1873 - 1973

A glimpse into the past...


The Same Business... The Same Name... The Same Family
1872 -- 1964


Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Stewart were pioneers of Keota and were identified with the business, social and religious life of the town and community all of their married life. They and their parents did much to make Keota the well-known and thriving town it is. Mrs. Stewart's father, Dr. J. S. Stoutner, was a pioneer doctor and served a wide territory in and around Keota.

In May 1872, J . W. Stewart came to the newly laid out town of Keota when it was still cornfield and a railway depot and very few houses. Mr. Stewart built the Keota Stock Yards and established an office there. He became senior member of the stock buying firm of Stewart Brothers. His brother, Arthur E. Stewart, and Archibald Kennedy Stewart were the other members of the firm. Upon the retirement from the firm of A. K. Stewart who went to Des Moines and became a police judge, Lee Stewart, a half brother, became a member of the firm.

Stewart Brothers developed an extensive business, shipping as many as 600 cars of stock in a year. J. W. Stewart became known to eastern stockmen as a leading representative of the business west of the Mississippi River. His opinion concerning the value of any animal on the market was considered infallible.

Mr. Stewart's sons, Ray and Howard, eventually became partners with their father. With advancing years Mr. Stewart retired from active business life. The yards and office still operated for many many years under the name of Stewart Brothers. A. D. Stewart joined the firm after his graduation from the University of Iowa in 1919.

Following the death of his father and two brothers Don formed a partnership with George McCrabb of Keota.

Mr. and Mrs. Stewart are the parents of two children; a son, Dr. Robert Stewart, and daughter Julia Warner.

Thus the oldest established business in Keota maintaining the same name was terminated after 92 years on March 30, 1964, with the sale of J. W. Stewart and Sons Livestock Company to Morrell's of Ottumwa. Mr. Ray Schwenke became the new manager.


Horse 2 graphic



The Same Business... The Same Name... The Same Family


The firm was originally established by Joe Charlton and his son Will when the railroad came through Keota in 1872. Peter Leinen was then working on the farm for the Charitons and the same fall he came to town to work in the meat market. He and Will Charlton later became the owners. At the early date of July 13, 1887, the business was known as Charlton and Leinen. In 1895 Mr. Charlton retired from the meat market in favor of Peter Leinen. In 1893 John (J.P.) Leinen, son of Peter Leinen, started to work for the firm and two years later became a partner with his father, the firm being known then as Leinen and Son. Peter Leinen retired from the firm about 1910. John P. Leinen then became the sole owner of the business.

It is noted that in 1903 Dimitt Bamford had been in the employ of the Leinens for 23 years.

In July 1929 The Keota Eagle states that The Leinen Meat Market has invested in some expensive new equipment, a modern system of electric refrigeration. J. P. Leinen and the boys, Everett and Duvall, worked out plans for the reconditioning of the old cooler and the installation of the electric refrigeration plant, and the boys ordered a fine display case as a surprise on their father.

In January 1946, J. P. Leinen announced that he had taken his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Russell, into partnership with him. The firm name was still known as Leinen's Market and Grocery. At that time Mr. Leinen had been associated with the business as employee, partner and owner for 52 years. He remained associated with the business until his death.

In 1966 Mr. and Mrs. Jack Leedom became the owners of the business and it is still known as Leinen's Market. Although many changes have taken place the Leinen name has been associated with the meat market for 100 years.

Butcher Shop Graphic




Ads trio 2




The Same Business... The Same Name... The Same Family


"The Keota Eagle"

The Keota Eagle was started on December 21, 1875, by G. C. Miller, about whom little is known except that he was not particularly successful. In the next 19 years it changed hands four times and in 1894 A. H. Richardson, then a 17-year-old senior in Keota High School, left his studies and bought The Eagle. He was identified with it thereafter until 1912. Mr. Richardson brought to the paper in the early nineties not only unusual artistic talent but editorial talent as well.

During the period that A. H. Richardson was editor of The Keota Eagle the paper never lacked for "cuts" of famous personages of the day in either national or local life because of the artist-editor's ability to reproduce likenesses faithfully in chalk. Mr. Richardson developed into a first rate cartoonist soon after becoming editor, and he furnished The Eagle with an excellent cartoon practically every week as long as he was associated with the paper. He made the original drawing, then etched it reverse style on a chalk plate, and cast his own plates. Many of these were works of art as well as forceful sermons.

