Hometown History

Marshalltown, Iowa

Then - The Fifties


  Now - The Twenty First Century


               Marshalltown Centennial  (100 Years)


Marshalltown Sesquicentennial ( 150 Years )

Marshall County Courthouse in July 2008, showing statue of Henry Anson in Front of the building.

Henry Anson April 19, 1826 - November 30, 1905. Anson was the founder of Marshalltown

This statue commemorates Marshalltown's sesquicentennial (Marshall) founded in 1853, Statue erected in 2003.

210 West Church Street. Home of Ray & Martha Farr. (Center of the Universe when they lived there). There was a similar porch on the East side of the house. Note difference in railings.

Mom on (East) side porch of 210. She loved to sit on the front porch and watch the "scene".

Dad on (East) side porch of 210. Window on right is one of three that protruded from side of house, and is the area that held the Christmas Tree on the inside.

The house after the folks left and just prior to being torn down for Church parking. (i.e. no open porch on either the front or East side of house). The East porch is filled in above basement room. House has two entrances on front. One was for upstairs apartment.


East side of 210 looking toward the South from Church Street. Open porch is filled in. Driveway was added. Carport was added (roof raised slightly to accomodate the carport).

Looking at 210 from the alley South of the house, showing the south of the house and the back yard. You can see where roof was raised for carport. The driveway was for 208. Good view of door to basement entrance.

Looking at West and South side of  210 from 3rd Street.  Looking NorthEast. Notice!! The Kelso house on the corner, just West of 210, has been gone for several years. They were neighbors  in the 1950's. Many of you remember the Robert Cermak family, who lived there for several years after the Kelso's left. Now the lots are used for Church parking (after demolition of 210).

Garage (unused mostly) behind 210 off of the East/West alley. The folks occasionally used the garage under their house.

From Alley. No more 210 West Church. End of an era for our family. The Church in this photo, across from 210 is now the Marshalltown House of Compassion (homeless can eat and sleep there). It enjoyed 15 minutes of fame when Jean Seberg, the Marshalltown actress picked by Otto Preminger to make the movie Saint Joan, was married there. (We all watched the hoopla from the Farr front porch).

Marshalltown Senior High School as it looked in 1950 (Post Card). Facility also included Marshalltown Junior College. The building was restructured and remodeled and is now the Marshalltown Miller Middle School.

Marshalltown Senior High School, as it looked in 1956 from a color photograph by Apgar Studio, in the 1956 High School Post Script.

Marshalltown Senior High School Campus as it is today, including the Theater on upper left, and the Roundhouse in upper center.

Front of current High School from South 2nd Avenue. (Center of front view).

Front of current High School from South 2nd Avenue. (North end of front).

SouthEast corner of High School from Olive Street showing roundhouse.


      High School athletic field from west end looking east.


SouthEast side of High School looking toward NorthWest showing roundhouse.


NorthEast side of High School looking toward SouthWest, including roundhouse and auditorium.

            Miller Middle School


Again - Senior High School and Junior College as it looked in 1950. Remodeled into Miller Middle School (Shown next). Junior College became Marshalltown Community College (MCC) and was constructed on a canpus on South Center Street (Highway 14) and is currently undergoing upgrades to the campus. MCC photographs are shown after Miller Middle School Photographs.


Miller Middle School (North Side) looking SouthWest, including view of new gymnasium.


    Miller Middle School (North End) Front view of facility looking SouthWest.

     Miller Middle School. Front view (South end) looking NorthWest.


Miller Middle School South Side. Looking NorthEast. New Gym on left (out of view).


Miller Middle School. South Side. Looking NorthEast, with view of new gymnasium on left.



Marshalltown Community College on South Center Street. Front center, viewed from Center Street.


Marshalltown Community College. South front of campus looking east from Center Street.


MCC South side of Campus looking North, with view of new $7.5 million Student Activity Center that just opened in late October of 2008.

Closer view of the new Student Activity Center (blue roofing on front). Looking NorthEast.

Construction Technology and Welding Laboratory building. This facility also contains the Business and Technology Center. Located East of the main college buildings.


MCC dormitories are on the East side of the main campus, and are located South of the facility shown above.

               Swimming Anyone ?


    Public swimming pool (Apgar) at the Riverside Park location.

Apgar City Pool in Riverside Park. This was "the" pool in the 1950's


The Marshalltown Family Aquatic Center has zero depth entry, play water features for children, water slides, drop slide, diving board, 8 lap lanes and a lazy river. (Not at 2004 Reunion time). 

                     Opening day June 27, 2005

             Water Slide featured in the Aquatic Center.


The Marshalltown Family Aquatic Center is located West of the new YWCA/YMCA. Next to the 3rd Street - 6th Street viaduct.

