Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    This chronology of the early settlers of White Breast Township and Lacona was compiled by Edith HEEMSTRA and John FORD sometime around 1980. The information came primarily from newspapers but also from other printed matter and from many, many conversations with Lacona people. The italicized information describes events taking place elsewhere in Iowa and the U.S. (Keep in mind that whenever the information refers to “the present time” it refers to 1980, when this was written)

    People identified in this chronology and the year they were listed:


    APPLEGATE, Dr. 1864, 1875, ACKORS, George 1902, 1909; ADLER, Lydia G. 1932; AUL, A.W. 1886;

    BABCOCK, John 1908; BAGBY, Dr. W.A. 1919, 1920, 1923; BAKER, E.S. 1902; BAKER, Gene 1888, 1898; BARTLETT, E.G. 1853, 1855, 1892; BARTLETT, Sarah 1853; BATES, Wendel 1954; BAUER, Bob 1959; BAUER, Norb 1924; BEELER, Charlie 1925; BEELER, Fred 1925; BEEMAN, Julius 1899, 1908; BELL, Tom 1891; BOWLES, Millie 1920; BREGAR, Frank 1979; BRIESBAIM, Ed 1930; BRIESBAIM, Mae 1930; BRUCE, William 1921; BURKETT, Glen 1927; BURNS, John 1955, 1969; BUTLER, Kenneth 1906, 1931, 1970; BYERS, L.A. 1906;


    CADING, Augusta 1877; CAMPBELL, A.W. 1892; CARPENTER, William 1906; CASTLE, M.A. 1883; CHANDLER, Harry 1919; CHIPPS, Riley 1923; CHIPPS, Stansburry 1880, 1903, 1930; CHITTENDEN, E.S. 1906, 1917; CLARK, Marvel 1901; CLARK, Wilda 1962; CLAYTON, Earl 1924; CLEVELAND, John 1902, 1905, 1908; CLEVENGER, Bert 1902; CLEVENGER, Elizabeth 1854; CLEVENGER, John 1901; CLEVENGER, Willis 1854-1856, 1863; COCHRAN, Elizabeth 1855; COCHRAN, John M. 1856, 1860-1861; COCHRAN, Mary 1855, 1861; COCHRAN, William Jasper 1855, 1856; COCHRAN, William Barker 1855; COLES, Cash 1863; COLES, Eliza 1863; COOK, John E. 1857, 1861, 1876; COOK, Otis 1914; COOK, Willis 1862; CORNELL, Dolph 1923, 1924, 1930, 1941; CORNELL, Ethel 1929; CORNELL, Joseph M. 1914; CORWIN, Mary E. 1861; CRAVEN, L.T. 1916; CRAWFORD, Bill 1945, 1955; CROCKER, Frank R. 1892; CRUZEN, Dr. J.L. 1912, 1918; CRUZEN, Mrs. J.L. 1918; CUMPSTON, Hays 1898; CUMPTON, Henry 1887; CURL, John T. 1901, 1905; CURTIS, Emma 1892

    DARR, James 1889; DARR, Nancy 1889; DAUGHERTY, Bill 1924; DAUGHERTY, Dave 1900, 1911; DAUGHERTY, Frank 1930; DAVIS, Peter A. 1852; DEMAREE, Dr. Chester 1941, 1942, 1963; DEMAREE, Laura 1941, 1963; DEVORE, Clifford 1927; DINWIDDIE, James H. 1851; DITTMER, Bob 1874, 1942, 1956; DITTMER, Jerome 1857, 1869; DONALSON, James 1869; DUNSHEE, Dr. Max 1910; EIKENBERRY 1880; ENSLOW 1914, 1915, 1917; ERVIN, Nathaniel 1870


    FEHRER, Al 1977; FEHRER, Frank 1887, 1894, 1913, 1918, 1930FEHRER, John 1930; FEHRER, Wayne 1956; FITZGERALD, Elmer 1949; FOGLE, Byron 1915; FOGLE, Columbus 1928; FORD, John Introduction; FRENCH, T.C. 1877; FRENCH, T.M. 1904, 190.; GASS, Floyd 1926; GASS, Frank 1926; GASS, Loren 1926; GILLISPIE, Emmet 1955; GILLISPIE, J.H. 1887; GLEASON, P.L. 1912, 1930; GOODE, Lo 1908, 1946; GRAHAM, R.J. 1868; GRAY, G. 1898, 1924; GRIESBAUM, Ed 1916, 1925; GRIFFITH, Dr. R.C. 1928

    HADLEY, Charlie 1917; HADLEY, J.W. 1911; HADLEY, M.W. 1921; HALTOM, Bert 1913, 1916; HALTOM, Bryant 1948; HALTOM, Ed 1905; HALTOM, George 1918, 1921, 1928, 1930, 1955, 1959; HALTOM, Jewel 1968; HAMILTON, T.L. 1921; HARDMAN, Grace 1959; HARDMAN, Ray 1959; HATFIELD, G.E. 1892, 1918; HATFIELD, Olive 1918; HEEMSTRA, Edith Introduction; HELMS, Lucinda 1849; HELMS, Nicholas 1845; HELMS, Rachel 1845; HERRON, Clayel 1946, 1948; HITE, Ronald "Peak" 1951; HOCH, Glen 1888, 1898, 1904, 1924; HOFFMAN, Louis 1900, 1906, 1913, 1916; HOLLIDAY, Ted 1924; HOSSACK, John 1900; HOWARD, George 1887; HOWARD, Rev. Guy 1847; HOWARD, Rev. Joseph 1847, 1851


    JACOB, Frank 1926; JACOBS, Bob 1930, 1933; JOHNSON, Danley 1872; JOHNSON, F.E. 1921; JOHNSON, Lewis 1946; JOHNSON, Murl 1893; JOHNSTON, Don 1869; JOHNSTON, John 1855; JONES, Will 1872; KALITSKI, Gerhard "Blackie" 1977; KIRKHART, Frank 1893; KONRAD, Bob 1979; KONRAD, Chris 1876, 1885, 1887, 1900, 1913, 1976; KONRAD, Frank 1884, 1898, 1914, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1930, 1934; KONRAD, Jerome 1926; KONRAD, Norbert 1888; KONRAD, Paulus C. 1892, 1914, 1924, 1955; KONRAD, Ronnie 1929; KONRAD, Sim 1909; KOVACS, Father John 1927; KUNATH, C. 1880; LACEY, Addis 1890; LACY, Emily 1854; LACY, J.T. 1854, 1856; LANDES, Sam 1892, 1897, 1912, 1918; LAWRENCE, Paul 1919; LEPLEY, Lou 1924; LEPLEY, Rose  1920; LOOSEBROCK, Dr. John 1919, 1924, 1931, 1941, 1942; LOOSEBROCK, Madonna 1919, 1941; LUSE, Mike 1901

    M - N

    MALLORY, S.H. 1878, 1880, 1892; MANSER, Mildred 1892; MARSH, Carl 1854, 1918; McCARTNEY, Andrew 1865; McCLURG, J.E. 1869, 1880-1881; McCOLLAM, Joseph 1865; McCRAY, Eugene 1915; McCUDDEN, Mr. 1884; McFARLAND, Charles 1913; McFARLAND, Paul 1916, 1917, 1946; McKINLEY, William 1860, 1867, 1869, 1878, 1880-1881, 1890, 1892, 1895, 1901; McKINNIS, Billie Ted 1893; McKINNIS, Henry 1893; McKINNIS, Henry Jr. 1893; McKINNIS, John 1893; MEEK, Carlie 1918; MILLEN, Roy 1916, 1917; MILLER, Charles F. 1902; MILLER, Dr. John 1866, 1893; MILLER, George 1906, 1929, 1935, 1962; MILLER, Glen 1921; MILLER, J.A. 1916; MILLER, Lucinda 1866, 1893; MILLER, Marvin 1960; MILLER, Miles 1945; MILLS, Elias 1902; MILLS, Harry 1902; MILLS, John 1851; MILLS, Joseph 1908; MILLS, R.O. 1922; MILLS, Ray 1922; MOSHER, Ed 1908, 1915, 1917, 1922; MOSHER, Merrill 1956; MOSSMAN, Dr. Clair 1927; MURRAY, C.T. 1924; MURRAY, Tom 1870, 1916; MYERS, Amy 1928; MYERS, Ann 1893; MYERS, Firman/Furman 1903, 1911; MYERS, Issac 1869-1870, 1878, 1880-1881, 1886, 1888, 1890; MYERS, Samuel 1854, 1856, 1893; NEEDLES, Chick 1917, 1931, 1932; NEEDLES, Solomon 1874; NEER, Dean 1898, 1965; NEER, Don 1959; NEER, Glen 1942; NEER, Merlin 1868, 1892; NEER, Ronnie 1965; NICKELSON, Frank 1960; NICKELSON, Irene 1944, 1960; NICKELSON, Joe 1944, 1960; NICOL, Anna 1868; NICOL, J.H. 1896; NICOL, S.W. 1868, 1892; NOLEN, R.F. 1898; NOLTE, Doug 1884, 1975; NUSSBAUM, Loren 1944

    O - R

    O'BRIEN, Bob 1951, 1954; O'DELL, Becky 1916; OSENBAUGH, Lawanda 1947; OSENBAUGH, Dale 1951, 1956; OVERMYER, George 1917; OVERMYER, Walter 1922, 1931; OXENRIDER, Cleo 1874; OXENRIDER, Henry 1854-1855; OXENRIDER, Margarett 1854; OXENRIDER, Sam 1854, 1858, 1916

    PARKINS, Boyd 1908, 1916; PARKINS, Darrell A. 1933, 1949, 1956; PARKINS, Everet 1918; PITS, Dr. C.D. 1911; POGUE, Anna 1880; POGUE, James A. 1880, 1897-1899, 1915; PRESSLEY, Dr. William H. 1872; PRESSLEY, Sophia 1872; PRESSLEY, T.C. 1867;

    PROCTOR, Ruben 1877; PURCELL, James 1851; RALPH, Mae 1920; RALSTON, Sam 1894, 1897, 1905; RANKIN, Anna 1968; RIDDLE, George 1917; RIPPERGER, Firman 1933; RIPPERGER, Florence 1971; RIPPERGER, George 1921; RIPPERGER, Lee 1944; RIPPERGER, Wilfred 1917; ROBERTS, Benjamin 1868; RODGERS, A.J. 1893, 1898; RODGERS, Edna 1916; RODGERS, Elmer 1930; RODGERS, H.E. 1912, 1917, 1928; RODGERS, Mrs. Lottie 1929; RODGERS, Tuck 1916; RODGERS, Vernon 1918, 1919; RUBLE, Peter 1857

    S - T

    SAMSON Paul 1854; SANDY, Clark 1869, 1920; SANFORD, Harry 1879; SANFORD, Heck 1879; SCHAEFER, Tony 1897, 1974; SCHURMAN, Henry 1869; SCOTT, Louise 1928; SCOTT. W.A. 1933; SEUFERER, Floyd 1869; SHIELDS, Sanford 1930; SHUPE, Art 1888; SHOEMAKER, Donald E. 1966; SHUPE, C.L.V. 1932; SHUPE, Charles 1909, 1915; SHUPE, Clem 1908; SHUPE, Cynthia 1856; SHUPE, Frank 1897, 1900; SHUPE, Isaac C. 1856; SHUPE, J.W. 1897, 1902; SHUPE, Jacob 1856, 1915; SHUPE, Nancy 1856; SHUPE, Roy 1909; SHUPE, Will 1905; SLAUGHTER, Elmer 1952; SLAUGHTER, Ian 1952; SMITH, Dr. J.M. 1924, 1928; SMITH, Mr. 1901; SQUIRES, Carl 1943, 1946; SQUIRES, Maude 1943, 1946; STANLEY, Chauncey 1915; STARR, Dr. J.S. 1911, 1862; STARR, Dr. J.W. 1882, 1897, 1899, 1903; STARR, Rosena 1862; STEWART, G.J. 1888, 1911, 1913, 1940; STRAIN, Ross 1915; STUMBAUGH, Dr. W.D. 1897, 1912, 1919, 1924; STUMBAUGH, Marie 1897; THOMPSON, Jack 1892, 1895, 1902; THORN, J.W. 1902; TIGNER, Brenton 1869; TILDEN, Gus 1929; TOWNSEND, Irv 1932; TRIS, Rev. Alexander C. 1857;

    U - Z

    VAN FLEET, Don 1958; VAN HEESWYCK, Ora 1958, 1959; VAN SYOC, Arlene 1861; VAN ZEE, Roy 1927, 1973; VANDERBUR, Marsh 1892; WADLE, Gene 1979; WALKER, Jon 1895; WARDEN, Frank 1923; WHISTLER, William 1892; WILLIAMS, Cey 1946, 1948; WILLIAMS, D.H. 1872, 1874; WILLIAMS, Dave 1944; WILLIAMS, Foster 1928; WILLIAMS, Harlan 1976; WILLIAMS, LeRoy 1958; WILLIAMS, Lew 1917; WILLIAMS, Loyd 1927, 1951; WILLIS, Anderson 1846, 1851; WILLIS, Charles 1930; WILLIS, Fielden 1846, 1849; WILLIS, Greenbury 1846; WILLIS, Henry H. 1847; WILLIS, Irvin 1846; WILLIS, John 1846, 1851; WILLIS, Lucinda 1848; WILLIS, Martin 1843-1846; WILLIS, Mary 1846-1847; WILLIS, Robert 1846; WILLIS, Sarah 1846; WILLIS, William, Sr 1843-1847, 1851; WILSON, H.M. 1894, 1902; WILSON, Leonard 1888; WILSON, R.A. 1893; WILSON, Thomas D. 1869; WILSON, William 1867, 1896, 1898-1899; WINNING, William 1846; WOODS, Mr. 1909, 1910; ZOOK, Clarence 1931



    1843 (Imaginary line is drawn north & south through the Red Rock Bluffs on the Des Moines River, 7m. north of Knoxville. This line separates the white settlers from the Native Americans. Iowa’s first college, Iowa Wesleyan, was founded at Mounty Pleasant.) William WILLIS, Sr. and his brother Martin, from Davis County, Iowa make a temporary settlement in White Breast Township. They are the first Settlers in the township.

