Iowa City, Johnson County, and Eastern Iowa history, as seen through the eyes of postage stamps, postcards, letters, coins, books, and other collectibles.
Our Iowa Heritage: The 1890’s in Iowa City.
(BH-114) The Iowa Columbian Commission issued a 438-page published report at the 1893 World’s Columbian Expedition in Chicago. Our hardcover volume is a very rare copy signed by S.H. Mallory, Commission Executive Committee.
The Iowa City – Shrader Connection – Charles C., Dr. John C., and William E.
(P-0212)1897 – Come to the Johnson County Fair – August 23-26! – This unique advertising card was distributed to children in Iowa City to encourage them to bring parents, teachers, and “all your friends” to the 1897 Johnson County Fair, especially on Children’s Day – Tuesday, August 24 (free admission for “Scholars” under 15 years old!)
(P-0239) This colorful “business card” from the 1890’s featured the Charter Oak Stoves and Ranges sold exclusively in Iowa City at Maresh & Holubar.
Charter Oak Stove Company, of St. Louis, Missouri, came into business in 1885. Giles F. Filly, founder of the company, designed and invented wood stoves impressing the owners of the Excelsior Manufacturing Company, who saw great opportunities for expansion. The manufacturing company and equipment was turned over to Giles F. Filly, while the Fisher family (owners of Excelsior), relocated as a hardware business in Quincy, Illinois. Stoves, made in St. Louis, were then shipped to the Fisher’s up the Mississippi River, and from there Excelsior distributed the products throughout the country.
Almost all households owned two wood stoves, one for cooking and one for heating, so the wood stove sales were thriving even in the smallest of towns. It was not uncommon in these times to see a boat going down the river with smoke coming from a wood stove to heat the occupants in the winter months. The Charter Oak Stove Company had many productive years until it finally closed its doors in 1949.
Kudos to the amazing resources below for the many quotes, photographs, etc. used on this page.