Archive for the ‘Business’ Category


Newspaper Men From Fort Dodge

   Posted by: admin Tags: , , , , , ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 26, 1904

Newspaper Men From Fort Dodge

S.R. Train, whose Pen Always Responded to the Dictates of His Conscience

Equally with Benjamin F. Gue, L.R. Train, who became editor and owner of the Fort Dodge Times about 1870, has done much in the veteran class of the “newspaper men from Fort Dodge” (to) build up and develop the town and the country around the town. Mr. Train established the first daily paper in Fort Dodge and carried it on for several years before the other weeklies became dailies.

On a little farm in old Moriah, N.Y., seventy years ago, a son was born in an old fashioned Presbyterian home. The father read the daily lesson from the “good old book,” and the mother folded her baby’s hands as she taught: “Now I lay me down to sleep” to one whose life for twenty-five years was linked with the life of Fort Dodge and Webster County. Three sons were born to that home with its simple life, three sons who answered Lincoln’s call for brave men to defend the union. From the father, who was a millwright, the boy learned to delight in creating things with the hands which led to a desire to create with the mind, and shaped his life work. Not until after his marriage had the opportunity come to him to learn the printer’s trade and he at once engaged in business for himself, leaving the editorial desk at Prairie du Chien, Wis., however to enter the army.

In 1870, L.R. Train was working as a printer in the office of the Fort Dodge Times, J.C. Ervin, a school teacher at Webster City, had bought the Times which had been started two years before. B.F. Gue was editor of the Northwest, the only other paper in Fort Dodge at that time. The Northwest was not run to suit the fancy of a faction of the republican party headed by W.H. Meservey, A.M. Dawley and Chas. Pomeroy, all three now deceased. These men desired the establishment of another republican paper, and believing the time was ripe for a new venture, Mr. Ervin put Mr. Train in as editor of the Times, that he might be free to start a new paper, which he did, calling it the Fort Dodge Republican. Mr. Ervin found himself somewhat embarassed (sic) by the management of his democratic and his republican paper, particularly as there was but a narrow hall between the two rooms that served as offices for the concerns, and began negotiations for the sale of the Time to Mr. Train.

There was a mortgage upon the Times for material, amounting to $1,300 (that amount in 1870 would be about $22,136 today) which was to be assumed by the purchaser, and a transfer of eighty acres of land. In addition to this, Mr. Ervin wanted five hundred dollars ($8,514), to be paid in material from the Times’ outfit.

It was in the fall of the year when farmers were bringing in their produce on subscription. One day a farmer was introduced to Mr. Train as he was on his way to his office. The farmer expressed great surprise  when told that this man was the editor of the Times. “Why,” said he, “I just delivered a load of squash for the Times. I told the man particularly that I wanted the squash to go to the editor of the Times” That afternoon, as the type clicked in the stick as he worked upon the composition for the Times, the word “squash” festooned itself around on the pages of the copy and resounded with the drop of the type into the stick. The squash had not gone into the right cellar. It was a small thing, but a principle was involved, and a principle was a great thing. When Mr. Ervin came to urge the closing up of the bargain he was told that if he would make it two hundred ($3,406) instead of five hundred it was a bargain. So the legal transfer was made, leaving the editor of the Republican to the enjoyment of editing his one newspaper and eating his three hundred dollar ($5,108) squash.

This basing of action upon principle was one of hte strong characteristics of the editor of the Times. It is needless to add that the observance of the principle did not always result financially to his benefit. The financial result was of small consequence, the triumph of a principle being the consideration.

Under Mr. Train’s management the Times became very popular and his editorials were widely copied. He mixed with all classes of people, studied their methods of thought and characteristics, and prepared his political articles with the view of reaching the most stolid and thoughtless. Organizing a line of thought in consecutive order, he wrote a column to elucidate a single thought standing at the head of the list. Then he would call in one of the slow thinkers to ascertain if his plan was successful, making the slow thinker the multiple of every political problem. The success of this plan was to him a pleasant revelation. Wealthy farmers and other laboring men came in and with marked enthusiasm expressed their pleasure, stating that it was difficult for them to understand the ordinary editorial discussion of political questions which he had made simple and plain.