    1844 (First Iowa constitutional convention was held in Iowa City.) William and Martin WILLIS return to their temporary settlement.

    1845 (October 11, at midnight the Native American’s title to the land expires. The territory opens for settlement and thousands of settlers move into the darkness with torches, wagons, horses and on foot to claim land for $1.25 an acre)

    William and Martin WILLIS return again. Nicholas and Rachel HELMS and children from Ohio make the first permanent settlement in newly opened territory, southwest of Bauer, Section 19. Nicholas died in 1865 and is buried in the Willis Cemetery. Rachel died in Missouri around 1872.

    1846(Jan. 13 The County was organized and named Warren for General Joseph Warren, killed at Bunker Hill. The boundaries were defined by official act of the state legislature.)

    April - The first permanent settlement in the township, Sec 25, was established by William and Mary WILLIS along with Martin and Mary WILLIS.

    Spring: (The last Sauk and Fox leave Iowa for Kansas Reservation. However they pass through the Lacona countryside for many years while en route to their fall hunting and spring fishing grounds.)

    Spring: (The first Mormons begin crossing southern Iowa, many pulling hand carts, heading for Salt Lake City, Utah.)

    Anderson and Sarah WILLIS and their six sons, Anderson, John and wife Mary, Greenbury, Fielden, Robert, and Irvin moved into the township and settled on Section 25.

    John WILLIS used his cabin for a school to instruct the WILLIS children and all others until a regular subscription school started. This school, a log structure, was built in time and used until 1855. It was the first formal school in White Breast Township. Its location is unknown.

    The first death in the township was William WINNING. The WILLIS family donated one acre of land for the cemetery. This became known as the Willis Cemetery. It is two miles east of Lacona.

    (December 28 Iowa becomes the 29th state; Ansel Briggs is the first governor.)

    1847 - March 4 - The first birth in the township was Henry H. WILLIS. His parents were Mary and William WILLIS Sr.

    A Cumberland Presbyterian minister, Rev. Joseph HOWARD, preached the first sermon in the township at the cabin of Martin WILLIS. Rev HOWARD remained in White Breast Township for some time before moving to Marion County.

    Guy HOWARD, a great-grandson of Rev. Joseph HOWARD and also a minister, left the Lacona-Newbern area in the early 1920s for Missouri. In 1944 he published a small but successful book “The Walking Preacher of the Ozarks” which in early chapters relates his early life in the Lacona-Newbern area.

    (The University of Iowa was founded in 1847)

    1848 (Pella was founded, the first telegraph line in Iowa began operation, and the first steam mill in Iowa was built at Davenport.)

    November – The first presidential election was held in Warren County: 13 Democrat & 13 Whig votes were cast.                                                                                                                                                                                   

    1849 – The county was formally organized and census taken. The total population for Warren Counts was 153 men, women, & children with a tax collected for the year of $159.39. Total value of property was $26,505. By 1859 the county population was over 9,000.

    (The winter was the worst in memory. The snow was nearly 4’ deep. In the spring the melting snow caused terrible floods.)

    August – Pleasantville was founded.

    October – The first marriage in the township took place, Fielden WILLIS and Lucinda HELMS.

    1850 – Summer – The first temporary bridges and roads leading to the county seat were laid out. Early surveyors followed trails already in existence.

    July 1 – County commissioners established White Breast Township.

    1851 – Spring – Warren County’s first jail (Indianola) was built of hewed timbers at a cost of $707.56.

    Sandyville founded.

    (Summer – Weeks of rain caused terrible floods. 75 inches of rain fell on Iowa during the year presenting the worst floods in all of Iowa’s history. 35” is normal.)

    September – Newbern was founded. Newbern at its zenith in 1881 had a population of about 50 with the U.P. Church, 2 general stores, 1 blacksmith and carpenter shop, a steam mill, hotel, drug store, doctor, hardware & implement store & Post Office.

    The first township election was held at the cabin of John MILLS. 9 votes were cast: John WILLIS became the first Justice of Peace for the township, William WILLIS the first clerk, Henry WILLIS the first constable, James PURCELL, Rev. Joseph HOWARD and Anderson WILLIS were the first trustees and J.H. DINWIDDIE the first road commissioner.

    1852 – September – Newbern Cemetery started with the death of Peter A. DAVIS age 2 years, 6 months, 29 days on September 13.

    1853 - E.G. and Sarah BARTLETT moved into the township.

    Bauer was founded. Four Catholic families from Indiana built a hewed log church (16’ x 18’) with a small belfry. In the 1860s a larger log church was erected.  In 1874-1876 the present St. Joseph’s brick was built at a cost of $9,000. In 1905 the Catholic school north of the church was built. It closed in the spring of 1964.

    1854 – May – J.T. and Emily LACY moved into the township buying several hundred acres one mile west of Lacona (Paul SAMSON’S) and christened all surrounding territory “Lacona Prairie”.

    J.T. LACY had been born in Durham, Canada of English ancestry. He was educated at Hanover and Lebanon Liberal Institute in New Hampshire where he taught school until becoming a lawyer.

    Emily LACY had been educated at Marietta College, Ohio. They moved from farm to Indianola in 1875.

    Water power mill, Stewart’s Mill, was built by Joseph H. STEWART on a high bank of White Breast, southeast of Lacona near the Carl MARSH home (this is an approximate date). There was a natural fjord north of the mill. It was believed to have been a grist mill. There is no record of what became of the mill, however water mills on small rivers were constantly plagued with problems – water freezing in winter and water shortages in summer.

    A steam grist mill was built in Lacona in the spring of 1869. In later years the fjord, called Bell Fjord, became a popular site for baptisms because of rock riffles and shallow water.

    Willis and Elizabeth CLEVENGER and their children left Indiana and moved to the township locating where Lacona now is.

    Willis CLEVENGER and Samuel MYERS bought land from the government where Lacona presently sits. CLEVENGER bought north of Main Street and MYERS south of Main Street. They paid $1.25 an acre.

    October - Henry and Margarett OXENRIDER settled ½ mile south of Lacona in a log cabin. Their son, Sam OXENRIDER was 10 years old.

    Oct. 25-27 - (The first annual Iowa State Fair was held at Fairfield. For the next 21 years it was held in various cities across the state. In 1879 the fair located permanently in Des Moines. In the fall the first bridge to span the Mississippi River was completed between Davenport and Rock Island.)

    1855 – January – Henry OXENRIDER and a few settlers gathered on the ice near Stewart’s Mill and awarded E.G. BARTLETT the contract for erecting a school.

    Spring – A caravan of covered wagons from Ohio brought W.J. COCHRAN, J.M. and Mary COCHRAN, and their Irish-born parents, William and Elizabeth COCHRAN. They settled 1 ½ mile northeast of Lacona.

    John JOHNSTON, born in Scotland, moved into the township and settled 1 1/3 mile north of Lacona.

    Summer – E.G. BARTLETT completed the first public school in the township atop a high hill south of Lacona in the southeast corner of Section 28.

    (Drake University was founded at Oskaloosa and later moved to Des Moines.)

    August – Warren County Agricultural Society organized and the first fair was held Oct 1 and 2.

    December – Willis CLEVENGER was elected as the township’s first postmaster. For a while he carried the mail between Newbern and Indianola. During this month he proposed to lay out a town.

    December (the first railroad built in Iowa was completed from Davenport to Iowa City.)

    1856 – January 6 – The first church in Warren County was dedicated. It was a brick building built by Methodists in Indianola at a cost of nearly $4,000.

    May – Jefferson was founded by Samuel MYERS and Willis CLEVENGER. It was surveyed by J.T. LACY and lots sold for $10. As originally plotted, Jefferson comprised of a Public Square and 8 immediate blocks surrounding the square with a border road. All streets were 60 feet and alleys 12 feet. MYERS owned south of Main Street and CLEVENGER north.

    Summer - The first house, a log house, in Jefferson was built by John M. COCHRAN who with his brother, W.J., became the first merchants in town. They put in a regular line of merchandise – a general store. It was located where the Community Building stands.

    Isaac C. and Nancy SHUPE moved into the township. Two years later his parents, Jacob J. and Cynthia SHUPE move to White Breast Township.

    Maps of the state showed practically no roads laid out at right angles, but rather they followed Indian trails or ran along the ridges to keep on high and dry land. Thus the roads tended to wind through the countryside. An example of this is the road between Lacona and Newbern.

    1857 – January – The Great Blizzard. Snow became 3’ deep on level ground and high winds piled drifts 15’-20’ high with many cabins covered to their roofs. Supplies ran low and game was scarce because of the extreme cold and heavy snow.

    March – (Spirit Lake Massacre – This was the only known uprising against white men in Iowa History)

    Spring – Heavy snows melt with terrible flooding all over Iowa. Lacona people, because of high water and no bridges across any streams, could not get far in any direction for nearly three weeks.

    June – The town’s name was changed for mail purposes because there was another Jefferson in Iowa. “Laconia” was a projected town by Rev. Alexander C. TRIS from Holland and was to be located 1 ¾ mile northwest of town, near the Jerome DITTMER farmhouse. He gave up establishing a colony of Holland United Presbyterians. “Lacona” was then suggested and adopted. The name officially took effect September 5, 1857.

    Another version claims that at one time there was a lake just east of town on the bottom called Lake Ona and from that Lac-ona. Although this sounds plausible, nothing has been found to substantiate the story.

    (Des Moines was founded)

    Blacksmith Peter RUBLE moved to Lacona. (This is an approximate date) In March 1858 he set up smithing on the lot south of the Catholic Church. He sold the property in June 1863 to blacksmith John E. COOK. It is believed that a blacksmith operated at that site until early 1880s.

    1858 (Iowa State University was founded)

    Summer – Sam OXENRIDER enrolled at Howes Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa to complete his education. He graduated in the spring of 1863. He taught school until January 1865 and then enlisted as a soldier in the Civil War.

    August – (The first successful oil well in the U.S. was drilled at Titusville, Pennsylvania by E.S. DRAKE.)

    1860 – April - (The first Pony Express route was established)

    June – Masons of Lacona, Lodge #152 organize and are granted a charter. They were meeting at Newber and moved to Lacona in 1880. Due to a decline in membership, the Lacona Masons disbanded in the mid- 1930s and joined the Chariton Lodge.

    August – (Simpson College was founded)

    December – John M. COCHRAN and William McKINLEY bought one acre of ground in the SE corner of Section 21 for a sawmill.

    1861(Civil War began with the fall of Fort Sumter in South Carolina)

    April 15 – A two year old girl, Mary E. CORWIN, died with no place to be buried. William COCHRAN donated land for a cemetery. The child was originally buried near the COCHRAN house but Mrs. COCHRAN was bothered by the closeness of the grave and the cemetery was moved back into the timber where it is now located.

    April – When the Civil began it was reported that “every able-bodied man enlisted except the blacksmith John COOK.”

    Spring – The first steam saw mill at Lacona was completed by John M. COCHRAN and William McKINLEY. It was located on Mill Branch (the reason for the creek’s name) near the highway bridge on the west side.

