South side of the square, west half, Fairfield IA in 1876

January 25, 2011

Picture courtesy of Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, Iowa.

Just left of center, the brick double block of 54-56 West Burlington was built in 1872 and 1873 by pioneer Fairfield miller Franklin B.Huntzinger and his wife Sarah (Rudy).

At 54 West Burlington behind the pump-handle in the street, the sign “G. A. Unrich, Groceries” advertises the store of Gustave A. Unkrich (1845-1926), who immigrated from Germany and did business at this spot for over 20 years. Just beneath, a sign informs us that German is spoken here. Gus married Sarah Arabella Huntzinger, the fourth of eight children of Franklin B. and Sarah Huntzinger, and Gus sold his father-in-law’s flour at his store.

Another sign jutting out below advertises “Unkrich & Jones, Glass & Queensware.” (Queensware was a creamy-white pottery made by Wedgewood.) In 1876 Frank A. Jones married Sarah’s next-younger sister, Elizabeth Katherine Huntzinger, and went into business with Gus until 1880. Jones succeeded Robert Rudy Huntzinger, Sarah and Elizabeth’s younger brother, who had partnered with Gus until June 1876. His health ever precarious. R. R. Huntzinger died in January 1884 at the age of 29.

In the rooms above Unkrich & Jones’s store, Prof. R. M. Fish taught the pupils of his Fairfield High School in 1876-77.

Great details! Notice the dog running across Burlington avenue towards the horse, the colorful barber pole on the sidewalk, and one of three water pumps at the corners of the park, located here in the middle of Burlington and Main.

Select here for the still photo from the Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, Iowa.

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