., was built by Dr. A. E. Acher, a Fort Dodge physician and surgeon who practiced here for nearly 60 years. The attractive Snell Place home was erected in 1926.
The Acher home
919 Northwood Avenue
The house was occupied by members of the Acher family until 1968 when it was sold to the present owners—Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth J. McQueen. The McQueens have two sons, Scott and Todd. McQueen is a vice president, processing, with Land O’Lakes-Felco.
When the house was built it had the following room arrangement—living room with fireplace, dining room, sitting room, kitchen, pantry, family room and half bath on the first floor; four bedrooms, two bathrooms and sewing room on the second floor. The McQueens have done some remodeling, making the pantry into part of an enlarged kitchen and converting the sewing room on the second floor into a combination laundry and sewing room.
Dr. Acher was born in 1878 in Napoleon, Ohio, where he completed his early education and then taught school for three years. Enrolling at the University of Indiana he graduated from medical school in 1905. After interning in Indianapolis for two years he came to Fort Dodge in 1907 and began his medical practice.
For many years Dr. Acher had his office in the former First National Bank Building (now the Beh Building) at Central Avenue and Seventh Street. Later he officed in the Crawford Building at Central and Sixth. He was active in local and state medical societies. His hobby was bowling and he was prominently identified with local leagues. He also planned and built the Acher Apartment building on north Eleventh Street.
Dr. Acher was married to Miss Marcia Pierson of Indianapolis and they were parents of three sons—Chandler, Chester and Carlton. Following his first wife’s death he was married to Clara Collingsworth of Fort Dodge. Dr. Acher died in Fort Dodge in 1964 at age 86.
THE WASEM HOME
Otto Wasem, one of the seven brothers who figured prominently in the gypsum industry in Fort Dodge and Webster County through operations of the Wasem Plaster Company, erected this brick residence in 1921. The two-story house with red tile room is located at 827 8th Ave. N.
The home was owned and occupied by the Wasem family until 1955 when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Hesley. In 1965 it was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Fournier 107who presently reside there with their family. Their children are Debra; Denise (Mrs. Bart Mundie); Doreen, Deanne and Michael. Fournier is a Geo. A. Hormel & Co. plant worker.
The Wasem home
827 8th Avenue North
Interior arrangement of the Fournier home includes living room, dining room, den, kitchen and half bath on the first floor; four bedrooms and bath on the second floor. There is also a large enclosed front porch.
Otto Wasem purchased the lot at 827 8th Ave. N. in 1921 and that same year built the comfortable and attractive home which the family occupied for 34 years. Wasem and his wife, Hannah, were parents of three daughters—Mrs. Daniel E. (Mary Louise) Noble; Mrs. A. T. (Rachel) La Prade; and Mrs. James B. (Evelyn) Phillips. All reside in Phoenix, Ariz.
Wasem was treasurer and general manager of the Wasem Plaster Company which was organized here in 1909. It was a Wasem family venture—13 brothers and sisters comprising the owners of the company. The Wasem plant was located southeast of the city on a 160-acre tract of land undermined by gypsum rock. Operations began in 1910 and continued in the original mill until it was destroyed by fire in 1918. A new fireproof plant was then built and put into operation in 1920. The company manufactured and sold hollow gypsum tile and marketed gypsum board from other plants under the Wasem brand.
Otto Wasem was the first general manager of the company and continued in that capacity from 1909 until the early 1930s. Henry Wasem, first secretary of the company, was president of the firm in the 1930s. In 1950 the Wasem Plaster Company was sold to the Celotex Corporation which built the large new modern plant along the Coalville blacktop in 1956. The Wasem plant was then closed and dismantled, but the structure still stands.
Mr. and Mrs. Wasem moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where they resided for a number of years. Both are now deceased.
THE KEMPLEY HOME
The Kempley home
905 6th Avenue North
City assessor records show that this sturdy brick residence at 905 6th Ave. N. was built in 1914 by James L. Kempley, a well-known real estate dealer here for many years. It is the type of brick homes erected in the city in the 1910-1920 era.
The Kempley family resided in the home until 1918 when it was sold to L. W. Scheideman. The Scheidemans lived in the ten-room house until 1928 when it was sold to William F. Alpers. Edmund G. Engelhardt purchased the house in 1944 and owned it until 1974 when Joseph C. Mosbrucker, Fort Dodge realtor, purchased it.
