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Lewis B. Mack Family

  Lewis Bernard Mack, third son of John Watson and Margaret Kehoe Mack, was born in Corning, September 12, 1897. While in school, he worked at Johnson's Cafe and later at Biggar's Men's Clothing Store. He played in "Mack's Jazz Band" until he married Anna Isabel (Belle) Curry on October 19, 1920, at St. Patrick's, Corning. Belle was born on the family farm near Carbon, in Lincoln Township, on January 23, 1895 to Frank and Mary Waters Curry. She was their youngest daughter and her parents had retired. Lewis, and his future brother-in-law, Leo Curry, bought Latimer Hardware in 1919. Curry and Mack at 711 Davis, distributed Maytag washing machines for Southwest Iowa. Gas-engine Maytags were common; there were no REC lines in the County. Tindall Brothers trucked Maytags from Newton by the semi-trailer load. Curry and Mack also sold Frigidaire, Sylvania, G.E., and Hoover products, and in "hard times" took in livestock, and other farm products as payment. Winchester and Keen Kutter were also early name brands.
  In 1956, Lewis and his son, Francis, who had joined the firm in 1946, bought out Leo and moved to 702 Davis. Mack Hardware and Appliance became a True Value store. Lewis died May 13, 1963, at Rosary Hospital of a heart attack. In 1972, Frannie sold the store to Jack and Peg Gadberry. The fifty-three year old firm's slogan "Not just a hardware store, but a place to shop," died with the sale of the store.
  Lewis was treasurer of the Columbia Home Company, Grand Knight of the KC's, active member of St. Patrick's, treasurer of town team baseball teams, on the Fair Board, Chamber of Commerce, and the City Council. The battle for Corning's Municipal Light Plant was won, after much controversy, while Lewis served on the Council. He regretted his enlistment for World War I was rejected because of his eyesight. Lewis and Belle had five children born at the family home at 507 Grove Ave. Robert John, born September 30, 1921, is a Corning merchant in the trucking business. Lewis Francis, born July 10, 1923 is a former hardware merchant now working for National Farmers Organization. Mary Margaret (Lenz), born November 19, 1924, was a Junior High Teacher, presently a Corning school librarian. Joseph William, born February 4, 1927, and died February 5, 1927. Raphael Henry Paul (Ray), born July 21, 1930, former Corning merchant, is in business at Sunrise Beach, Missouri. The children worked in the hardware store during their school years, and Belle worked after the children were raised. The Mack tradition of love of music continued and the children won honors in contests while in high school. Bob and Frannie, like their Dad, played in a dance band "The Owls." After Sunday Mass, family and friends often gathered for breakfast, a family tradition. Belle died at Rosary Hospital of a stroke, October 20, 1971 . Both are buried, with their infant son, Joseph, at Calvary Cemetery, Corning. Mary Lenz
(History of Adams County Iowa, 1984, p. 373)

Main Street

  Lewis Mack was one of those fine men whose loyalty, integrity and participation made for a better community.
He spent 44 years on Main street in Corning and was one of the town's senior business men--in many ways. He took part in community activities, served on the city council, was interested in the fair and athletics--anything that was good for Corning and Adams county.
  Lewis was devoted to this family and with his wife formed the hub of a close-knit group of children and grandchildren. He recognized his Creator and served Him quietly and devotedly.
  In the hardware business he was without equal. He molded the atmosphere of a pleasant and efficient shopping place and was dedicated to serving his customers. With Lewis, there always was time for a visit, regardless of how busy he might be.
  And many, many couples will remember how he helped them get started in housekeeping--enabling them to buy necessary appliances and other items on terms convenient to them. This was a hallmark of Lewis's interest in people and in the community.
  And many folks, too, have enjoyed his musical talents. Many years ago he formed an outstanding jazz band in this area and in recent years many have enjoyed his piano and organ presentations.
He will be missed after a full, useful life--but his many fine contributions will remain as goals for others to follow.
(Adams Co. Free Press, 5/23/63, by the editor)

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