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 southwest from Jackson Street in Brooklyn, Iowa, at a two story brick church originally erected in 1883 and rebuilt from a fire on August 2, 1911. It was dedicated in 1912. Located at 215 Jackson Street, Brooklyn, Poweshiek County, Iowa.

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.

Hanging rocks is the name Iowans give the sandstone rocks overhanging the Middle Raccoon River north of Dexter. 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 north on Main Street with horse and carriage and windmill in background. 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.

Looking southwest at the first dedicated Auburn Public School constructed in 1902 at a cost of $4,700. It was located at 308 East Fourth Street, Auburn, Sac County, Iowa.

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.

Selige, A.
Looking at an auditorium. The stone at the top says it was built in 1898. Number 1346.

The Bethany Church was dedicated on December 9, 1894, costing $2,500. Number 21850.

"Boone Viaduct over the Des Moines River, four miles west of Boone, Iowa, on main line of Chicago & Northwestern Railway. Length 2,685 feet. Height 185. 5,600 tons of Steel. Length of center span 300 feet. Largest Double Track Bridge in the World." --t.p. The Pratt deck truss bridge was built in 1899-1901, designed by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and constructed by the American Bridge Co. (Ambridge, PA). It is located in the Boone-Ogden Cutoff and crosses the Des Moines River at a point where the bluffs on either side are about 3000 feet apart. The bridge was nicknamed for the Iowa railroad heroine, Kate Shelley, also spelled Shelly. In 1881, when she was 17 years old, Kate Shelley risked her life to warn a passenger train by crossing the Des Moines River Bridge near Moingona at night, during a thunderstorm. Her goal was to warn the passenger train that the next bridge was out. That train had already been stopped. She then led rescuers to two men still in the swollen, flooded Honey Creek near her house, and they were saved. Her bravery was heralded in many newspapersListed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Looking north on Jackson Street with a number of people waiting for the July 4 parade in downtown Brooklyn, Iowa. Number 10.

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.