Friday, November 27, 2009

Founding and Progress of Our Town

Seymour Herald - 21 February 1952
The Pepper
Official Publication of the Seymour Public School
The following was written by Carol Jones for civics class:
  In years gone by there was a lone tree near what is now known as the John Shriver farm, and was the only tree to be seen for miles and miles. 
  Some people settled on land within a radius of three miles of this tree, thus naming the town: Lone Tree. When the tracks for the Rock Island railroad were laid in 1870, the first engineer on the train was named Seymour. As most of the people in Lone Tree came from Seymour, Ind., or had relatives living there it was decided to change the name from Lone Tree to Seymour. That is how Seymour got its name.
  When the business section of Seymour was first established the stores were built on Main Street, beginning at Luna Perkins' Gift Shoppe and going east to what is now th Standard Oil Station. They were built facing the south. Where our city park is now located was a lumber yard office and the printing office of The Lone Tree Press. Where the Standard Oil Station is now located was the drug store and Post Office operated by E. K. Clark, father of Alice Clark. Most of these buildings burned; it was then decided to build the business section on the square as it is today.
  At one time Seymour had three mines, The Old Occidental, The Big Jim, and The Sunshine. There were 34 Italian families, besides many boarders, who were working in the mines. In 1916, our population was 2800. After the mines closed most of the families moved to Joliet, and Cicero, Ill., thus making the decline in our population.
  We had two school buildings, the grade school which was located where our present school building is now situated, and the grade and high school building which was in the west part of town. The west building had only the first six grades and the high school. When the six grades were finished the pupils then went to the east building for seventh and eighth grades.
  Later a new grade building was erected which is the one we now attend, and the west building ws used for the high school. After P. H. Jarman became superintendent the high school was moved into our present school building and the old high school building was used for a gymnasium for a short time. It was then torn down.
  Later a gymnasium was added to our high school. Also added was a fine new football stadium. Seymour is not noted all over Iowa for its fine school system. We have seven buses bring in children from miles around to attend our school.
  In the earlier history of Seymour our light and power plant was run by steam boilers with coal. In 1938 the new light and power plant was erected and we now have a very modern plant, with the diesel engines which generate the electricity for the town.
  At one time Seymour had two telephone companies, the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company and The Seymour Telephone Company. The mutual company was made up mostly of farmers who owned a share in the company and their telephones. This company later bought the Seymour Telephone Company. It has now grown into a fine telephone system. 
  Seymour has one theatre for entertainment and in the summer there are softball games and band concerts.
  Seymour has five churches: the Baptist, the Methodist, the Christian, the United Brethren, and the Assembly of God. Several years ago we had a Presbyterian church, but that is now the American Legion Hall.
  We have one medical doctor and one chiropractor. Years ago we had several other doctors but they have died or moved away, and our town is small and close to good medical facilities, none have come to take their places.
  We have our lodges, the I.O.O.F. and Rebekah's and the Masons and Eastern Stars.
  Seymour has good stores and is a good trading center.
  This all shows why I am proud and happy to say, "I am a resident of Seymour, Iowa."

1 comment:

  1. Just a bit of trivia about the west school being torn down. The brick from that west school was cleaned and used to build the original gym on the south side of the high school. My uncle, "Big Mac" (Irvin) McKelvy was a local trucker and hauled the brick from the old school to the new construction site.