Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

February 6, 2014

AC history


The Daily Iowegian

---- — AC history

Feb. 6, 1919-1929: On Saturday evenings, people crowded the Square. Immigrants — the men in suits and hats their wives in babushkas — teemed the sidewalks. They greeted each other in their native tongues. Cars lined the streets. Stores were busy. Bradley’s First National Bank stayed open to 8 p.m. Traffic officers directed at intersections. People collided. Others stepped into streets. Centerville police urged pedestrians to follow the pattern established in large cities and keep to the right. Shop assistants stood at doorways, inviting people inside. Free gifts and souvenirs were distributed. Music played from a loudspeaker at Harry Luther’s. Up -to-date baseball bulletins were posted at the Keck-Davis cigar store. A large thermometer on the north side of Lankford’s Funeral Parlor gave temperature readings. People bought popcorn and roasted peanuts from “Blind Jim’s” wagon. They tasted the ice-creams and hand-rolled chocolates at Santi and Gus Milani’s ice-cream parlor. They drank sarsaparilla at Delmonico’s, Coca-Cola and chocolate sundaes at the Square’s eight drugstore soda fountains. These included the Elite — now the Owl — and the Red Cross drugstore whose owner, Carl Weekes, was making a fortune and would build and fill Salisbury House in Des Moines with antiques. (200-201 and 321)