Among the first settlers of Webster county were a great many men who held patents for their lands signed by Abraham Lincoln, known as the River Lands, the same having been granted to a corporation known as the River Land company. Mr. Train was the first to take up the cause of the settlers and urge the righting of the mistake which had resulted in great wrong to the settlers. His persistent demand that justice be done the settlers brought other friends to their cause and finally resulted in the awarding of indemnity by congress.

What an editor does is only a small part of his service to the public. The things he does not do are often of great moment, many times of more far reaching concern than the things recorded. These things are vital. In judging of a man’s life work, of his value as a citizen and of his influence for good upon a community, it is necessary, if possible, to learn somewhat of the things he has refrained from doing. This is especially true of one at the head of a newspaper, although it may necessarily partake of the semblance of a surmise from a process of reasoning upon the part of the public inasmuch as matters of that kind leave no blazed trail for the pursuer of facts to follow.

An incident may serve to illustrate in a small way what often  happens in alrger ways in newspaper experience. One of the leading attorneys of Fort Dodge came into the office one day with an air of importance and immediately engaged in earnest conversation. A young man (J.P. Dolliver) had just come to town, he said, who was making quite a stir, and something had to be done to head him off. He had made a speech and would probably  be called upon to make others. The attorney t hen outlined what he thought would make a crushing article and cause the young man to take a back seat or go farther west. “Call him Dolly,” said the lawyer, “nothing kills a young man so quickly as ridicule.” When the attorney had gone Mr. Train took up his pen to write the article outlined. One of his characteristic impulses was to do as nearly as possible what his friends wanted him to if he could consistently do so. But as he took up his pen two questions challenged his attention: (1) Has this young man ever done anything to injure you? (2) Has he not as good a right to live in this community as any other person?  The article did not appear, and the advising attorney’s face plainly indicated his disappointment long afterward.

Mr. Train conceived the idea of starting a daily paper in Fort Dodge, and made a tour of cities to study conditions. Upon his return he decided to make the venture. Everybody said a daily paper could not live in Fort Dodge, but everybody, as the word goes, subscribed for it, and the Fort Dodge Daily Times was a financial success from the beginning. The daily was issued for four years, and then the two other weekly papers published in Fort Dodge each started daily editions and the day after the following election the daily edition of the Times was suspended. With a clear field there was incentive to publish a daily, but the editor saw nothing worth fighting for.

In every public work, in private enterprise of public utility, his pen and work were promptly and freely enlisted, and he published large extra editions of his paper for the development and upbuilding of the interior towns and villages of Webster county. The cramped up position of the old court house as compared with that of other cities was of universal knowledge and the desirability of more room was of universal consent. A full block with the court house in the center, even though half a mile away, appealed to the aesthetic sense, and there was considerable discussion on that line at different times. Mr. Train opposed the removal of the court house location from the standpoint of the value of property and the non-transferable character of the lot deed, and his last newspaper work was in the closing discussion which resulted in the erection of the splendid structure upon the old site.

For twenty-five years Mr. Train stood at the helm of the Fort Dodge Times. During that time twelve other papers struggled for existence in Fort Dodge: some were absorbed into other publications, some died, and at the time he sold the Times in 1895, because of loss of sight, but three out of the twelve were in existence. The number of papers could safely be multiplied by three to obtain an estimate of the number of men connected with the twelve papers during the newspaper activity of Mr. Train. If may be of interest to read over the names of the twelve papers: (1) The Iowa Northwest; (2) The Republican; (3) The Messenger; (4) Mineral City Enterprise; (5) Webster County Gazette; (6) Webster County Union; (7) The Topic; (8) Mr. Hutton’s paper; (9) One started in the Doud building; (10) A Populist paper, the name forgotten; (11) The Chronicle; (12) The Post.