                        Main Street


             Main Street and 1st Avenue looking NorthWest.

   Center Street and Main Street looking East. (S.S. Kresge on corner).

     Center Street and Main Street looking East July 2008


    Main Street and 2nd Steet (North side) looking east July, 2008


    Main Street and 2nd Street (South side) looking east, July 2008


Beautiful hanging flower baskets are hung all along both sides of Main Street each year. Maintained by private donations.


"Legacies on Main" Memorials placed on all four corners of Main and Center Streets. Bricks and plaques are purchased by individuals and businesses for memorials. 

                    About Town


  Post Office on Center and Church Street. An early city landmark.

Notice the "old" YWCA/YMCA in the left background - Fidelity Bank bought this US Post Office in 1963 and built the bank that is there now. The Old "Y" and Gasoline Alley were both acquired for extended parking. This bank has now become a branch site for Wells Fargo. This location is just three blocks from the Farr family home at 210 West Church Street.

This is the Wells Fargo branch "drive through" on Center and Church that replaced the Post Office, the YWCA/YMCA and Gasoline Alley (popular local gas station).

US Post Office on East Linn Street and South 4th Avenue built to replace the original one on Center and Church Street.

Marshalltown Public Library on Corner of Center Street and State Street. Built through funding from Andrew Carnagie. This Library just closed on November 26, 2008. A new library was constructed at 10 West Linn Street. The new library will open temporarily in December. A grand opening will be held in January, 2009.

The "old" Public Library viewed from State Street (looking South). The Leise addition, dedicated on December 7, 1975, is on the West (right). The Leise addition was funded by a donation from Miss Ethel Leise in memory of her brother Charles, and sister Edna.

The new Public Library, shown under construction, is located directly West of the St. Mary's Attendance Center (school), located at 10 West Linn Street.

New Public Library viewed from South 1st Street (East side). The new Library is on the corner of South 1st Street and West Linn Street.  The huge task of moving 80,000 volumes from the old Library will mean Marshalltown will have no Library for about one month


The new Public Library is completed. It opened briefly near Christmas 2008, closed over the holidays, and then reopened. The official Grand Opening of the $9.5 million Library is tenatively set for January 18, 2009.

The original Marshalltown Senior High School on North 1st Ave and Byron Streets. Opened in 1894. Became Central Junior High School while most of the Senior Farr kids were in Junior High. The top floor was closed (condemed) when most of them went there. Eventually used for City Government working space. Finally Marshalltown Community College Classrooms were located here. Now torn down for housing developments.


Central Junior High School is gone and this multiple living facility is located on the corner of 1st Avenue and Byron Street. Looking NorhEast from 1st Avenue.


Same Central Junior High property developed as multiple living facility. Viewed from Byron Street. Looking North. Property North of these buildings have been developed into Senior Housing Units. Area holds a large population at this time.

                    YMCA  //  YWCA


YMCA/YWCA FROM 1915 - 1967.  7 East Church Street (Immediately west of the old US Post Office on Center Street).


YMCA/YWCA in 1956. This "Y" was razed in 1967 to accomodate parking for the new Fidelity Bank.

The "first" new YMCA/YWCA building located at 705 South Center Street Cost $1.2 million and was dedicated in June 1968.


The YMCA and YWCA are usually seperate facilities, in most cities, today.  They have always been combined into one facility in Marshalltown.


This complex is located in front of the current "new" facility and is still an active part of the total complex.

Front of the multi - million dollar "newest" YMCA/YWCA . In January 2004, the Marshalltown Community "Y" finished construction of he Horne - Henry Center. This facility is a 122,000 square foot facility financed by a gift ($22 Million) from a former Marshalltown resident who had fond memories of her early years at the "Y" in Marshalltown. (a JCPenny heir).

This front view faces the East or Center Street. The facility is host to a large recreational pool with indoor/outdoor slide, a competitive pool, basketball and racquetball courts, free weights, Strive - Strength Training Equipment, and indoor track, and much more. The boys and girls High School State Swim meets are held here annually. There is extensive seating, not previously available, to handle the large crowds that follow High School swimming events.

Back of YMCA/YWCA looking East. Back of building faces West toward 3rd Street/6th Street viaduct.

Back of the "Y", showing the Marshalltown Public Aquatic Center that is next (behind) the "Y".

Back of the"Y", showing the Aquatic Center, and the 3rd Street/6th Street viaduct relationship.


Baptist Temple, 202 - 204 West State Street. 1911 -1973. 1st Baptist Church built new church in 1973 at 1700 East Olive.


Now in Baptist Temple location: State Public Defender, CIRSI, Child Support Recovery, etc.


