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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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common purposes in buildings. When the demand came for it from abroad for choice furniture and finishing lumber, and it might have been sold for remunerative prices, there was little remaining.

As the first building in the town of Nevada was occupied as a general store, as well as for many other purposes, it follows that Mr. Alderman, the first resident, was also the first merchant. The fact that he has been nearly continuously from that time in the same or other lines of business in the town, always identified with its interests, is peculiar and exceptional. Others, by dozens, came and went, but the name of Alderman alone has stood the test of time. He states that Hon. William K. Wood, of Iowa Center, brought the first pork to this market, while James Broughard marketed the first butter, exchanging it for tobacco. There was, of course, early competition in trade. J. C. Harris opened business near the present site of the Advent Church, and T. J. Adamson on the southeast corner of Block 31, the front on Second Street, and facing the northeast corner of the park. Linn Street was then, and for many years after, impassable, and this separation of the business interests did much to intensify , local jealousy. S. S. Webb and George Childs built a frame store-house on Fifth Street, fronting the north square, and soon occupied it with merchandise. This they afterward transferred to Alderman. Childs afterward joined Adamson in business in the frame building on the northwest corner of Block 41, facing west. About this time the northeast corner of Second and Linn was also occupied, thus concentrating business in that place. In a short time the three sides of the park, east, north and west, were occupied by small frame buildings, with stores and offices. Facing the east side of the park were the pretentious New York Store (Adamson & Childs ), with the " Nevada Hall " above (now standing northeast from the public well), the drug store of Drs. V. V. Adamson and J. W. Davidson, C. G. Smith's shoe shop, and the store of Ellis Armstrong. Facing the west side was Melvin Swift's store and the old hotel building of Israel Helphrey. Robbins and Downing, and other parties held forth there for a short time. William Margason had the old frame first occupied by Adamson, looking south. J. S. Frazier had a law office farther west, and J. H. Talbott, afterward Talbott & Hawthorne, had a two-story building for merchandise on the southwest corner of the block No. 31. Moore & Bell, Aldredge & Prouty, O. D. Russell and Alderman & Rhoads were among the early merchants of Nevada.

Among the early incidents in trade it may be mentioned that when Mr. Alderman brought his stock of goods with him, in August, 1853, he and his wife stopped with Squire Robinson while , the house at Nevada was in course of erection. The news of the new store was soon known throughout the neighborhood, and for such things as were in demand the boxes were opened by Mrs. Alderman, while the pioneer was house-building. Mr. Alderman at one time laid in quite a large supply of sugar at Keokuk, taking advantage of the market. It cost two cents per pound. The freight from Keokuk to Nevada was two cents per pound. Thus it is seen that he could have given one-half the sugar at Keokuk for delivering the other half at Nevada.

The various locations chosen from time to time for business in Nevada, from an uncertainty as to where trade would finally settle, caused by the two public half-squares, were matters of much' interest. Had there been but one square, all would have agreed as to the point at issue, and the town would soon have presented the forlorn appearance of many other western county seats. The

Page 117 of 460

© 2012 Mark Christian
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