After he patented and developed his grain dryer, before the design of the Country Clipper, Charles Shivvers made coffee. Photo by Jason Selby
AFTER SURVIVING FARM CRISIS, SHIVVERS MANUFACTURING REMAINS ONE OF SOUTHERN IOWA’S MAJOR INDEPENDENT EMPLOYERS
In the beginning, turkeys brought Charles Shivvers and his family to Wayne County. It was a modest start for what would become in Shivvers Manufacturing one of the largest independent employers in southern Iowa.
“We lived in Marion County and farmed there on 365 acres,” said Charles’ son Carl, now president of his father’s company. They owned one acre of land for each day of the year.
A friend of Homer Grismore had given Charles a heads up about the benefits of the turkey business. Therefore Charles sold his farm and moved to Wayne County in the 1950s.
“He bought his first chicks from Homer, and had a big hatchery,” Carl said. “He raised turkeys for the first few years, before converting to regular farming for a while.” Feb 1, 2016, 08:57
From left to right, a package of devil worms, a tool used by the Cobb family to string lures, and a salamander spinner. Photo by Jason Selby
Unlike the other entrepreneurs John J. Clayton opined upon in his March 1957 article ‘The Corydon Way,’ Ted Cobb had not yet made it big by the time The Iowan magazine hit the stands. Clayton offered only a prediction:
“Another idea which will one day spring into a thriving industry is the property of a local angler. Ted Cobb has spent half of his 37 years on the bank of a pond or stream with a fishing rod in his hand.”
Many fishermen in Iowa and throughout the country used Cobb’s bait, his lures or a combination of both most likely without knowing they were doing so. The Gambles store in Corydon always had his product in stock. It was a staple of the fishing industry.
If the fish were biting, it probably was not a coincidence one of Cobb’s flies was hooked to the pole. A salamander with a silver spinner dazzled bass with its magic. As an angler, Cobb knew what worked. Jan 25, 2016, 08:49
The old Coates Manufacturing building, with a Coates snowplow out front, just north of the Corydon square.
BEFORE WAYNE COUNTY INVENTOR PATENTED HIS STEEL PLOW, HIGHWAYS WERE SHOVELED WITH WOOD IMPLEMENTS
Like several of the other men mentioned in the March 1957 The Iowan article ‘The Corydon Way,’ Frank Coates Sr. could boast many patents to his name. Per capita, Wayne County might have been one of the patent capitols of the world during the mid-20th century.
However, unlike some of his contemporaries, Coates could not boast a world-class education. A farm kid attending a country school, the engineering genius only graduated from eighth grade. Jan 18, 2016, 09:08
Duncan and Alyssa Blount with Lu Lu at their North Carolina home.
When Duncan Blount moved to Iowa in 2009, it was a calculated gamble. He came to Wayne County from North Carolina for love, even though the object of his affection, Alyssa Godden, was not yet his girlfriend. At that point she was only a summer dream on the lake at Bobwhite State Park in Allerton, a pen pal separated by over 1,000 miles.
Blount reasoned that even if Alyssa had never returned his affection, he would have an earnest shoulder to lean on in grandmother and sage Lorena Blount. That would have been salve enough.
“My real value for stories comes from my grandmother Lorena and how her joy of sharing memories—and that of Iowans in general—translated to my joy of sharing stories,” Blount said. “I remember being a young boy and visiting Iowa in the summers and asking my grandma, ‘Tell me this story—tell me the story of how Brownie, my dad’s pony, almost stepped on a rattlesnake.’ These little but transformative tales brought me so much happiness." Jan 11, 2016, 08:46
C. L. Neely, inventor and 1919 graduate of Corydon High School.
C. L. NEELY REMEMBERED AS INNOVATIVE, GENEROUS MAN WHO CLOTHED EVERYONE FROM TURKEYS TO ROYALTY
C.L. Neely was a man of many patents. Just a few of his innovations included a hat size reducer, a screen door patch, a self-sealing envelope, a pneumatic tire fix, and a vest for turkey hens to wear during mating season.
Born on a farm southeast of Corydon, Neely graduated from Corydon High School in 1919. The factory he built, beginning as a family operation, would become a fixture in Wayne County, with plants in Corydon and Seymour. At its height, Neely Manufacturing Company employed around 150 workers.
In 1949, Neely’s daughter-in-law, Gwen Neely, moved to Wayne County with C.L.’s son, Bill Neely. Though the couple would later divorce, Gwen still refers to C.L. affectionately as ‘Grandpa.’ Jan 4, 2016, 08:45