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Historic Iowa Postcards

Grinnell College Libraries' Historic Iowa Postcard Collection. A collection of postcards from 1900 through the middle of the 20th century, covering all parts of Iowa.

Looking northeast. "The area of the old stone church that followed the wooden structure on the left. The wooden school on right stood before the 3 story brick & block hi[gh]-sch[ool] now gone"--t.p. verso

Looking at the Des Moines River Valley. 1901 postmark. Number 11488.

Looking northwest at a one story brick building on the corner holding the Chelsea State Bank and at the other end of the block is the Palace Restaurant. A bridge over Otter Creek can be seen in the background. Chelsea State Bank was formed in 1934 from two banks, Kempf Commercial and Savings Bank and Farmers and Merchants Bank of Chelsea and Paul G. Schaible, Sr. was named Bank President. 1903 postmark.

Looking east on Main Street (now Walnut Street) with the firehouse on the right foreground with bell tower and the Brenton-Richmond Building (built 1901) and the J.O. Loring, Brenton Brothers building (built 1899). In 1881, the first Brenton Bank was organized in Dallas Center by William H. Brenton, a local farmer. Upon the death of their father in 1893, Charles and Clyde Brenton formed a team of Brenton Brothers. On the left is the McLean Building Number 1.

Looking down a dirt Main Street. 1903 postmark.

Looking northeast at a two-story wooden church built in 1901 and the Conrad High School in the background built in 1897. The church is located at 206 East Maple Avenue, Conrad, Grundy County, Iowa. Title supplied by cataloger.

The main building of Wartburg College was built in 1893-1894 and was originally intended to educate only Lutheran seminary students. However, it developed into a co-educational institution before it was relocated to Waverly, Iowa in 1935. The building was a noted landmark in Clinton and remained empty until the early years of World War II, when it was converted into apartments to cope with the acute housing shortage. It was demolished in 1998. The postcard was sent by Otto Kraushaar, President of Warburg from 1899-1907. 1903 postmark.

Looking southwest at the second Pottawattamie County Courthouse on South Pearl Street. The building was built in 1888 in Beaux Arts-style. It was later declared unsafe and was replaced with a Modernist structure in 1977. 1904 postmark. Number 5454. Copyright 1904 by H.K. Barnett.

Looking southwest at the Clinton County Courthouse is a Richardsonian Romanesque style structure constructed from 1892-1897 by architects Stanley Mansfield and Josiah Rice at a cost of $168,000. Located at 612 North 2nd Street, Clinton, Clinton County, Iowa, and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Looking southeast at Tudor Revival architecture. Railroad carts and barrels are near the depot. Listed in the National Register of Historical Places and used as the Heritage Center. 1904 postmark. Number 8.

Looking northeast at the front entrance of the First Presbyterian Church built in 1865. This building was raised and a new, larger church building was built in 1887. It was located at 634 Willow Avenue, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. 1905 postmark. Number 19.

Looking east at shoreline with canoers and boathouse. Arbor Lake, named for Arbor Day, when hundreds of trees were planted there, was created in 1902 as a storage reservoir to provide soft water for manufacturing firms. Number 1222.

Single story wooden depot with sign for Center Jct. A railroad ticket clerk is standing at the corner of the building. Center Junction was once an incorporated city starting in 1871. But, following a special election that served as a referendum on the plan, the city council voted in 2015 to sell of its assets, disband, and turn administration over to the county. When the council took the action, then-Mayor Sandy Ricklefs cited the towns ailing finances as the primary reason for disbanding.

The St. Malachy's Church was built in 1885. In 1905 the Church of the Immaculate Conception was cut out of St. Malachy's and relocated on Howard Street. St. Malachy's Church was located on West Union Street where the St. Malachy Catholic School resides currently. 1905 postmark.

Fifteen firemen and one Dalmatian in front of and on the fire equipment, pulled by two horses with the Appanoose County Court House in the background.

Sponsored by the Northwest German Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the German-English College was built in 1892. The name of the college was changed to Charles City College in 1894. The Administration Building was torn down during the Depression. The college was open until 1914 when it merged with Morningside College in Sioux City.

Looking northeast at one of the largest roundhouses in the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy system. The Creston railroad yards were built in 1871. The old machine shop building was destroyed by a tornado in 1946, and the remainder of the roundhouse burned down in 1981. Number 3872.

Funded by Andrew Carnegie for $45,000, the Clinton Free Library was constructed in 1904 by architects Patton and Miller, Chicago. The building is located at 306 8th Avenue South, Clinton, Clinton County, Iowa, and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 1905 postmark.

The Lucas County Home was built in 1904 and torn down in 1986. County homes or poorhouses were tax-supported residential institutions to which people were required to go if they could not support themselves.

Locomotive sitting at the Chelsea Depot with passengers milling around. Grain elevator in background. The Northwestern Railroad leased the Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad in 1869. A.A. McChesney was the first station agent when the railroad was built and James Hanify the first section boss.


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