    John COCHRAN living southeast of Lacona, feared small groups of Missouri rebels might raid southern Iowa counties while the men were away at war. For greater protection and safety of his wife, Mary, and two children, he built a frame house on Main Street. (At the time this was written Arlene VAN SYOC was living in the house). He enlisted in the army and chained a large guard dog near the front door. He returned a major in August 1865.

    Summer – Sam MYERS’ log hotel was torn down and a wood frame hotel was built at the same site. In the lobby was the Post Office and in a side room was a general store.

    1862 – January 8, Willis COOK was killed near Charleston, Missouri. He was the first Lacona man killed in the Civil War. He had enlisted August 29, 1861.

    Dr. J.S. and Rosena STARR and 2 children move to Lacona. His practice was set up on the corner of Main Street, south of the blacksmith.

    May – (The first federal income tax law was passed and the Office of Internal Revenue was established. In 1872 the tax was repealed but revived again in 1894.)

    (The Gatling Machine Gun was produced by Richard Gatling.)

    1863 - Cash COLES and his mother, Eliza, moved to Lacona.

    (Battle of Gettysburg – 40,000-50,000 people were killed in the greatest battle of the Civil War.)

    Willis CLEVENGER donated land for a city park. He had enlisted August 8, 1862 and discharged March 30, 1863 for medical complications (dysentery). He died November 24, 1866 from the results of that illness. He was buried in Cochran Cemetery.

    (Indianola was incorporated.)

    1864Dr. APPLEGATE moved to Lacona.

    1865 – April 14, (Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.)

    Fall – This was the last year a bear was seen or killed in Warren County

    November 24 – The United Presbyterian Church was organized by Andrew McCARTNEY, an Irishman.

    December – Attorney Joseph McCOLLAM set up practice in Lacona. He served the community until November 1887 when he moved to National City, Georgia. He died there May 1891.

    1866 – May – (First observance of Memorial Day.)

    Dr. John and Lucinda MILLER moved to Lacona.

    Fall – The first church in Lacona, the United Presbyterian, was completed It was a wood frame building costing nearly $1,500 with the first services in October. The church was located north of the Chet RANKIN house, facing south.

    1867 – The William McKINLEY and William WILSON saw mill began operating one mile east of Lacona near White Breast. The mill is known to operate at this site into the 1890’s before shutting down.

    This is about the time that Lacona’s second public school was built in the west center of the city park. It was a 2-story building and a bell and tower were added April 1885. The old Garrison school was bought by T.C. PRESSLEY and moved south of the park for a house.

    This was also about the time that the first millinery shop opened in Lacona. For many years Lacona had two millinery shops, the last closing in the 1930s.

    (The first railroad was completed across the state. Iowa’s first baseball game was played at Burlington.)

    1868 May – Lucas was founded.

    Around this time a shingle company began in the west part of Lacona, complete with a shingle machine. A year later the owner was trying to sell the business.

    (First successful torpedo was developed. First patent for barbed wire was issued)

    Dr. S.W. and Anna NICOL and family moved to Lacona. They lived on the corner lot west of Merlin NEER’s.

    September – The first and only lynx ever seen in the county was killed by R.J. GRAHAM five miles northwest of Indianola.

    Fall – Benjamin ROBERTS opened a second blacksmith shop on the Main Street, on the corner of West and Main.

    1869 – April 28 – First meeting dealing with proposed railroad was held at Lacona School. A committee of leading citizens was formed to attend a railroad meeting at Chariton. Many similar meetings were held over the next ten years.

    Spring – Thomas D. WILSON built a two-story wood hotel at the corner of Washington & Cotton. It came to be called Buzzard’s Roost because of the hilltop setting and commanding view. Rooms for rent and apartments were both available. The building was torn down by Clark SANDY in 1920 and the present house of Brenton TIGNER was built.

    Issac MYERS and William McKINLEY’S steam grist mill was built near Mill Branch (the site of the present elevator). Issac was discharged from the Civil War on March 1863 but did not buy the 35 acres until October 1, 1868 at $10 an acre.

    September 26 – McClurg Chapel was dedicated. It was built by J.E. McCLURG and designed by architect James DONALSON. In its day it was considered “among the neatest if not most tasty church in the county” with Gothic doors and windows, cupola bell tower in front with an 800 pound bell, carpeted floor, 3 aisles, chandeliers and will-appointed interior costing McCLURG nearly $2,800. It stood on the corner lot where Floyd SEUFERER lives. The Church was bought by the Methodists October 1870. In the early 70s it reverted back to McCLURG. The building became a lecture hall, then a dance hall before being moved northwest of Lacona near Jerome DITTMER’S present house in late 1874 or early 1875 and turned into a house by Don JOHNSTON. Henry SCHURMAN tore down the church-turned-house in the late 1920’s and built the present farm house.

    1870 Spring - Nathaniel ERVIN built a livery and feed barn north of the present Methodist Church. The barn ran east and west with an L running off the east end north. In later years the owner Tom MURRAY mounted a windmill on the roof with support posts inside to water horses year round without the water freezing. The barn was torn down in August 1924.

    Summer - Issac MYERS built a livery barn on Main Street. It stood east of the present blacksmith. It came to be known as the “Red-faced Barn.”

    (The last stagecoach in Iowa, unable to compete with the railroad, went out of business)

    1871 – January – Farmland in White Breast Township sold on average $10 an acre for improved land and $6 an acre for the unimproved.

    St. Mary’s first church at Rosemount was built. It was a wood building. In 1916 the church was torn down and the current brick one was built. The rectory was built in 1908 and the combination school and convent was built in 1910. The school close in the spring of 1959.

    (October 8 – The Great Chicago Fire burned from the 8th to the 11th)

    1872 – Within nine blocks making up Lacona in 1872 were 50 buildings, either houses or businesses.

    D.H. WILLIAMS bought the Cochran and McKinley saw mill on Mill Branch.

    Spring – Dr. William H. PRESSLEY and wife, Sophia, moved to Lacona. He died in 1875 and Sophia died in 1897. Will JONES opened his new drug store on the corner of Main and Washington (where the Community Building now is), The Cochran brothers log store was torn down.

    Summer – A mineral spring was discovered 2 ½ miles north of Lacona in a timber lot along Wolf Creek. It was believed that the water possessed great medicinal and healing properties. In a short time invalids came from surrounding counties in all directions erecting tents near the spring while others send wagons with barrels.

    December – There was talk of building a large hotel or hospital near the spring by owner Danley JOHNSON if waters continue to cure diseases.

    1874 – Ackworth was founded.

    Summer – About this time a covered bridge built across White Breast ¾ mile east of Lacona. This bridge was specifically mentioned in a March 1892 article and a few older people now living in Lacona remember parents talking of the bridge. In the 1872 atlas of the county, the road still crossed at the fjord near the site of Stewart’s Mill southeast of today’s bridge. But on the 1887 map, the road changed and ran straight east across the bottom as it is today. Chances are the covered bridge was the first bridge across the river east of town. It was replaced by a new iron bridge in November 1899. This bridge had iron side rails and a plank floor similar to the one near Cleo OXENRIDER’S, southeast.

    D.H. WILLIAMS built his house (Bob DITTMER’S) of native walnut lumber cut from his sawmill. The log cabin south of the road on the ridge was torn down.

    Around this time Solomon NEEDLES built the first farm pond in the area, 1 ½ miles northwest of Lacona, using horses, slip scrapers and working most of one summer.

    1875 – March – Lacona’s first brass band was organized, the Coronet Band. From 1875 until the mid-1930s Lacona had a small town band. Many times during these years Lacona became well-known for its quality music.

    April – Dr. APPLEGATE moved to Indianola. Dr. J.H. NICOL, a recent graduate of Keokuk Medical School, moved to Lacona. Dr. NICOL served to the medical needs of the area until 1896.

    Liberty Center was founded.

    (Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.)

    1876 June – White Breast Township passed a 5% tax increase to aid the Chariton to Indianola railroad. The vote was 137 yes and 37 no.

    June 22 – Blacksmith Chris KONRAD came to Lacona. He had been born in Germany.

    (June 25 – George Armstrong CUSTER along with 201 fellow soldiers are killed near the Little Big Horn River in Montana.)

    July 4 – Lacona and the township celebrate the nation’s centennial with fireworks, jubilee in the park noted speakers and the town band.

    (August 2 – Wild Bill HICKOK was shot in the back of the head by Jack McCALL.)

    August – Chris KONRAD bought a house, blacksmith and furnishing on Main Street, on the south side, east ½ block from Main and Washington. The business was purchased from John E. COOK. This business eventually employed 15 men in his wagon, carriage, and bobsled factory.

    1877 – T.C. FRENCH opened a third blacksmith shop at the bottom of Main Street, the south side on the corner, where the new CO-OP is currently located.

    September – The Young Ladies Literary Union was formed. Such societies organized year in & year out until the late 1890s.

    November 14 – Wednesday – Ruben PROCTOR was hung from the crossbeam of scales at Schonburg, 7 miles north and ½ mile west of Lacona while 600 to 700 spectators look on. He was hung by an angry mob of vigilantes because PROCTOR, accompanied by another man, shot Miss Augusta CADING while attempting to rob the family of money her father reportedly had in the house after selling his farm. She died the day after the hanging but lived long enough to identify PROCTOR. He was reportedly buried in Lacey Cemetery 1 ½ mile northeast of milo in an unmarked grave. This is the only hanging to ever occur in the county.

    December – Young men of Lacona organize a Literary Society

    1878 – September 21 – First day of grading the road bed for laying the ties and rails began at Chariton, heading northwest.

    November – Railroad magnate S.H. MALLORY of Chariton bought land south of Lacona. Issac MYERS and William McKINLEY wanted the depot west of town but there wasn’t enough room for the switches and stockyards so MALLORY bought land south and put the depot where he wanted it.

    Wolf hunts became popular in the county and continued into the early 1880’s.

    December 23 – 2:35 p.m.: The first train from Chariton entered Lacona. The steam engine left Lacona at 2:40 and arrived in Chariton at 5:00 p.m.

    1879(February – Thomas EDISON invented the first successful light bulb.)

    March – Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway (CB&Q) from Chariton to Indianola was completed. Passenger trains stopped four times and freight trains twice daily with mail coming in and going out on passenger trains. A side spur served  a grist mill.

    April – The Lacona depot was completed. Stockyards were built in conjunction with the depot.

    May – The “Railroad Addition” was surveyed, recorded and opened for development. Lots along Washington Street in the Railroad Addition were 8 to a block instead of 4 because Mallory believed businesses would build along the street so it was divided into store-size lots.

    September – “Lacona Record,” Lacona’s first newspaper, was published. It was believed to have been but one sheet printed on both sides and operated by Heck & Harry SANFORD. This was the second newspaper in the county, the first being Indianola August 1855.

    December – Milo was founded.

    1880 – The first saloon opened in Lacona. It was operated by C. KUNATH. The location is unknown.

    March – EIKENBERRY & Company, dealers in lumber and grain, set up business operations north of the depot and began work on a storage buildings.

    Summer – Issac MYERS’ & William McKINLEY’S two-story building at the corner of West and Main was completed, running south to north. There was a large store room of the first floor, a large open hall on the second (McKINLEY Hall) with an inside stairway serving the hall. The stair entrance was on West Street at the north end of the building. There was an anteroom at the top of the stairs. The hall was rented and used for balls, dances and parties. It was also used for church services, functions and Sunday School as well as a lecture hall and city hall. But that’s not all. It was used by the town band, medicine shows, theatrical troupes, schools, etc.

    July – The “MYERS First Addition” was surveyed, recorded and opened for development, the southwest section of town.

    James A. and Anna POGUE moved to Lacona and opened a small drug store in the MYERS & McKINLEY Building, on the first floor. In 1887 general merchandise was added.

    Mt. Zion Cemetery – The primitive Baptist Church 5 miles south of Lacona was completed at a cost of $550. It was torn down in 1978.

    December – A grain house from Osceola, bought by S.H. MALLORY & J.E. McCLURG, moved to the corner lot northwest of the depot for grinding feed. In later years it was run by Stansburry CHIPPS.

    1881 – February – J.E. McCLURG rented the Myers Building and opened a first class hotel called “CB&Q”. The exact location in not known and folded in a short time.

    December 5 – Lacona was incorporated. A mayor, councilmen, recorder, treasurer and marshal were elected for the first time and McKINLEY’S Hall was used as the first City Hall.

    1882 – April – John W. STARR, son of Dr. STARR, was a recent graduate of Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons. He set up a drug store in Lacona. The drug store remained in business until 1887 when he moved to Avery, Iowa to practice medicine.

    1883 – April – the Methodist Church was organized by evangelist M.A. CASTLE with a congregation of fifteen. Services were regularly held in the school house until 1885 when McKinley Hall was used as a worship center. In 1889 the church was built.

