Panther Corner

Perry, Iowa, was a destination town during the 1950s, fun to shop in, and easier to drive to than Des Moines. Grandma Leora, who lived in Guthrie Center in those days, used to enjoy shopping there, too.

Grandma would ride the bus from Guthrie to Panther Corner along Highway 44 in Colfax Township. We waited for the bus in the shade of tall trees along the gravel road across from the Panther store and garage. Here’d come the bus with our precious grandma. Holding her pocketbook and small suitcase, she’d climb down the steps of the bus. We’d help carry her little bag back to the car. Perry is a short drive north from there (now Highway P-58).

The road to Perry is between the garage and the store, to the right in the photo.

After a day of shopping and lunch in a cafe, we’d take her home with us for a few days. Those made for special memories.

Grandma Leora always wore dresses until her daughters talked her into pants suits.
Panther Store in the “olden days.”

These days, there’s only a memorial on that corner, but there are still plenty of people around who have fond memories of bustling Panther Corner.

Mom and my sister Gloria reading the storyboard for Panther Corner.

13 comments

  1. Thank you for compiling these tidbits of history on line. Panther Store and garage were actually in Washington Township. The first home and shop were on the southside of Highway 44 in Colfax Township. Panther was our only town in Washington Twp. It had a post office in the store but I’ve yet to find a postmark. Epesus was a country store on the No 9 Road ( H Ave.) but that was so long ago and few stories remain.

    • So it did have a post office at one time. I’ve never heard of Epesus, but wonder whether Rod Stanley knows about it. He does programs about the ghost towns of Dallas County.

  2. It always amazes me how the fortunes of small towns will wax and wane. I just found out that Sheldon Springs used to be a resort town before the Civil War, with eleven hotels! Now, it’s just a sad little collection of broken down houses and a couple of churches.

  3. Love this on Panther Corner. Never knew it existed. It was gone by time I moved to Central Iowa in ’75. What a structure!

  4. Your story reminded me of picking up my grandmother at the railroad station when she came to visit, and always with a tin of homemade cookies! It was nothing like Panther Corner though 🙂

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