Up to the time of his enlistment in the army Mr. Train used neither tea nor coffee, tobacco nor liquor of any kind. While in the service he acquired the tobacco habit – both chewing and smoking, but after some years he discarded the use of tobacco. How such a man could, upon principle, oppose the prohibition movement in Iowa can perhaps be better understood now, with the mulct law in force, than during the fierce battle which waged at the time of the enactment of the prohibitory legislation which changed the vote of the state from seventy thousand republican majority to the election of a democratic governor.

The strongest dominating force in Mr. Train’s character thruout his life has been patriotism. As editor of the Times, opposition to the republican party was consistently worked out in  his editorial productions. In 1888 his deep sense of patriotism led him to the belief that he had erred in his judgment as to a choice of parties for political affiliation and he unhesitatingly announced his belief to the public, working as faithfully from that time for the upbuilding of the republican party as his earnest nature dictated, carrying with him a large percentage of the Times’ readers.

He was a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic, both local and state. Among his cherished papers are commissions from six department commanders, and he served as aide-de-camp to Commander-in-Chief Alger. He was the oldest member of Ashlar Lodge No. 111 A.F. & A.M., and to those familiar with the work of this order the dignity of this position is understood. He was always fearless in the advocacy of such measures as engaged his attention and quick to further any measure he believed would advance the interests of Fort Dodge and Webster county.

During a large part of Mr.  Train’s connection with the Times he was most ably assisted by his daughter, Edith Train, and any estimate of his work and efforts for the building up of the newspapers in Fort Dodge, and this always includes the building up of a town, for a good newspaper means a good town, would be lacking, if mention is not made of this able and excellent woman. For years, as her father’s eyesight began to fail, she was the mainstay of the office. She knew it all, was an excellent typesetter and could take the place of any man on the force and do his work from the editor to the “devil.” In Fort Dodge she made a place for herself and was always regarded as one of the ablest women of the city. She was elected to a place on the school board and filled her duties with energy and enthusiasm, giving entire satisfaction, except to a few women teachers who followed the old tradition and preferred to be “ruled by men.”

Miss Train was very active in the Equality Club, and also a very tower of strength in the G.A.R. Women’s Relief Corps. In ’95, the Trains went to the Pacific coast and are now living in Portland, Oregon. Since going out there Miss Edith Train has studied law and is practicing in the courts of that state. Mr. Train and his daughters too (took) up a homestead in Cowlitz county, Washington and the readers of the Messenger of two years ago, will remember the interesting account of their awful experience in the great fire of that date which Miss Train sent to the Messenger. Miss Rose Train is an artist and lives at home. Miss Matie is a teacher in the Portland public schools.


Profit For Tile Makers

   Posted by: admin Tags: ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 25, 1904

Profit For Tile Makers

Results From Wet Seasons, Necessitating Drainage

Brick and Tile Plants In and Around Fort Dodge Begin Operations.

Most of the Fort Dodge brick and tile plants have begun operations and the season promises to be a good one for that business. The H.R. Bradshaw company’s plant started up a few days ago as did the Fort Dodge Clay Works. The Fort Dodge Brick & Tile company will begin manufacturing within a few days.

The brick and tile industry is becoming of increasing importance to the city. There are now from 150 to 200 men employed in this business in the different plants about Fort Dodge.

The business has been given a great impetus by the past two exceedingly wet years. The farmer has had the fact of drainage borne upon him, and this year will witness more laying of tile than has ever been seen in the state in a like period of time. Iowa land has become too valuable to allow of its being left under water and uncultivated. Many large system of drainage have been planned for the coming year, and all the plants in the state will be kept busy.


Marconigrams Are On The Way

   Posted by: admin Tags: ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 24, 1903

Marconigrams Are On The Way

Some of the Things Which May be Expected When the Atmosphere of Fort Dodge is Full of Wireless Messages.

They’ll be tappin’ on the window pane,
They’ll bump against the door.
They’ll slide right down the chimney,
An’ spatter on the floor.
An’ what are simple folks to think?
An’ sure what will they say,
When they find that wireless messages
Come to Fort Dodge today.

