Category Archives: Businesses

Cooperative Telephone Company (Lone Rock, Iowa)

In 1903, four years after the Kossuth County town of Lone Rock was planted, a group of farmers and merchants met to discuss telephone service for the community and surrounding areas. A company was quickly formed, and shares were issued to fund purchase of a switchboard and installation of telephone lines surrounding Lone Rock in all directions. The present office building was constructed in 1958 in downtown Lone Rock.

Hull Brothers Store (Paris/Bunch, Iowa)

When a fire ravaged the Davis County community of Paris (Bunch) in April 1912, the Hull brothers immediately began reconstructing their general store building. Shortly after construction of the concrete block building was finished, the Quigley family purchased and renamed the general store, which also housed the local post office. In 1972, the store changed hands one final time when it was sold to resident George Hopkins. Operations ceased later that decade, though the business survived more than 10 years after the railroad left the town and 20 years after the post office was discontinued.

General Store (Rossie, Iowa)

A sign directs visitors to the “gas, grocery, and beer” sold at the general store in the Clay County community of Rossie. Now home to 70 residents, Rossie was originally established as a stop along the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1900, apparently named after a wife of an important railroad employee. A centennial celebration, which included a historical program, lunch, souvenirs for sale, and a parade, was held August 5, 2000.

Record-News Newspaper (Mount Ayr, Iowa)

Like many counties across the state, Ringgold County in southern Iowa once had nearly a dozen newspapers operating simultaneously. Even some of the county’s smallest communities had a weekly paper: the Shannon City Messenger folded in the 1942 following the editor’s death, the Redding Herald ceased in 1957, and Kellerton’s weekly paper was discontinued in 1962. Currently, just two papers exist in Ringgold County, the Progress out of Diagonal, population 330, and the Record-News from Ringgold’s county seat Mount Ayr.

The pictured building serves as the office for the Mount Ayr Record-News, which can trace its history to the formation of the Ringgold Record newspaper in 1865. The competing Twice-a-Week News dates to 1893, and the Record-News moniker was formed when the two papers merged in 1907. ┬áLocal businessman Sam Spurrier bought the paper in 1911, which has only changed ownership three times in the last 100 years. Since 1981, H. Alan Smith has been the owner, publisher and editor of the Mount Ayr Record-News, Ringgold County’s most widely circulated newspaper.