Ash Mullenix, Fairfield Iowa barber

October 19, 2010

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Who is A. B. Mullenix, the man driving the two-horse carriage?

Asher (“Ash”) B. Mullenix was born in Illinois in 1863 to Margaret (Long) and John P. Mullenix, who was a veteran of the Civil War and a “lightning rodder.” In 1881 John moved his family from Oswego, Illinois to Fairfield, where he sold insurance for Cedar Rapids Life Insurance and Phoenix Fire Insurance of New York.

Ash & Cash Mullenix

For many years around 1900 Ash was a barber on W. Broadway, Fairfield Iowa near the northwest corner of Fairfield’s Square, like his older brother Cassius (“Cash”), who had been a barber here since the 1880s. An old picture of Cash’s barbershop, just west of 101 W Broadway, was in the Fairfield Ledger, Oct. 2nd, 1939, page F-3.

In 1910 Ash appeared in the U. S. Census as an informal barber and [insurance] solicitor. In 1917 Ash was still a barber at 109 W. Broadway, but by 1920 he and his wife Mary had moved from 604 W. Burlington to farm in Round Prairie Township southeast of Fairfield, Iowa. During the 1920s they moved again to Los Angeles County, California, where Ash died in 1942.

Ash’s sons Frank C. and Augustus R. (“Gus”) Mullenix carried on the family business, cutting hair together in 1911 at 102 W. Broadway, Fairfield, Iowa. Gus’s barber shop was at 107 W. Broadway in the early 1920s.

By 1923 Frank had moved his barber shop to Phoenix, Arizona, and by 1927 Gus had quit barbering to run the old Kozy Kafe restaurant at 100 W. Burlington, Fairfield, Iowa.

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The company Ash Mullenix represented, Great Western Accident Insurance Co. of Des Moines, was organized in 1901 and reincorporated as a stock company in 1914. In 1921 it increased its capital from $100,000 to $200,000. H. B. Hawley was then its president and general manager; W. B. Tallman was vice-president.

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