The house originally had a front vestibule, living room with fireplace, dining room, music room, sewing room, kitchen, laundry and half bath on the first floor. The second floor had four bedrooms and bath and there was a large attic used for recreation purposes. A large porch extended across the front of the house. In past years the house has been remodeled and it now has two apartments.
Kempley was the son of John Kempley, a native of England who came to the United States in 1842 and settled in Racine, Wis. In 1864 the family moved to a farm near Fort Dodge and later they came to Fort Dodge where Kempley was active in the town, erecting buildings on south Sixth Street.
James L. Kempley was one of the family of nine children. After attending local schools he began work here and for many years was employed by the Standard Oil Company as a tank wagon driver. His horse-drawn tank wagon delivered kerosene to farms in the area.
In 1914 Kempley quit his work with the oil company and went into the real estate business. Later he was associated with his son-in-law, Earl C. Codner, in the real estate firm of Kempley & Codner. Kempley built several homes in the city including 903 6th Ave. N., 905 6th Ave. N. and 1116 4th Ave. N.
Kempley and his wife were parents of six children—three boys and three girls: Walter V. James, Thomas, Mrs. Charles (Marie) Klinger; Mrs. Earl C. (Mae) Codner; and Mrs. Jay (Edna) Van Horn. Kempley died in 1942 at age 82.
THE PEARSONS HOME
The Pearsons home
1026 2nd Avenue South
The large two-story frame residence (pictured above) is located at 1026 2nd Ave. S. and dates its history back to 1896 when it was constructed by John H. Pearsons, son of an early-day mayor of Fort Dodge.
The house is now owned by Martin Cacioppo who acquired it in 1944. He retired recently after 55 years as a grocery and meat market operator here.
There are 10 rooms in the house which has been remodeled and modernized in past years. Present room arrangement is as follows: living room, dining room, entrance hall, kitchen, bedroom and half bath on the first floor; two bedrooms and a three-room apartment on the second floor.
Cacioppo, a native of Italy, emigrated to the United States in 1910, and lived in Omaha for six years before coming to Fort Dodge. He is a widower, his wife having died in 1971. Their family includes Tony, Mrs. Ernest (Marguerite) Peterson and James.
The large Second Avenue South home is located in the East Fort Dodge addition to the city and one of the first owners of the property was Thomas Snell. He purchased building lots there in 1856 and in 1871 sold the lot on which the house is located to E. G. Morgan, an early Fort Dodge banker. Morgan, in turn, sold the lot in 1892 to John F. Duncombe. John H. Pearsons purchased the property in 1896 and built the large home that same year.
In later years the home was owned by Margaret Mason Haire and Peter J. Rodenborn. The Rodenborns sold the house in 1944 to Cacioppo.
John Pearsons was the son of George R. Pearsons who served as mayor of Fort Dodge in 1873, 1899 and 1900 and who constructed the Dolliver home, now the Women’s Clubhouse. John was a brother of Louise Pearsons who was married to United States Senator Jonathan P. Dolliver of Fort Dodge. He had farming and other interests in this area. Shortly after the turn of the century he moved to California where he owned farm property.
THE JON-MAR HOME
The Jon-Mar home
1631 No. Twenty-second Street
The John J. Brady Sr. home—known for many years as “Jon-Mar”—was constructed in 1935 at 1631 N. 22nd St. The elegant brick residence of unusual architectural design is located on a two-acre tract of ground.
Brady, a nationally-known trucking magnate who built up a trucking operation from a small Fort Dodge drayline to a $30,000,000 annual business, purchased 40 acres of farm land in 1934 just outside the northeast city limits. When the tract was platted he retained eight acres for the house site, but much later six of these acres were laid out and sold as building lots.
The home is now owned by David A. Opheim, Fort Dodge attorney, and his wife, Mary Ellen, who acquired it in 1969 from Joe Bryant. Earlier it was owned by George Schnurr who purchased it from Brady in 1959. The Opheims reside in the home with their children, Kristen and Matthew.
