STEVE HANKEN: The Monticello Community Building has for many years been a fixture in the community. The upper floors house a stage and dance floor that has been used for many community events—fund raisers, Boy Scout meetings, teen dances—you name it, it has been used for it. The first time I remember going into the upper floor was through the back side of the building. My siblings and I got our polio vacinations there. The lower floor housed the famous room #2, where many people got their drivers licenses and permits. It was also used for city council meetings and other smaller sorts of meetings and city business.
As a child, I found the jail cells the most interesting part of the lower floor. The city police had two cells. They were seldom used and were not unlike the cells on "The Andy Griffin Show." The police of Monticello had their office there, as well as the city clerk, who doubled as the radio person if the cops were on "patrol." If I remember correctly, in the late 60s the police cruiser was a Rambler—something that was considered laughable to teenagers of the time. (Hey, it's still laughable to me and I'm no teenager! R.H.)
Next door to the Community Building was the home of the Monticello Volunteer Fire Department, that is until they built a new fire station on the south side of town in the 1970s. Now the building is used for city
storage and for housing the police cruiser.
Next to the old fire station was the American Legion Hall in the downstairs portion and the Veterans of Foriegn Wars on the upper portion of the building. The Legion Auxullary had a seperate building above the fire
station as well.
Next to the Legion was the Schaffer Feed store that later became the Shoppers Guide and currently is part of the hardware store that is housed in the next door building. Schaffer Feed sold supplements under the "Super Sweet" brand and it was lots of fun running in and around the feed sacks through the back of the building. The Shoppers Guide moved there after the building they were housed in behind McNeil's hardware either got to small or the adjacent building, Super Value grocery store burned. I can't remember which it was. The Shoppers Guide was recently purchased by the Monticello Express and the business was added to their existing business.
K&P Chevrolet, Olds was in the building to the east of the Schaffer Feed Store and was a favorite for teenagers when the new cars came out, as they were an easy walk from the high school to go and see the new cars, especially the Corvette, when they would come out every year. I understand that it at one time had been a Ford garage, but when it changed I have no idea, it was before my time. When K & P closed up shop, then a hardware company out of Dubuque took over and have been doing a good business at that location for a number of years.