This gallery has stories on the town of Holstein, mentioning businesses both old and new town, as well as updating readers on the Galva-Holstein School District.
(Photos and stories by Dan Whitney)
McGuire Auction keeping it in the family - for 120+ years
"The auction is a great slice of Americana" -
Patrick McGuire was born in County Longford, Ireland in 1866 and following the death of his parents, accompanied by his uncle, Father Patrick Smith, young Patrick McGuire came to the United States at the age of 16. Pat immediately enrolled at Notre Dame, a small university in South Bend, Indiana, and remained there until he graduated at the age of 21. After graduation, he moved to Storm Lake, Iowa, where he began working at the Toy National Bank, while his uncle served as the pastor of St. Mary's Church in Storm Lake. Two years later, Pat moved to Holstein after accepting a job with the Exchange Bank of Holstein, which was then a branch of Toy National Bank.
Patrick began hanging around auctions clerking sales, and, having studied German at Notre Dame, he soon won the hearts of many with his fluent bilingual talents. Being a German community, Holstein proved to be beneficial to the young McGuire, and he began to forge a name for himself. McGuire and a Notre Dame classmate, Matthew White, opened a law office in Holstein on Feb. 6, 1890. Their firm handled general law, land, loan, collection and insurance ...
...Three weeks after announcing the opening of their law office, Pat tried his hand at auctioneering, and he was an instant success. He came to be the most sought- after auctioneer for miles around, and thus McGuire Auction Co. was born.
McGuire Auction is still going strong 120 years later. Though their work and business connections have spread far beyond Ida County, the company is still based in Holstein - and it's still in the family. Always has been...
(pictured here is company founder Patrick McGuire)
...Pat McGuire's oldest son, Hugh, took over the company when his father became ill in 1920, and came up with a clever business motto - "We sell the
Earth - and everything on it." It wasn't long before he had achieved national recognition as an "auction authority." Over the years, Hugh sold real estate, farm machinery, furniture, grocery stores, restaurant equipment, and even sold trees for a Correctionville nursery. He was licensed in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota, belonged to the United Counties Board of Realtors, and was a president of the Iowa State Association of Auctioneers...
(Pictured is second generation McGuire Auction Co. owner Hugh McGuire)
...In 1953, Hugh became sick, and his son Jim was called home from Germany, where he had been stationed with the Army since his graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1951. Since Jim had been working with his father in the family business literally all his life, except for the Notre Dame/Army years, and given the fact that he already had his real estate brokers license, he was put to work immediately at McGuire Auction, although he did take some time after his return to attend the Reppert School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Indiana in 1953. Jim , now 80 years young, has been at work full-time ever since.
At the time of Jim's return to Holstein, his brother - in - law, Patrick Forristal, was running an implement dealership in neighboring Galva, but upon Hugh McGuire's death on Dec. 7, 1961, Pat joined McGuire Auction. Armed with a real estate license and fresh out of the Reppert School of Auctioneering, Pat began his career with the company and he would stay until 1999 - doing a bit of everything, but primarily concentrating on the advertising, contracts, and the nitty-gritty of the ever-growing paperwork involved in real estate sales.
McGuire Auction continued to grow under Jim McGuire's leadership. Almost immediately upon taking over the family business, Jim got his real estate licenses in several neighboring states, including South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska, in addition to Iowa. "McGuire Auction" soon became a recognizable name for all types of auctions, but most noticeably farm land sales. Throughout his years at the helm of the company, Jim has served on many local, state, & national auctioneer and Realtor associations, and he has sold livestock, antiques, antique cars, commercial & industrial products, and of course his hallmark - real estate, including farm, commercial, and residential.
Jim's wife, Margaret, had a real estate broker's license and was Vice-President and Secretary of the (now incorporated) McGuire Auction until her death in December of 1995. Margaret often filled in clerking and setting up auctions as well. Jim's nephew, PJ McGuire, also worked for the firm for seven-eight years in the 1970's, and of course, each of Jim's seven children did their share of hauling furniture, working a ring, or working a rack on Saturday afternoons.
Jim remains an active head of the business today, still famous for his humor and speed at the microphone, as well as his prowess as an uncertified appraiser and broker.
Jim's daughter, Martha Boyle, moved back to Holstein in late 1992. Like her father and great-grandfather, Martha has a BA from the University of Notre Dame, a gift for gab, and a flair for marketing. Following her graduation from Notre Dame in 1988, Martha held sales positions in both television and radio in Minnesota, where she obtained a Minnesota real estate salesperson's license. But it wouldn't be until much later that she pursued real estate. In June of 1991, she opened a free-lance advertising agency that specialized in handling advertising for farm related businesses, out of her home in Webster City.
In 1992, Martha's husband Marty Boyle took a job with a bank in Holstein, and the couple took up residence in Holstein. When Martha's mother, Margaret, was diagnosed with cancer in December of 1993, it quickly became evident that Jim would need extra help in the family business. So, in May of 1994, Martha and Marty completed the (then) 30 hours of pre-licensing required to take the real estate salesperson exam, then took and passed the state test to become licensed salespeople. Now fully licensed, but maintaining different jobs, Martha and Marty helped out as needed throughout Margaret's illness.
After Margaret's death in December of 1995, Martha became the company's Vice-President and Secretary, and retained her active license in order to help out. When Pat Forristal announced that he would be semi-retiring at the start of 1998, Martha moved the advertising agency into a spare office in the MACI building on Sept. 1, 1997, and began doing the auction company's advertising and some of the contract work on a free-lance basis, while still maintaining her own business.
