Then & Now

North Main Street, Fairfield, IA.

Above: Looking northeast at R. H. Spence’s carriage shop, 121-123 North Main Street, Fairfield, IA ca. 1909, with some of Spence’s vehicles on display out front. R. H. Spence sold buggies here from 1905 to 1915, and afterwards served two terms as county treasurer. He then worked in the Farmers State Bank, on the site of his old shop, before serving as city clerk from 1930 to 1947. To the right of Spence’s shop is a vacant lot at 119 N. Main; to the left across Briggs Street is the Courthouse; and at far left is the the old jail, at 50 West Hempstead, Fairfield.

Below: Much the same view in 2011. Spence’s carriage shop was succeeded by Allen & Streed, farm implements, in 1915, and when the Farmers State Bank rebuilt the building in 1921 and opened in 1922, A. W. Streed was the bank’s vice president and R. H. Spence was cashier. The Fraternal Order of Eagles next owned the building for nearly 50 years, from 1939 to 1988. To the right, when Thomas C. Allen and August W. Streed vacated their premises for the Farmers Bank in 1921, they moved their hardware firm one door south, building on the adjoining lot at 119 North Main. Afterwards known as the Allen-Snyder Company, the venerable hardware business has been owned since 1937 by three generations of Luckmans: Sam, Kenneth, and David. To the left, the recently-restored tower roof gives the courthouse much the same silhouette as in 1909, while the old jail has been replaced by a newer building (barely visible behind the large evergreen), just across the street at 51 West Hempstead, which now houses Jefferson County Human Services.

119-123 West Broadway, Fairfield, IA.

Above: Shown here amidst gracious trees and residences shortly after it was built in 1910 by Harry I. Ball, the Orpheum Theatre building also contained apartments and businesses, including Leslie E. Clinkenbeard’s clothing store under the awning at the right.

Below: A century later, the houses across 2nd Street have been replaced by a florist shop and a Mexican restaurant, but the Co-Ed Theater building is still showing movies to appreciative audiences. The ground-floor facade has been altered considerably, but the cornice and upstairs windows are still recognizable.

Co-ed Theater, Red Rock Tavern, Walkers Office Supplies, Fairfield, IA.

Co-ed Theater, Fairfield, IA.

Fairfield, IA southwest corner of the square, Main Street and Burlington Ave.

Above: ca. 1906, looking south down Main Street, Fairfield, Iowa toward the old spires of the Presbyterian Church. On the corner at 100 W. Burlington was Jay Copeland’s drugstore, while the outside stairs led up to William S. Williams’ photo studio. Just west at 102 W. Burlington was Frank D. Kerrick’s furniture and undertaking business.

Below: Extensively remodeled by Fred W. McClain after he purchased it in November 1925, the building now hosts Americus Diamond, jewelers, at 100 W. Burlington, and owner Christopher Kufner’s art gallery at 102 W. Burlington. Along Main Street the upstairs bay-windows remain intact, visible just below the Presbyterian Church’s new spires, shortened by 1942.

East Burlington Ave. looking westward.

Then and Now: East Burlington looking west, ca. 1908 (above), and 2011 (below). Burlington Avenue is now wider and has lost its stately rows of elms, but retains much of its gracious feel. At right is 507 E. Burlington; at left is 502 E. Burlington, both well preserved today.

C St. and Broadway, Fairfield IA homes and church.

Then and Now, Northeast corner of C and Broadway, Fairfield, IA.

Top photo, above: In 1910, the First Christian Church occupied the northeast corner of C and Broadway. The First Christian Church was already at 207 W. Burlington by 1931.

Top photo, below: In 2010, the church has been replaced by a one-story dwelling, but its three neighbors to the east remain virtually unchanged.


Residential homes, then and now, east of the original Christian Church on East Broadway, between C and D streets, detail of above photos:

homes on east Broadway, Fairfield, IA.

flour mill on 4th street, Fairfield, IA.

Before: Located at the northeast corner of Lowe and Fourth Streets, Frank W. Voorhies’s Home Roller Mills (at right) stood at what is now 505 N. Fourth, and his residence (at left) was at 507 N. Fourth. Photograph taken ca. 1909.

Frank’s father-in-law F. B. Huntzinger had built the Grove City Mills, steam-powered with three runs of buhrs, in 1875, and sold the business to Frank in 1889. Click here for brief bio and picture of F. B. Huntzinger.
Probably Frank’s Home Roller Mills were the original Grove City Mills of F. B. Huntzinger

After: A new business building has replaced Frank’s mill, but his house remains intact.

604 West Burlington Ave., Fairfield IA.

Remember Asher B. Mullenix,the barber and insurance man driving the two-horse wagon? See video.

This is a before-and-after picture of Ash Mullenix’s home at 604 West Burlington Ave. in Fairfield. Bottom picture: in 1909 members of the Mullenix family sit outside of their home on the south side of the street in a pastoral setting on the outskirts of town. Ash is probably holding the reins of two horses on the left. W. Burlington is a dirt road somewhat lower than today’s thoroughfare.
Top picture taken in 2010: Ash was an insurance man, and a century later his yard hosts an insurance business! The old cement steps from the sidewalk are apparently all that remain of his home. To the far right of the stairs at 606 W. Burlington stands a slightly newer hipped-roof house today, with a different footprint but similar foundation-stones to Ash Mullenix’s old home. While the east wing and porch are gone and the new house extends further to the west, some portions of Ash’s old house may remain in the remodeled home today.

Where the Mullenix house would have been at W. Burlington, Fairfield, IA.

An imaginary portrait of the left side of the Mullenix house at 604 West Burlington — for a rough idea of where it was located….