Our Iowa Heritage: 40 Turn-of-the-Century Leaders Who Shaped Iowa City.

SUI University Square was transitioning to The New University. Read more here.

The year is 1906.

At the turn of the century, Iowa City was bustling with business. Not only was the State University of Iowa (SUI) expanding its campus (see pic above), but downtown Iowa City was alive with growth as well (below).

(M-0039) Looking directly north on Clinton Street, here’s the corner of Clinton & Washington Streets in downtown Iowa City in 1907. Read more here.
(L-0091) Looking directly north on Dubuque Street, here’s the corner of Dubuque & College Streets in downtown Iowa City in 1907.

In 1906, The Iowa City Commercial Club published a little booklet entitled Our Live Ones – Iowa City – hiring a cartoonist by the name Hruska to draw 40 sketches of our city’s most prominent leaders. From Mayor George W. Ball) to County Attorney W.J. McDonald, from Department Store Owner Frank R. Hatch and Pharmacist W. E. Shrader to Cigar Shop Owners Otto H. Fink and Thomas A. (Buster) Brown, the list offered an entertaining look at 39 men and 1 woman (remember – this is 1906) “who made and are making Iowa City.”

Below is an overview of the 40 leaders pictured in Our Live Ones. The links you see will take you to more biographical information provided by the Iowa City Public Library…

1) W. J. McDonald – Lawyer/County Attorney
2) J. J. Ney – Judge
3) J. L. Records – Equitable Manufacturing Co.
4) Robert N. Carson – Grocer
5) Henry Louis – Crescent Pharmacy
6) William Lutton – St. James Hotel Manager
7) Max Mayer – Good Clothing Store
8) Jim Aldous, Jr. – Florist
9) Paul A. Korab – Banking
10) Orr L. Keith – Jewelry
(P-0045) Johnson County Court House – home to Attorney W.J. McDonald and Judge J.J. Ney.
11) Morris A. Lichtenstein – Golden Eagle Clothiers
12) T. W. Townsend – Photographer
13) Elizabeth Irish – Irish’s University Business College
14) John Hands – Jewelry
15) Frank R. Hatch – Department Store
16) Thomas. A. (Buster) Brown – Cigars
17) J. J. Stach – Shoes
18) Owens & Graham – Laundry
19) W. P. Hohenschuh – Furniture
20) H. K. Morton – Shoes
Elizabeth Irish – the lone woman in the Iowa City Commercial Club – Here’s an ad from the Iowa City Daily Press on September 12, 1904. Click here to read more about Elizabeth Irish.
Thomas A. (Buster) Brown‘s Cigar Store on Clinton Street.
21) C. C. Putnam & F. E. Humeston – Merchant’s Lunch Room
22) John & Robert Whetstone – Pharmacy
23) W. S. Thomas – Hardware
24) Otto H. Fink – Cigars
25) M. C. Parsons – Hardware
26) A. M. Greer – Jewelry & Music Store
27) A. G. Prince – Florist
28) W. E. Shrader – Pharmacy
29) Winfield Hughes – Music Store
30) Ernest H. Ross – Insurance/Real Estate
O.T. Fink’s Cigar Store in The St. James Hotel on the corner of Clinton Street & Iowa Avenueread more here.
31) C. A. Webber – Printing
32) Dr. P. H. P. Edwards – Veterinarian
33) J. H. Novak – Pharmacy
34) Sam T. Morrison – Jewelry
35) E. D. Murphy – Furniture/Mortician
36) W. F. Main – Jewelry & Stationary
37) O. H. Carpenter – Architect
38) J. D. Reichardt – Confectioner
39) W. W. Morrison – Crescent Pharmacy
40) George W. Ball – Iowa City Mayor
(P-0276) City Hall – home to Mayor George W. Ball.

Thus far, Our Iowa Heritage has explored a bit deeper into the lives of three of these 1906 community leaders. Let’s start with…

Frank R. Hatch was born to John Jasiah and Sarah Elizabeth (Payne) Hatch on April 22, 1874 in Solon, Iowa. His wife, Edna M. Hufman, born in 1871, was from Clinton, Iowa. The 1908 City Directory listed their home address as 115 ½ South Clinton Street (the upper floor of a retail building located where Old Capitol Mall stands today).

Hatch’s Department Store opened around 1900, first located in the Coldren Opera House on the southeast corner of College and Clinton Streets (see above). In 1903, Hatch moved his store a half-block further north to 124 Clinton Street (see article above from May 15, 1903 issue of The Iowa Citizen).

(L-0092) This rare souvenir cup (circa 1910) pictures Old Capitol and was sold in Hatch’s Department Store – which at 124 S. Clinton (see map below) was just a block away from University Square. Today, the Hawkeye Barber Shop is located at that address.

Sometime around 1920, Frank and Edna Hatch left Iowa City, moving to Dresbach, Minnesota (on the Mississippi River, between Winona, MN and LaCrosse, WI). There Edna died in 1959 (age 87) and Frank passed in 1960 (age 86). Both are buried, however, in Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City.


Click on the links to read more about two more of these turn-of-the-century Iowa City leaders…

Otto H. Fink – Fink Cigar Store in the St. James Hotel on Clinton Street.
W. E. Shrader – Shrader Drug Company on Clinton Street and then Gilbert Street.
Shrader’s Drug Store – Circa 1914.

In closing, let me share what was written in 1906 about these forty “sturdy, staunch and true citizens” of Iowa City…

A tip of the old hat to this 1906 “Hall of Fame” – 40 business leaders who made Iowa City into the up-n-coming community of the 20th century. And to the 1906 cartoonist known only as Hruska, who did one heck of a job on the artwork of this project.


Kudos to the amazing resources below for the many quotes, photographs, etc. used on this page.

Artist Hruska – 40 illustrations, Iowa City Public Library

Coldren Opera House, Iowa City, Wikipedia

Photos from: Finials – A View of Downtown Iowa City, Marybeth Slonneger, pp 75, 98, 164-165

Frank R. Hatch, Iowa City Public Library

Where is John Jasiah Hatch buried? PeopleLegacy

Frank R. Hatch, Find-A-Grave

Edna M. Hufman Hatch, Find-A-Grave

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Click here for a complete INDEX of PEOPLE-PLACES-THINGS…

Click here for a complete INDEX of stories listed CHRONOLOGICALLY…

Click here for a numerical INDEX to all of the U.S. postage stamps, postal cards, and coins in our collection…