Where To Find Iowa Stories

The Iowa Stories series produced by Cheryl Mullenbach and published on IowaWatch on Saturdays has ended. You can keep up with Mullenbach’s latest efforts on her website, www.cherylmullenbachink.com.

Fire! Fire! Fire!

It was a scene of complete chaos in downtown Cedar Rapids on May 3, 1919. An explosion had occurred at the Douglas Starch Works. Wrecking crews searched the debris for bodies as women gathered outside the gates of the factory hoping for word of their husbands who worked inside.

The 1938 Maytag Strike

In early May 1938 management at the Maytag Washing Machine Company plant in Newton posted a notice to employees that a 10 percent pay cut would soon take effect. The nation was still in the midst of the Great Depression, and Maytag families were more than a little unhappy about the news.

Snake Charmer Charms Man

Ruth McCollough was paid to work her charms on snakes in a traveling carnival show. It’s not known how successful she was at her job. But there’s no doubt she worked her charms on Charles McCormick who came under her spell in the summer of 1914.

No More Alcohol for George

It’s a pretty sure thing that saloon keepers in Davenport in the summer of 1872 wouldn’t be selling any more liquor to George Cook after they heard about an episode that took place at a saloon on Main Street just east of the Lindsay & Phelps mill.