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Local News

February 14, 2014

Timeline details Iowa National Guard in Centerville

The following information was supplied to the Daily Iowegian by the Iowa National Guard. It is part of their historical record detailing the Iowa National Guard and armory involvement in Centerville.

The Iowa National Guard lists previous armory locations (plausible locations) as 523 W. Jackson, North 12th and Van Buren Street. While it is unsure which location burned, one of the above addresses was later used by Richardson Dry Goods Company, of St. Joseph, Mo. as a shirt and overall factory.

The Centerville Armory, Opera House and Drake Avenue Theatre (southeast corner of Drake and Maple) was

built in 1898. This non-extant armory had capacity for 1,400 people and would also be used as a community opera house. The building has seating for up to 1,000, a 26’x30’ stage and eight dressing rooms. This building served as an opera house and later a movie theater. It burned down in 1930.

The Jackson Street armory was the first armory in Centerville built solely for National Guard use. It was constructed by a local stock company beginning in the fall of 1912. Although the building has been converted into apartments, the building still displays the center stone plaque reading “ARMORY.”

The North 10th Street and West Franklin armory was built to house G Co, 168th Infantry. It was built as part of the federally funded program to build Motor Vehicle Storage Buildings after World War II. The initial storage building and drill floor were completed in 1950 and the administrative office and training room additions were added/completed in 1953.

The armory at 22800 Dewey Road was originally built for C Co, 224th Engineer Battalion. In 2005, it was home to the 2133rd Transportation Company, but was re-designated A Co, 224th Engineer Battalion in 2008. It is one of six armories designed by Iowa National Guard architect Richard Bernabe.

The Iowa National Guard offers this timeline documenting guard units and armories in Centerville.

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