The present room arrangement of the home includes a large first floor living room with a circular stairway to the second floor that is enclosed in a turret or tower-like portion of the house with a pointed roof. The stairway has wrought iron white spindles and a large curved wood railing painted aqua blue.
Other downstairs rooms are sunporch, dining room, family room, kitchen and half bath. The second floor has five bedrooms and two baths.
Brady was born in 1893 on a farm northwest of Fort Dodge and moved to the city with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Brady, when five years old. The father bought and sold draft horses for eastern markets. When a Fort Dodge man was unable to pay for horses used in a dray 111line they were repossessed and Brady’s father put the son into the draying business.
When Brady’s father died in 1911 John Brady took over the operations and launched the Brady Moving & Storage Company and later the Brady Motorfrate Company which became one of the major trucking empires in the nation. Brady was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the companies until 1969 when he became honorary chairman of the board until the huge trucking operations were sold. The Brady Moving & Storage Company was sold in 1968 to John Duvall and John Marrs who now operate the business. The Brady Motorfrate Company was sold in 1973 to the Smith Transfer Company of Staunton, Va. Brady is now president and general manager of the Brady Realty Company which maintains ownership of all its trucking terminals.
Active in trucking operations Brady was a member of state and national organizations and in 1965 was honored by the Iowa Motor Truck Association for 55 years in the transportation industry.
Brady and his first wife, Marguerite Hanrahan of Webster City, were parents of two sons and a daughter—John J. Brady Jr., Robert and Louise. Following the death of his wife, Marguerite, in 1947, Brady married Gertrude Lamneck of New York City in 1956. She died here in 1969. Brady now resides at 1132 Summit Ave., Snell Place.
THE REMER HOME
The Remer home
1404 Park Avenue
One of the early homes on Park Avenue in the Crawford-Armstrong addition to the city was this attractive two-story brick residence built in 1928 by a Fort Dodge dentist, Dr. W. F. Remer.
The home at 1404 Park Avenue is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Schweiger and family. Schweiger is vice president in charge of mortgage loans at The State Bank. Their family includes Mike, Steve, Marggy, Mary Pat and twins Judd and Joe.
Dr. Remer, who began his dental practice in Fort Dodge in 1919, purchased the Park Avenue building lot in 1927. A year later he built the home which was designed by architect Frank W. Griffith.
Original arrangement of the house includes living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen and half bath on the first floor; three bedrooms and bath on the second floor; full 112basement and porch on the west side of the house. The porch now has been remodeled into a first floor den. All downstairs windows are plate glass including the living room bay windows overlooking the surrounding Crawford Park area.
Dr. and Mrs. Remer resided in the home until 1941 when it was sold to David L. Rhodes. Later owners included F. J. Deaner and Dr. and Mrs. Marion B. Allen who sold the house to the Schweigers in 1961.
Dr. Remer, a native of LeMars, attended schools there and in 1916 graduated from the University of Iowa Dental College. After practicing in Grand Mound for 2½ years he came to Fort Dodge in 1919 and purchased the dental practice of Dr. Grant Bruner in the former First National Bank Building (now the Beh Building).
When the upper six floors of the Carver Building were completed in 1922 Dr. Remer moved there and was associated for a time with the Fort Dodge Clinic. Later he maintained his own office in the building until his retirement in 1966 and sale of his practice to Dr. Donald Cassady. During the years of practice here Dr. Remer was assisted in the office by his wife, Edna.
In 1968 Dr. Cassady, Dr. P. J. Leehey and Dr. John Duro constructed the Dental Associates building at 1622 1st Ave. N. Also a member of the staff now is Dr. Craig E. Knouf. Dr. Remer is associated with the dentists only in a consulting capacity. He and Mrs. Remer now reside at 1819 9th Ave. N.
THE YWCA HOME
The YWCA home
327 No. Ninth Street
The two-story frame house at the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue North and Ninth Street (pictured above) was the first permanent home of the Fort Dodge YWCA.
Organized in 1909, the YWCA had its original quarters in a small building at First Avenue North and Seventh Street where the Flower Mission Club for Girls was located. The club was started in 1908 by Dr. Sara Kime and Mrs. J. J. Ryan to extend a welcome to girls coming to the community. The building was the birthplace of the YWCA as it was organized in the Flower Mission rooms.
