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History of Odebolt, Iowa

Odebolt History Pages


Note from editor: I searched in the on-line Odebolt newspaper archive about construction of the Adams bank building. Anything in brackets [ ] is something I've inserted. The papers couldn't agree on the spelling of the construction superintendent's name, and I've typed it just as they spelled it. Other spellings of that era were different from today, but some were obviously misspelled. I typed them as they were spelled, placing [sic] after them.) - B. Ekse



W. P. Adams and Senator Mattes were in Sioux City over Friday night conferring with an architect in regard to the new bank building to be erected on the corner of First and Main streets. The architect accompanied the above named gentlemen to Odebolt Saturday, and looked over the ground, going to his home in Chicago Saturday night. Mr. Mattes is also planning on the erections of his building on the corner of Second and Main Streets, as soon as the lease of the present occupant expires which is the first of October.

[Note from Bonnie Ekse: This was to be the white-tile-faced building at the southeast corner of Second and Main streets. The red brick Mattes building at the southwest corner of Second and Main streets had been built in 1891.]

THE ODEBOLT NEWS. Vol. 2. No. 4. APRIL 8, 1915

First National Bank's New Home will Bring Another Record to Town of Odebolt


J. K. Goddu, superintendent of construction for the Selden-Breck Construction Company of St. Louis, arrived in Odebolt last week for the purpose of superintending the construction of the new First National Bank Building to be built by Mr. W. P. Adams.

A tool house was erected very promptly on the north side of the site and the second move of the city man was to have a fence built around the lots in approved city style. This was some blow to the corps of inspectors who have plenty of time on their hands for the inspection of such work. It shut off their view of the operations in the basement, which is to be the attraction for some little time to come. However, Mr. Goddu is a genial chap and he will probably not object to the free issuance of inspection passes to the multitudes as time wags its way wearily along.

Fred Bloss and Paul Schultz were among the first men to accept work in the carpentry division on the new building. So far as possible local labor will be employed and such material as may be purchased of the local lumber and other dealers will be purchased right here.

Mr. Goddu states that his company's contract calls for the very best of everything, even unto the bronze finishings--these will be solid and not a particle of the work on the contract is to be of the sham variety.

"There will not be a more substantial nor solid and honestly constructed building in any of the large cities," says he. "In fact, in the large cities it is quite customary to do sham finishing--but there will be none of that here."

As heretofore stated in the News it is currently reported that this magnificent building will cost close to $100,000 complete. The portion fronting on Main street will be occupied by the First National Bank when the building is completed and in the rear of this will be the Adams private offices and a garage for their automobiles.

When completed it will probably be the finest building in the state in any of the smaller cities while the larger cities will not be able to boast of better for the size and height.


Large Blocks of Solid Granite which Weigh More Than Five Ton for Bank Building

On Monday the workmen engaged on the new W. P. Adams block at the corner of Main and Second Streets were unloading and placing ready for use the great granite bases for the columns which will grace the front of that building. There are half a dozen of these of which two weigh approximately 10,600 pounds, nearly five and a half tons each. The others weigh a trifle less--half a ton or a ton, or some such trifling matter.

These were only a part of the fifteen carloads of stone to be used in this structure, and were of Georgia granite, selected, Supt. Joddu says, because of its very light color as well as its other good properties. This granite is almost as light in color as the stone to be used for facing the walls, which are to be backed by brick.

The operation of handling these blocks, which measured about five and a half by six feet by eighteen inches, was child's play in the hands of these experienced workmen and the tools with which to do the work. A hand elevator--that is, it was worked by hand power, lifted one side of these big blocks easily so that rollers and other equipment could be placed as desired.

The new building will be almost twenty feet from floor to ceiling and promises from present appearances to be an imposing structure. That the superintendent knows his biz is self-evident from the way in which everything hustles along without excitement of any kind--not even a "holler" or cuss-word.

THE ODEBOLT NEWS. Vol. II. No. 15. JUNE 24, 1915

Workmen are Now Laying the Stone and Brick Above the Foundations at Fast Clip

The new First National Bank building being constructed by the Selden-Breck Construction Co. for Mr. W. P. Adams has been coming along nicely the past week. The floor is shaping itself into position and the stone work goes higher every day until it will not now be long until it will be visible above the board fence surrounding the work.

Mr. Adams states that the building will have a dab of everything possessed by the modern skyscraper. It is to be equally as substantial in every particular. All iron beams are covered with cement to prevent warping in case of fire, and all joints are exact even to a fraction.

Two of the large stones upon which the columns were to rest were found to be defective, one being three inches too short and the other badly nicked in places, and were rejected. Others are on the way to take their places. These two mammoth pieces of rock were valued at about $400 each.

Quite a few new faces are to be seen on the job since the stone and brick work was begun, but they are a gentlemanly set of workmen and one hears no word that a lady could not listen to while they work.

THE ODEBOLT NEWS. Vol. II. No. 15. JULY 1, 1915.