Why, a feller can’t go down the street
To get a drink of beer,
When here there’ll come a pesky th ing
A’ buzzin’ in his ear.
An’ he’ll want to swear a little bit,
But he won’t know what to say,
For it’s one of them wireless messages
That come to Fort Dodge today.

An’ when you’re sittin’ safe at home,
An’ it’s cold and dark and night,
An’ you hear a kind of whisperin’ sound,
And jump to douse the light.
Why then you stop and think a bit,
An’ then you laugh and say,
It’s one of them wireless messages
That come to Fort Dodge today.

Fort Dodge may be the center of large flocks of wireless messages in the near future, if the plans which have been made by Chicago parties are carried out. It is expected that the air will soon be full of these little messengers, carrying news back and forth between Chicago, Sioux City, Omaha and other large packing centers. Tests were made for the first time in Chicago Monday by the De Forest Wireless Telegraph company, which proposes to put in the system. Fort Dodge will be in the direct line of communication and soon the air waves may be fraught with momentous tidings.

A Chicago special gives the following regarding the plans of the De Forest company:

“Wireless telegraph messages between Chicago and Omaha and other packing centers, as well as communication between the offices and shops of Chicago firms, are promised by Lee De Forest of the De Forest Wireless Telegraph company.

Mr. De Forest is now at the Auditorium hotel. He is in Chicago to select a site for the lake station and to put the temporary system in operation between the offices of Armour & Co. in the Home Insurance building and the stock yards.

Wires were placed on the flag staff of the Home Insurance building yesterday. The work of erecting a mast at the stock yards will be begun at once and by Monday it is expected that the first orders of Armour & Co. will be passing by the wireless system.

Plans have been prepared for the establishment of the lake station, and Mr. De Forest said that this station was assured, whatever result might attend the experiments for Armour & Co. The Chicago station will be on the north shore, near Evanston. Three other lake stations are in process of construction, but the Chicago station will be the largest. Three masts have been erected at Buffalo, and he says the work is being pushed at Detroit and Cleveland. Communication between Buffalo and Cleveland will be established by May, according to the statements of Mr. De Forest. Towers will be built at the Chicago station, and it will have twenty or thirty horse power, double or triple that of the other lake stations.

Contracts already have been made with lake steamship companies in Cleveland and Buffalo and with newspapers for marine service. The steamship lines in Lake Michigan are regarded as probable subscribers for the service here in Chicago.

A feature of wireless telegraphy which will soon be introduced, according to Mr. De Forest, will be the “automobile station.” A machine is equipped with a pole and sending aparatus (sic), and thus fitted, operates in the streets, sending quotations into several brokers offices. “Such an automobile will be in the streets within a month,” said Mr. De Forest.

The first test will be made Monday. Wires will be strung on the flagstaff of the Home Insurance company building, the down town headquarters of the packing company, and a mast will be erected at the stock yards.

Mr. De Forest says he will demonstrate the practicality of his wireless system. “There is much at stake,” he said last night. “We can save them money. They now pay $100,000 a  year telegraph toil. The wireless system means less than half. It is something to be taken into consideration.”

But the Armour tests are among the smallest of Mr. De Forest’s undertakings. He wants to place Chicago in communication with all the cities of the lake region.

“We want to make Chicago the center of our western business,” he said. “The first test will be made between Chicago and Milwaukee. Then will come Mackinac, Sioux City, St. Joseph, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo. I expect to purchase a site for a station before the end of the week. It will be on the lake front, of course, and somewhere between Chicago and Evanston. We always attempt to get away from the city. That insures a better and more satisfactory service.”

(Editor’s note: The article is accompanied by a three-panel cartoon with scenes imagined from the poem. Lee De Forest was a dreamer and enthusiastic businessman, but perhaps less practical than he should have been. The De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company he founded in 1902 failed, as did many of his business enterprises.)