The new YWCA grew at a rapid pace and better housing was needed. It was then learned that the large A. S. R. Reynolds house at the northwest corner of First Avenue North and Ninth Street was for sale. The property included the eight-room house and a lot with frontage of 75 feet on First Avenue and 140 feet on Ninth Street.
The house was purchased for $10,000 and the YWCA took possession in October of 1909. Two years later, property just west of the Reynolds house was purchased. The YWCA conducted many activities in the new quarters and opened a cafeteria in 1910—the first in the city.
As activities of the organization increased the house was found inadequate for the YWCA programs so a campaign was launched to raise funds for a new building. It proved successful and the house was sold for $10,000 to E. O. Fitz, manager of the Farmers Lumber Company. It was then moved to its present location at 327 N. 9th St. Fitz resided in the home for a time and it was then sold, changing ownership several times through the years. It is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Hubert E. McMahon, 1129 S. 17th St. The house has two apartments which are rented out.
After selling the house the YWCA had temporary quarters in the Tobin College building at First Avenue North and Seventh Street. The present three-story brick YWCA building was then erected at First Avenue North and Ninth Street at a cost of $72,000 for building and furnishings. The building was dedicated in 1914. When completed the building had 36 rooms for permanent and transient guests, clubrooms and a gymnasium. For many years the YWCA also operated a cafeteria in the new building.
THE JOYCE HOME
A Fort Dodge attorney, who practiced law here for a number of years and later was named a federal judge in Minnesota, erected this home on north Seventeenth Street in 1915. He was Matthew M. Joyce, who lived here from 1910 until 1918. He then moved to Minneapolis where he was attorney for the M. & St. L. Railroad for 14 years before being appointed to a judgeship.
The two-story house with stained brown siding and white trim is located at 417 N. 17th St. It has changed ownership a number of times and is presently owned by Edwin K. Bradley, who acquired it in 1968. Mr. and Mrs. Bradley and their sons, Mike, Mark, and Matthew, now reside in the house which has the following room arrangement: first floor—entryway, living room, dining room, kitchen, half bath, solarium and screened-in brick porch; second floor—four bedrooms, sun porch and two baths. There is also an attic study room. Bradley is laboratory supervisor at Trinity East Hospital and assistant laboratory supervisor at Trinity West.
Joyce was born in Emmetsburg in 1877. After completing elementary and high school education he enrolled at the University of Michigan and graduated from law school in 1899. He began the practice of law in Missoula, Mont., with Edward C. Mulroney, a native of Fort Dodge. In 1910 he came to Fort Dodge and lived at various places before building the North Seventeenth Street home.
During his years in Fort Dodge Joyce practiced law with B. J. Price and B. B. Burnquist for eight years and then moved to Minneapolis to accept the M. & St. L. legal post. In 1932 Joyce was appointed by President Herbert Hoover as a judge of the Circuit Court of Appeals. After 17 years as a jurist he retired in 1949. He died in Minneapolis in 1956 at age 79. Mrs. Joyce 114died in 1962. Joyce was a nephew of M. F. Healy, T. D. Healy and Robert Healy, widely-known Fort Dodge attorneys.
The Joyce home
417 No. Seventeenth Street
On moving to Minneapolis Joyce sold the north Seventeenth Street home to W. C. Woodward of the Fort Dodge Grocery Company. Later it was owned by Dr. and Mrs. E. F. Beeh, Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Price, Chris Kulild, Eugene Leachman, Robert L. Mitchell and Ralph Humphreys.
THE HAUGEN HOME
This Fifth Avenue North home dates back to 1893 when it was built by Carl C. Haugen, a Fort Dodge businessman for many years. Located at 1249 5th Ave. N., the house has been remodeled in recent years and now has first and second floor apartments. Present owners are Mr. and Mrs. Edward N. Richardson, 309 N. 18th St., who rent out the apartments.
The house has white asphalt shingle siding and a brown roof. Entrance to the upstairs apartment is by way of an enclosed private stairway.
Originally the house had a living room, parlor, dining room, kitchen and pantry on the first floor; four bedrooms and bath on the second floor. When the house was remodeled the first floor was made into a one bedroom apartment with bath, living room, dining room and kitchen. The upstairs has a two-bedroom apartment with living room, kitchen and bath.
