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Ringgold Roots
Ringgold County Genealogical Society
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County
Vol. IV, Pp. 13-14.
April, 1983


Ringgold Roots salutes Tingley, Iowa, this quarter.

The post office of Tingley was established a number of years ago, five miles northeast of the present village. In 1881 a town company laid out the village of Tingley, on section 21, Tingley Township, on the line of the Humeston & Shenandoah Railroad, which was then building. Cars commenced to run in the spring of 1882, but the autumn previous quite a village had sprung up. The town company bought 200 acres of land of the AVENILL Brothers, F. W. HARDING and George SWAIN. Mr. SWAIN built the first store and sold the first goods in the place. Next was HOWLAND & McCREIGHT. Other early comers were:
    John HAVER & Co.
    general store
    John KELLY
    V. D. COLLES
    drug store
    J. R. & W. L. EMBREE
    J. I. BERRY
    livery & feed store
    Alexander BEARD & Son
    R. E. BURKE
    contractor & builder
    Levi COON
    coal merchant
    John ROWELL
    harness shop

  By the close of 1882 there were nearly 200 inhabitants. Since then, the growth has been slow. The State census of 1885 credited the place with 211 inhabitants. Tingley was incorporated in 1885, and now [1887] claims 250 people. It is in a fine agricultural region, from which it draws a profitable trade.

The Tingley Times was started by J. GETTINGER, in 1882. He sold to L. O. McKINLEY, and he to Ray BROTHERS. In the meantime, the name was changed to The Tingley News. The one Noah became owner, and moved the office to Wirt [present-day Ellston]. Tingley was without a paper until July, 1885, when the Battle Axe was begun, by E. B. GARRETSON of Lenox. This war-like paper suspended in December following. J. J. CLARK of Gravity published the Tingley Independent for six months in 1886, and then went the way of his predecessors. The Independent was a six-column paper, $1.50 per year, and was a valuable factor in the business of the place.

J. E. RAY, one of the proprietors of the News, was an attorney. He practices a year or more and then went to Western Iowa. L. O. McKINLEY has been here four years and practices in justices' courts.

The first physician here was L. E. St. JOHN, who stayed two years and then went west. James NICHOLS and R. W. SELBY are the present physicians of Tingley.

The first postmaster was George SWAIN. Mrs. S. E. PEASE was then the incumbent until her death in the summer of 1886, when John HAVER was appointed. Maggie POLLOCK is in charge of the office as deputy.

Tingley has a fine two-story frame schoolhouse, built in 1885, at a cost of $3,000. It contains two school rooms below, the upper story being used for religious meetings by the United Presbyterians. Nine months school is taught. The teachers for 1886-7 are Gertrude MILLER and Mary GRAY. The attendance is about seventy. The School Board includes J. HAVE, President; J. J. McCREIGHT and Jacob FRANE. James NICHOLS is Secretary and A. T. HANCOCK, Treasurere.


The Christian Church has been organzied about 10 years; meetings were held in the Tingley Center schoolhouse until 1882, when they built a church in the northeast part of town. Rev. E. W. MILLER preaches every two weeks. W. C. SMITH is the superintendent of the Sunday school.

The Methodists have likewise been organized about 10 years, and met in the Tingley Center schoolhouse until 1885, when they built a house of worship in the north part of the village. Their membership is now sixty. Services are held every Sunday by Rev. George NIXON, of Afton. A union Sunday school is maintained, attended by about seventy pupils.


Ben TALBOT Post. No. 286, G.A.R., was organized in 1883. Andrew STEPHENSON is Commander; James POLLOCK, Adjutant; Alonzo GOODELL, Senior Vice-Commander; Frank McGUGIN, Junior Vice-Commander. The post has a membership of forty, and meets the second and last Saturdays of each month.

Tempest Lodge, No. 164, Knights of Pythias, was organized in June, 1886. George HALE is Grand Chancellor; Rev. STEWART, Co-Chancellor; E. N. DeWITT, Vice-Chancellor; O. C. HOUSE, Keeper of Records & Seal; Wal. STEWART, Prel.; Henry GARSIDE, Master at Arms; John KELLY, Master of Finance; Richard METTERS, Master of Exchequer; J. J. TRUMAN, Inner Guard; Lou STEWART, Outer Guard. The lodge has fifteen members and meets every Thursday evening.

Lodge No. 72, A.H.T.A. [Anti-Horse Thief Association], has twenty-six members and meets the first Saturday of each month at Tingly. George SWAIN is President; J. S. AVENILL, Vice-President; J. S. WILLIAMS, Secretary; Andre STEPHENSON, Financial Secretary; Jacob FRANE, Treasurer.

The business firms of October, 1886, are:

    George SWAIN
    general merchandise
    J. HAVER & Co.
    general merchandise
    general merchandise
    T. A. FISHER
    general merchandise
    J. M. DUNBAR
    GARSIDE & Son
    R. W. SELBY & Co.
    drug store
    T. P. ASBURY
    drug store
    farm implements
    E. N. DeWITT
    livery stable
    Peter SMITH
    livery stable
    Charles CARMICHAEL
    meat market
    Mrs. Sadie JOHNSON
    millinery shop
    D. B. ALLEY
    John WINES
    shoe shop
    John ROWELL
    harness shop
    A. A. ELDER
    furniture store
    Willis KARR
    Pacific Hotel
    contractors & builders
    Levi COON
    C. H. ENNIS
    George HALE
    station agent
    grain buyer
    Levi HOWLAND & Co.
    poultry buyers
    sewing machines
    Mrs. E. C. EDGINGTON


Tingley celebrated its 100th year on July 2, 3, & 4th of 1983.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2010

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