Community Contributions

Photographs and documents related to the history of Poweshiek County contributed by individuals. Contributions from throughout the county are welcome and include the communities of Barnes City, Brooklyn, Deep River, Ewart, Grinnell, Guernsey, Hartwick, Malcom, Montezuma, Searsboro and Victor.

Grinnell city waterworks in 1893. Men are gathered around the water tower. Note on back of photograph says: "Whenever there was a fire, they would raise the water pressure. When there was enough pressure it would wet the flag at the top of the pipe." The name, H.H. (Herb) Armstrong, is also written on the back. Drake Community Library (Grinnell, Iowa) Archives. Miscellaneous photographs. Collection #17-2, Grinnell Buildings.

Legal documents relating to the purchase of a farm in Poweshiek County, Iowa, by Frederick Ahrens in September 1893.

Hill, James Langdon, 1848-
A portion of a sermon preached by Rev. James L. Hill on Sunday morning, July 9, 1893, at the Melville Presbyterian Church in Côte St. Antoine, Montreal, Quebec. Published by the Christian Endeavor Society of the Melville Church as a temperance campaign tract for general distribution. Drake Community Library (Grinnell, Iowa) Archives. McNally photographs. Collection #1, Series #1-2.

Portrait of Frederick Ahrens, possibly taken just before his accidental death at age 52 in 1895.

Photo of the Grinnell Methodist Episcopal church under construction at the corner of 5th Avenue and Park Street in Grinnell, Iowa, in 1895. Drake Community Library (Grinnell, Iowa) Archives. McNally photographs. Collection #1, Series #1-2.

View of the library reading room in the Spaulding Building before 1902. Drake Community Library (Grinnell, Iowa) Archives. Miscellaneous photographs. Collection #17-2, Stewart Library.

View of the library reading room in the Spaulding building before 1902. Drake Community Library (Grinnell, Iowa) Archives. Miscellaneous photographs. Collection #17-1, Stewart Library.

Library room in the Spaulding Building before 1902, the beginnings of the Grinnell Free Library. Drake Community Library (Grinnell, Iowa) Archives. Miscellaneous photographs. Collection #17-2, Stewart Library.

Receipt from Wood & Kibby to Mrs. L. M. Decker in the amount of $62.56 dated September 25, 1895.

Receipt from Morrison & Thomas to Luetta Decker, dated September 25, 1895, noting that account is paid in full.

Receipt from Scott, Reed, & Scott, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, to Mrs. Luetta Decker dated January 3, 1895 for $129.23 paid against the account of M.F. Gray, deceased.

Receipt from Grinnell Granite and Marble Works to Luetta Decker, dated March, 1896, in the amount of $12.00 for a marker in Kent Cemetery, Poweshiek County, Iowa.

Description of how to mail a letter containing cash in 1896. The envelope is addressed to H.M. Rickard at I.A.C. (Iowa Agricultural College) in Ames, Iowa. This was written by a grandmother for her grandchildren. The description includes information about Martin Rickard and Anna Margaret Turner.

Snider, William
Letter written on Mack Hotel stationery from Wm. Snider to Miss Mae Andrews in Des Moines, dated October 7, 1896. The Mack Hotel was located at 813 Broad Street, Grinnell, Iowa.

The Lucas triplets were born in 1896 in Grinnell, Iowa, and were possibly the first set of triplets born in the state. Their mother was Theodora Craig Lucas, the sister of Edith Renfrow Smith's mother, Eva Craig Renfrow. From left to right: Martha, Rebecca, Mary. Mary died at age 8, Rebecca at about 20, and Martha married Percy Smith in 1917, and died in Stockton, California, on December 1, 1970.

The Palmer family homestead built on the Iowa prairie in 1857 near where Newburg, Iowa, is today. This picture was taken in 1897 with Edith Palmer standing in the yard.

534 Main Street, the home of Jonathan and Martha Child taken in 1898 in Grinnell, Iowa. Jonathan Child is holding the horse's rein; Martha Child is seated on the porch; Chloe Child is standing on the porch; and Frank Child is standing on the sidewalk behind the carriage.

Poweshiek County (Iowa). Assessor's Office
The Madison Township, Poweshiek County, Iowa, assessor's book for 1899. Information listed for each family includes: name of head of household, number and sex of dogs owned, school district number, description and value of land owned, number, type and value of horses, mules, cattle, swine and sheep owned, number and value of vehicles owned, other personal property and post office address. The final "Recapitulation" sheets give totals and values for the entire township. The book was found in Madison #5 School (the White Cloud School). It has no cover and begins with a blank page. There are 26 double page spreads with data. There are no pages numbered 27 or 28 and page 29 is blank. There are two Recapitulation sheets at the end with data and one blank Recapitulation sheet.

Class photo of Grinnell (Iowa) High School Class of 1899. Ruth Mae Davis Steele is the first person on the left in the second row.

Photograph of the backyard of the Ross residence at 817 7th Avenue, taken in the early 1900s. This is a "carnivalesque", made of wooden slats held erect by guide wires on a concrete slab, where one would ride a bicycle around the inner perimeter. It was built by either R. (Richard?) C. Ross or his son. Visible in the back is a corner of the house at 1206 Broad Street. The L.C. Phelps house is in the right center background (address 1203/1205 Broad Street). The boy riding the bicycle may be young Ross as the structure was in his backyard. The Ross family ran a shoe store and owned the Grinnell Stone Company at 615-631 State Street which manufactured rockfaced blocks. They made the red-tinted block used for the house at 1114 Broad, 817 7th Avenue, and the house at 1310 Main Street. There are only two houses in Grinnell made of that material. The blocks never caught on for entire houses; the Ross family turned to foundational blocks.