With the cooperation of the Southeast Iowa Union, the Mt. Pleasant Historic Preservation Commission will be publishing weekly peeks at some of the featured homes in the 1909 book, “Mt. Pleasant Beautiful.” In the series, the 1909 picture will be contrasted with one of recent vintage. The commission has been collecting information for the eventual issuance of a new book updating the information on the still standing homes from the 1909 publication.
You can test your knowledge of historic Mount Pleasant with this column. The identity of the featured home will be published the week following the initial publication.
Last week’s featured home: M.C. Hall House, 307 N. Jefferson St.
In 1909, this week’s featured home was occupied by German immigrants, John and Catherine Koch. It had been built in 1903 by John and Amy Carter, who had moved from a country farm and just four years later the rural life called them back, and they moved to a farm north of town.
Koch worked in and then operated his own shoe store on the square for many years. Although the Carter property had two acres of land, the Kochs desired more and moved a block away to a property that, according to the Mt. Pleasant News, had five acres and was “loaded with gardens and fruit orchards” and had, “room for cows, pigs, chickens and fruit; enough to supply the town.”
There appears to be no information as to how the Kochs fared a few years later when strong anti-German sentiment swept the area during World War I.
In 1913, the Blackfords (another ex-farm family) moved in and stayed for 25 years. The next family, the Zinks, used part of the house for rental apartments before passing it along to Harry and Hazel Weaver, in whose estate it currently stands.