- The First Seventy-five Years in the Sanborn Community (1878-1953) -
Business Firms of 1882 and 1953
Aug. 25, 1882
Sanborn has five hotels, three restaurants, about 50 boarding houses, three hardware stores, 10 grocery stores, six dry goods stores, two furnishing houses, two drug stores, three tin shops, four blacksmith shops, two livery stables, two mammoth lumber yards, three paint shops, four law offices, with eight lawyers;
Two well-read doctors, five land offices, one bank, two well kept saloons, but one church building, one school house, four teachers, three wagon makers, 33 carpenters, one feed store, a town hall 32x72, a hickory swing (back of Pioneer office) a brass band, a glee club, a Masonic lodge, an Odd Fellows lodge;
A hut of Oriental order, two brick buildings, a population of 1200, 15 machinists, a furniture store, three millinery shops, three ware houses, two agricultural depots (elevators) two barber shops, one laundry, two large hog presses, one harness shop, one book store, the best class business men, one music store, five licensed drays, one steam printing house;
An even hundred marriageable young men, a bevy of girls that hunt chicken, An old maid sewing circle - to get, A fire department in her mind, more good sidewalks than any town its size in Iowa, money in the treasury, hospitality in reserve for strangers, the best and the largest stock yards west of Milwaukee, a handsome round house with 14 stalls;
A railroad machine shop that equals those of the large cities, the headquarters of O’Brien telephone lines, a jail without occupant;
An excellent country surrounding it, the handsomest hotel building on the Milwaukee road, The end of the I and D division of C.M. St. P. Railroad and a thousand and one other things that our minds eye doesn’t catch at the moment.
Times have changed and business places also. Some are the same but many have become obsolete and others have taken their places.
In 1953 Sanborn has: 2 motels (no hotels nor boarding houses) 4 cafes, 2 taverns, 1 pool hall, 3 hardware stores, 6 groceries and meat markets, 1 general store, 2 frozen food locker plants, 1 clothing store, 1 drug store, 5 garages, 6 gasoline and service stations, 2 welding shops, 1 farm implement store, 1 bank, 2 lumber yards, 6 building contractors, 3 large grain elevators, 2 draymen, 3 barbers, 3 beauty shops, telephone exchange, 3 insurance and real estate agencies, 1 shoe store, 1 bakery, 1 variety store, 4 electric, radio and TV shops, 2 radio repair shops, one dry cleaner, movie theater, dairy, creamery, drive-in ice cream store, 2 physicians, 2 dentists, 2 lawyers, 1 veterinary, 1 state veterinary, chiropractor, 6 churches, 2 schools, school band and town band, second class post office, 2 rural delivery routes, a newspaper, plumbing and fix-it shop, 2 livestock buyers, several truckers, corn cob products company, cement block factory, 4 well drillers, salvage yard, state liquor store, round house volunteer fire department, municipal electric plant, town water works, 3 portable corn shellers, 2 portable feed grinders, 2 hay balers, 5 hybrid seed corn dealers, 3 farm stock feed and medicine dealers, 1 upholsterer;
Lodges and clubs - Masonic and Eastern Star, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, Modern Woodmen and Royal Neighbors, Milwaukee Road Women’s club, Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and Auxiliary, Women’s Relief Corps, Twentieth Century Club, Lions Club.
We still have the best class of people anywhere; Hospitality in reserve for strangers, excellent surrounding country.
Division point of the Iowa and Dakota division of the Chicago Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad; and a thousand and one other things too numerous to mention.