This building sat on the west side of Main Street (E Avenue north) corner with 17th street. The most recent owners were Ken and Brenda Chilton. It was set up for Ken to repair motorcycles but has been in disuse for quite some time. The second floor windows were missing and the bricks were no longer held by mortar but by habit. The city deemed the building unfit and a safety hazard and sought out grant money to demolish it. Dean Lathrop’s company got the bid and had the building down just a few short days before the Sept. 10th Lovilia Fall Festival. They hauled away all the debris, filled in the basement, smoothed the lot and planted grass which is now up and looks like a well started lawn.
The Bremen to Lovilia 125 years history book written by Eleanora Sofranko and Catherine Ross gives us the history of the building. Check it out yourself on page 33, 35 , and 36. John J. Carr farmed in Guilford Township of Monroe County, Iowa ( the Hiteman and Georgetown area). A crippling hip injury pushed him to find a new career. John entered school, Highland Park College of Pharmacy, and graduated in 1899. After graduating, he came to Lovilia and worked at a drug store where the current Lovilia post office stands. Then he left his boss, Ivor Williams, and bought out the drugstore across the street owned by Charlie Bissell.
In 1902 he moved the Bissell building to the area north of the fire station on the north side of 17th street. Then he proceeded to build the two story brick building which was just torn down as stated above. In the history book is a picture of the store as it appeared in 1903.
What was on the second floor? At the beginning of the movie theater business, a man named Carl Parker arrived in Lovilia from Wisconsin. It was 1914 and he named the theater above the drug store His Happy Hour theater. Movies were shown two nights per week. Parker made extra earnings by showing his movies at the Rex 5 and Maple mining camps on other nights of the week. Ken Hetherington loaded the hand operated projector with reel 1. When it was time to change reels, men and boys went out side for a smoke. A player piano accompanied the silent movies. Movie goers climbed the outside iron stairway to enter the theater.
Page 132 shows a photo of a Halloween Costume Party held above Carr’s drug. The upstairs was also called Carr’s Opera House. Lovilia band played there and dances and plays were held there.
Carr was joined by a jeweler in his building. He worked with five different ones. The last one named Kennedy joined Carr and moved their business to the current bank building in 1939. Mr. Carr died in 1941.
He was the father of Joe Carr, Geraldine Carr Crumley, and Catherine Carr Ross.
A bit of history ends.
Pete Souply House Torn Down
This old house on back street (F avenue south) had been recently only used for storage by the owner, Bob Thomas, who lives next door. He then built a new two door garage on the adjacent lot.
September 10, Lovilia Fall Festival
Celebration went off without a hitch. Nice number of entries in the 1pm parade. Car show had eight entries and viewers picked their favorite for a people’s choice award. Bill and Connie Barnes donated the choice award plaque.
The bags tournament drew seventeen teams to compete. The winning team took home 1/2 the entry money.
There were also kid games, vendors, food served at the community building, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, and firemen waterfights.
Stage entertainment had toes tapping from 2pm -8:30pm on the stage in front of the community building. One hundred T-shirts were sold this year and those worn as well as the design from last year showed Lovilia pride.
The date is the same as the Iowa/Iowa football game. The committee decided after evaluating the festival we would change the date for the fall festival next year to Sept. 30, 2017 to avoid this conflict. Hope to see you all there! Thanks to all who came to celebrate Lovilia roots.
Darwin “Peanuts” Gordon Dies
Darwin, age 91, died Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 at Westridge Care center in Knoxville. He was born in Pershing, Iowa to Edward and Ruth(Zimmerman) Gordon on October 21, 1924.
Darwin was married to Bonnie L. Potts on January 16, 1949 in Albia, Iowa. They were blessed with four children: Dianne, Rick, Pam, and Ardie.
He was a veteran of World War II where he received seven medals including the Purple Heart. His jobs included running Lovilia Dairy Creme, a Skelly Gas Station, co-owned White Oak Coal Mine, and selling cars. He once did a trade involving a monkey.