Should Not Lose Opportunities

   Posted by: admin Tags: ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 11, 1904

Should Not Lose Opportunities

Commissioner Harmon of the Commercial Club, on Manufacturing Institutions

Many Are Moving West

City Shows an Unprogressive Spirit in Not Securing Locations

‘Western towns never had a better plum plucking opportunity than the present,” said Commissioner Harmon of the Commercial Club today. “Factories and labor employing institutions all thru the east, harassed by the numerous labor troubles prevailing there, are driven to seek new locations. Many western cities are reaping large benefits from this condition of affairs and are landing factories galore. Fort Dodge has had scores of opportunities to get good things in this line, but she is too slow in closing her deals. While Fort Dodge is dickering for better terms, some other town, willing to pay the bonus asked, steps in and takes the prize. We have lost a number of splendid things in just this way.

“Fort Dodge, with her numerous natural advantages, shipping facilities, etc., works on the principal (sic) that she ought not be required to give any bonus; that her superior advantages should suffice without any cash inducement. it always proves, however, that it is the town that is willing to pay, which lands the institution every time. Fort Dodge should be forced to realize the situation. It should get out and cinch these deals before they are all snapped up by other towns willing to pay the price.

“Fort Dodge as a town is all right, but she is slack in this one matter. When I was in Chicago, the manager of a great bonding firm said: ‘Say, do you know Fort Dodge is the best town on the map of Iowa. Her wealth of gypsum, when fully developed alone is enough to make her the best town in the sate.’ I think the gentleman was right, but a town can’t rely altogether on natural resources. It must get out and hustle for things and be willing to spend a little money or be left behind. I know of one instance where a city no larger than Fort Dodge received a proposition and raised a bonus of $100,000 in forty-eight hours. Fort Dodge is just as wealthy as the place in mind, but such an amount could not possibly be raised here in even a much longer period of time.”


Unions Boycott Lehigh Stores

   Posted by: admin Tags: ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 9, 1903

Unions Boycott Lehigh Stores

Deadlock is On as Result of Establishment of Cash System by Lehigh Merchants

Buy All Goods Elsewhere

Unions are Purchasing Goods by Carload. May Establish Co-Operative Store

A deadlock is on at Lehigh between the merchants and the laborers and the outlook is a very serious one for the store keepers of the city.

The trouble all arose over the establishment of the cash system on February 15. The merchants of Lehigh held a meeting some weeks ago and decided to adopt the cash system, putting themselves under bonds to stick to the cash basis.

The miners, brick makers, and other laborers took exceptions to this move and immediately made arrangements for trading elsewhere, going to Dayton, Burnside, Homer and Fort Dodge for all their goods, while the business men and clerks of the town were left with nothing whatever to do.

the labor unions of the city got together immediately after February 15, and ordered a car of flour, while each individual family sent to Chicago m ail order houses, cutting out entirely the home trade. The laborer unions have even invited the farmers tributary to Lehigh to join with them and take advantage of the wholesale prices they get in their car load lots of flour, potatoes, feed, etc., and many of them have done so, thus still farther hurting the trade of the merchants. The business men still hold to their agreement, but all or nearly all of them are willing to sell out. N.H. Tyson, who has always been a leader in a business way in Lehigh, has sold his general store and will move to Fort Dodge, according to report.

It is understood that as soon as a building can be obtained, the labor unions will start a co-operative store, and claim that they will effectually put a stop to other business enterprises in the town.

Lehigh has always been a credit town since its establishment, and the sudden adoption of the cash system came as a shock that upset the business tranquility of the town and brought on the crisis which now threatens. It has been the custom for the merchants to carry the people from the fifteenth of one month to the next. It is understood, also, that the state organization of the united Miner Workers of American have $750,000, a part of which they will invest in establishing a wholesale house at Des Moines for the distribution of supplies to the members of the labor unions at actual cost. The outcome of the present difficulty at Lehigh will be awaited with much interest, as the situation is considered a serious one. More orders are bening (sic) sent out for car load lots of flour, feed, potatoes, etc., every day or two, and neither side will give an inch.

