LET'S GO FIRST CLASS across America: Part 9

Back into the middle of the country for this one, the Hotel Tallcorn in Marshalltown, Iowa. It is apparently still standing, but don' t unpack your bags, you might want to sleep standing up in anticipation for tomorrow which is a truly first class hotel.

This postcard was sent by my mother to her folks when she drove across country in 1941 from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles. It was purely a trip for fun. She had a ball.

Click on either image to see it larger.

This hotel, like the Hotel Bonneville, was a community project.
The Hotel Tallcorn is located at 134 East Main Street in Marshalltown, Iowa. Today it is called the Tallcorn Towers Apartments. Built in 1928 by the Eppley Hotel Company, local citizens contributed $120,000 to ensure the successful completion of this seven-story hotel. It was completed in connection to the seventy-fifth anniversary of Marshalltown. The hotel's sale in 1966 from the Eppley chain to the Sheraton Corporation was part of the second largest hotel sale in United States history. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
It looks like it might have been the place to stay in Marshalltown once upon a time.
Local Boosters Made Tallcorn Possible

February 18, 2011

An event which would later be described as the "welcoming of the dawn of a new era in Marshalltown" started off modestly with a Sept. 3, 1927 meeting at Elmwood Country Club.

A group of Marshalltown citizens joined to discuss financing a downtown hotel, but they needed funding to induce the Eppley Hotels Co. of Omaha, Neb. to build the facility.

That night, $38,500 was raised and the group set its eyes on a $120,000 goal.

Those who pledged funds of $5,000 each were the Fisher Governor Co., J.C. Penney Co., Lennox Furnace Co., Marshalltown Rotary Club and the Times-Republican, among others.

On Nov. 1, 1927 a meeting attended by 200 witnessed "the shrieking of whistles and ringing of bells," a T-R reporter wrote, as the last $4,161 had been raised.
The fund drive totaled $125,000 and the contract with the Eppley Co. to build the $500,000 hotel was signed.

It would be called the Hotel Tallcorn, in honor of Marshall County's rank as one of the top corn producers in the state.

Construction started in the spring of 1928, the same year Marshalltown celebrated its 75th anniversary.

The new hotel was seven stories tall and contained 150 rooms, each with a private bath.

Grant Wood was commissioned to decorate the ballroom and restaurant, known as the Iowa Corn room.

On Oct. 4 the Hotel Tallcorn formally opened to the public. George Gill was appointed first manager.

© Copyright 2011 Times-Republican. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

You can see another post card of the hotel here where you will also see what I imagine to be the drugstore/soda fountain with an awning. I imagine it had a lot of non-guest business. Who wouldn't want to go here for a rootbeer float or a sundae?

The post card was published by the E. C. Kropp Company out of Milwaukee.
E. C. Kropp Co. 1907-1956
Milwaukee, WI

A publisher and printer that began producing chromolithographic souvenir cards and private mailing cards in 1898 under the name Kropp. These cards were of much higher quality than those that would printed under the E.C. Kropp name.

They became the E.C. Kropp Company in 1907 and produced large numbers of national view-cards and other subjects. Their latter linen cards had a noticibly fine grain. Sold to L.L. Cook in 1956 and they are now part of the GAF Corp. U.S. (SOURCE: Metro Postcard Club)

Tomorrow: looking for some new territory for our final first class stay


  1. enjoying these "let's go first class" posts so much!!! love this postcard!

  2. Ann, so glad to hear someone is enjoying these. I love digging around to see how these little scraps relate to history. I like when an ordinary old dull post card becomes a genuine trip back in time.

    Again, thanks!

  3. I live in Marshalltown. In fact 2 blocks away. I can see Tallcorn from my bedroom window every night. I have only been in Tallcorn once in my life. It has been taken over by a slumlord who will rent to anyone. It is infested with roaches and bed bugs. The place is very scary with the people who rent there. Everyday I walk to the bus stop by TallCorn. Guys from Sudan and Mexico yell out the windows at me sexual terms and hoot and holla. I REALLY wish some one would take over this place and return it to it's former. It could bring so much money in to the new owner. What a shame to let it go to waist.

  4. DRP, that's very sad to hear, but not unusual. I remember driving through the neighborhood my mother had been raised in and it had turned to slums. The whole area was eventually raised. So let's hope at some point there is some local movement to improve the area and to save this old building.

  5. Felix0912/07/2012

    The Hotel Tallcorn's story is interesting -- as are the typos in the last two posted comments. "Holla" [that should be HOLLER]. "Waist" [that should be WASTE]. "Raised" [that should be RAZED]. We all make typos, and it's perhaps good that we do now and then. They can sometimes be ASS entertaining as the subject matter.

  6. Anonymous1/14/2013

    from what I have heard they are actually going to be turning tall corn back into a hotel. I work in marshalltown and hope to see it restored.