Copied from:The History of Decatur County Iowa1839-1970 by Himena V. Hoffman
p84, 85, 86
"Young" Jonas Hoffhines, who went into business soon after the war sold groceries until he was "Old Man Hoffhines.After he retired he lived to be remembered as one of the last of the Civil War veterans living in the county, but between 1880 and 1900 he was as well known for his interest in "trotting horses" as for his war record or his store.
Clark and McClellan had for a time a grocery store north of Hurt's store. The owners were Willard Clark, son of I. N. Clark, who had built the first store in Leon, and Edgar, son of Dr. McClelland.
Henry Vogt established a grocery store, which his son Harry made one of the best stores of its kind in the county.
Harris and Hebener sold "marbles and Monuments."They were not only partners in business but related by marriage, southerners who came to Leon after the War and accepted without prejudice in a town so recently effected by the War between the States.Both Mr. Harris and Mr. Hebener were not only businessmen but artists in carving and engraving.
Gould Wallace sold hardware and was for a time agent for Davis Vertical Feed Sewing Machines, while J. P. Finley was the agent for Singer.
Abel Chase, son of Lyman Chase, was at the time of his death in 1890 a partner of the Van Werdens who owned one of the most successful drug stores.
In considering the businessmen of this period there was some who in 1870 were most important but whose enterprises had come to an end by 1890.One of these was R. M. Mudgett whose woolen mill was for several years a flourishing business.The three-story brick building, forty by seventy, was an impressive sight, and to go inside and see the steam engine and all the other machinery and to watch the two jacks of one hundred eighty spindles, the narrow loom and the broad loom was an experience not soon forgotten.
Some distance from Mudgett's mill but also in the East part of town was the brick flour mill of Blodgett and Stout.
Leon was proud of its infant industries but doubtless the panic of 1873 had its effects and by 1890 there was listed as the needs of the town: "a woolen factory, a canning factory, a roller mill, a pork packing industry and a foundry."Just as in 1874 Sam Gates in a statement written for Iowa's Annual Agricultural Report had said, " We want a woolen factory, a cheese factory for our surplus milk, a carriage and wagon factory, a farm implement factory and a woolen mill."
No attempt is made in this account to list all of the businessmen in Leon in this period but there are a few others to be named, either because they were in business for a long period or because of their connection with the early history of the county.Among these are W. A. Alexander, son of Captain Eli Alexander, who sold drugs, musical instruments and sundries in his store on the West side of the square, J. W. Bowman who first made harness for Darr and then went into business for himself, Ellinwood , the Leon photographer, whose pictures along with Swearingens are in many old albums.Creed Bobbitt and W. W. Craig, the blacksmiths, F. N. Avery, cabinetmaker who also made coffins, and Nate Crago, whose restaurant Frank Garber remembered as a sort of Democratic headquarters.Livery stables were important in these horse-and-buggy days.John Ledgerwood moved to Leon and owned in1890 a stable of eighteen horses and a choice of carts, surrreys or buggies to be rented with them.He also operated an omnibus.