    1884 – Fall – Around this time the first roller skating rink goes in on Main Street. The exact location is not known. A rink appeared in one building or another rather steadily until the last rink closed in the mid 1920s. It was run by Mr. McCUDDEN in Frank KONRAD’S store building on the corner of where Doug NOLTE is located.

    1885 – A brick and tile factory began operating ¾ mile east of Lacona (just east of the present White Breast bridge on the south side). It is believed to have shut down in the early 1890s.

    April – A bell and tower was placed atop the two-story school in the park.

    July – The Miller brothers  complete Chris KONRAD’S two-story, wood-frame blacksmith and wagon factory. It was 30’ by 50’ with a foundation of cut stone and a ramp leading down into the basement. There was a small hardware store just east and both stood on the south side of Main Street, across from the present bank.

    1886Issac MYERS built a large grain elevator opposite the grist mill, east of the mill’s side spur, near the present elevator. The elevator began operating in July 1887.

    September – Professor A.W. AUL made Lacona’s ten grades into a full twelve. He left Lacona in September 1888.

    1887Frank FEHRER arrived from Germany and began smithing for Chris KONRAD.

    (The first graphophone, a disc model with a horn, is produced)

    October – Lacona’s first library was established by Parmalee Library Company in George HOWARD’S Drug Store. He was also the librarian. The Library was located on the site of the present Mobil station. The store and books were destroyed by fire on November 18, 1887.

    October 30, Monday – The body of a medium sized, middle-aged woman was found jammed into a 22” x 18” x 16” box as the morning train neared the Lacona depot. The box was addressed to J.H. GILLISPIE of Des Moines, a young M.D. recently of Chariton. The doctor was arrested on Tuesday and returned to Chariton. The grave of a Chariton woman who had died of typhoid fever the previous week had been robbed.

    November 18, Friday – Lacona’s Great Fire. It started at the bottom of Main Street on the South side, 24 houses, businesses or buildings were destroyed and many others were damaged. “The cry of FIRE rang out upon the midnight gale borne from house to house by Henry CUMPTON as he rode rapidly over town. Almost wiped out the whole town. It started at midnight and the whole town was on fire from the west to the east on the south side of Main Street. The whole south side of Lacona would have burned had it not been for a slight change in the night wind. In less than two hours from the first alarm, the buildings were a heap of smoldering ruins.” The estimated loss was $17,000. The cause was determined to be sparks blown from ruins of an earlier house fire that ignited weeds and litter at the base of the store.

    1888 – May 3, Thursday – A tornado hits Lacona. The saw mill on Mill Branch was destroyed, the roof and east side of the Myers & McKinley building was ripped off and farmer Leonard WILSON inside was crushed to death, and the school in the park was moved on its foundation.

    May – The Christian Church was organized.

    Art SHUPE built a structure of railroad ties one atop the other and raises the roof back onto Myers & McKinley building.

    The first class graduated after four years of high school. Nine of the graduates became teachers.

    June – Chris KONRAD’s hardware store, with a blacksmith in the basement, is completed. It was built atop the original blacksmith foundation of the 1886 building. The west ramp still led into the basement.

    White Breast Township purchased a new road grader.

    Summer – G.J. STEWART & Company of Chariton, dealers in lumber and grain, set up a branch in Lacona, The Stewart Lumber & Grain Company.

    Gene BAKER rebuilt his General Store on the same site. Haltom’s was on the corner.

    December – Issac MYERS’ house was completed at the northwest edge of Lacona (Norbert KONRAD’S). He began the basement in July and moved in on December 14. In 1889 he built a board sidewalk beginning at the corner of West and Franklin and running catty-corner across the block to the porch of his house.

    December – The Christian Church was competed. The cost was approximately $750. Originally it was set on the corner of East & Main (where Glen HOCH’s house sets) with the entrance facing north. The church was moved to its present location in June 1906.

    1889(The first modern two-wheeled bicycles were brought into Iowa. Soon the bicycling rage swept the state.)

    October – James and Nancy DARR bought the large McCollam house just north of the present Community Building. Additions were built and it was called “The Darr Hotel.” The hotel and other businesses burned the night of March 19, 1902.

    November – A hoop pole factory set up operation. Hoops are the rings which hold barrel staves together. The location and length of time they were in business is unknown.

    1890 – February – Elson & Thompson’s new furniture and undertaking store, north of the Christian Church along the alley, opened. It was a one-story wood building with an inside balcony.

    May – Issac MYERS and Bill McKINLEY’s large grist mill and elevator at the west edge of Lacona was destroyed by fire. The cause was unknown but it started inside the mill shortly before 6 a.m.

    Addis LACEY arrived in Lacona on a Saturday night with 15 carloads of Texas sheep. He drove them to his farm one mile west of town.

    The Methodist Church was dedicated on May 25. The building had begun in 1888. It was first used for services September 1889 and was completed May 16, 1890 at a cost of $1,126.29.

    1891 – February – The Lacona Creamery Company’s building was completed. It was a large wood-frame building and sat just north of Lacona city limits on the west side of the road. It was moved from Kaloma.

    August – The newspaper’s new printing office north of the Myers and McKinley building was completed.

    October – Tom BELL purchased Issac MYERS’ saw mill one mile east of Lacona. This was the original McKinley and Wilson mill of 1867. The mill shut down before 1900.

    The I.O.O.F. Lodge of Lacona #530 was granted a charter.

    November – The Bartlett Hotel, the second hotel on the same site (Ripp. Garage), burned to the ground. It had been built in 1861. The cause of the fire was believed to be a faulty chimney.

    1892 – February – E.G. BARTLETT sold the hotel lot to Jack THOMPSON. Sam LANDES began a jewelry store and watch repair business. P.C. KONRAD set up a business, a 5 & 10 cent store, in the corner of his father’s hardware store. The building stood south of the present bank, on the corner.

    April – Dr. S.W. NICOL, after serving Lacona for 24, years, moved with his wife to Indianola. He died there in February of 1896. His wife died in Lacona November 1909.

    Dr. G.E. HATFIELD, a recent graduate of Rush Medical College in Chicago, set up medical practice in Lacona. He lived in Mildred MANSER’s house with the office on the west side, along the alley.

    May – William McKINLEY sold the lot west of Eloise’s Beauty Shop on the alley to F.R. CROCKER of Chariton for a proposed bank.

    June – Lacona’s new hotel, the Thompson House, was completed at a cost of $2,500. The hotel boasted 16 beds. It was built on the same site as the Bartlett Hotel, the third hotel on that corner.

    July – Lacona’s first bank, Bank of Lacona, opened for business with A.W. CAMPBELL as the first cashier. It was begun by S.H. MALLORY and Frank CROCKER of Chariton and was a wood-frame building costing $800. The building was torn down December 1976.

    This was approximately the time that William WHISTLER built a large feed barn. It stood west of Merlin NEER’s house along the alley. The building ran north and south with the front opening to the south with two rows of stalls. It was torn down early 1920 by Marsh VANDERBUR. The lumber was used to build the barn on the Emma CURTIS farm.

    1893 – April 1 – Saturday – Henry McKINNIS and his three sons John, Henry Jr., and Billie Ted were killed at the saw mill 3 ½  miles southeast of Lacona on White Breast, the result of an exploding boiler heard miles away. The gravestones, at Mt. Zion Cemetery, are all joined and cut from one marble slab. The inscription reads “Keep your lamps trimmed and burning for in an hour ye knoweth not, the Son of Man cometh.” His wife, Elizabeth and surviving children moved from the area.

    May – Frank KIRKHART and his “Kirkhart Brothers Show” with acrobats, clowns, wild-west department and general family entertainment originated in Lacona. In 1893 the show left for the first summer season travelling by horse and wagon. The admission was 25 cents.

    June – A.J. RODGERS bought the funeral and furniture store from Elson and Thompson.

    June 16 – Friday – Samuel MYERS, the founder of Lacona, died at his home 2 ½ miles east of Lacona at the age of 88. Murl JOHNSON farms the land where he died. Mr. MYERS was buried at the Willis Cemetery next to his second wife, Ann, who died in 1887. His first wife died prior to entering the township in 1853.

    Editor R.A. WILSON took over Lacona’s newspaper changing the name to “Lacona Bee.” In April 1895 the name became “Lacona Chief” and in August 1896 “Lacona Sentinel” with numerous owners and many editors.

    (Frank and Charles DURYEA build the first successful gasoline automobile in America at Springfield, Massachusetts.)

    September – The third public school was completed in the park, south of the old school. It was built at a cost of $3,000 - $4,000. The old school was too small and was moved to the south side of Main Street along the alley west of the locker. The building burned in February 1937.

    November – Dr. John MILLER died at his Lacona home. He came to Lacona in 1866 and practiced medicine until his death 27 years later. He was survived by his second wife, Lucy and 7 children.

    (The first Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog was printed.)

    1894 – February – Sam RALSTON moved to Lacona and set up his drug business in the old school. The grand opening was February 12.

    H.M. WILSON of Chariton moved to Lacona to manage Stewart Lumber & Grain Company.

    March – Myers Second Addition was surveyed, recorded and opened for development. This was the northwest section of Lacona.

    July – Frank FEHRER bought the house and blacksmith shop on Main Street at the bottom of the hill on the corner where the CO-OP complex is located.

    August – This year the drought was so bad the crops dried up. By late August many of the trees about the countryside had shed leaves.

    1895 – November – William McKINLEY’s new grain elevator, near the site of the present old elevator, was completed.

    December – Jack THOMPSON sold his hotel to Jon WALKER. The hotel changed hands a number of times until March 1905.

    1896 – April – Dr. J.H. NICOL moved to Viscillia after serving Lacona for 21 years.

    October – Lacona established its first rural route for the delivery of mail.

    December – William WILSON opened a new city bakery in Bob Bauer’s south building.

    December 30, 4 a.m. – Lacona’s depot, the original one, burned to the ground. The fire was believed to be intentionally set.

    1897James A. POGUE became the first owner of a graphophone in Lacona.

    March – Frank SHUPE bought a creamery just north of town, on the west side.

    Dr. W.D. and Marie STUMBAUGH moved to Lacona.

    September – The first known cement sidewalk was poured in Lacona in front of Sam LANDES property (Tony SCHAEFER’S HOUSE). The majority of cement walks about Lacona were poured around 1909 when the streets put on grade although many had been poured on Main Street and individual properties years before. Prior to cement, only board walks were used.

    Fall – The first telephone line, between Lacona and Newbern was completed. The line was extended to Bauer and Liberty Center early in 1898.

    October – Sam LANDES built a new jewelry and repair store on the north side of Main Street, the second building east of Van Syoc’s. It was a wood building.

    J.W. SHUPE completes his two-story, wood-frame building west of Landes’. A hardware store with a sideline of groceries was on the first floor and the second floor was used for storage.

    December – Dr. J.W. STARR’s new two-story brick building with a bay window on the second floor was completed. It was the first building west of the present locker. Dr. STARR returned to Lacona in July and bought Jenkins’ Grocery and lot for his practice.

    Sam RALSTON moved his drug business out of the old school building and into Starr’s new building. Dr. STARR occupied the second floor with his office and living quarters.

    1898 – January – William WILSON built a new ice house, the Beeman Ice House, to serve his future restaurant. It stood on the alley west of Chauncey STANLEY.

    J.G. GRAY completed his new livery barn, a large wood barn east of Glenn HOCH.

    Spring – James A. POGUE completed his house in early July. Dean NEER lives in the house now. This was the most extravagant house in Lacona. It was a one-story building with a two-story turret which had glass on three sides, a marble fireplace and a large porch. The home burned September 1931.

    Frank KONRAD took over his father’s hardware store. Chris concentrated on smithing from the basement.

    At this approximate time Hays CUMPSTON set up a brick and tile factory southeast of the depot. It closed operations around 1903 and began a saw mill on the site in 1907.

    August – Jim POGUE bought Gene BAKER’s store, built on to the south and moved his general store from the Myers & McKINLEY building.

    November – A.J. RODGERS sold his furniture and undertaking store to R.F. NOLEN of Chariton.

    1899 – March – William WILSON completed his new restaurant. It changed hands often until October 1908 when Julius BEEMAN became the owner. It burned in the January 1916.

    March – The Wilson and Starr two-story wood building was completed by William WILSON and Dr. J.W. STARR. The top floor was used as a meeting hall, to be rented. The first floor was a store. In bordered the alley, the site of the Aid Insurance Building.

    June – Jim POGUE’s new brick building was completed. It is currently the locker. The west end of Pogue’s old store (Haltom’s) was open so one could walk from one store into the other. In later years the opening was walled up and the brick building became a millinery shop, a garage and meat locker.