There was an unusually large crowd of Lehigh people came to Fort Dodge on Saturday to trade as a result of the business situation there. The Great Western morning train brought about one hundred and fifty passengers.


Moving Picture Theater Planned

   Posted by: admin Tags: ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 18, 1907

Moving Picture Theater Planned

What is Known  as Family Theatorium Starts in Colby Building.

Arrangements have been made for the establishing here of a “Family Theatorium,” or, in other and plainer language, a moving picture show. The Colby building on First Avenue South, occupied for a short time by the ill-fated Alexas theater, will be engaged for the new enterprise which will be managed by Bryson Hutchinson.

Mr. Hutchinson went to Des Moines last week and made a contact for two changes of pictures a week here. He said concerning his plan:

“We will be opened for business the last of this week and will run a clean, reputable, low priced house. We will give three entertainments a day and if we can average 100 patrons per performance we can make it a permanent attraction. The pictures we get will be of the best quality and just as good as can be seen in large cities. We will have an electric piano for music and later on may have a regular vaudeville program. The admission fee will be ten cents.”

“I think a clean performance like ours will add considerably to the amusement attractions of Fort Dodge. That ought to help the town.”


This is Not a Pat Crow Letter

   Posted by: admin Tags: ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 4, 1903

This is Not a Pat Crow Letter

But is Apparently From a Reformed Kleptomaniac Desiring to Make Restitution

An Anonymous Communication

Manager P.D. Johns, of Johns Dry Goods Co., Receives $2 in a Strange Way

Manager P.D. Johns, of the Johns Dry Goods company, hardly knows what to make of an anonymous letter which he received a few days ago, containing two bills, of $1 each. After mature deliberation, Mr. Johns h as about decided that he is in receipt of an epistle from a reformed kleptomaniac of the fair sex, who has repented of her misdeeds and has taken this way of atonement.

The letter is written in a small, well formed hand, on good stationery. The words are well chosen, the spelling good, and the grammar almost correca (sic). Apparently the unknown person who wrote the letter is a lady of some education.

The envelope, which Mr. Johns unsuspectingly opened in his morning’s mail a few days ago, is postmarked La Crosse, and was mailed on January 29. The letter itself is undated. All Mr. Johns’ detective ability has been brought to bear on the solution of the problem, but he is now almost constrained to give up the puzzle as one which is beyond solution, and to rest content with the $2 which dropped down on him so unexpectedly.

The letter as received by Mr. Johns, reads as follows:

Johns Dry oods (sic) Co., Fort Dodge, Iowa. – Inclosed please find $2 for indebtedness which I owe your firm for some time past. This is no mistake, so please enter it as cash, as there is no charge made of it.

(Editor’s note: I believe “Pat Crow letter” refers to a ransom note. Pat Crowe was involved in a kidnapping for ransom in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1900 – according to Wikipedia, it was the first successful kidnapping for ransom in the United States. More on the kidnapping here.)


Automobile Garage in Fort Dodge

   Posted by: admin Tags: , , ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 1, 1906

Automobile Garage in Fort Dodge

Cadillac Machines Will Be Sold – Autos Rented and Repaired.

H.B. Grove Has The Agency

Leases Garmoe Building on North 6th Street, Formerly Rented by M.Q. Daley – Will Open The New Concern March 1st.

H.B. Groves has leased the Garmoe building on North Sixth street, formerly rented by M.Q. Daley, and will open an automobile garage about March first. He has the exclusive agency for the Cadillac Motorcar company, of Detroit, Michigan, whose machines he will sell. This agency extends over eleven counties of Iowa, through which he will probably station sub agents.

Mr. Groves has resided in Fort Dodge for less than a year, having lived in Sioux City previous to his removal here. During that time he has won a great many friends who will be pleased to learn of his location here. He is the owner of a $1,000 Cadillac which he had drive across country on several trips. Besides handling the machines for sale, he will rent and repair machines and expects to carry a fine line of accessories. A thoroughly experienced machinist will arrive about the middle of February.

