by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
This week, again looking through the newspaper files entitled “Guide to Grain Valley,” my eyes were drawn to a special 8-page insert entitled “Bank of Grain Valley – 100 years.” (April 20, 2005 edition of The Pointe.
I became interested it an article about what it was like back when the Bank of Grain Valley opened? (1905). Some highlights of the article included the following:
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt had been elected President without a single female vote.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S.A. had bathtubs and only 8 percent had telephones.
There were only 8000 automobiles in the United States.
The flag had 45 stars, since Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska had yet to be admitted to the Union.
States such as Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa and Tennessee were more heavily populated than California at the time.
Only five percent of all physicians had a college education, but most attended some sort of medical school, many of which were thought to be substandard.
The average life expectancy was 47 years. Ninety-five percent of all births took place within the home.
The five leading causes of death were pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease, and stroke.
The average wage in the United States was 23 cents per hour, but that number is misleading; much of the commerce took place with bartering and trading.
A three-minute phone call from Denver to New York cost $11.00. (What would that be today?)
Sugar was 4 cents a pound, eggs were 14 cents per dozen, and a child could purchase an entire sack of candy for just a penny!
Products like marijuana, heroin and morphine were sold over the counter at drug stores.
The population of Grain Valley, Missouri exceeded that of Las Vegas, Nevada, which had 30 residents, but Grain Valley was by no means a “big” city.
I can add to these facts that in 1905 Grain Valley had three churches, and the first Grain Valley School had been built on Capelle Street in 1890. Postage stamps cost 2 cents. The population in 1890 was 193 people. However, the recorded population in 1910 was only 133. These were the recorded numbers and I have no account as to why the number decreased.
The Grain Valley Historical Society at 516 Main Street has 2021 Christmas Ornaments for sale with a picture of the Bank of Grain Valley.
Drop by or Wednesdays between now and Christmas; we’d love to sell you one! We also have available 2022 Historical calendars. Both make great gifts!