    November – A new iron bridge was built across White Breast River ¾ mile east of Lacona. It replaced the covered bridge.

    1900 – January – Order of the Eastern Star Chapter #269 was granted a charter. The organization disbanded in the 1930s because of few members.

    March – Louis HOFFMAN moved to Lacona and opened a harness shop on West Street, the first bldg. north of laundromat, selling harness, saddles, bridles, sleigh robes, horse blankets, etc. He eventually added a line of Pella-built buggies and wagons.

    Spring – Chris KONRAD bought Frank SHUPE’s creamery just north of city limits. Dave DAUGHERTY moved the building to the south side of Main Street east of Chris’s corner hardware and blacksmith. P.C. moved from the hardware into an old creamery. He and Chris formed a partnership in the mercantile business. The building eventually became the Post Office.

    (December 2 – John HOSSACK, living on a farm near New Virginia, was killed with an axe while asleep in bed.)

    1901 – March – John T. CURL bought John CLEVENGER’s red-faced livery barn, east of the blacksmith.

    May – William McKINLEY sold the corner lot at West and Main to the Bank of Lacona. He moved his home off that lot and half a block north along the alley. This became Marvel CLARK’s home.

    Around this time the five to ten graves of the Myers Cemetery over-looking Mill Branch, near Mike LUSE house, were moved to the Cochran Cemetery. Myers decided to develop the land southwest of Lacona.

    September – Lacona’s new photographer, Mr. SMITH from Avery, set up a studio and picture gallery in a small building south of Wilson’s Bakery. Lacona had another permanent photographer in the late 1890s but was bought out in August by Mr. SMITH. He lived in Lacona but eventually moved to Chariton with the Lacona business open on certain days and hours.

    November – “Myers Third Addition” was surveyed, recorded, and opened for development. Because this addition lay southwest of Lacona, young people soon called it “Nebraska”, alluding to the state of Nebraska laying southwest of Iowa.

    1902 – January – Lacona Fire Association was formed.

    February – The New Bank of Lacona (Peoples Trust) was completed by Enslow of Chariton. Bert CLEVENGER, Lacona’s first barber had a business in the basement.

    The post office moved from the south side of Main Street into the old bank building on the north side. This later became W. Eloise Beauty Shop along the alley.

    J.W. THORN built a private telephone line from his office at the lumber yard by the depot to his home 1¼ mile northeast of town.

    March 19, midnight – The Lacona Ledger office burned to the ground along with the Darr Hotel and meat market which was the source of the fire. The buildings stood north of the Myers and McKinley building.

    Miller and Trimble sold their merchandise to E.S. BAKER of Chariton. Eventually this became Baker and Kirkhart on the first floor of the Myers and McKinley building.

    May – Lacona’s switchboard was installed on the second floor of the Starr building , the fist building west of the locker. The majority of telephones in town and country were installed 1902, completed in 1903.

    The “Oxenrider Addition” south of the school was surveyed, recorded, and opened for development.

    June 21, Saturday – Fire broke out at 3 a.m. in the workshop of the A.J. RODGERS Furniture and Undertaking establishment destroying it, the Lodge Hall above, along with J.W. SHUPE’s Implement Store and Isaac SHUPE’s house. It stood from the corner of the Christian Church north to the alley. The estimated loss was $8,000.

    The bank of Lacona reorganized with Elias MILLS as president and H.M. WILSON as cashier. The name was changed to State Bank of Lacona.

    October 10, Thursday evening – Returning from a pie social at Shupe School, Harry MILLS was thrown from his horse 2 miles west of Lacona. He crawled into John CLEVELAND’s barn and died during the night of head injuries.

    October – Lacona’s new furniture store, in the same location as the former building north of the Christian Church along the alley, was completed. It was run by Jack THOMPSON. It closed in a few years and was bought by the town for the city hall.

    Fall – George H. ACKORS and C.F. MILLER form a partnership in the furniture and undertaking business. The building, which bordered the alley north of Peoples Trust, was completed in 1903. In 1905 George purchased Mr. MILLER’s interest in the business.

    1903Stansbury CHIPPS moved to Lacona from Cool taking over the milling business on the corner northwest of the depot. The name was changed to the Lacona Mill.

    May – Four rural free delivery routes from Lacona were established.

    Dr. J.W. STARR moves to Pocahontas and sets up a practice. He died there in January 1920 at the age of 62.

    Around this time the pickle factory and feather renovating business closed. It had set side by side near the ball diamond. Around 1920 the field moved northeast of the depot and was used until 1928, the last year the town had a football team.

    November – Firman MYERS closed the grocery store, the first store west of Myers and McKinley building, and moved to Roland

    1904 – March – T.M. FRENCH of Earlham bought the Baker and Thorn Lumber Company by the depot.

    The Presbyterian Church disbanded and sold all its property. The Society had been weakened by deaths and removals.

    The Christian parsonage, later Glenn HOCH’s home, was built for $850. The house originally was set east of the church and moved to the present corner location by Charlie FONTZ in 1910.

    1905 – January – Will SHUPE bought the United Presbyterian church and lot. The church was moved back along the alley in April and turned into a barn. The present house was moved onto the lot in September from northwest Lacona.

    John T. CURL sold the red-faced livery barn to Ed HALTOM.

    Spring – John A. CLEVELAND of Lacona became the first man in Warren County to own a car, a one cylinder Cadillac. It was bought for $1,000 from an Indianola car dealer. A Des Moines salesman came to Lacona by train and taught John, who wore goggles, gloves, a driving hat and coat, to drive.

    (September 29 – Iowa’s first automobile fatality, Attorney F.A. HARRIMAN, occurred 3 miles south of Hampton.)

    November – Sam RALSTON’s new drug store, currently a restaurant on the north side, was completed. Soon he added a soda fountain, candy, cameras, film, cosmetics, school supplies, paint, wallpaper, etc.

    1906 – January – The phone company bought the house south of Pogue’s Department Store and installed a new switchboard. The operator was Mr. L.A. BYERS.

    This winter was known for strong, steady winds. Snow became drifted and packed to a point where horses could walk without breaking through. Fences disappeared, roads and fields merged. Many farmers and their teams took to creating their own roads toward Lacona through the fields.

    Keve Lumber Company bought T.M. FRENCH’s lumber yard.

    Spring – Louis HOFFMAN bought the Starr Building, a two-story building west of the locker with living quarters above. He soon bought the next building west, the old school, to store equipment, buggies, and wagons.

    June – E.S. CHITTENDEN established a produce market in Louis HOFFMAN’s vacated building. It eventually became Kenneth BUTLER Produce.

    Another phone line comes into Lacona from the west

    The school in the park employed one male teacher at $75 per month and three female at $38.88 per month. It operated for nine months of the year with 155 children of school age. The average attendance was 117 children and tuition was $1.47 per month.

    July – The Farmers Savings Bank was organized with a capital of $10,000. George MILLER was president and William CARPENTER was the cashier. Their brick building was completed in late 1907 and was east of Konrad’s store.

    October – The county’s first moving picture business opened in Indianola.

    1908 – January – Clem SHUPE and family moved to Lacona and took active charge of his hardware store, the first building west of Myers and McKinley’s.

    Spring – Lo GOODE opened a sale stable near John BABCOCK’S present garage. He bought and sold horses and mules. The operation was moved to his farm south of Lacona in 1910.

    This was the year that many Lacona merchants bought their first car.

    (This was the first year a hunting license became necessary to legally hunt rabbit, squirrel, quail, etc. This law was enforced state wide.)

    September – Ed MOSHER of Liberty Center purchased half interest in G.H. ACKORS Furniture and Undertaking business.

    October - Julius BEEMAN bought the restaurant of Dunshee and Son.

    December – Boyd PARKINS meat market opened, the first door south of Lott’s Restaurant.

    December 8 – Joseph MILLS was accidentally shot high on the left arm by John CLEVELAND at the Cleveland farm 2 miles west while hunting. Cleveland’s trigger caught on a corn stalk. The arm was shot off too close to the shoulder to use a tourniquet and he bled to death.

    1909(Henry FORD began mass assembly line production of cars, the Model T. The production of cars grew from 10,000 annually in 1909 to 7,000 daily in 1917)

    Mr. WOODS, a photographer, bought out SMITH and moved his family to Lacona.

    May – A small brick building was completed by the Beatrice Creamery Company and was run by Sim KONRAD. It was torn down in 1914 when the Palace Theatre was built.

    July – Brothers Charles and Roy SHUPE Hardware Store was completed. It was the first building east of Mosher’s on the north side of Main Street.

    Summer – The Union Church at Newbern Cemetery was completed. It was torn down in the late 1930s.

    September – George ACKORS sold his furniture and undertaking interest to Ed MOSHER.

    1910 – August – Dr. Max DUNSHEE, dentist, returned to Lacona after graduating from Creighton Dental School in Omaha and set up practice. Shortly after this time he moved his practice to Council Bluffs.

    October – Lacona photographer Mr. WOODS moved his family to New Virginia. SMITH returned in early 1911 and remained in business until 1923. He was only open on certain days and hours.

    1911 – August – Dr. J.S. STARR retired from medicine and left Lacona to live with his son John at Pocahontas. He had practiced in Lacona for 49 years before dying November 3, 1911 at his son’s home. His wife, Rosena, died February 1911 at the age of 77. Both were buried at Conchran Cemetery.

    Dr. C.D. PITS and family moved to Lacona to the house just south of the hotel. They left the summer of 1912 for Valeria.

    August – Furman MYERS bought a player piano.

    September – The Catholic Church cornerstone was laid. The old Trimble house was moved south of the Nazarene Church by Dave DAUGHERTY. The house burned in 1920.

    November – The Farmers Savings Bank of Lacona reorganized with many of the best local business men buying stock. J.W. HADLEY was president and C.E. WEST was the cashier.

    December 12 – Fire destroyed G.J. STEWART’s elevator about 8:30 in the evening. The cause was unknown.

    1912 -  P.L. GLEASON bought Sam LANDES’ jewelry business, the second door west of the Myers and McKinley building.

    May – Melcher was founded.

    July – H.E. RODGERS bought the Lacona Hotel and changed the name to the Hotel Rodgers.

    August – Dr. CRUZEN and family moved to Lacona and set up practice and housekeeping just south of the hotel. The house burned June 1933.

    October – Lacona purchased a new chemical fire engine. It was pulled by hand or behind car until the first fire truck was purchased in 1927.

    November 15 – Dr. W.D. STUMBAUGH shot himself 5½ southwest of Lacona in a barn. “Death was caused by bullet wound fired from a revolver into right side held in his own hand”. His wife, Marie, died in Lacona December 1959 at the age of 84.

    November 22, 12:30 a.m. – Fire destroyed the Quinn Meat Market and Grocery Store, the Masonic Lodge and the Smith Photography Gallery. The estimated loss was $5,000. The cause was unknown.

    1913 Louis HOFFMAN began selling Ford cars in conjunction with his harness business.

    May – Chris KONRAD ceased active blacksmith work from the basement and became the postmaster.

    July – Bert HALTOM sold the red-faced livery barn to Charles McFARLAND. It was sold to a Kansas man in 1916 and to Frank FEHRER in August 1918.

    (The first completely paved road between 2 Iowa cities, Mason City and Clear Lake, was started. It was completed in 1918.)

    Frank FEHRER blacksmith shop was completed by Monte ENSLOW of Chariton. It was moved from the old corner building, the site of the present CO-OP station.

    G.J. STEWART and Company completed the grain elevator, the fourth elevator. It is still operating.

    1914 – July – J.M. CORNELL became the first Lacona mail carrier to use an automobile, a Ford, on his route.

    The town of Lacona purchased 11 Coleman Gas Lamps to light up 3 principal streets. They were first lit Wednesday evening July 22. The job of lighting the lamps each evening and extinguishing them in the morning belonged to Otis COOK, the town marshal.

    September – St. Mary’s Catholic Church was completed for a cost of $5,523.06. The first mass was held September 24. The church was lengthened in the spring of 1917, and the rectory and 3 lots were bought in 1925 for $2,650. A garage was built under the house October 1927.

    October – The I.O.O.F. building and CLV Shupe hardware were completed by contractor ENSLOW.

    Baker & Kirkhart moved their merchandise from the Myers & McKinley building to the first floor of the I.O.O.F. building. The vacated store became a hardware, a miscellaneous business, and finally a pool room. Eventually the building was condemned and torn down in 1919.

    November – Work on P.C. and Frank KONRAD’s theater begins. The brick and block building was located east of Konrad’s store. ENSLOW of Chariton was the contractor.

    The Beatrice Creamery building was torn down. The theater was torn down September 1979.

    1915 – January – Byron FOGLE and Ross STRAIN begin a clothing and panatorium (dry cleaning) in the Wilson and Starr building on the first floor.