Window Casings Placed on South Side Bring Structure Into View of Easy Lifers

The placing of the huge window casings of the new First National Bank Building being built by Mr. W. P. Adams early this week brought the workmen into plain view of the Easy Life Club and gave the largest showing yet made by the men who are doing the work.

The six large granite base stones on the east front were all in place on Monday and on Tuesday the steps to the front entrance were being set. The first coat of cement has been laid also. This covers all conduits for electric light and telephone wires. The Easy Life Club mistook these, very naturally, for water pipes and reached the conclusion before their error was discovered that the building was to be well watered. The next covering for the floor will be a coat of three inches of gravel and cement and the last will be regular tile, with a portion of the floor set in cork tile--something new for this section of the country.

Two new bricklayers arrived and were on the job Monday morning.

If everything goes well the stonework will reach the top of the window casings by Saturday evening.

Here is a list of the men who are doing this excellent work:

Superintendent--J. K. Joddu.
Architect's Supt. -- H. L. Small of Chicago.
Timekeeper--G. L. Shane, Omaha.
Electrician--A. J. Thompson of St. Louis.
Stone Cutter --Andy McMorran of Stinesville, Ind.
Stone Setters--W. A. Cousins of St. Louis, foreman; W. Wagner of St. Louis, setter; R. Johnson of St. Louis, rigger; G. Hammer, Odebolt, helper.
Cement Finisher--J. Leion of Omaha.
Teamster--A. M. Davis, Odebolt.
Bricklayers--B. Lynn of Omaha, foreman; F. Meischke of Omaha; M. L. Scrum of Omaha; helpers, R. Hollenbeck and F. Gregg of Odebolt.
Carpenters--Paul Schultz, foreman; J. Rheinbolt, J. McGonigle, S. Johnson and F. Carlson, all of Odebolt.
Laborers--John Salstrom, foreman, W. R. DeLong, Dan Briggle, R. Camp, D. Fitzpatrick, J. Hurley, E. Kelley and E. Watson, all of Odebolt.

THE ODEBOLT NEWS. Vol. II. No. 18. JULY 15, 1915

Chautauqua Visitors will Have Opportunity to See Unusual Building Operations

Supt Joddu of the Selden-Breck Construction Co. has reached a stage in his work on the new First National Bank building which will permit Chautauqua visitors to see in Odebolt a class of work never before witnessed in this part of the state of Iowa.

During the past few days the rear wall has reached the roof line and the big steel girders over the Adams garage have been put into position. The doors for this section will be all steel--the frames are in position and are of steel also. In fact all the doors and stairways, etc. in this structure will be of steel and iron and as near fireproof as can be made.

The only woodwork which shows at present is in the window casings.

The Adams vault is an iron or steel cage with six-inch mesh which has been set in solid concrete. That for the bank will have concrete floor with a sheet of steel embedded in it and great steel rails--the railroad kind, embedded in the concrete.
These walls will be practically burglar proof because the whole vault would have to be blown down to pierce this network of steel rails.

The stonework on the south side of the building begins to give a fair idea of the side wall. It will be some time before the east front is in that near a finished condition.

The interior will soon be claiming evermore attention. The radiators are to be installed under the windows and will be concealed by a bronze grillwork which will be flush with the marble wainscoting.

There is something interesting going on all the time on this great work and Supt. Joddu is always right in the middle of it.

Thus far not a serious accident has occurred in connection with this job, the nearest approach being the injury to a finger sustained last week by Mr. Murray instead of Andy McMorran, as was reported.

Much more stone is on the way at this time and the stonework will be used on arrival, hence it is likely that some interesting doings may be witnessed by the crowd which will be in Odebolt the coming week.

The arrival of a car of stone which had been delayed in transit gave added impetus to the work on Tuesday and Wednesday.


The accompanying illustrations, a pen and ink sketch drawn by V. R. Ballard, the News artist, of the new Adams block being finished on the corner of Main and Second streets. It is being variously estimated that this building and site will cost about $90,000 to $100,000 and it is doubtful if another city in the state of the same population can show one worth anywhere near this sum.

The building is constructed of an especially smooth and white granite under the personal supervision of Supt. Joddu of the Selden-Breck Construction Co. of St. Louis, Mo. and Mr. Small representing Mr. Adams and the architect. Not a particle of material is being permitted to go into this building which is not perfect in every way, the contract calling for the very best of materials of the kind used.

Many rejections have been made because of slight flaws which would pass unobserved by a layman.

High class labor has been brought from the cities for every branch of labor and the sketch that is presented herewith shows the handsome building as it appears today.

Work has now begun on the interior and the splendid furnishings which will complete the buildings.

Solid bronze will figure largely in the interior finishing, as well as expensive marble.

Not only will this building be a "show place" when completed but many Odeboltians will remember for a long time the splendid fellows who built it--men like Joddu, Small, Shane, Cousins and all the other boys who have had a part in the great work.