In 1998, Martha completed the mandatory 72 hours of pre-licensing needed to obtain her real estate broker's license, and in early February 1999, she took and passed the exam to become a broker and in May of 1999, Martha's husband Marty completed training at the Missouri Auction School in St. Joseph.
While involved in many local activities, Martha Boyle has been the President of the local 7 county Board of Realtors, is on the Board of the Iowa Auctioneers Association, serves on many local civic groups, specializes in managing the firm's advertising, contract work and daily paperwork, and does the majority of set up for antique and specialty auctions. She also deals heavily in the firm's residential real estate.
A relatively new area of the business has been the development of Consignment Auction Sales. One example would be when people are moving into an assisted living situation and McGuire Auction will offer to sort and box personal items and move them into their consignment building for sale at a consignment auction. As part of McGuire Auction's "start to finish" service, the firm would then have heating and plumbing contractors and other service people come into the client's house to make sure that everything was clean and "up to code," and then sell the house.
Martha's husband, Marty, while still working full-time at American National Bank in Galva, helps out at McGuire Auction by calling and doing ring work at weekend auctions.
Martha Boyle says there have been many changes in the auction industry over the years. For one thing, there is an ever-increasing amount of necessary paperwork. Marketing has also changed. Not only do they still send out flyers and use area newspapers and radio to advertise sales, they also now use the internet, text alerts and e-mail alerts.
And whereas their sales work used to be primarily in the summers, McGuire Auction now does sales year-round, renting community facilities, complete with catered food, to do auctions in the winter.
Martha Boyle said she feels that "auction is a great slice of Americana." ...
(pictured are Jim and Molly McGuire Boyle, the 3rd and 4th generation of the family to run McGuire Auction Co.)
Christina Kjar Photography -
'A Great Place'
... Christina Kjar is a graduate of Battle Creek-Ida Grove High School and the University of Northern Iowa, where she majored in art. In April 2004, Kjar opened a Photography studio in Storm Lake, but closed that studio in January and moved her business to Holstein, where she has been living for the last three years.
Kjar moved her business - Christina Kjar Photography - to Holstein for three reasons. First of all, she liked the idea of working in the smae town in which she resides; second, several of the clients she had taken on in Storm Lake live in the Holstein area; and third, the "perfect studio" became available fo use.
Kjar's studio is located in an old bank building on the corner of Main Street in Holstein, just south of the Heritage Bank building. The building is now owned by Mike Breyfogle, and he has been restoring the building in his spare time. There is an apartment in the basement, Breyfogle reportedly plans to move into the second floor living quarters when he finishes the work on it, and Christina Kjar Photography has recently moved into the first floor of the building...
... Christina says she thinks that the space makes a perfect studio, and is "much better" than the studio she had in Storm Lake.
Christina Kjar Photography is available for weddings, High School Senior photos, children's (and other family) photos.
Kjar said she is currently offering a "Little Miracles Newborn Plan" for parents of newborns. For a $75 fee, Kjar will take photos of the infant at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, and at the end of that first year, parents can purchase a 3" x 3" leather photo album with the images they select, at a discounted price.
Christina Kjar Photography is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday - Friday, and she is also available evenings and Saturdays by appointment only.The business phone number is 712- 368-2272, and her website address is www.christinakjarphotography.com
Plenty of action at G-H School -
One visit to the Galva-Holstein High School in Holstein will show you that there is plenty going on at that facility. The first thing one sees is the on-going construction of the new Performance Center, which will be used by students and the community alike to present plays and other performances. Though the construction has been delayed by the weather conditions over the past few months, things are rolling now, and Superintendent of School Dr. Harold Post said the expected completion date is now July of this year. The concrete will be poured in a week or two, completing the Gallery Area. Work on heating and cooling the Center was going on when I visited last week, as workmen were in the halls of the school, tying in the Performance Center's heating and cooling with that of the High School. Dr. Post said the seats for the theatre have arrived, and are being stored until the concrete is poured, acoustics have been set, and various and sundry other items have been accomplished.
As exciting as the new auditorium is, though, it is far from being the only exciting change going on in the Galva-Holstein School District...
(Shown in this photo is the exterior of the new Performance Center, which is adjacent to the High School in Holstein. It is expected to be completed in July)
... Among other changes, the District has installed new lighting in the school gymnasium, and is also installing new lighting in the 1962 addition; installed new paving and a parking lot; constructed a new bus storage area, and the School Board has designated $50,000 towards the construction of new bleachers for the football field.
Dr. Post also said that the city's paved walking trail is going to be joining up with the school, coming along the baseball field. east side of the football field, along the track and elementary building and connecting to the city's new housing district.
And, of course, the biggest news is the whole-grade sharing agreement with the Schaller-Crestland School District. The two districts have signed a three-year agreement, which can be extended, covering the 2010-
2011, 2011-12, and 2012-13 school years. Under the agreement, instructional services for students in grades 9 -12 will be provided in Holstein, students in grades 6-7-8 will be served by the Schaller-Crestland District, with classes to be held in Early, which Post said has a "great facility," including an all-weather track. Both districts will maintain their own elementary schools.
The Middle School and High School athletic teams will be known as the Ridge View Raptors, though the District names themselves will remain as Galva-Holstein and Schaller-Crestland.
Dr. Post said that things seem to be going well with the transition into the whole grade sharing. Staffing has been set for both the Middle School and High School, and there will be a shuttle bus service between the school sites.
(the photo shows the uncompleted theater in the new Performance Center, from the location of the stage. Note the orchestra pit directly in front of the stage).