    February 6 – Jacob SHUPE was killed in his coal mine by falling slate, ¾ mile southwest of Lacona on the south side of Cotton Creek.

    February 26, Friday – The Palace Theater opened with a vaudeville troupe providing entertainment. The seating capacity was 285. It had a raised floor, opera chairs and ceiling fans. There were two motion picture shows a week, Tuesday and Saturday nights beginning at 8:00. The admission was 10 cents and 20 cents with special shows or programs of held during the week.

    August – Eugene McCRAY bought both of Jim POGUE’s stores turning the corner store (Haltom’s) into a meat market. The meat market had various owners until May 1928. The second store, the locker became Bowles and Ralph Millinery in 1920.

    September – Monte ENSLOW began work on a new furniture store for Ed MOSHER. The grand opening was scheduled for January 15, 1916.

    November – Chauncey STANLEY purchased a new traction engine, a Rumley. It ran on kerosene and was the first tractor in the area.

    Charles SHUPE’s new brick hardware was completed by ENSLOW, the first building east of Mosher’s. It became the Farmers Store, a city hall, and a muffler factory.

    1916 – January 6, Thursday – Fire broke out near 1:15 a.m. in Fogle and Strain’s General Store spreading to Beeman’s Café and Hotel Rodgers. All three buildings were destroyed. The estimated loss was $20,000. The cause was an overheated stove in the store. The heat was so intense during the height of the fire that the large plate glass windows in Shupe’s Hardware across the street warped and broke.

    January – Boyd PARKINS opened Lacona Carpet and Rug Factory on the northeast side of town. The business was moved to Indianola April 1917.

    February – Louis HOFFMAN sold harness stock and supplies to Bert HALTOM then concentrated on selling Ford cards and repairing autos in his two buildings west of the Millinery.

    Sam OXENRIDER donated 6 acres on the hill north of town for a new public school.

    April – A special election was held for bringing electricity into Lacona by the Union Service Company of Chariton including poles, lines, transformer station, etc. with a 20 year contract. The proposal passed and the poles were set in June. “Our town will not be in darkness much longer.”

    Tuck and Edna RODGERS built a restaurant on the north side of Main Street, the second building east of Mosher’s. It remained a café under various owners until 1937 when it was bought by the American Legion.

    Summer – Electricity came into Lacona. Twelve large, fluted cast iron lamp posts with single glass globes were installed on Main Street. Some businesses and many Lacona houses were not wired for electricity until the early and mid-1920s.

    September – Enslow and son of Chariton began construction of the Oxenrider Public School. It was completed in the spring of 1917 at a cost of $20,000.

    The contractor Enslow began construction of the Nazarene Church. It was complete March 1917 for approximately $4,700. The parsonage was bough October 1917 for $1,800. The parish had previously used McKinley Hall for services.

    October – Roy MILLEN bought out Louis HOFFMAN, including his Ford dealership and his 2 buildings west of the Millinery. HOFFMAN moved to the Becky O’DELL farm 1½ miles east of Lacona on the hill. In late 1921 L.T. CRAVEN’s Harness Shop opened in the same two buildings followed by a garage run by Paul McFARLAND and Ed GRIESBAUM beginning December 1923.

    October – Lacona held the first Annual Community Fair in the City Park. A second Community Fair was held but the fairs were not held during WW I. After the war the fairs resumed but the were called Fall Festivals and were held in September. The festival included a parade, flower shows, farm & home produce, horse judging, music, dances, races, etc. The last such festival was held October 1930.

    November – Tom MURRAY traded his livery barn, north of the Methodist Church, and adjoining property to J.A. MILLER for MILLER’s farm near Liberty Center.

    1917 – January – George OVERMYER bought E.S. CHITTENDEN Produce, the first building north of the laundromat.

    March – Lacona’s first basketball game played at McKinley Hall between Milo and Lacona. The admission was 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. Lacona won.

    The newly formed Lacona Auto Company, Charlie HADLEY, Roy MILLEN, George RIDDLE, purchased the hotel lot from H.E. RODGERS  and hired Monte ENSLOW to build a garage and show room. They moved into the new building November 1917 and sold Ford cars adding Fordson tractors, plows and discs in 1919. It had various owners until February 1932 when Lydia G. Adler bought the Auto Company.

    The bandstand in the center of the park was built. It was torn down in 1965.

    April – Ed MOSHER and Paul McFARLAND drove to Freeport, Illinois to pick up Ed’s new auto hearse, His first motorized one. He still kept and used the horse-drawn hearse well into the 1920s on occasions when the motor hearse mired down on the mud roads.

    (The Bergman Road Act was passed by the state legislature. It required each county in the state to maintain county roads instead of relying upon farmers and team drags.)

    June – Lew WILLIAMS tore down the school in the park for the lumber. During the summer he tore down McKinley Hall. The lumber from the two buildings was used to build Chick NEEDLES’ barn north of Lacona.

    July – The price of the Lacona Ledger changed from $1.00 per year to $1.50.  There were 48 subscriptions to the newspaper.

    August – Classes were held for the first time in the new Oxenrider high school.

    Fall – Lacona’s First Annual Alumni Banquet was held in the new school.

    October – Lacona’s first plane, a 3 seater bi-plane in connection with the Second Annual Community Fair. It landed on the hilltop south of Lacona and west of the Wilfred RIPPERGER farm. People waited in long lines. The plane took off in a southerly direction and flew to Lacona, circled town and returned to the hilltop. Each ride cost $7.50 per person.

    1918 – February – George HALTOM bought the restaurant from Everet PARKINS.

    March 29 – Carlie MEEK became Warren County’s first traffic fatality, at the Indianola bottom north of town.

    Spring – Three buildings west of the old McKinley Hall was bought by Sam LANDES. They were torn down and the lumber was used to build Carl MARSH’s house southeast of Lacona.

    July 15 – Vernon RODGERS died in France. He was the first Lacona man killed in WW I. The body was returned and buried in the Cochran Cemetery September 1921.

    August – Frank FEHRER bought the red-faced livery barn. It was soon torn down and the lot used for machine storage.

    Dr. and Mrs. J.L. CRUZEN left Lacona and joined the Medical Department of the Army. In August 1919 Dr. CRUZEN returned briefly to sell property and moved to Barnes City.

    December – Dr. and Mrs. G.E. HATFIELD moved to Tustin, California after serving Lacona for 26 years. Dr. HATFIELD died in California from a car accident in 1941. His wife, Olive, died four years later from the effects of the accident. She was 67.

    1919 – February – Dr. W.A. BAGBY, his wife and two children moved to Lacona. They occupied Dr. HATFIELD’s office and residence on Main Street.

    Spring – Vernon RODGERS Post #426 the American Legion was formed. They met in the City Hall north of the Christian Church until September 1929.

    May – The body of Harry CHANDLER was found in the Des Moines River near Harvey. The circumstances of the death were a mystery. He had been discharged from Camp Dodge April 17. A train ticket to Lacona and over $200 were still in his pocket when he was found.

    July – Dr. John and Madonna LOOSEBROCK and their children moved to Lacona south of the Nazarene Church. He set up practice in Dr. STUMBAUGH’s building north of Bob BAUER’s house. In 1923 he moved the office to his house, Paul LAWRENCE’S current residence.

    1920 – Frank KONRAD bought the first electric refrigerator in Lacona, a GE with Monitor top.

    Spring – Lacona’s first baseball field at the foot of Cook Hill on the south side since the mid-1870s was abandoned and a second field was established northeast of the depot. Home plate was in the southeast corner. In 1929 the field was moved a 3rd time, ¾ mile east of Lacona, on the north side. It remained in this location until 1933.

    Buzzards Roost was torn down by Clark SANDY who built a new house on the same lot. B. TIGNER lived in this house now.

    Camp Fire Girls was first established in Lacona.

    July – Millie BOWLES and Mae RALPH open a millinery store. Mae had operated a millinery in Lacona since April 1908. Bowles and Ralph Millinery closed in the early 1930s. The building sat vacant until the mid-1940s.

    The number of horses and mules on farms began to decline with the continued development of truck and gasoline-driven tractors.

    October – Dr. BAGBY and family moved to West Street and set up office in the next house south. This is where Rose LEPLEY lives.

    1921 – Farmer’s Store, first door east of MOSHER’s, a dry goods and grocery store, was established by Glen MILLER, M.W. HADLEY, T.L. HAMILTON, William BRUCE and George RIPPERGER. In October 1924 a room was added back of the store for cream, flour, ware room and to candle eggs.

    Sometime this year George HALTOM bought the first radio in Lacona, Atwater-Kent with earphones. It was installed in a restaurant, now known as Bob’s Place. Later, speakers replaced the earphones.

    December – Lacona’s first filling station was built, Standard Oil, by F.E. JOHNSON where the old McKinley Hall stood. In the late 1920s it became a Conoco. The station had many owners until it ceased operating in the fall of 1964. It was a Conoco at that time.

    1922 – January – The County began straightening the White Breast creek. Complete dredging operation was completed October 23 thus reducing the flood threat which frequently covered the bottom east of town hill to hill. The Stanley Grove and other gathering points along the old channel were abandoned.

    February – Postmaster Walter OVERMYER moved the post office from the south side in the old creamery to a building on the north side along the alley, the 1892 bank building.

    May 29 – The body of a new-born baby was found near the Ripperger Bridge, in the mud of White Breast Creek wrapped in brown paper, tied with string and weighted with brick. The body was brought to the Mosher Funeral Home and displayed. The sheriff was called in and an investigation was held. The crime was never solved and the baby boy was buried in the Newbern Cemetery and marked “White Breast Baby.”

    Ed MOSHER’S old Furniture and Undertaking store, north of Peoples Trust along the alley, was torn down.

    September – Along the road leading into the Cochran Cemetery was an old wood bridge across a ravine at the foot of a hill. This bridge was taken out. A cement waterway was constructed and the road was put on the present grade. The work was done by the County with the assistance Lacona people and area farmers using wagons, shovels and slip-scrapers.

    October – Lacona Auto Company changed hands. Brothers Ray MILLS, and R.O. MILLS of Winterset took over and changed the name to Mills Motor Company.

    1923 – February – Bald Hill Coal Company was organized and exploratory drilling began. The headquarters were in Lacona.

    March – The “Ossified Man” who was visiting relatives southeast of Lacona went on display in the back of the Murray Building, the current post office. His real name was Frank WARDEN and he had been exhibiting himself throughout the U.S. for over 15 years, baffling doctors. His bones and muscles were ossifying and he was carried like a board. It was impossible for him to move his arms, legs or head but he could roll his eyes, smile and talk a little. His food was prepared in liquid form. “His outer body was almost a solid shell yet he was alive; people had never seen anything like it.” It is believed he died in the East, of cancer of the mouth.

    April – Dr. BAGBY installed the first X-Ray machine in Lacona at his office on West Street.

    (May 2-3 – The first non-stop flight coast to coast was made by Army Lieutenants Kelly and Macready flying from New York City to San Diego in 26 hours, 50 minutes and 3 seconds.)

    May – Midwest Lumber Company of Dubuque purchased Keve Lumber Company, by the depot. Dolph CORNELL and Riley CHIPPS continue with the new firm.

    June – Dr. BAGBY and his family moved to Laurens. In April 1928 Dr. W.A. BAGBY was killed when his car was hit by a train in Memphis, Indiana.

    Supper – The road running east and west past Shupe Cemetery was closed and the present road running north and south along the ridge was built.

    1924 – February – A new bell was installed in the Christian Church.

    March – Dr. J.M. SMITH, a dentist, moved to Lacona and set up practice in Dr. STUMBAUGH’S old office and home on the south edge of town where Norb BAUER currently lives.

    Spring – Tennis courts were completed just north of Lacona High School under the initiative of Principal Ted HOLLIDAY. These were double courts with backstops and a clay surface running east and west. It was last used in the mid-1930s. The first tennis court in Lacona was built in the early 1920s west of Dolph CORNELL’s house, currently the home of Bill DAUGHERTY. It was used for a short time. There was also a single clay court at Dr. LOOSEBROCK’s home, 1925-1932 and a single clay court north of P.C. KONRAD’s home, 1928-1934

    Summer – Ku Klux Klan membership and activities were at their peak in Lacona and White Breast Township with night meetings in the city park and burnings of the “fiery cross” near midnight on occasions in fields near Lacona. The Klan began in 1923 and by 1925 had pretty much disbanded.

    July, midnight – G. GRAY’s Livery barn, two lots east of Glenn HOCH, burned to the ground along with the Thompson house. The fire started mysteriously in the livery.

    August - Concerned men of Lacona organized the first town fire department with Frank KONRAD as the fire chief.

