This week's picture is the first of a series of three which
will run this month. It shows the south side of the business square
in Grant City and was taken sometime between 1868 and 1882.
The lettering above the door of the building on the corner says C.R. Dawson and Bro.
Christopher (Crit) Dawson came from Kentucky as a young man in 1851 and settled on a farm near Albany. He didn't stay very long, returning to Kentucky where he remained for the next six years. He returned to Gentry County and opened a store in Denver in December, 1858.
Mr. Dawson was an astute business man and realized the potential for a store in the newly established county seat of Grant City. In 1867 he and a brother, Jesse B. Dawson, opened the store which was the forerunner of the J.V. Dawson store.
The Dawson name was to remain associated with the mercantile business in Grant City for nearly one hundred yeas. In 1960 the J.B. Dawson store was sold to Mr. And Mrs. Francis Goff.
Last week I spent a couple of days in Columbia going through some material at the state historical society. Mary McKim Ray had warned me that going through microfilm of the old newspapers was both laborious and time consuming. It was indeed all of that but it was very interesting. It took almost a full day to go through the film of one year's paper so I didn't get a very long time span covered.
I ran across some things that were very interesting. Imagine, if you can, a present day news article like the following. The editor of the Grant City Star in the March 19, 1873 edition is talking about a person who is assuming the office of surveyor.
He writes, "He will make a good officer and, unlike the drunken persimmon seed who has acted in that capacity during the past two years, will be an honor to Worth County".
I ran across a bit of a mystery that possible some of our good Iowa friends can help with. In the March 26, 1873 edition old the same paper there is a news article with a reference to Redding, Iowa. That doesn't quite tally up with this year's centennial celebration at Redding.