About 1898 Mr. Richardson took in his brother, J. C. Richardson, as partner. In 1912 he sold out to his partner and went to Waukegan, Ill., to become one of the publishers of the Daily Gazette. J. C. Richardson continued as editor until his death in 1920. Since that time his three sons, A.L., W.C., and J.C. Jr., were publishers, with W. C. Richardson as editor. These young men grew up in the business under the tutelage of their father and uncle and it has been said they owed to them whatever measure of fitness they may have had for the profession. All three were linotype operators, printers and news writers. Each had his own department and each could "pinch hit" for either of the others when occasion required.

In 1942 A. L. withdrew from the partnership and moved with his family to Long Beach, California. In February of 1955 W. C. passed away and in April of the same year J. C. sold his interest in The Eagle to Robert Beck. Beck and Mrs. W. C. Richardson formed a partnership.

In March of 1967 Roger A. Richardson, son of J. C., purchased The Eagle from Mrs. W. C. Richardson and Mr. Beck. He is still the proprietor at this time.


Dr. D. McFarland—1872
Dr. R. S. Brice—1872
Dr. J. S. Stoutner
Dr. F. B. Home—1870
Dr. J. C. Hunter—1877
Dr . T. B. Williams
Dr. J. M. Auld—1880
Dr. C. C. Tallman—1880
Dr. Peck—1884
Dr. S. Dings—1889
Dr. W. F. Stouder—1890
Dr. D. S. Tiffany—1890
Dr. J. F. Richardson—1894
Dr. J. W. Blythin—1899
Drs. Paul Dittman and Eva A. Correll Dittman—1901
Dr. Charles A. Trumbauer—1902
Drs. Dings and Hood—1902
Dr. Mae Farmer—1904
Dr. Clara Gray—1904
Dr. A. J . Droz—1904
Dr. Lyman Hinsdill—1907
Dr. E. A. Lusk —1907
Dr. L. F. Tague—1911
Dr. J. Clyde Wallace, Chiropractor—1911
Dr. J. W. Mulhern—1911
Dr. F. O. Pershing—1911
Dr. J. F. Shaefer—1915
Dr. Robert R. Miller— 1916
Dr. C. H. Darbyshire—1916
Dr. H. H. Irelan—1917
Dr. Harry L. Rose—1921
Dr. Ethel Walker—1922
Dr. J. L. Doyle—1930
Dr. Roy C. Boyer—1933
Dr. J. S. Newton—1935
Dr. H. T. Koch—1935
Dr. D. R. Steninger—1935
Dr. C. O. Grimes—1936
Dr. G. E. Montgomery—1936
Dr. C. W. Wyman—Before 1937
Dr. M. J. Cullen, Chiropractor—1931
Dr. Helen Butcher—1937
Dr. Floyd Bjork—1940
Dr. Charles E. Irvin—1941
Dr. Myron Bos—1944
Dr. K. L. McGuire—1942
Dr. Horace Don, DO—1969


Dr. S. L. McCandless—1877
Dr. S. D. McConnaughy—1880
Dr. J . C. Harter—1885
Dr. J. C. Green—1899
Dr. C. W. Harter—1899
Dr. J. C. Black—1902
Dr. W. T. Palmer
Dr. T. F. Wait—1908
Dr. Ray Kirkpatrick—1910
Dr. E. L. Rollins—1917
Dr. Ray R. Hulse—1919
Dr. J. M. Leary—1926



News-Review ad Farm Mutual ad
Sloan-Mohr ad



A glimpse into the past...


