More photos of our community - Page 1B

More images of Ellsworth in the 20th century teens, from 1915-1916

The postcard showing these two Ellsworth homes is from 1915.
This is the 400 block of DeCora, looking NW.

click to enlarge

The back of this postcard dated 1915 says, "This is the Elmer Boyland place at 1825 Delphi Street.
Probably constructed about 1823, the house burned down about 1945 or 1946.
The barn was then moved to Scott Abel's farm."

Methodist Episcopal Church


Although the Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1883, this is a 1915 image.  The church was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Dayton Street and Des Moines Avenue and can be seen in the overhead view on Page C .   The property was originally purchased from the Western Town Lot Company on July 14, 1883.  In 1912, the congregations of this Methodist Episcopal Church and the Congregational Church began meeting together with the name of the Union Church.

The building, the pews, the pulpit, and bell had not been used for about 10 years, when these items were bought on October 23, 1920, for $850.   The structure was moved one mile east, and five and three quarters miles south, to be placed on the west side of the road.   There, it served as the Bethany Lutheran Church until 1971.   Although the building does not survive today, the bell was moved to Ames to call worshippers who live in the Rolling Meadows addition.

1915 - Main Street, East side

click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge this photo.)

This is what the North part of the East side of Main Steet looked like on a postcard dated 1915.  The signs on the buildings say, starting from the right, 1) Estate Stoves, Dalby - 2) Thompson Auto Co. and Auto Supplies, 3) Harness Shop, and 3) Busy Bee Restaurant.    No signs are visible on the three buildings to the left.

1916 - Ellsworth Feed, Grain and Coal Company

One business that has grown in the Ellsworth comunity is the Grain Elevator.   In early years, these elevators were privately owned and operated by the owners.  They bought and sold grain, retailed salt, coal, seeds, flour, feed and supplies such as drainage tile and fencing material.   The owners of these first elevators were Joe Olsen, Harry Rude, Abner Reynolds (west elevator), Sam Brinton (east elevator), and George Potgetter.  (View that first elevator.)

The first farmer-owned grain elevator was established in 1916.   They purchased the Rude and Reynolds grain company for $9,000, and started doing business as the Farmers Elevator Company of Ellsworth, Iowa.   It was a stock company and shares were sold for $50 each.   In 1916, before buying the Rude and Reynolds grain company, they asked contractors to give them bids for construction of a facility to operate in.   One of the contractors who bid was Younglove Construction Company.   That company would later, in 1954, build Ellsworth's first concrete elevator.

The following article was published June 1, 1916 - Ellsworth News:

Farmers Buy Elevator

The farmers Elevator Company of Ellsworth is now a certainty.   Tey have been organized for several months, but up to this week, had not made any definite announcements as to whether they would buy out one of the elevators here, or build.

On Monday evening they finally came to an agreement with Reynolds & Rude when they bought out the holdings of that firm.

The purchase price was $9,000 and they will take possession of the business on or about the fifteenth of June.

It is not known at this writing as to who will be the manager of the new elevator company but the directors already have several applications.   There is no doubt but what they will use their good judgment, and secure a man as manager that will always work for the good of the company.

The outgoing members of the firm of Reynolds & Rude consisting of A Reynolds and H. E. Rude have stated that they have not made any plans for the future, and it is earnestly hoped by all the people of Ellsworth that they will decide to remain in Ellsworth and devote their energies in a business way.   They are both numbered amongst our best boosting business men, and the loss of their assistance in all enterprises would be greatly felt by the town of Ellsworth.

(June 1, 1916 issue of Ellsworth News)


Owner Joe Olsen and Archie Sanford of the Ellsworth Feed, Grain, and Coal Company

From 1916 to 1920, the company operated as a stock company, and the profits were paid out based on the number of shares each member owned.  In 1920, they reorganized the company and operated as a cooperative, basing the refunds on the amount of sales and purchases each share holder did with the company.  At the annual meeting in 1920, they ammended the by-laws to limit the number of board members to nine.  They limited the term of office to 3 years, with 3 members' terms of office expiring each year.  More of the Ellsworth Elevator story is on Page 3.

(Click to see advertisements published in February of 1916.)

1916 - Brick High School constructed

Here is the Ellsworth News article from February 17, 1916.

The Ellsworth Consolidated school district was organized in 1914.  The present public school building was built by the independent town district just prior to the consolidation.  The consolidated district includes twenty-one sections, extending three miles south, two miles east and one and one-half miles west.  Since the present school house is overcrowded, a new bond issue was voted January 3 and the contract for the new building will be let next week.

The present building will be used for the eight grades and manual training work.   On the first floor are three grade rooms, on the second floor, two grade rooms, library, one class room and office.  In the basement are two rooms which will be used for manual training, a boys' toilet room, a girls' toilet room, coal bunker, engine room, from which both buildings will be heated, and a gymnasium ample for the needs of the grade children of this building.

The high school building will have the assembly room on the first floor, two class rooms and the office, a gymnasium 60x32, and the toilets and baths in the basement.   On the second floor will be the three rooms devoted to home economics, a sewing room, kitchen, and a dining room where warm lunches will be served to the country children.   On this floor will be the commercial room where a practical business course will be offered for those students who do not wish to take the college preparatory course.

State aid was secured for our school last year, and the library, laboratory, and industrial work will be held to the highest standard.

click to enlarge

This photo shows the new High School building under construction.

click to enlarge

The High School building is completed.

This brick high school building was built in 1916 across the street (East side) from the brick grade school (seen earlier on page 1A).  There was a small gymnasium in the basement, which was used as a lunch room after 1951, when the new gym located just south of this school was constructed.

The Busy Bee Restaurant
or Cafe

F. R. Dalbey, proprietor, purchased the stock and fixtures of the Farmers Restaurant, then changed the name to Busy Bee Restaurant to keep pace with his much increased business.  This reastaurant was located on the east side of Main Street, where the Ceramics Shop used to be.

Frank Dalbey built a new building and he along with his wife Roxanna operated a restaurant known as the Busy Bee Cafe.  Roxanna was a wonderful cook and they had a good trade.  The business also sold yard goods as well as shoes, overalls, dresses and groceries.  The Dalbeys lived in the quarters above the cafe, and had rooms for transients.

     On December 31, 1918 the hardware store on the northeast corner of DeWitt St. and Dubuque St. caught on fire.  Clifford Grund came home on the midnight train and as he turned to go east to his home, he saw fire in the basement windows.  He ran to the telephone office and put in the alarm.

     The fire burned the hardware store, and the next building, which was a garage, and the next, which was a harness shop operated by Henry Becker.  The firemen had to take the big hose through the Busy Bee Cafe and up the stairs to a window where they could run it out and fight fire from above.  Thus saving the restaurant building.

     The spectators came in and stole candy, cigars, fruit and anything they could put in their pockets.  The building was water soaked, water all over the floor, running down the stairs.  Display cases were broken and much of the inventory looted.(written by Leoan Keesee Coates, Dalbey’s granddaughter)

click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge this photo.)

This is what the East side of Main Steet looked like on a postcard dated 1910.
The sign on the building close to the right end says Busy Bee Restaurant, Lunches & Soft Drinks.


Page (1C)

back Home