THREE QUARTERS of a CENTURY of PROGRESS
A Brief Pictorial and Commercial History
of Sioux City, Iowa
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With the exception of a short period in 1905,
the Pelletier store has served Sioux City and the territory
for 42 years. Its service was temporarily interrupted in January,
1905, when several business blocks in Sioux City were razed
to the ground by a disastrous fire. In October of that year
it was re-established at the present location on Pierce street.
F. M. Pelletier was the founder and is still active head
of the institution after watching it grow from a small dry goods
house to a giant department store. The business grew so rapidly
that another store was opened in Topeka, Kansas, in 1915, to
give a stronger buying power in the world's markets. The company
has unusually strong buying connections in New York and Paris.
With these they have built up strong departments in many lines.
Over 450 people are employed in the store in order
to give service to the public. All lines that are handled by
a department store in addition to such nationally known lines
as Knabe and Kurtzman pianos, Cheney phonographs, Denyvale linens,
Cantilever shoes, Phoenix hosiery, Fashion Park clothes and
others are handled. Each department in this store is a store
within the store. The home furnishing department itself covers
over 61,000 square feet of floor space. In it is everything
for the home from carpets and draperies to pianos and phonographs.
The men's furnishing department is complete in itself and is
housed in a department apart from the main store, being separated
by an alley. This gives the business man a chance to find what
he wants and get out in a hurry. Men do not shop, they merely
buy what they want. This accounts for the location of the men's
The Pelletier Company covers a trade territory
that would do justice to many wholesale houses. They receive
mail orders almost daily from as far as 500 miles to the west
from the heart of the Black Hills. To the south they go 50 miles,
north 150 miles and east 100 miles. A separate department handles
these mail orders and give quick service in filling them. Besides
Mr. Pelletier, who is president, the other officers are W.
J. Hayward, vice president, and H. F. Norris, secretary
and treasurer. All are active in Chamber of Commerce and civic
affairs, giving their share to the progress of Sioux City and
its trade territory.
One Hundred Nine
Engineers and Contractors
Since 1912 the name of Coomer & Small in the building industry
has meant high grade buildings. The amount of work they do varies
with the year and the season, but within the last ten years they
have built some of the best and most modern buildings of the city,
including Main Hall Gymnasium and Conservatory of Music at Morningside
College, Dormitory and Gymnasium at Trinity College, Elks Club,
Princess Theater, Riverview School, Chesterman Company building,
General Manufacturing Company plant, Whitfield M. E. Church, Rustin
Avenue M. E. Church, Danish Lutheran Church, Swedish Mission Church
and Parochial Schools for Immaculate Conception Parish and Parish
of the Blessed Sacrament. Ross M. Coomer and Chas. I.
Small were the partners in this organization until 1917, at
which time the business was incorporated. Mr. Coomer is a member
of the American Society of Civil Engineers and an engineer of
wide reputation in this part of the state.
BLUE VALLEY CREAMERY CO.
Manufacturers of Creamery Butter
The Blue Valley Creamery Co., with 21 large butter
making plants in this country, selected Sioux City as the site
for a plant in 1907. Since that time it has become recognized
as the plant in the chain that produces the best butter. Thirty-five
are employed during the fall and winter. This is increased to
60 or more during the busy spring and summer season. Cream is
purchased direct from the farmers in Iowa. South Dakota and
Nebraska, and occasionally from Wyoming. No receiving stations
are operated by this company who maintain that they prefer to
give the margin of profit to the producer than to the middleman.
Another advantage of this method of obtaining cream is that
it enables the plant to better grade the cream and keep the
quality uniform. The butter bearing the Blue Valley label is
sold in quarter, half and one-pound packages.
WESTERN NEWSPAPER UNION
Ready Prints and Printing Plates
The Sioux City branch of the Western Newspaper Union, a company
with branch houses from Boston to Los Angeles and from Minneapolis
to Houston, was established in 1882. The small plsnt was located
in a building on the site where now stands the Union Station.
In 1890, it moved into a new building on Pearl street, in 1900
to Douglas street, near the Journal, and in 1912 to the present
location in a large building built for this purpose at Fifth and
Virginia streets. The company prepares and sells newspaper service
in plates and printed. sheets, jobs and deals in printer's machinery,
furniture, type and material, paper stock and all other needs
of the printer, large or small. The capital runs into millions
of dollars with several times as much annual sales. The local
plant employs 30 people and serves hundreds of newspapers. Parts
of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota. and southern Minnesota are covered
from Sioux City. For over 32 years W. H. Rogers, known
to every newspaper man in many states, has been in charge of the
local plant, resigning on account of sickness in the fall of this
year. A. A. Sorenson is now manager of the Sioux City branch.
Many an editor has come many miles to Sioux City to seek the advice
of a man who has seen more newspaper men come and go than are
now in the business.
One Hundred Ten
CITY SERVICE CO.
Street Railway Operating
The Sioux City Service Co. is the present operators
of the street railways in Sioux City and South Sioux City. The
old Sioux City Street Railway Co. was organized December 6,
1883. They constructed a line from West Seventh and Panoah streets
to Fourth and Court streets, a distance of about two miles.
The first car, drawn by a Missouri mule, was run on July 4,
1884. The line was extended from time to time until it was 15
miles long, but still operated by horses and mules. In April,
1890, the lines of the company were electrified and Sioux City
had one of the first electric railways in the United States.
Many improvements were made at this time which were responsible
for the development of outlaying sections of Sioux City.
The Sioux City Traction Company was organized
May 25, 1895, and operated the properties formerly held by the
Sioux City Street Railway Company. Later, in 1899, it acquired
the holdings of all other street railway companies in the city
andoperated them as one company until April, 1909, when the
Sioux City Service Company acquired the entire holdings of this
company. These consolidated lines then became one large company
covering the entire city. The Service Company had been organized
in June, 1905, and had acquired a franchise granting right to
construct and operate electric and steam heating plants. The
street railways were an addition to their business, but they
still continue the heat and electric service.
The company now has a total of over 56 miles of
street car lines upon which 103 passenger cars are operated.
The entire city is covered with car lines including the outlaying
districts of Morningside, Leeds and Riverside. Only one line
runs out of the city and out of the state. This is the line
which crosses the Missouri river in South Sioux City, Nebraska.
One Hundred Eleven
One cannot examine the Warnock building, one of
Sioux City's most modern buildings, without wondering who built
it. This building was the first work of W. A. Klinger,
constructing engineer, in Sioux City. It was designed and constructed
under personal direction of Mr. Klinger. His work since he has
been here has consisted of everything from small homes to business
blocks, and has included industrial plants, bridge work, appraising
and fire loss estimating. His most spectacular work was that
of sinking caissions to a depth of 58 feet below water level
in the Missouri river for the erection of the new approaches
on the Nebraska side.
Show Cards and Commercial Drawing
THE demand for an adequate commercial art service in Siux City
was satisfied when the Pioneer Art Studio was established in 1921,
by Carl J. Listman. Show card writing and commercial drawing
is done exclusively by this organization. Mr. Listman came to
Sioux City with a number of years of experience behind him and
has been giving service to the large retail stores in show card
writing. Another important service are the posters especially
prepared to order for the theater. Nearly everyone in Sioux City
is familiar with the beautifully hand lettered and decorated posters
seen daily at some of the show houses. Leter heads, trade marks,
cartoons and designs of all kinds are made for newspapers and
Since 1905 the name of Byron E. Brown has been known
to piano owners and prospective owners in Sioux City. At that
time Mr. Brown opened a small business repairing, tuning and renting
Continuous growth has enabled him to build up a
business and add to his line. Three people besides the manager
are employed selling pianos, pipe organs, phonographs and electric
pianos for homes, and tuning and renting the same class of instruments.
Although a local business in the beginning, a territory
is now covered embracing parts of Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska.
phonographs, Adam Schaaf pianos, Wissner pianos, Estey pipe and
reed organs, and other fine makes of instruments are distributed
by this concern.
Mr. Brown, who is known as a piano and musical instrument
expert in Sioux City, has demonstrated what can be done with a
small business in a live city with a good territory surrounding
it. Knowledge of the goods he sells is the secret of the success
which Mr. Brown has met in Sioux City. He will never accept the
agency or distribution of any machine or instrument until he himself
is satisfied as to good value and quality combined with durability,
also the price must be right.
These things have enabled him to see that all his
sales give satisfaction to those who purchase.
One Hundred Twelve
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