His church membership was with Community Baptist Church in Bussey. Darwin was a Mason and an American Legion member. In his younger days he liked hunting trips to Wyoming, pheasant hunting, and fishing. He especially enjoyed time with the children and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife; daughter, Dianne Cardenzana of Olathe, Kansas; son,Rick Gordon of Knoxville, Iowa;daughter, Pam (Mark) Kurimski of Lovilia; and son, Ardie (Lynn) Gordon of Waterloo, Iowa. Also, ten grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. One brother, Gerald Gordon of Farmington, NM; sister-in-law, Mary Gordon of Omaha, NE; brother-in-law, Mark Walker of Norwalk; and many friends.
Preceding him in death were his parents and siblings: Ruth Lucas, Eddy Gordon, Dr. Marvin Gordon, David Gordon, and Beverly Walker.
Funeral services were held Sept. 17, 2016 at the Community Baptist Church in Bussey. Burial with military rites by the American Legion of Albia, Lovilia, and Melrose at Woodlawn cemetery of Loviia followed. Memorials may be made to Welcome Home Soldier Monument or Lovilia Community Betterment. May he rest in peace.
Wilma Etcher Dies
Wilma, age 91, of rural Lovilia, died Sept. 18, 2016 at Vista Woods Care Center in Ottumwa, Iowa.
She was born May 4, 1925 in Ottumwa to Arthur and Abbie (Goff) Peterson. Wilma received her education at Eddyville, Iowa and graduated with the class of 1942. March 7, 1943 she married Albert Guy Etcher. They shared 57 years of marriage. They were blessed with six children: Don, Dale, Jerilyn, Mary, Carol, and Jean.
Wilma was a member of the Independent Bible Church in Bussey and helped the Ladies Aid Group. She was a talented seamstress which included making: over 300 quilts, 150 dresses for Africa, and in one winter she made 50 afghans. Wilma also enjoyed time with family, reading, and scrapbooking.
She is survived by her children: Don(Barbara)Etcher of Lovilia; Dale (Jeanne) Etcher of Indianola, Iowa; Jerilyn Hall of Ottumwa, Iowa;Mary (Don)Hines of Montezuma, Iowa; Carol (Ray) Ryon of Ottumwa, Iowa; and Jean (Tim)Mercer of Fairfield, Iowa. She also leaves 25 grandchildren, 52 great grandchildren, and 19 great great grandchildren.
Preceding her in death were her husband; a grandson, Jeff Ballard; a brother, Maurice Peterson, and two son-in-laws, Kenny Chidester and Tom Hall.
Funeral services were held Sept. 21, 2016 at Independent Bible Church in Bussey, Iowa. Burial was at Woodlawn Cemetery in Lovilia. Memorials may be made to Independent Bible Church in Bussey, Iowa or Christianburg United Methodist Church. May she rest in peace.
Richard ” Rick” Lee Franzen Dies
Rick, age 63, of Lovilia, died on September 22, 2016 at his home in Lovilia. He was born on November 13, 1952 in Albia, Iowa to Harold and Madelon (Gladson) Franzen.
He graduated from Albia High School with the class of 1970. Rick married Mary Louise Campbell and they were blessed with two daughters, Victoria and Angela. Rick and Mary later divorced.
Rick was a truck driver and drove for DJ Franzen trucking until his retirement in 2005.
He was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic church, Lovilia. He enjoyed cars, golfing, trips to Florida, and time spent with family.
Rick is survived by his daughter, Victoria (Aron)Elder of Runnells, Iowa; daughter, Angela Gilson of Altoona, Iowa; grandson, Tyler Elder; grandson, Trevor Elder; granddaughter, Ela Gilson; granddaughter, Mya Gilson; brother, Denny (Linda)Franzen of Altoona, Iowa; sister-in-law, Nancy Franzen; significant other, Doris Little; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Hal Franzen; and his ex wife.
A celebration of life mass was held Sept. 26, 2016 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Lovilia. Memorials may be directed to the Lovilia Community Building. Burial of cremains will be a family service at a later date. May he rest in peace.
Oct. 9, 2016, Sunday, St.Peter’s Catholic Church Picnic
Mass is 10:30am followed by dinner 11am-1pm. There will be a country store and auction too. Everyone is welcome to come and join in.