Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


May 25, 2006

The Railroad Comes to Clarkdale


There was also a rural school a mile west of the intersection with the name of Clarkdale School. It was a 3-room school serving grades k-1 through k-8. The youngsters went to either Rathbun or Centerville for high school. A Catholic church was under construction near the south edge of Orrville but was never completed. People went to the Catholic churches in Mystic and in Rathbun, both of which were about two miles distant. There was also a grocery store in the center of town.

Finally the post office was discontinued in 1920. With the end of the mining in 1938, all activity south of the railroad came to an end. Some of the homes in Clarkdale still survive for people who work elsewhere in the area. The population today is about 25.

One interesting feature of the Clarksdale area is the old stone house a mile south of the railroad tracks on the west side of the road on property originally owned by James Lepper. Built of blue limestone from a nearby quarry, this beautiful stone house was completed in 1870 by Nathan Bart Lepper. The walls of the house are two feet thick and the house remains cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Bart Lepper used to tell the story of the time that Jesse James and gang stopped and demanded a night’s lodging. This may have been about the time they robbed the bank in Corydon. The gang left their horses saddled in case they had to make a quick getaway. They caused Mr. Lepper no trouble and paid him very well.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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