Early Merchants, Correctionville
Woodbury County, Iowa, USA. Click here for the HOME page.
Early Merchants, Correctionville
In 1874 John M Thom moved to Poverty Ridge north of Correctionville where he homesteaded what is now the August Todd farm. The home he built (picture included) now stands in the farmyard of the Todd farm and is probably the only surviving pioneer home in Woodbury County. On the Fred Todd farm the house has been built around the original home; the stone foundation used in the original home is still under the kitchen.
George Thom came to Correctionville in 1887 and began a transfer business, conducting a dray and express line. The pictures used in this history were provided by Robert Thom, descendant of John and George Thom and now living in Arkansas.
Among early Correctionville business was he Correctionville newspaper called The Sioux Valley News. Daniel K Freeman entered into partnership with William B Chapman to establish the area’s first newspaper. It was housed in Johnny Erwin’s store building (now Pierce’s Produce). The first copy came off the press on May 14, 1882, and was distributed free, every family in Correctionville receiving a copy. Regular publishing began May 25, 1882 and sold for 3 cents a copy.
In 1883 Freeman bought out Chapman’s interest. The same year Freeman built a frame building across the street west of the Corn Belt State Bank, facing south. In February 1884, The News became an 8-page paper, 4 pages of home print and 4 of patent.
During the next 23 years the Sioux Valley News changed hands nine times. Fred W Calvin, who had been editor on the Sioux City Tribune, took possession August 1, 1907. On March 13, 1909, the Sioux Valley News became the Correctionville News. Prior to this, papers from Smithland, Hornick and Cushing were among those printed by the News.
Among those who later published the News were Bergstrom and Fred Freeman, Fielding McQuitty, E T Bramson, Carl Sturges, Anne Sturges, and Glur Laffer. The Laffers discontinued the use of patent print and published the first regular all home print paper. Luffer sold the the News to R L Harris in August 1954. The Harrises published the paper until November 1, 1975, when Virgil W Dorweiler purchased the paper. Correctionville has had its own newspaper continuously for 102 years, 1882-1084. [Note: The spellings for the name Laffer or Luffer came from the story in the History book.)
Another important business in early days was the hotel business. When a stage line was established connecting Fort Dodge and Sioux City in 1860, the small settlement called Correctionville made a convenient stopping place. Overnight lodging was provided for travelers.
The first hotel was built in 1864, partly frame and partly logs. It was called ‘Traveler’s Home’ and was operated by the Kohlhauffs and located on the lot across the street from the GAR Hall. It was a very pretentious building for those days, consisting of seven guest rooms, and office, dining room, kitchen, small parlor, and private living quarters for the Kohlhauff family. Dr John Kohlhauff was also the settlement’s first doctor.
A smaller hotel was operated by A D Graves, one of the town’s earliest merchants. He built a building west of the post office on 5th Street which housed a store on the first floor and a hotel on the upper floor.
From a 1895 brochure a description of the Petty Hotel, of which A H Petty is proprietor: ‘For down-right comfort Pett’s Hotel is equal to any’ and boasted having one of the best cooks around. The hotel was a large two-story building occupying the ground where the Masonic Temple and municipal parking lot are now located.
The last hotel to be erected was built by Dr J A Thornton when the railroads displaced this coach around 1883. It occupied the space where the city auditorium now stands. It was a two-storied, fine hotel. It was later sold to Mr and Mrs Forest Anderson and then sold to the McCoys when Forest Anderson and son took over the Clark Garage. This hotel burned in the middle ‘20s.
Here is a list of some of the early business and professional men:
Lawyers: W C Miller, E Edmunds, Del Rowse.
Doctors: Dr John Kohlhauff, Dr J Thornton, Dr W F McQuitty, Dr C F Thompson, Dr A J Weeks, Dr J M Hester, Dr E H Crane, Dr H A Smith, Dr J A Hirschman, Dr B B Leonard, Dr J K Oates, Dr M R Runions, Dr R M Bahnson.
Bankers: G A Bailey, E C Schneckloth, Walter Schneckloth, Harry Schneckloth, Ernest Schneckloth, Harry McMaster, Stoltz Hart, Clair Hatfield.
Dentists: Dr H F Randolph, Dr Lewis Crane, Dr C E Chitty, Dr A W Kuster, Dr M R Carey, Dr S H Synhorst, Dr M E Hipwell (present today), Dr G Davis.
Veterinarians: Dr C A Allen, Dr J H Ryan, Dr John Gregg.
Druggists: Dr Kohlhauff, Dr Crawford, Dr Adelbert Weeks, Gredley Castle, Dr J A Frey, William Castle, Drs John Miller & Thornton, Wm M Wright, C E Smith, R H Luicks, C C Yockey, Elmer J Mill, Edward Klopp.
General Stores & Groceries: E C Laub, A Bower, E A Hall, A D Graves, Jonathan Overhalser, Wm Morman, John Erwin, Herman Barker, George Barker, Seff, Sam Mopper, Wm Garber, Morey Brown, Dan & Ray Clarks, Fdrenches.
Blacksmiths: Ed Leut, M L Morgan, W J Stribley.
Auto Dealers & Garages: Harvey & Ruby Wetmore, Rudy Floke, F H Anderson, Gaylen Anderson, Walter Lahann, Lowell ‘Butch’ Fogelman, Bud Madison, Wayne Arnburg.
Meat Market: R Michails, Matt Markusen, Frank Lee.
Hardwares: F W Woodruff, E B Woodruff, Irv Conklin, F C Taylor, Gene Baker & L Harrison, Leonard Munsen.
We are sure some names have been unintentionally omitted from these lifts.
In the basement of Wm Wright’s drug store was made thousands of gallons of ice cream which was shipped all over the area by rail. This Jersey Ice Cream Co. was sold to Ivan Eckhart who continued to manufacture it in his dairy and locker plant business in the brick block for many years. Dan Clark operated the dairy with his father for some time; he tore down the brick building and built new modern facilities. The dairy route has now been discontinued.
Elmer Mills operated a drug store almost continuously for 52 years. The first telephone was located in his store with it having the #1 all thru the years until dial telephones came in. the first switchboard was in the center of his store. Anyone in the area had to come to his store to place or receive a long-distance call.
If you know of any corrections or missing information please contact me.
Woodbury County Coordinator
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