click to enlarge image
Photo from 1899
The O.K. Barber Shop was a well known early business located right at the hub of downtown Ames, the intersection of Onondaga and Douglas. Here in the basement of Wallace Greeley's Union National Bank were a number of expert barbers operating at least five chairs and three bath tubs. A kerosene lamp with a reflector can be seen mounted on the wall, and there are rows of shaving mugs on the shelves. The long stove pipe is evidence that a wood or coal stove heated the shop. The owner of the business was John Francis Kintsley, who is pictured trimming a patron's hair at right in the image above. The other barbers pictured are, from left, Roy Taylor, 1203 Wilson; Al House; and Bert Cramblit. Another barber employed at the O.K. Barber Shop was Frank Curtiss. Customers pictured from left are Elmer Sowers, an unidentified man, Jim Fowler, and Al Winter. The stylish gentleman at the extreme right is not identified.
This photo, thought to look northwest, was published in Margaret Meads' At the Squaw and the Skunk. It was also used for an 1899 Directory of Ames advertisement that reads, Where the workmen are experienced, clean and up-to-date... Special attention will be given to ladies' and children's work... We guarantee to cure dandruff and to stop the ends of hair from splitting... We operate 6 chairs during busy times, to insure no long waits, also 3 bathrooms and ladies' and gentlemen's shoe shining stand. . . On request we do work at private houses any day except Saturday and Sunday...
Hoot & Read cabinet card photo of J. F.
courtesy of the Farwell T. Brown Photographic Archive
John Francis Kintsley married Mary Jane Haningan. They had at least one child, George Fremont, born in Ames in 1883. This photo is nearly identical to the one used in an 1899 ISC Bomb advertisement, seen below.
The O.K. Barber Shop, of which J.F. Kintsley is the proprietor, occupies the basement of the Union National Bank building, Ames, Iowa. It is finely furnished and equipped up to date, five chairs and three bath tubs. J.F. embarked in the barber business, April 9, 1880, and has been in the business ever since. His motto was to do good, honest work, and it has won him a reputation as a barber, beyond reproach. He has met all kinds and colors, cut prices and envious competition; but his old motto wins. J.F. Kintsley was born at Elk Rapids, Polk County, Iowa, December 29, 1854, moved with his parents to Washington Township when eleven months old and has resided here ever since.
This 1900 Sanborn Insurance Map shows the location of the O.K. Barbershop.
Portion of an early panoramic postcard of downtown Ames
Note the corner barber pole, visible from both
Onondaga and Douglas.
The cart is the popcorn wagon that was often parked at this corner.
(Farwell T. Brown Photographic Archive)
This 1907 photo shows Douglas Avenue heading north from Onondaga (Main Street). At left, the stairs down to the O.K. Barbershop, the Barber Shop sign, and a second barber pole are visible. The people on the sidewalk are standing in front of Tilden Grocery, and one can see the Arlington Hotel (earlier, known as the West Hotel) where the Octagon Center for the Arts is located today. The building between is the Tildens printing and sewing location. The newly constructed Ames Public Library is obscured by the trees.
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