To the owner it will stand for a great period of time, no doubt, as a tribute of his interest in Odebolt.



The new Adams block is nearing completion. The tile floors are laid and finished in the real estate portion of the building and the floor in the main banking room will be finished soon. The marble on the stairs is all laid. The marble in the main entrance is all in and the building will be heated in a few days. The radiators are expected to be in place by the end of this week and Charles Lindquist has the contract to paint them. Two cars of vault material are here and one of the main vault doors is being put in at this time. There are two of these doors to the two main vaults and each weighs six tons. Mr. Adams' private office is patterned from and will be a counterpart of that of the president of Continental Bank of Chicago, considered the finest built bank in the country.


Fairly Good Weather Favors Those Who Have Building Operations Under Way

With Another Week or Two of Good Weather Contractors Will Feel Happy

With consistently good weather for building operations the past couple of months, and particularly the past thirty days, contractors in Odebolt who have building operations under way, have made very good progress and will soon have their outside work done and be up to the finishing.

With the debris cleared away and the windows in, the new Adams block begins to show up as it will appear when the builders leave it for good so far as the outside is concerned. For some time past artisans have been working rapidly on the inside finishing and the progress made has brought the inner portion of the building to a condition which gives the observer an idea how it is to look.

For weeks past a great deal of finishing in plaster parts and other materials has been done and the arrangement for the interior works of the bank has been placed. The electric lighting fixtures have been attached and it will not be long before the public will be able to secure a good view of the completed rooms.

The fixtures in this building are simple but rich in appearance.


Furniture Installed in the Adams Quarters This Week and Possession Taken

Sixty-one crates of furniture--all solid mahogany which matches the solid mahogany woodwork used in the finishing of the new quarters of the First National Bank and the W. P. Adams business and private quarters in the new Adams building--have been reposing for some time in storage in this city, but on Tuesday morning workmen began moving it into the building. Twenty-five crates were for Mr. Adams personal use and this was started on its way to its final quarters Tuesday. Mr. Adams is now moving into his portion of the building and will soon be domiciled permanently in the very comfortable rooms designed for his business affairs and personal comfort. This makes him really an Odebolt man in fact as well as in name, for here his large volume of business is to be transacted in future.

The decorators are now at work in the bank section of the building, these being furnished by Marshall Field & Co. of Chicago. They are giving the walls their final tint, an ivory finish which brings out the decorative features of the ceiling and walls. These are contrasted with an olive green in some sections.

Charles Lindquist's crew has been doing considerable of the painting which has been necessary in finishing the floors and other metal and woodwork requiring paint.

It is anticipated that the decorators and painters will finish in another week or ten days.

On Monday the check counter for the use of customers was installed. This is of smoothly polished marble, placed on an ornamental base and covered with very thick plate glass. On the four sides are receptacles for the storage of all kinds of checks and drafts, etc. It is said this desk, complete, is listed as being worth in the neighborhood of $500.

As yet all the furnishings are under canvass [sic] covers to protect them from paint and dirt. As soon as the decorators have finished they will likely be uncovered and exposed to the gaze of the curious.

The windows have the latest guard against too much draft and dust in the shape of glass shields at the bottoms of the windows.

It is hardly likely the bank will be able to move before the March 1st real estate and other settlements are disposed of.


Joddhu to Lincoln.

J. K. Joddhu, supervisor of the construction of the local First National bank building, has completed his labors. The building has been finished and turned over to the owners. Mr. Joddhu will rest for a few days in Omaha, and will then proceed to Lincoln where he will supervise the construction of a $400,000 building for his company. He has been thoroughly on the job during the time that he has been here, which lacks very little of being a year. Only once during that time has he been out of the city. He has impressed everyone with his ability, and has made many friends during his stay here.

Electric Light Plant Running.

Set it down in your history book that Wednesday, January 12, was the first day that Odebolt experienced electrical service.

Current was turned on at the local plant during the middle of the afternoon. The arrival of the generator last Friday and other parts which had been awaited made the first operation of the plant possible. The initial run was largely for tuning up purposes, but everything was found to be working in good shape, and continuous service will soon be a reality.

Many places of business, public buildings and residence have been wired. Now that the plant is a reality others will be wired up without delay. Messrs. Russell & Fry, owners of the local plant, have made a good showing. Under the terms of their contract with the city they were to have the plant in operation by January 1. They missed the mark by only twelve days, which is a good showing in view of the fact that unavoidable delays always occur in shipment of material and assembling all of the multitudaneous [sic] parts necessary to the construction of such a plant. The realization of a long cherished ambition to have electrical service here is a matter for felicitation all the way round.


[in script]

Announcing a Change of Locations

We wish to announce to the people of Odebolt and the
tributary country that we have moved
into our new quarters.

All the conveniences of this modern edifice with its superior
service are at your disposal.

A cordial invitation is extended to everyone to call
and see us at our new quarters.

First National Bank


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