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Warren County Iowa GenWeb

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The Martensdale Story

Martensdale lots for sell

The Story of Martensdale
[written by Walter H. Beam in the 1929 Martin’s Tale (Martensdale high school yearbook)]

For many years the idea of building a town at what had long been known as “The Rock Island Crossing” had been lying dormant but until May, 1913, it had taken no definite form. 

At that time forty acres of ground was purchased and L. E. Hiatt and William Buxton Jr. of Indianola and John F. Martens and Walter H. Beam of this community had these acres surveyed and platted into lots and blocks for the beginning of a town.  The formal opening occurred the first of September, 1913, when a lot sale was held.  In July a grain business had been established.  In October work was begun on a store building which is now occupied by H. H. Himstreet and on a garage, since re-constructed into the building now owned by J. G. Adams and occupied by the Walker Café.  W. E. Shoemaker moved here from Des Moines to be the first merchant.  The garage was built by Frank Lickteig, who, when his business outgrew it, built the double brick garage on the south side of Iowa Avenue.  Construction on the lumber yard was begun October 31, 1913.
A. W. Reeves moved out from Indianola and he and Frank Lickteig and Walter Beam “kept house” together in the grain office near the Union Depot.  This office building served as a residence in the early days of the town’s existence.  Walter Beam and family, W. E. Shoemaker and family and J. S. Stanley and family occupying it in turn for short times.  The bank was started December 1, 1914 and Mr.  Stanley has been in charge ever since.  The Lutheran Church building was moved here from Churchville in 1914 and has been a community church since.  About the biggest and best thing in town is our consolidated school, which has been running nearly ten years.  We have just reason to be proud of it and of the young people who have been and will be graduated from it.  The P. T. A. have assisted materially in improving the grounds of the school and have always been a factor in promoting its advance. 
[Note: the following advertisement for sell of lots was found in the Advocate Tribune newspaper, Indianola, Iowa, Thursday, August 28, 1913, p.4]

sell of Martensdale lots

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