1st Baptist Church at 1700 East Olive Street. Built in 1973 to replace the Baptist Temple Facility.


Lloyd's on old highway 30 (now Iowa Avenue). Famous nationally (recommended by Duncan Hines), and favored locally. Operated by the Barlow family. The building has been used for many business enterprises since the Barlow's ended ownership, including several restaurants, car dealerships, and an RV dealership. It is now in major disrepair, and is not , currently, an attractive picture.


The Elks Club owned this facility on the South side of East Main Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The Elks enjoyed a very large membership when this building was last used. The building was destroyed by fire and no replacement was ever planned. This facility held a beautiful clubroom for the popular Elks. Most activity and formal functions were on the 2nd floor in rooms behind the open balcany. Really neat place in its day.

This parking lot is currently maintained where the Elks Lodge building (above) was located.

The Tallcorn Hotel has been a famous Marshalltown landmark. It was a busy Hotel with full use of the Ballroom, Bar, Restaurant, Club, and Barber Shop. Purchased by Bill Fisher in the 60's. The top floor was fully remodeled to accomodate business functions with private customer access, while maintaining the facility as a Hotel. The Hotel was sold to the Bryngelson"s before the Fisher plans were fully implemented.

B.O. Bryngelson developed the facility as a private "income assisted" apartment complex. the public facilities, such as the bar, restaurant, and ballroom; were eventually closed.  B.O. has named it the Tallcorn Towers Apartments. You can see that the very top floor, and the bottom floor (arched windows); were dramatically remodeled from the original Hotel design.

L. J. Lived here during the 2004 Reunion in Marshalltown.


The Deconess Hospital was dedicated in 1914. A $200,000 wing was added to the hospital in 1926, which almost doubled the capacity of the hospital.


The Deconess Hospital became Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Clinic. Known as MMSC.


MMSC viewed from the NorthWest. 3rd Avenue is in foreground. Main Street is on the North of MMSC.


The skywalk over Main Street connecting the hospital with doctor's offices in McFarland Clinic was completed in 1971 and changed the look of the downtown Marshalltown area.


McFarland clinic looking East from 3rd Avenue showing the Clinic and the Skywalk to MMSC.


MMSC from the SouthEast showing the main hospital entrance and the new Cardio Laboratory


MMSC from the SouthEast, looking West showing the new OB/GYN addition, located immediately South of the Main Entrance.


 Wider view of the OB/GYN addition and its relation to the Main Entrance to the Hospital.

The new Iowa River Wildlife Management Area was opened with a dedication ceremony open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 6, 2008. The IRWA includes 485 acres of diverse wildlife habitat including prairie, forest and riverfront areas 1.5 miles north of Marshalltown.  "This is one of the biggest and best conservation areas in Marshall County," said Mike Stegmann, Marshall County Conservation Board director. "The IRWA will protect more than a mile of Iowa River shoreline, along with mature woodland, springs, wetlands and prairie. It includes an adjoining site where we are restoring additional wetlands and prairie."  The area is envisioned to be used by hikers, bird watchers and hunters. Fishing along the banks of the Iowa River is also available on site.

                                MOVIES - MOVIES - MOVIES

Advertisement in the Marshalltown Times Republican of January 07, 1964. The Forest Park Ballroom (featuring Kenny Hofer) is now gone. The Strand Theater (with a Jean Seberg movie), is now gone. By 1964,The Odeon and Capital Theaters had already been closed for years. The RKO Orpheum (McLintock, coming in “All Color Program”) was closed several years ago. The previous operator, Fridley's, closed it in favor of their nearby multiplex.

The Orpheum Theatre was the first post WWII theatre constructed by industry giant RKO Theatres. It opened June 22, 1949. Marshalltown is the birthplace of film stars Jean Seberg and Mary Beth Hurt. And because of this connection, in 1957, the theater was host to the US premiere of Jean Seberg's Saint Joan. The Orpheum Centre Inc. (TOC) is a proposed plan for a multi-purpose community facility to be housed within the present Orpheum Theatre. The project will include two movie/auditorium spaces, a 'retro' coffee shop and a museum honoring Iowa films and personalities. Marshalltown Community College (MCC) is partnering with the Orpheum Board to renovate the historic Theater. A portion of the project will satisfy the Orpheum Board’s desire to restore a movie theater/concessions area and to create a historic exhibit/display area. MCC will renovate the remainder for theater and classroom use. Highlights will be a theater with seating for up to 200 to be used for the college’s growing fine arts program. The renovation will also include a green room and broadcasting booth, three classrooms, an area for set design/construction, a serving kitchen, and handicap accessible bathrooms.  

                                  MORE TO COME