    C.T. MURRAY’s large L-shaped feed barn, north of the Methodist Church, was torn down by Lou LEPLEY. The lumber was used to build the barn near the road at the Bob GOODE farm south.

    Earl CLAYTON, of Chariton was killed in a shaft of the Bald Hill Coal Mine four miles east of Lacona. The death was caused by the damps and being crushed between the cage and wall of the shaft. He fell into the water at the bottom of the shaft.

    September – Lacona’s first fire siren was installed on top of the I.O.O.F. building on the southeast corner. It was electrically run, and blown at noon every day to ensure it was in working condition.

    1925 – August – Fred and Charlie BEELER began selling Chevy cars from two buildings west of Bowles and Ralph Millinery. The Beeler Motor Company buildings were sold to Ed GRIESBAUM in 1930.

    August 10 – Straw stack Murder – The skull and charred body of a young woman was discovered in a burned straw stack 2½ miles east of Carlisle. The skull and remains, a tuft of auburn hair, shred of pink silk, pearls, broach pin, watchband, dental fillings and pick ax with a lock of hair clinging to the handle, were displayed in the Carlisle drugstore show case. 40,000 people viewed the display. The crime was never solved. It was theorized the murder occurred during a night party in a nearby shack the same night the straw stack was set on fire (July 24) in hopes of destroying all evidence.

    1926 – February 5 – Frank JACOB’s shotgun accidentally discharged into his abdomen while climbing through a hedge fence as he chased a rabbit, one mile west of Lacona. He died on the morning train en route to Des Moines. He was accompanied by Dr. LOOSEBROCK.

    June 12, 11:30 p.m., Saturday – Frank GASS drowned as he and brothers Floyd and Loren drove their Ford Coup into the flood waters of Wind Branch Creek east of Lacona near the Marion County line. The car was swept off the center of the mud road and plunged head first into a washed out hole 15 feet deep. The body was found Friday morning June 18 near the Chicago Bridge.

    October – St. Mary’s Cemetery began. In August the parish had purchased ½ acre from Jerome KONRAD.

    1927 – March – The first Boy Scout troop was organized in Lacona. Clifford DEVORE was the scoutmaster. Scouts were organized for a second time in 1963 with Loyd WILLIAMS and Father John KOVACS as leaders.

    August – Mill Branch was straightened near the depot to prevent flooding. On October 1929 Mill Branch along the western edge of Lacona was straightened.

    September – Dr. Clair MOSSMAN, a chiropractor, set up business in the south half of the Ledger office building, north of Dairy Sweet on the alley. He was in Lacona for a short time.

    December – The new Phillips gas station, just north of Roy VAN ZEE’s place, opened for business. It was run by Glen BURKETT. The carpenter work was done by Ralph FOGLE. The station eventually became a Mobil Station. It was last used October 1960 and pulled down September 1979.It was the second station in town.

    1928 – March – George HALTOM sold his restaurant business to Foster WILLIAMS. The two buildings had many renters until Feb 1959.

    April – Janitor Columbus FOGLE of Lacona School planted a row of bushes south of the double walk. The bushes were torn out in the late 1950s

    White Breast 4-H Club was organized for the first time under supervision of Louise SCOTT and Amy MYERS with 12 charter members.

    May – George HALTOM bought Dr. J.M. SMITH’s Meat Market, the present corner store. Groceries were added in 1936.

    June – A dance platform was built on brick piers at the bottom of the park. The money was contributed by the businessmen and women of the town. Dances were held on the platform every Saturday night during the summer months for years.

    (July 6 – The first real “talkie movie” is shown in Los Angeles)

    July – H. E. RODGERS installed an ice hut north of the Standard Station, the old Conoco. It sold artificial ice trucked in from Des Moines. In 1939 the ice hut was bought by John Babcock and moved north of the Phillips Station.

    Dr. J.M. SMITH left Lacona. He was soon replaced by another dentist, Dr. R.C. GRIFFITH who occupied the same office, Stumbaugh’s. GRIFFITH stayed for a year and became the last permanent dentist. All future dentists came one day a week.

    July 30, Tuesday – Lacona’s first fire truck arrived. A new 1927 red Chevrolet chemical truck with twin-tanks, it was stored in the basement of Frank KONRAD’s Hardware store. It replaces the 1912 hand-pulled chemical fire engine.

    Fall – The first paved road in Warren County was completed, Highway 65-69

    (November – Republican Herbert Hoover was elected 31st President of the U.S.)

    1929 – September – American Legion bought George MILLER’s house for $600 on Vine Street, the site of Ronnie KONRAD’s. It was remodeled and used as the Legion Hall.

    October – Gus TILDEN, editor of the Lacona Ledger for 22 years, died. His assistants, Miss Ethel CORNELL and Mrs. Lottie RODGERS continued the paper.

    (October 29 – Stock Market Crash)

    1930 – February 14 – Sanford SHIELDS became the first Lacona man killed in an auto wreck. He was travelling at high speed 2 ¼ miles west of Lacona and lost control. His wife was injured.

    February – Farmers and Savings Bank closed. It reorganized and opened for business March 1. The name was changed to Peoples State Bank.

    March – George HALTOM’s slaughter house just northeast of Lacona was completed by Frank DAUGHERTY. A beehive cistern west on the hill was also built.

    P.I. GLEASON’S Jewelry store closed. This was a small building west of the hardware.

    April – A new fire siren was stationed on top of city hall north of the present fire station.

    Spring – Bob JACOBS began operating a freight line to and from Des Moines. He retired from the trucking business July 31, 1974.

    July – Ownership of the Midwest Lumber Company changed. The name was changed to the Lacona Lumber Company and was managed by Dolph CORNELL.

    August – Frank KONRAD’s old hardware store, Nolte’s corner, was bought by the newly formed Lacona Oil Company and torn down.

    September – Ed BRIESBAIM bought the Shupe building west of the locker and converted it into a garage with a cement drive and other remodeling. He and his wife, Mae, lived upstairs.

    October – Peoples State Bank closed. Elmer RODGERS was the manager.

    November – John FEHRER bought the blacksmith shop from his father, Frank.

    December – Stansburry CHIPPS leased the mill northwest of the depot to Charles WILLIS. The mill had a few more owners before closing in late 1932.

    1931 – March – Clarence ZOOK took over as the editor of the Lacona Ledger. Mrs. Lottie RODGERS stayed on.

    April – Kenneth BUTLER bought the produce and shoe repair business from Walter OVERMYER estate.

    Spring – Chick NEEDLES planted a cedar windbreak north of Lacona.

    Fry Hill, ¾ mile north of Lacona, was cut down and put on grade.

    Summer – Dr. LOOSEBROCK bought the Peoples State Bank on the south side was remodeled and the office was moved from the residence, Paul Lawrence’s, to the bank.

    September 18, 2 a.m. – The elegant Pogue house on the west side of Lacona, was totally destroyed by fire. The probable cause was lightning.

    October – Clarence ZOOOK turned the Ledger over to Mrs. Lettie RODGERS because of ill health.

    November – The dirt road between Lacona and Milo was graveled for the first time.

    1932 – February – Lydia G. ADLER bought the Lacona Auto Company from W.A. SCOTT. The franchise for selling Ford cars revoked. The company began to sell Plymouth and De Soto cars.

    March – A.C. STONE of Seymour bought C.L.V. SHUPE’s Hardware.

    May – Main Street received a first coat of gravel and the dirt road west was graveled.

    Summer – The other two dirt roads running south and east out of Lacona were graveled for the first time.

    September – Chick NEEDLES’ barn north of Lacona was struck by lightning and burns to the ground. The barn was rebuilt on the same site.

    Lacona Ledger was bought by Irv TOWNSEND of Milo.

    1933 - March – Darrell A. PARKINS bought Stone’s Hardware.

    Spring – Lacona’s third baseball diamond east of town was abandoned and a fourth diamond began on Washington Street, site of Bob JACOBS’ house, along the alley. The home plate was on the southeast corner of the lot. It was used for a short time until a permanent field was completed southeast of Oxenrider School with lights for the night games. The poles were timber cut from trees and used coal hods for lights.

    Spring – The Lacona Ledger ceased publication after 36 years when it merged with the Milo Motor.

    June 16 – W.A. SCOTT’s home and barn, City Hall, the Christian and Methodist Churches were burned to the ground. The estimated loss was over $21,000. The source of the fire was two boys and a girl playing with matches in Scott’s barn southwest of the Lacona Auto Company. The Methodist Church burned from the top down as bird nests in the belfry caught fire.

    July – The old school house on Main Street south side, second building west of the locker, was bought by the town for City Hall. An apartment was on the second floor with the fire station and meeting hall on the first. The Fire whistle was installed on top of the Lacona Oil Company, the old CO-OP.

    September – Work on the Methodists’ new brick church began. It was completed January 1934. Until the new church was completed, the parish rented the Ledger Building for services.

    Fall – Firman RIPPERGER leased the Lacona Auto Company. In 1934 he began handling International Harvester trucks, tractors and machinery instead of Plymouth and De Soto cars. International Harvester machinery was sold there until the garage closed September 1, 1973.

    1934 – March – Frank KONRAD became postmaster and moved the Post Office to the south side of Main Street, the old creamery building. It remained there until late 1959.

    The last of Lacona’s big ice houses where river ice was stacked and packed in saw dust began to fall into disuse. Eventually all were torn down.

    October – The Farmers Store, the first building east of Mosher’s, closed.

    1935 – Fall – The Ledger Building was torn down by George MILLER.

    1936“Gone with the Wind” was published.

    Summer – This was a summer of exceptionally dry weather. There were no rains at all and the crops dried up.

    1937 – February – City Hall, the second building west of the locker, burned. The town bought and used the Farmers Store building for City Hall. The north end was converted into a fire station with whistle mounted back of the building. It was used this way until the spring of 1958.

    The American Legion bought the second building east of Mosher’s formerly a restaurant and turned it into the Legion headquarters. This building was used until The City Hall was built in the spring of 1959.

    1938 – Fall – The State Bank of Lacona was closed voluntarily with the depositors paid in full. Six Lacona men request banking service. Peoples Trust and Savings of Indianola then opened a branch bank in Lacona, the present bank.

    1939 – Summer – The steel bridge ¾ mile east of Lacona was built. It was torn out in 1975.

    August 24 – Warren County’s new courthouse was dedicated.

    1940G.J. STEWART Lumber and Grain Company closed and all supplies were sold.

    1941 – August – Dolph CORNELL resigned from the Lacona branch of Midwest Lumber Company. He had held the position for 25 years.

    Fall – Dr. LOOSEBROCK and family moved to Perry after serving Lacona for 22 years. He died in Perry October of 1950 and his wife Madonna died April 1976 in Washington, D.C.

    Dr. Chester DEMAREE and his wife Laura moved to Lacona and set up practice in Dr. LOOSEBROCK’s office on Main Street, south side.

    December – Old-timers began gathering regularly each day in Fehrer Blacksmith shop to talk of the war’s progress and play pitch. They continued meeting and playing pitch until the early 1970s.

    1942 – Spring – Glen NEER bought the first chain saw in the Lacona area, a Maul chain saw.

    Bob DITTMER bought Stewart & Company’s buildings and began operating a feed business.

    Fall – Dr. DEMAREE moved his office from Main Street into Dr. LOOSEBROCK’s former home, Paul Lawrence’s. The office remained in this location until June 1945 when he moved into the two-story house at the corner of Vine and Cotton.

    1943 – Winter – The south bank building, east of Konrad’s, is turned into a tavern and has been a tavern since then with many owners and renters.

    Summer – Bauer Pond 4 miles east of Lacona was built.

    November – Carl and Maude SQUIRES bought Ralston’s Drugstore east of the bank. They stopped selling prescription drugs but continue operating a soda fountain and selling stationery, school supplies, tonics, counter drugs and sundries.

    1944 – February 20 – Loren NUSSBAUM became the first man from the Lacona area was killed in World War II.

    April – Lee RIPPERGER completed a brick garage, west of the locker on the south side of the Main Street. The building was used as a garage in his livestock business.

    June 18 – Dave WILLIAMS was killed instantly by lightning while planting corn ¾ miles south of Lacona. The horses were unhurt.

    Fall – Joe and Irene NICKELSON took over as managers of the Lacona branch of the Midwest Lumber, north of the depot.

    1945(Germany and Japan surrender)

    October – Bill CRAWFORD opened his meat locker. Miles MILLER did the carpentry work of converting the vacant millinery store into a locker.

    1946 – Spring – Clayel HERRON and Cey WILLIAMS bought Carl and Maude SQUIRES Sundries business.