Dr. L. B. Ash—1902
Dr . L. W. Fitzgerald—1903
Dr. J. H. Weibel—1909
Dr. H. B. Morris—1919
Dr . Robert Speaker—1950
Drs. Robert Speaker and Richard Carmichael—1955

Dr. D S Tiffany
Dr. D. S. Tiffany

Dr. Brice
Dr. Brice

Dr. and Mrs. Brice came to Keota from Talleyrand in 1872. When the railroad came to Keota she and the doctor saw that Talleyrand was doomed. Mrs. Brice had been conducting a millinery shop in Talleyrand for five years before moving to Keota. Talleyrand was then quite a prosperous and good sized town of several hundred people. Upon moving their home to Keota the front room of her home was used as a shop. In 1880 she and Dr. Brice purchased a double building on Broadway from a Mr. Johnson which had been used for a tailor shop and meat market. (Note: This would be the location of Baumert Barber Shop).

Dr. Pershing
Dr. F. O. Pershing. Came to Keota in 1911. Retired in 1941.
The Dr. had assisted at birth of over 1000 babies.

In 1927 Mrs. Brice, at 85, retired from the millinery business after 55 years in business. The building located on the north side of central Broadway was rented to Mrs. Pearl Dupuis who had it re-decorated and opened another millinery business.


At the time of her retirement in 1927, Mrs. Brice was considered the dean of Keota Merchants. She told then how she cried because their home was located in the midst of a cornfield and it looked as though there was very little prospect of the proposed town ever amounting to anything.


In 1888 Dr. R. S. Brice was listed as Keota's postmaster and in connection therewith kept a stock of books and stationery. He was also a member of the town council and a member of the school board. The post office at that time was located in the north end of the Bank of Keota.



Joe Falk Company ad

Washington ads



A glimpse into the past...


Quoting from "The Washington Gazette" of November 1, 1872, the Keota correspondent wrote, "We are soon to have a live 28 column newspaper, Republican in politics. The paper is to be called The Keota Enterprise. Its editor and publisher, Mr. Wm. M. Cross."

There is no other record of the above paper having been in Keota but records do state that the first newspaper was the "Keota Advertiser" established by Wm. Cotes, May 3, 1873.

The second was the "Plaindealer" begun in November 1873. The editor was Oliver H. Wood and it was a nine column folio.

The "Keota Courier" was the next newspaper issued in Keota in 1874. It lasted little more than a year. A Mr. J. L. Folck set type for the Keota Courier in 1874. Chas. Bruce was editor and Wm. Stouder was a partner. Mr. Stouder sold his interest to B. F. Harrington. It was published on the north side of the street where The Eagle is now located but during the year it was moved to the second story of a livery barn that stood on West Broadway near where J. B. Berend was located in 1929. This would be approximately near where Pearson's Station is now located. Mr. Bruce, the proprietor, came to Keota a total stranger, although he had been a teacher at Talleyrand. He took in B. F. Hetherington, another teacher, as a partner and bought him out again a few weeks later. On February 5, 1875, the editor wrote that the town was exceptionally enterprising then, but the advertisers were so few that he could not in justice to himself continue the paper and was turning over his subscription and advertising accounts to J. B. Irwin for collection and was departing from Keota.

On July 18, 1889, the "Keota Alta" was born. It was a neat eight column weekly. Publishers were H. W. Smock of Keota and L. E. Hensley of Fairfield. It was Republican in politics. By November of 1892 the "Keota Alta" had closed its career. It was purchased by A. H. Richardson and moved to his office.

"The Keota Eagle" was the next newspaper to be started in Keota and it has continued without missing an issue. It was established in December 1875 by George C. Miller, who had previously been proprietor of a livery barn which stood where Valenta's Store and The Roost are now located according to an early resident of Keota, Mr. Amos Schreckengast. Mr. Miller endured the hardships of the business for six months and disappeared, after which William Wells of Washington County, who may have had a financial interest in the paper, induced W. F. Reed, a school teacher of Dutch Creek Township, to take charge of the paper. Mr. Reed made a success as an editor and eventually became the owner. He published the first number of The Keota Eagle May 13, 1876. On March 10, 1877, Editor G. L. Reed states "that after residence of more than 18 years in Dutch Creek we have moved to Keota. We ran The Eagle 10 months on probation to test the newspaper business in this town and although times have been hard we are still able to meet expenses and get The Eagle out on time." By September 1, 1877, the Eagle was located in the north two rooms in the second story of the bank building.

May 31, 1884, Editor G. L. Reed of The Keota Eagle because of health reasons sold the paper to his son W. F. Reed.

