Here's a map from 1897. Originally settled in 1840 in a high grove of elm trees long used as a landmark, this first version of Pilot Grove did not have the luck or the clout to be on the line of the Chicago Burlington & Quincy's "CB&Q peavine" railroad line. Only the graveyard remains in a grove of less impressive trees. Just one building remains. It is a small home that was moved long ago to the new version of town. No buildings remain in "Old Pilot Grove". For an interesting summary of Old Pilot Grove, please click here. This was written by O. A. Garretson for the "Palimpsest" (a magazine for the history of Iowa, published in Iowa City). You may need to use the zoom feature on the tool you use to open this file. Please e-mail me if you are unable to read it. I will attempt to add the date of this article later. /td
Today's Pilot Grove exists about two miles south, near the center of section 22, Marion Township. Multiple copies of a photo taken in 1910, looking northwest from the railroad crossing, were used to form the background of this page. Look below the map of old Pilot Grove for a black and white image.
The railroad which provided the reason for the existing version of Pilot Grove is gone, but the depot and a couple of very significant businesses remain. Other site pages are planned for "peavine" photos. /td
The 1910 photo shows B. Dingman in his dark hat, standing directly below his name on the business he started. A "Studebaker Wagons and Buggies" sign spans the top of the second story, above the two upper windows. The business is now named after J.J. Nichting, a close relative. With multiple locations, the J. J. Nichting Company is widely known in the tri-state area. Headquarters are across the street now.
Also in the 1910 photo, the home Mr. Dingman built for his family is directly north of his place of business. The front door faced east, under the porch visible in this photo. See below for a photo taken 67 years later...
This December, 1977 photo includes the Pilot Grove Savings Bank (behind the tree in the center).
The very first location of this bank is also visible, where two cars are parked together, just north of the railroad tracks. In 1950, the last bits of Dingman's farm machinery building were replaced with a small red brick building; This was a new location for the bank he helped to start.
There have been several expansions of the bank building. The bank is now much larger and very well known. There are multiple locations in the southeast part of the state.
Notice the home with the wrap-around porch, located between the first and second bank locations. A long time employee of the bank lived there with his family. This home was later torn down to allow for one of the bank's Pilot Grove expansions.
Dingman's home is again visible, just sixty-seven years after the black and white photo. Also visible on the right is the grey post office with the United States flag out front.
Another 1977 photo shows Dingman's home after various efforts to make it "modern". This home was torn down between November 22 & 24, 2003. The bank is expanding to the north, so the house had to go.
Here are the five Dingman children, inside the living room of the Pilot Grove home. This photo is from June, 1973. Two of these folks are the children in the 1910 photo...
Watch for another photo of the street, taken about 1916 /td
The camera is looking southeast, from "behind" the photo on the left. Click on the above photo for a larger view.
These two photos from 1961 - 1964
This rear view of the bank shows the north and west (back) sides of the "little red building".
From the north, this photo includes a side view of the second bank building. The car is probably 20 feet from the building.