    September 8, Sunday afternoon – Approximately 60 Jehovah Witnesses attempted a religious meeting in the Lacona Park. Fights broke out as 25 former G.I.s broke up the meeting because of slurring remarks made by them regarding soldiers, sailors and because they refused to honor the American flag when brought into the park. (Jehovah Witnesses would not serve in the armed services and refused to buy war bonds or salute the American flag) Of the 600-700 people jammed into the west side of the park, approximately 30 received head and face cuts, bloody noses, black-eyes and body bruises as fists, pop bottles, clubs and brass knuckles were used for nearly an hour, until tempers quieted. The park was eventually cleared by Mayor Lo GOODE and Sheriff Lewis JOHNSON to prevent further bloodshed.

    September 10, Tuesday night – 300 residents attended a mass meeting in the town hall and decided to keep all visitors out of Lacona on Sunday the 15th, especially the Jehovahs who planned another park service. The meeting was conducted by county attorney Dale EWALT, Mayor Lo GOODE, Sheriff Lewis JOHNSON and town marshal Paul McFARLAND. All law enforcement agencies approved a plan to blockade all roads leading into Lacona.

    September 11, Wednesday afternoon – As a result of Sunday’s disturbance, the Jehovah’s Witnesses filed charges in the U.S. district court against 7 Lacona people for disturbing an assembly and various degrees of assault. All 7 were found not guilty on September 13 and charges were dismissed by the district court judge. The Witnesses appealed the verdict to the U.S. circuit court of appeals in October which reversed the lower court ruling, but issued no injunction. Lacona had legal fees to pay but no further legal actions were taken.

    September 15, Sunday morning – Sheriff Johnson deputized nearly 100 men. They wore red ribbons. Four roads into Lacona were blockaded by trucks, cars and guarded by nearly 400, plus 10 state highway patrolmen. Only emergency cases were permitted to enter or leave town. People were requested not to come to church. One hundred Jehovah Witnesses in 16 cars were stopped at the west blockade and told they could not enter. There was no violence and no disorder and they returned to Des Moines. The blockade ended about 3 p.m. after five hours.

    1947 – April - Lawanda OSENBAUGH became the depot agent. She was the agent until January 1959.

    Electricity began reaching into the rural areas (REA) of the entire township. For most farmhouses in White Breast Township this became their first year for electricity.

    1948 – Spring – Bryant HALTOM bought the Sundries business of Clayel HERRON and Cey WILLIAMS. He turned the store into a restaurant. He was the first of many restaurant owners.

    Summer – The Lacona High School bought its first school bus, a used International from Tipton. It was used to pick up country children beginning in August.

    1949 – Winter – The first TV in Lacona was bought by Darrell PARKINS. It was a Raytheon with 12” round screen. The cost was approximately $600.

    Summer – As a result of a bond issue that passed, Lacona’s new fire station was completed by Elmer FITZGERALD, contractor from Colfax.

    Fall – An addition to Lacona’s High School was completed at a cost of $35,000. The addition included a gym, stage, classrooms and a bus barn.

    1950 – A bond issue passed allowing the purchase of a new fire truck. It was a 1950 Ford, had a 500 gallon booster tank and replaced the 1927 Chevrolet that had accumulated 676 miles.

    1951 – April – Dale OSENBAUGH’s air field was built at the city pond. Bob O’BRIEN did the grading. The last time the air field was used was in 1973.

    (Drive-in Theaters, sometimes called passion pits, began dotting the country side.)

    July – Loyd WILLIAMS began barbering in the room below Peoples Trust. He took over from Ronald “Peak” HITE.

    1952 – The Water Works building ¼ mile east of Lacona was built by Elmer SLAUGHTER and his son, Ian.

    1954 – Spring – Lacona’s football field, an orchard, with Bob O’BRIEN doing the bull-dozing. Lights went up in the summer and it was ready for the fall season. The first year the high school had a team was 1953. They practiced in the school yard and played all games away. Wendel BATES was the first coach.

    1955 P.C. KONRAD sold the Palace Theater to Emmet GILLISPIE, from Chariton. George HALTOM’S slaughter house, just northeast of town shut down because there was no one to butcher. The water tower was constructed.

    September – John BURNS bought Bill CRAWFORD’s meat locker, west of Haltom’s.

    1956 – June – Bob DITTMER sold the elevator and grain business to the CO-OP.

    June 19 – A water fountain at the corner of the park was installed by the Lions Club.

    June 23, 24 – Lacona celebrated its Centennial with a large parade, dedication of the new water system, music and platform shows, games, dances and baseball plus a carnival. Men let beards grow and women wore long dresses and bonnets. The store windows were decorated with items from the past.

    First color TV in Lacona was bought by Wayne FEHRER from Merrill MOSHER. It was an Admiral and cost $679.

    September – Dale OSENBAUGH bought Darrell PARKINS’ Hardware.

    1957 – The Palace Theater closed

    (Oct 4 – The Russians launched Sputnik, the first successful space satellite.)

    1958 – January – LeRoy WILLIAMS, Ora VAN HEESWYCK, and Don VAN FLEET established Williams and Company, Inc. Muffler Factory. It employed 24 workers in three buildings east of Mosher’s Furniture Store.

    The steeple of the Nazarene Church was removed because of water and bird problems.

    Fall – The Lions Club had the City Pond dug 1 ½ miles east of the town.

    1959 – February – Bob BAUER bought two buildings from George HALTOM. He opened a tavern on March 10.

    Spring – City Hall was added to the north side of the fire station. The contractor was Halferty of Chariton.

    June 1, Monday evening – Ray HARDMAN shot and killed his daughter Grace and a neighbor boy, Don NEER in northwest Lacona. Townspeople were warned to stay inside, keep their doors locked, lights on and shades drawn until the manhunt was over. Approximately 25 peace officers from surrounding counties searched for nearly three hours. Finally Hardman climbed into a patrol car about 11:45 and said, “It’s getting kind of chilly isn’t it!” Hardman had spent time in Mental Health Institute at Clarinda and the day of the shootings had walked away from the Soldiers Home at Marshalltown.

    Summer – The road west out of Lacona was graded.

    July – Lacona, Milo and Liberty Center schools reorganized and South East Warren was formed.

    Founders of the Muffler Factory bought the Palace Theater. The seats and floor were taken out for plant expansion. VAN HEESWYCK put a face on front of theater, partitioned it off and turned it into an insurance office.

    The Catholic Church basement was excavated and remodeling began.

    December – The post office moved from the building west of the theater, the old creamery, into a newly remodeled post office at the corner of Main and Washington.

    1960 – January – The Midwest Lumber Corporation closed the Lacona branch because of shipping problems brought on by the railroad. It was managed by Joe and Irene NICKELSON.

    The pavement comes in from the west, a state Highway.

    The Mobil filling station was built on the south side of Main Street by Marvin MILLER, Joe and Frank NICKELSON. Marvin opened the station on October 16. After various owners the station closed March 1978 because of a faulty gas tank.

    1961 – June – George MILLER began his shoe repair business on the west edge of Lacona.

    Summer – Work on the dial telephone system began. It was completed in early 1962. New phones replaced the hand crank wall phones. Wilda CLARK was the last telephone operator.

    Frank and Joe NICKELSON bought the old post office for $75 and began tearing it down.

    1962 – January – The train made its last run over the CB & Q Railroad thus ending 84 years of service to the community. The track and ties were taken out in the spring.

    Spring – Metal street signs went up about town.

    1963Dr. Chester DEMAREE left Lacona and moved to Des Moines after having served Lacona for 22 years. He died in Des Moines in 1963. His wife, Laura, died in 1959 at the age of 73.

    Summer – The road east out of Lacona was graded. The gravel road across the White Breast bottom was abandoned and moved further north to higher ground.

    December – Lacona’s first rescue unit was bought, a used 1950 army surplus panel truck.

    1964 – May – The elementary school at Bauer closed

    Summer – The natural gas system was installed.

    Fall – The dance platform built in June 1928 in the loser park was torn down by the men of the city. Fill dirt was brought in for a proposed basketball court.

    The Conoco filling station closed. It had been built in December 1921.

    1965 – June – The cement basketball court at the bottom of the park was poured.

    The bandstand in the park, built in 1917, was torn down by Dean and Ronnie NEER for lumber.

    Summer – The pavement was extended east out of Lacona from the end of the State highway to the top of Main Street.

    Fall – Lacona’s sewer system was completed.

    1966 – May – The elementary school at Rosemount closed.

    July 25 – Marine Cpl Donald E. SHOEMAKER died near Da Nang, South Viet Nam. He was the first Lacona man killed in the Vietnam War.

    1968(April 4 - Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the motel balcony in Memphis Tennessee.)

    October – The Brownies were started in Lacona with Jewel HALTOM as the leader. The Girl Scouts were started with Anna RANKIN as the leader.

    1969 – April – Lacona’s second rescue unit was bought for $1,500, a used 1963 Buick ambulance.

    May – John BURNS closed the meat locker.

    1970 – Spring - Construction began on the new South East Warren High School. It was built at Liberty Center.

    The road south out of Lacona was paved.

    Kenneth BUTLER’s shoe shop and produce building was torn down.

    1971 – February 3, 4 – This was the grand opening of the new CO-OP filling station and garages. The construction of the complex had begun in October 1970.

    The stocked turkey in Stephens Forest began migrating northward, many along the White Breast River.

    Baughman’s Ice Cream Shop opened on the corner of West and Main, the site of the old Conoco

    November – Florence RIPPERGER purchased the first microwave oven in Lacona.

    1972 – Spring – Aid Insurance moved from the old theater building to the block building east of the alley on the south side of Main Street.

    1973 – February – Roy VAN ZEE bought Baughman’s Ice Cream Shop. It was remodeled and opened in May as Judy’s Dairy Sweet.

    Spring – A variety of 5’ to 7’ trees were planted in the city park.

    Summer – Lacona’s sixth baseball diamond was built northeast of the City Pond. It had lights, a backstop and outfield fence.

    September – The Ripperger Garage, the old Lacona Auto Company built in 1917, closed after 56 years of operation. It was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning February 16, 1980.

    Fall – Lacona’s first brick building for the elderly was completed east of the city park.

    1974 – Spring – Fehrer’s Store closed after 54 years of business. Later in the year the town bought the building for a community center and remodeling began.

    Fall – Tony SCHAEFER was the last farmer in the area to work horses. He sold the farm and moved to Lacona in October. He had worked and farmed with horses his entire life.

    1975 – July – Doug NOLTE from Melcher bought the old CO-OP station and turned it into a machine shop. He built a block addition west in August 1978.

    Summer – The gravel road north out of Lacona was graded and readied for paving.

    1976 – March – Lacona’s first public library was formed. It was located on the balcony floor of the Community Center.

    May – A new steel and concrete bridge ¾ mile east of Lacona was completed.

    July – Direct descendants of Chris KONRAD (He had move to Lacona in June 1876.) have continually been in business on Lacona’s Main Street for over 100 years. The business included a blacksmith, buggy and wagon factory, hardware, 5 & 10¢, creamer, department store, theater, filling station, real estate office, postmaster, and general store.

    September – Lacona’s third rescue unit, Chariton’s International ambulance, was bought for $2,000 plus $1,000 to equip the unit.

    December – The gray building on the north side of Main Street, the third building east of Mosher’s on the alley, was torn down for parking space by Harlan WILLIAMS, councilmen and others in town. The first bank in Lacona had been organized in 1892.

    1977 – January – Gerhard (Blackie) KALITSKI bought Al FEHRER’S blacksmith thus ending 90 years of smithing by 3 generations of the FEHRER family. The name, Fehrer Blacksmith, was retained.

    February – A new fire and warning siren was installed atop a pole along the east side of the fire station.

    July – The pavement north out of Lacona was completed.

    Because of the drought and general water shortage, all Lacona citizens were asked to voluntarily cut water use to 30 gallons per person per day until conditions improved. Any excess over that was charge at a rate of 25 cents per gallon.

    1978 – March – Lacona’s third fire truck was delivered, a 1977 yellow Chevrolet costing $48,000.

    (July 25 – The first test-tube baby, Louis Brown, was born in England)

    1979 – January – Bob KONRAD and Gene WADLE bought Dale OSENBAUGH’s Hardware.

    May – Frank BREGAR bought Ripperger Garage and converted it into a body shop.

    Local people began landscaping projects at Lacona’s 4 entrances and along People Trust Bank.

    September – The Palace Theater and old Phillips station was torn down by a contractor from Granger.

    (October 4 – John Paul II becomes the first Pope to visit Iowa)

    November – Lacona’s 4th rescue unit was bought. It was a new 1978 Ford Super Van ambulance costing $19,491 plus $60 for lettering.

    December – Regular gasoline, self-serve, sold for $1.05 a gallon.