Every town has a history to it. A time when the streets were full of cars and businesses were more prosperous. It's hard to imagine this, however, when you drive through the smaller, less active towns of northwest Iowa. Such as it is with the unincorporated town of Moneta, a few miles from where I grew up.
So let me take you through Moneta and you, along with me, can relive the small town experience Moneta once offered. Moneta was established in 1901 when the railroads came through. It is well known to be home of major leaguer Jim Fanning. Jim and his parents moved to Moneta shortly after his birth in September 1927. The population at that time was around 100. Over the years, it was home to: Pat Engels corner gas station, Dow-Hinn-Larago Elevator, a hardware store, Baldwin Variety Store, a post office, town hall which Lawrence Welk and his band played (also used for dances and community events), a lumber yard, school, café and two churches (Methodist and Lutheran). The café had a "recreation" room in back. It has been told that farms were sold overnight in this room. Naturally, they were worth much less than todays prices. At recess time, school kids would run to Baldwin Variety Store for some candy after permission from their teacher.
People who went to the dances in the late 1940's didn't park their cars in front of the post office unless they wanted a ticket.
Moneta, on the edge of O'Brien County was a robusting, prosperous town in its time. But the railroad tracks were removed in the 1960's I remember. Schools had consolidated by then, more businesses were eliminated due to closing or fire and townspeople moved. The closed corner gas station remained a landmark to identify the uniqueness of Moneta. It was painted burgundy with windows on each side of the entrance door. One window had the word "pop" painted on it and the other window had the word "candy" painted on it in red letters. The gas station was renovated decades ago and Moneta became unincorporated with a few residents calling it home. The vibrant memories continue to live on in the hearts and minds of people who remember Moneta before her quiet rest.