Seventy issues were issued while located in the old office over the Eaton's City Drug Store.

With the May 15, 1886, issue of The Eagle W. F. Reed severed his connections with The Keota Eagle having sold out to Mr. Sam Sherman who took over at once.

June 24, 1887, S. S. Sherman, editor sold the office and subscription list to Messers I. and A. F. Schreckengast and F. M. and A. M. Smock who operated under the name of The Eagle Printing Company. In 1894 The Keota Eagle came into the ownership of the Richardson Family with which it still remains.


November 3, 1927. "Keota — Just a Little Friendlier," was the slogan picked as the best out of 52 entered in the slogan contest conducted by the Keota Chamber of Commerce. L. E. Arnold of Keota is winner of the prize, $5.00. The contest lasted for 10 days. The judges met and in a three hour session finally picked the winning slogan by a unanimous vote. The name of the authors of the slogans were not given to the judges until after the voting.


October 3, 1940. C. Ververs retires after 42 years in the jewelry business. Mr. Ververs came to Keota in January 1899 to operate the watch and clock department of the Matt Valerius Drug Store.


March 27, 1941. It was 75 years ago (1866) that the Halsteads, one of our oldest pioneer families settled at their present farm home two miles southwest of Keota. They came here from Windham in Johnson County, eating their dinner on the road in a blinding snow storm, a few miles north of where Keota now is. There were only five families in the vicinity at that time, all five homes being log cabins. Of the Halstead group, only two are left, Mrs. Cynthia Lyle who was 13 at that time and her brother Wesley who was eight and Frank and Stanley.



A glimpse into the past...

December 16, 1943. Robert H. Henry in the 90's served the town for several years as marshall, street commissioner and water superintendent and many a child of that period can remember "Bob" as the lamplighter, carrying a small stepladder from street light to street light twice each 24 hours, lighting the kerosene lamps in the evening and extinguishing, cleaning and filling the next morning. Again in 1908 he accepted this position and held it until 1918.


January 3, 1906. A Columbus Junction man makes a "Keota Eagle" cigar.


Quotes from Keota's second newspaper—

Volume 1, Number 1.

The Keota Plaindealer, November 27, 1873, "Truth and Justice Our Guide"

Oliver Wood, Editor.

Citizens we have come among you and are now a fixture of Keota and Keokuk County. Our interests are identical. When we have made the Plaindealer an improvement to the county and a satisfaction to the live town of Keota, we have then reached our highest aim. Looking abroad over the beautiful country surrounding this wide-a-wake city, as far into distance as sight will carry in any direction, we are fully confirmed that Keota has a future.

Late: We are late with our issue in consequence of the large amount of work to be performed preparatory to starting. We will be on foot by next issue, we think.


dinner graphic


New Schoolhouse

The educational interests of our city have not been overlooked, but to the contrary are being looked after with that same kind of zeal and energy which so characterizes our citizens. A new building 24 x 36 is now being erected and will be completed sometime next month. A corps of good teachers will be put in charge and the school graded. We see no good reason why this may not meet the wants of all students in the city and vicinity surrounding.

Our city has not a single loafer. Everybody has something to do. Store boxes are scarce.

Those speckeled-winged creatures, prairie chickens, look tempting at the butcher shop in this city. They abound numerously, we are told, and trapping is quite a business during the winter season. Mr. Brown of the Lindle House can furnish comfortable quarters for high blooded sports who wish to make hunting trips.


couple graphic

shoes graphic



Keota Eagle ad



A glimpse into the past...



Billy Mason
Dray and delivery service by Billy
Mason, pictured on the seat.


J. Ralston
1910, 1912. James Ralston was giving away a buggy that day in Keota. He sold Eureka and Banner buggies.


Feed Yard
1916. Feed Yard owned and operated by Jas. Ralston. Left to right, Victor Blattner, Jas. Ralston and Andy Blattner by Heider tractor.

Implement store

Impliment store

Implement business James Ralston's Implement Business 1914, 1917. Located just east of The Keota Eagle building.

Moving a building
Moving Bldg. with Heider Tractors.



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Keota Cenntinial Book © Copyright 1973
Keota Centennial Committee

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