My mother's family is from a small group of farm communities in Harrison County, Missouri, close to the Iowa border. This is a view of Bethany's main square in 1935, and since it looks basically the same today, I'm sure this is what the local residents saw in 1940 as well:
In 1940, the new courthouse was completed. Love the very distinct architecture for the time period.
Another interesting piece of trivia is that Hy-Vee grocery stores were started in the 1930's, and by 1940 there were 23 stores, including this one in Bethany:
Lots of hustle and bustle in a small town in 1940!!