Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


June 1, 2006

The railroad comes to Mystic


The influx of miners brought in commercial ventures, housing, schools and churches. Sam Johnson built the first storeroom and ran the first general store. John Mc Neff was next with a grocery and dry goods store. Jake Greenwell built the first hardware store. Mr. Darrah built a hotel. Joe and John Luse built the meat market, later to become the Forsyth Drug Store.

By 1888 business buildings and dwelling houses were being erected all over town. Carpenters and contractors worked from first daylight until midnight. These early business buildings all fronted the railroad. Later Main Street began to develop with additional stores and businesses.

Soon there was a general store, a meat market, a lumber company, a furniture store, a hardware store, a livery stable, a baker, a blacksmith and a barber. Dr. Griffith was the first physician. By 1889 there was a population of about 1000 people. A school was erected for the growing population.

There were two disastrous fires in 1910 and 1911 which destroyed practically all of the business district. The 1910 fire burned the east part of Main Street and the 1911 fire took the west end. The Fire Company from Centerville helped fight the 1911 fire. Owing to the long drought and scarcity of water, it was not possible to check the flames until two buildings in the path of the fire were first wrecked.

Frame buildings were replaced with substantial brick structures as the town began to recover from the fire. Eventually there were many new businesses, even including a Strand Theater at which Lawrence Welk once performed. There were many cafes, taverns and grocery stores, several newspapers, two banks, the Miners Hall, the Mystic Hotel, Dreamland Ballroom, a Masonic Lodge, an American Legion Hall, a gun shop, a funeral home, an ice company and many more. There were also a pickle factory and a button factory.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the 2014 Appanoose County Fair. It starts Monday and wraps up on Saturday with a demolition derby at 8 p.m. So, the question of the week is, "How many days do you plan to go to the Appanoose County Fair?

A. I plan to attend all six days.
B. I plan to attend five days.
C. I plan to attend four days.
D. I plan to attend three days.
E. I plan to attend two days.
F. I plan to attend one day.
G. I do not plan to go to the fair this year.
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