Corner of Onondaga Street and Douglas Avenue

Postcard, 1909

This early view of the northeast corner of Main Street and Douglas Avenue shows Parley Sheldon’s Story County Bank (later Iowa Electric Light and Power Office) with Ames Pantorium below.  The awning at the left of the bank reads Post Office.  Over the post office is the real estate and insurance office of the Carl L. Little Company.  Above the bank are the offices of lawyers McCarthy & Lee.  At the right with the light colored awning is the Bradley & White Grocery.

The Story County Bank building as drawn by artist for January 3, 1893 issue of the Ames Evening Times.  The structure was built in 1891 at cost of $11,000.  It was built for George W. Douglass, a Cedar Rapids manufacturer and friend of John I. Blair.  Blair named one of the town's original streets after Douglass.  The street name was spelled Douglass until 1923, when new street signs incorrectly used Douglas.

Parley Sheldon (1844-1932) moved to Ames in 1875.  He was a councilman in 1883 and mayor first in 1884, serving a total of 18 years as mayor over a 32-year period.  He purchased the Story County Bank in 1890.  Parley Sheldon also helped establish the Ames and College Railroad in 1892. Later he served on the board of U. S. Good Road Association and was a factor in making Ames the headquarters of the Iowa Highway Commission (later known as the Iowa Department of Transportation).