The sport of automobiling has not progressed very rapidly in Fort Dodge. Machines have not found much favor with the residents who seem to prefer their horses. The advent of an automobile enthusiast with a good line of machines means the formation of a club which will eventually join the ranks of the other sporting clubs in the city.


Plymouth Will Not Close Out

   Posted by: admin Tags: , ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 1, 1906

Plymouth Will Not Close Out

Clothing Company Has Been Re-organized with V.N. Bloomgren as Manager.

Fort Dodge people will be rejoiced to hear that the Plymouth Clothing house, for years one of the strongest business houses of its kind in the city, will not go out of business, pursuant to announcement made a few months ago, but has been re-organized and will remain among the business firms of Fort Dodge.

By the re-organization of the company which will operate it which was effected yesterday Mr. V.N. Bloomgren who for the past two years has assisted Mr. Amrstrong, the owner in the management of the store, will assume the full control and management. Mr. Armstrong will not withdraw his interests entirely but will continue as a part owner in the business, and will devote such time to the business as his other interests permit. The store will still be known as the “Plymouth Clothing House” and its policy along all general lines will be the same as formerly.

The remainder of the present stock will be closed out as far as possible and full new lines of goods installed.


First National Bank Building

   Posted by: admin Tags: , ,

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 28, 1907

First National Bank Building

As has been reported in this publication before the new home of the First National bank, of Fort Dodge, will be built during the coming year and will be a very attractive addition to the business district. It will be a thoroughly metropolitan structure and marks the beginning of a new era for this city. The investment of this large sum of money in a combined bank, store and office building proves the faith held in the future of Fort Dodge by a conservative corporation that members of which have had excellent opportunities to judge of the safety of real estate property here.

That other citizens will exhibit similar enterprises and do their share in promoting progress here may well be expected. Nothing in lacking to bring Fort Dodge to the front, but confidence on the part of its own people and there is abundant evidence that the spirit of faith among them is strong.

The detailed plans of the new building are now being prepared by the firm of Liebbe, Nourse & Rasmussen, of Des Moines, and it will require about 30 days to get them in shape for the contractors to estimate on. It is expected that about April 1st the work of construction can be started and after that the erection will go on as fast as money and men can push it.

The site is the real estate owned by the bank at the southwest corner of Central avenue and 7th street 60×140 feet in size. Two fairly good brick buildings on the west and south limits of the land will have to be removed to make place for the new buildings. J.C. Hoagland and Schultz Brothers’ meat market occupy these buildings and will continue in business in other locations. The plans of the buildings so far as it has been decided on have been summarized as follows by the architects:

The Building Plans.

The building is to be 60×140 feet and six stories high and finished basement. The first floor will be on the level of the side walks, the banking room without an exception will be the finest in the state, will be 28×100 feet with a 14 foot ceiling, marble wainscotting and mahoghany finsh (sic) and tile mosaic floor. The entrance to building and elevators will be finshed (sic) in the same with marble walls and majoghany finish, bronze elevator finish and marble staircase and mosaic tile floor: tile floor will be carried through the walls allover the building.

On the ground floor are also three fine store rooms, in style and as elaborate as the bank rooms.

The office floors show the best plan we have ever seen: every office, toilet and halls have large wide outside windows all directly lighted. The halls are wide and the rooms can be combined or thrown together, making large or small offices.

The toilets will be marble and tile floors and enameled porcelain fixtures.

The Banking room on first floor will have a money vault and separate book vault and an additional safety deposit vault. In connection with this department will be a room for men and one for ladies finely fitted up in mahoghany.

In the basement connecting with the banking room only, will be a large room and storage vault. The employees of the bank have each an individual coat locker and every convenience in the way of lavatories, toilets, etc.

The building will be heated by the very best and most modern steam heating system; will be electric lighted throughout.

Another feature of the building will be the thorough construction of the basement and first and second floors in reinforced concrete, making the building practically fireproof; this with a security fire proof vault on each floor with boxes for each office will give perfect security from loss by fire.

The exterior of the building will be on the classical order, walls of granite brick and granite terra cotta; the base of building and entrance of white stone.