Carl C. Haugen came to Iowa from his native Norway in 1884, settled in Bode and then moved to Fort Dodge in 1886 where he began work as a barber. After several years he went into partnership with D. A. Noah in a large six-chair barber shop in the basement of the original First National Bank at Central Avenue and Sixth Street.
When the First National Bank Building was erected at Central Avenue and Seventh Street in 1908 Haugen opened a new six-chair shop in the building basement. He continued in the 115barbering business until 1945 when he retired and sold the shop. A brother, Martin C. Haugen, was with him in the barber shop until 1939.
The Haugen home
1249 5th Avenue North
Following his marriage in 1893, to Hanna Fredrickson, Mr. and Mrs. Haugen built the home at 1249 5th Ave. N.—one of the few homes then in that part of the city. Streets were not paved and walks were of wood. Haugen made two trips back to Norway—in 1891 and in 1900. He was one of the organizers of St. Olaf Lutheran Church here and served as secretary of the congregation for 50 years. The house was sold in 1965 when Mrs. Haugen moved to Friendship Haven.
Mr. and Mrs. Haugen were parents of four children—a daughter, Magna, who died in infancy; and three sons, Helge H. Haugen, Einar F. Haugen and Karl F. Haugen, author of this series of Fort Dodge homes. Mr. Haugen died in 1947 at age 80. Mrs. Haugen died Dec. 23, 1974. Had she lived until Feb. 3, 1975, she would have been 103 years old.
CITY OF FORT DODGE, IOWA
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
ABEL, John H.33
ACHER, Dr. A. E.105
AMOND, John W.34
ARMSTRONG, E. F.87
ARMSTRONG, L. E.97
AULT, Van J.43
BENNETT, S. J. (Cap)9
BLACK, J. B.26
BOWEN, Dr. W. W.18
BRADY, John J., Sr.110
BREEN, E. J.8
BRENNAN, John J.30
BROWN, Charles A.101
BROWN, Jacob, Sr.54
BURNQUIST, B. B.100
CARTER, Charles. L.75
CARVER. Dr. W. F.69
CHASE, Dr. Sumner B.83
CHENEY, John C.19
CHUMLEA, Miles P.60
COLBY, W. H. H.49
COLLINS, E. W.65
CRAWFORD, R. W.45
DAMON, E. O., Jr.93
DOLLIVER, J. P.7
EVANS, Dr. Robert17
FORD, John F.22
FINDLAY, C. V.78
GADD, C. W.76
GILLMAN, George W.20
GRIFFITH, Frank W.24
HAUGEN, Carl C.114
HAVILAND, A. J.90
HAWLEY, A. W.61
HEALY, M. F.10
HELSELL, F. H.63
JACKMAN, A. S. (Electrical)37
JOHNSON, E. H.59
JOSELYN, Ed S.91
JOYCE, Matthew W.113
KELLEHER, Dennis M.35
KEMPLEY, James L.108
KERSTEN, Dr. E. M.95
KIME, Dr. J. W.92
KURTZ, Harry L.102
LARSEN, Thorvald S.68
LARSON, E. G.13
LAUFERSWEILER, Charles C.98
LEARY, Dennis E.73
LEIGHTON, E. I.51
McQUILKIN, A. D.50
MERRITT, W. N.74
MESERVEY, S. T.27
MINKEL, L. H.38
MOELLER, Walter J.100
MUELLER, William F.64
MULRONEY, John M.47
MULRONEY, W. V.82
OLESON, O. M.5
PEARSONS, John H.109
REMER, Dr. W. F.111
REYNOLDS, A. S. R.70
RICH, E. H.6
RICH, Willis F.96
ROBERTS, George E.23
SAUNDERS, Dr. C. J.56
SMITH, C. H. (Cad)66
SPENCE, Rev. W. H.48
STUDEBAKER, Dr. J. F.79
THATCHER, O. M.57
TRAUERMAN, J. K.80
WELCH, E. A.88
WOLFE, Henry W.85
WRIGHT, Thomas A.42
Silently corrected a few typos, including listed errata.
The title is listed variously with or without “of”; this eBook always includes the preposition.
Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook is public-domain in the country of publication.
In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by _underscores_.