Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


June 1, 2006

The railroad comes to Mystic


At one time, there were five churches in Mystic: the Methodist, Christian, United Brethren, Catholic and Second Baptist. The United Brethren had 200 in its congregation in the early part of the century and continued until 1950. The Methodist Church was built in 1886 and had membership of 224 in the 1930s. This dwindled to 50 by 1950 with the loss of the mining industry and closed in about 1990. The Christian Church, high on a hill on West Main St., continues in operation today.

The Highland Cemetery in the west part of Mystic was created in 1892. A Cemetery Assn. was created in 1909 and a cemetery beautification project done in 1939. This was the second cemetery for the area as the Elgin Cemetery, just north of Mystic, had been created by John Scott, founder of Walnut City, way back in 1853. There was an interurban railroad spur built into Mystic in 1910 by Centerville Light and Traction Co. It operated on an hourly schedule and people from Mystic could make frequent trips to Centerville in muddy times. Eventually the automobile took over and passenger service was discontinued in 1933. Population peaked in the 1920 census with 2796 people. As the mining industry fell off, the town went into a gradual decline. Many of the businesses are now gone and Mystic might be considered a bedroom community. Main Street is unique with its brick paving. There is a city hall, fire station and good first responders unit. There is a Masonic Lodge and the American Legion. The railroad depot is gone, but the railroad continues to operate with freight trains through the southern part of town. The railroad water tank is a museum piece, the only one remaining in Iowa. Present population has stabilized at about 500.

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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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