Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick


A couple of years ago, I received some correspondence from a reader asking where the old Blackledge and Blackledge Real Estate Office in Keosauqua was located. She included an old photograph of the building, which plainly showed a light or telephone pole in front on the left side, and said she thought it might have been located somewhere in the vicinity of the old post office, which is now the Tombly Museum.

I discovered that I also had the photograph, as it is displayed in Picturesque Keosauqua and Vicinity, 1912 by the Women’s Improvement Association, Sherman Brothers Printers, Keosauqua. On the same page is the Old Church Tree north of Pittsburg.

This was plainly a small, frame, one-story building. I compared the photograph with other old photographs, and came up with nothing conclusive. For example, there were two frame buildings at one time between Weldon Lee’s Station and Parsons Chevrolet but these buildings did not match. The small frame houses across from Archie’s do not match. A small frame building existed by the old theater where the Creamery now stands, but it didn’t match either.

Other candidates that didn’t match were the old Cozy Café and Pool Hall. They were two old frame buildings that existed beside Laura’s Beauty Shop, where the present extension to Archie’s is located. During the 1940s Uncle Wayne Reddick owned the Café and my father owned the pool hall next door. At that time, there were double doors that opened from one store into the other. These buildings were attached, and plainly the photograph was of a single store building. Thus the matter remained unresolved.

Recently, I was once again reading the historical articles printed in The Keosauqua Experience by the Van Buren Historical Society, circa 1989. In Fred Elerick’s "The Keosauqua of My Boyhood Days," he was describing the block where Dr. McClurg’s Dental Office was located and says, "Vacant lot where the City Hall and Laundromat is located. Blackledge and Blackledge Real Estate in the McCoy Insurance Building."

This building is now occupied by Creative Farm and Home Realty, and the front is a facade. Originally it was the single frame building in question. It is directly across the street from the old Cozy Café and Pool Hall. At last I found a reference that describes where this Keosauqua business of the past was located. Part of the fun of research is, that sometimes answers to questions are found right before our very eyes!

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick