The first building at this location was a white wood frame building from the 1880s. In 1899, this building was moved to 513 Pennsylvania Ave to make way for a new brick building for the S. R. Corneliussen & Co store. It later housed the Pioneer Store for over 50 years.
Larson & Corneliussen (~1887-1894)
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Dates are not certain as the earliest newspaper available is from 1887. S.R. Corneliussen's obituary states that he came to Story City in 1878 and had been in the mercantile business since that time. Newspapers are also not available from 1890-93 so we are not sure when the business transitioned to "S.R. Corneliussen & Co."
My mother Ruth Dyvik opened and operated Arlene’s dress shop where the Pioneer Store was located. As a high schooler, then in college at the time, I worked in the store alongside several others and was privileged to go with mom to Spring & Fall markets held at the Hotel Fort Des Moines. Walking in to Arlene’s and up steps to the left were shelves of fashionable hats followed by a jewelry corner and counter and then hosiery and fine lingerie. All are uncommon terms today. There was junior as well as missy sportswear, junior and misses dresses and women’s (Nancy Frock brand) house dresses which sold for $3.98. When Arlene’s was sold to Glover Ambrose of Nevada, mother continued to manage the store and an additional gift area with baby wear was added. After she retired, Lois Searl, who had worked at Arlene’s since it opened, managed the store until it was closed.
(Front, from left) Jeff Crisman, Brian Oxley, Brad Eslick, Deb Cameron, Laura Martin, and Trisha Oxley; (back, from left) Lynell and Gene Dougherty, Eloise Thorson, Kim Finley, Nancy Bloom and Dave Morris. Photo from the Story City Herald on December 8, 2004.