THREE QUARTERS of a CENTURY of PROGRESS
A Brief Pictorial and Commercial History
of Sioux City, Iowa
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From a small auto repair shop, employing four people, the J.
V. Thorndike Co. has grown to be the "Largest Retailers of
Automobiles in Sioux City," and the oldest Ford dealer in
Mr. Thorndike entered business in Sioux City in 1916, with a
garage and repair shop. The present plant, handling Fords, Fordson
tractors and Lincolns, is a modern agency, employing 43 people
in the plant and 12 salesmen. A large and well-equipped service
department occupies over 27,000 square feet of floor space and
the parts and accessory department carries a stock valued at over
$20,000. Last year this organization sold 831 Fords, Fordsons
and Lincolns and expects to sell about 1,200 in 1923.
The Akron Milling Co. was organized in 1893, by William Slaughter
and E. A. Fields, for the milling of corn. It is now housed
in a five-story building at Second and Pearl streets. Mr. Fields
has been in active charge of the business since organization.
Under the trade name of "Peerless," they manufacture
and sell a line of corn meal, grahams, and corn, oats, barley
and other cereal feeds. A force of 20 people is employed in the
mill. The products are sold mainly in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska,
although many mixed cars are shipped to Wisconsin and to the Pacific
coast states. Besides these trade marked lines other cereal products
such as pancake flour, chick and poultry feed and other goods
are made under private brands for their trade.
WM. L. STEELE, Architect
More buildings have been designed in and around Sioux City by
Wm. L. Steele than by any other architect. Mr. Steele came
to Sioux City in 1907, and has designed practically every class
of buildings that have been erected in the city. He is a graduate
of the University of Illinois, Department of Architecture, 1896.
For many years he worked with leading architects of the country
including Louis H. Sullivan and S. S. Wewman, of
Chicago; Thomas Rodd, Alden & Harlow and S. F. Heckel,
of Pittsburg. Coming to Sioux City, he immediately began some
important structures. One of the most striking examples of his
work is the Woodbury
county court house, declared to be one of the finest pieces of
architecture in the west. Some of the schools he has designed
are Trinity College, public schools in Sargeant Bluffs, Danbury,
Cherokee, Fonda, Hunnard, Meriden, Dixon and many other towns.
He has erected public buildings in Hartington, Hawarden, Armour,
S. D.; Union county, Charles Mix county, Lake Andes and others.
He also designed the Shore Acre Boat Club and many other public
buildings. His churches include St. Cassius Catholic, Danish Lutheran,
First Congregational First Christian (remodeling), Immaculate
Conception, Sacred Heart, in Sioux City, and many in the surrounding
territory. His hospitals include St. Vincent, St. Anthonys home,
St. Monica's, and many in the trade territory. In Sioux City some
of his best known buildings are Live Stock National Bank, Davidson
building, Sioux City Journal, O. J. Moore, Crane Co., Kresge store,
and hundreds of homes.
One Hundred Twenty-four
The founder of the Rapalee Mounment Works came to Sioux City
in 1900 from Tyndall, S. D., where the company has been in operation
for some time. They first located at 410 West Seventh street.
The following year an elaborate plant was built at the present
location at 605 West Seventh street During the 23 years since
they first opened the Sioux City factory the equipment has been
added to in keeping with the business until now it is perhaps
one of the best, if not the best, equipped plant of its kind in
the state of Iowa. Pneumatic tools of all kinds, sand blast for
lettering and carving, overhead cranes for moving the large stones,
polishing machines and other equipment is used in the modern shop.
The work of the company is more of art than business. Giant roughly
hewn stones from the quarries of the east are dressed down and
transformed into beautiful memorials. The designers employed by
this concern design war memorials which are later turned out in
the plant. The men who do the work are the best that can be had
and are real artists carving figures and letters from the hardest
of rock. Five traveling salesmen cover the radius of 100 miles
from Sioux City. They sell over a hundred thousand dollars worth
of monuments annually. Everything in the line of memorials and
cemetery work is carried. The stocks run into many thousands of
dollars, although much of the work is to order. Special designs
are submitted on request for memorials of any size and of any
material. No more beautiful stones can be found than those made
in the plant of the Rapalee Monument Works.
P. V. Rapalee who succeeded his father in the management,
is carrying out the ideas and policies that the firm has maintained
since it was first established. The principle of using only the
best materials and workmanship has been recognized from the start.
The firm has the reputation of square dealing that they can well
be proud of and enjoy the distinction of carrying the largest
stock of finished memorials in the west.
One Hundred Twenty-five
One of the leading laundries in the north Missouri valley was
instituted in May, 1922, when Claude C. King, who had operated
the King Model Laundry for 15 years, purchased the Hamilton Laundry
and merged the two in to the King-Hamilton Laundry Co., as it
is known today. Both firms had been well known and popular in
Sioux City and the territory. The plant does a large family laundry
business, providing the public with six distinct services for
family work. The dry cleaning plant is separate from the laundry
and is one of the most complete in the middlewest.
STYLE SHOP, Millinery Shop
One of Sioux City's most exclusive and up to the minute millinery
shops is the Betty Style Shop. This shop was established by Ida
E. Buttke, who knows what women want and demand in headwear.
They handle Vogue, May Smith, Schwaulbe, Cupid and the Betty line
of hats. The Betty line is designed and made in this shop.
When the beautiful new Nebraska capitol building which is located
at Lincoln, Nebraska, and which will be among the very best of
state capitols of the United States, is completed, it will have
at least some parts made in Sioux City. The Interstate Cornice
Works, of Sioux City, has the contract for a modern ventilation
system for this building. The Elks Club building and the new high
school at Omaha, Nebraska, are among their out of town jobs. One
of their Sioux City jobs which has attracted much attention is
the ventilation system in the new Masonic Temple, at Ninth and
Nebraska streets. This concern was organized in 1912, by J.
E. Johnson, who continues the management of the firm. Later,
Mr. W. L. Groh, who had been acting as superintendent of
construction, acquired an interest in the business. They have
at present between 30 and 35 men on the productive pay roll, all
of whom are skilled sheet metal workers. They do contracting work
in Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota. The work of this
concern includes everything in the sheet metal line such as cornices,
ventilation systems, and other work of this nature required in
building construction. Columbus College, at Sioux Falls, South
Dakota, was outfitted by this Sioux City concern.
One Hundred Twenty-six
Among the professions which have developed rapidly in the past
few years is that of the modern funeral director and embalmer.
Indeed the profession has reached a high state of efficiency.
No establishment has given this line of business more careful
and painstaking attention than the firm of Westcott Undertaking
Company, established in Sioux City in 1882, when it was not much
more than a village. They have become leaders in their profession
because of their method of serving. Their fair treatment and honest
dealings have built for them a reputation with the public that
cannot be shaken. Incidentally it has meant that the public is
assured of a place where they can turn in the hour of need for
complete charge of funerals and burials.
C. F. Doughty is president and Harry Chandler,
vice president of the company. A. J. Hennessey is secretary
and treasurer. These men with their able and courteous staff of
helpers put forth their foremost efforts towards pleasing their
many hundreds of patrons. The organization is complete from the
standpoint of equipment and stocks, as well as service. They maintain
a reliable and dependable motor ambulance service available at
all times for public use. All of the men connected with the company
have had many years of experience in their line.
In accordance with their progressive yet reliable policies, they
have kept in close touch with everything modern in their line.
In the business portion of the city they maintain one of the most
beautiful and modern funeral parlors to be found in the country.
Recently, however, to meet the needs and wishes of those desiring
home funerals, they established a funeral home in a large two-story
brick residence in Morningside under the name of Morningside Mortuary.
Both of these establishments offer real conveniences to those
with whom they deal and show the progressive spirit of the company
and the business men behind it.
One Hundred Twenty-seven
The Curtis organization began operating in Sioux City in 1897,
when they took over
the Fletcher & Hutchins wood-working plant. F. L. Hutchins,
who was a member of the old firm, became vice president and manager
of the Curtis Sash and Door Co., and has remained in that position
to the present time. The present plant covers 10 out of 12 lots
in a square block. It has railroad tracks through the center,
making unloading from cars possible at almost any part of the
giant plant. There are over 500 feet of storage sheds for rough
stock. These sheds are 50 feet wide and are double decked, much
larger than many small town lumber yards.
Curtis organization, of which the local plant is a part, consists
of plants in many leading cities of the country. Their products
are standard and enjoy a nationwide reputation. Their advertising
schedule for the coming year includes space in many national publications
such as Saturday Evening Post, American Magazine, Ladies Home
Journal, House Beautiful, House and Garden, Country Gentleman,
Architectural Forum, Architectural Record, Architecture, Journal
American Institute of Architects, National Builder, American Builder,
Building Age, Permanent Builder, National Real Estate Journal,
American Lumberman, Retail Lumberman, and Mississippi Valley Lumber
man. These magazines have a total circulation of 6,970,019.
One Hundred Twenty-eight
CURTIS SASH AND DOOR Co.-Continued
The products consist of all kinds of woodwork for
residences and public buildings, bank fixtures, store and office
fixtures and other wood products. They make numerous
pieces of built-in furniture for the home, including buffets,
cabinets, breakfast nooks and clothes closets. The territory of
the Sioux City plant is parts of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota,
Minnesota, Wyoming and Montana. They employ over ISO men in the
large factory with four men traveling on the road.
The Curtis Bros. & Co. organization was established in Clinton,
Iowa, in 1866. In addition to the Sioux City plant, called the
Curtis Sash and Door Co., they control the following plants: Curtis
Bros. & Co., Clinton; Curtis & Yale Co., Wausau, Wis.;
Curtis, Towle & Paine Co., Lincoln, Neb.; Curtis, Towle &:
Paine, Topeka, Kans.; Curtis-Yale-Holland Co., Minneapolis, Minn.;
Curtis Door and Sash Co., Chicago; Curtis Detroit Co., Detroit;
Curtis Co., Inc., Clinton, New York and Baltimore.
woodwork is standardized as to sizes and is produced in quantities.
This accounts to a great degree for the success of the company.
Quantity production with wide distribution through the various
houses and sales agencies. of the Curtis people has enabled them
to reduce prices. The large warehouse in Sioux City is kept stocked
with standard equipment which enables them to give prompt service
and fill orders while most concerns would still be figuring the
most complete plant is found at the Sioux City institution. Giant
power driven saw, a battery of moulders and a six-inch veneer
saw are some of the machines used. Shavings are used in the boilers;
sawdust is sold to be made into sweeping compound and packingthus
efficiency methods are used all through the plant, resulting in
lower costs to the consumer.
One Hundred Twenty-nine
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