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 from the Upper Iowa River. 1906 postmark.

Looking northeast at Goodnow Hall on right, Carnegie Library on left and the men's gymnasium in the far background. 1906 postmark.

Iowa's Largest Furniture Store, S. Davidson & Bros., People's Furniture Store. Photos include: Corner of Main Floor, Furniture Display, Walnut Street Building; Main Exposition Building of Iowa State Fair containing Davidson's Special House Furnishing Exhibit; Corner of Carpet Room in Walnut Street Building; Stock Pavilion, Iowa State Fair. The D. Davidsons & Bros. was founded by patriarch Saul Davidson which expanded throughout Iowa and was purchased by Younkers in 1948 who ran the furniture business as a separate entity until the 1970s. The Iowa State Fair and Exposition Grounds Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The S. Davidsons & Bros. store was located at 412 Walnut Street, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. 1906 postmark.

Looking northeast at shoreline with sailboats 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. 1907 postmark.

Baylis, William (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Visitors near Bear's Den. Bever Park was established in 1893, after the death of prominent Cedar Rapids businessman Sampson Bever, whose family owned the wooded land. The Bever Park Zoo, which would become home to lions, bears, alligators, monkeys and other animals, opened in 1901, and trolley service to the park, then two miles outside of the Cedar Rapids city limits, began in 1904. 1907 postmark. Number 28.

Looking east at the town of Anthon, Iowa, with the Little Sioux River in the far background. One can also see the school house rising above the town in the center of the picture. Handwritten date on postcard reads Aug. 15, 1907. 1907 postmark. Number 3.

Old truss bridge across the Iowa River near Belle Plaine, Iowa. 1907 postmark.

Looking north on unpaved Broad Street with store fronts and the Congregational Church in background. 1907 postmark. Number 2391.

Looking southwest at the brick veneered church with bell tower built in 1895 and burned down on Christmas morning, 1914. The present church building was built in 1917 and is located at 608 Second Avenue N.E., Clarion, Wright County, Iowa.

Looking northeast. Chicago Hall was constructed in 1883, costing approximately $20,000 excluding grading and landscaping. Razed in 1958 to provide space for construction of Burling Library. 1907 postmark.

Children riding cows on street with train station master looking on.

Looking northwest at the Congregational Church which was built in 1870. Located at 1400 8th Avenue, Belle Plaine, Benton County, Iowa. 1907 postmark.

Looking northwest at a three-story brick and stone building built in 1897 to originally accommodate the ninth and tenth grades. Two more classes were added in 1899. 1907 postmark.

Looking northwest. Cooper School was built in 1889 and named for Co. S.F. Cooper, the first teacher in Grinnell. The building was closed in 1974 and sold it to Grinnell College. Cooper was torn down in 1994. 1907 postmark.

Looking northwest from the corner of Front Street and Jackson Street in Brooklyn, Iowa. There are several men and young boys standing in front of what appears to be a grocery store. To the right of the store is a sign reading Doctor Landes as well as on the window above the store. 1907 postmark.

ANC (New York, N.Y.)
Looking northwest. The cornerstone for the court house was laid on May 21, 1903, costing $90,600 to build. The architectural style is late 19th and 20th Century Revivals. It is located at 201 North 12th Street, Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa, and listed on the National Register for Historic Places. 1907 postmark. Number 124380. Series C 5817.

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. 1907 postmark. Number A5377.

Dirt road with utility poles on the right near Belle Plaine, Iowa. 1907 postmark.

Photo inset of man sitting outdoors reading a letter. 1907 postmark.

Shortly before 10 pm on Aug. 25, 1907, an explosion was heard in Cedar Falls. Three brick buildings on the northwest corner of Third and Main streets had been blown to bits, and fire was raging. Citizens and 88 volunteer firefighters rushed to battle the blaze which destroyed numerous businesses. The explosion originated in George Sheerer’s hardware store, believed to be caused by a gas leak that ignited dynamite sticks stored in the basement. The building housing the Boston Store owned by the Bennison brothers was also destroyed as well as the building housing the Willard & Alexander Clothing Store. Total estimated cost of damage ranged from $125,000 to $150,000. 1907 postmark. Title supplied by cataloger.