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Grinnell College 







Editor's Foreword 

IOWANS are justly proud of Grinnell College. Standing at the fore- 
front among the private and denominational colleges of Iowa, Grin- 
nell is mature in years, rich in experience, steadfast in its traditions 
and ideals, and generously supported by its alumni and friends. For 
more than a century thousands of sons and daughters of the Hawkeye 
State have been nurtured in body, mind, and soul by the presence of 
this fine college in their midst. As a result, Grinnell graduates have 
left an enviable record of good deeds and accomplishments, not only 
in Iowa but throughout the world. 

Grinnell College represents the fruition of the vision, hopes, and 
dreams of a small band of Congregational ministers who trekked 
westward from New England to the Black Hawk Purchase in 1843. 
These courageous young men, who are known today as the Iowa 

vi Grinnell College 

Band, had crossed the Mississippi, each pledged to establish at least 
one church and all together to found a Christian college in Iowa. It 
took more than hopes and dreams, however, to bring their Christian 
college into reality. Three precious years slipped by following their 
arrival, and still the Iowa Band could point to no college. Finally, 
the impatient James J. Hill catapulted them into action when, at their* 
annual meeting at Davenport in 1846, he stepped up to the table and 
said: "I give one dollar for the founding of a Christian College in 
Iowa. Appoint your trustees to care for that dollar." It is to such a 
humble beginning that Grinnell can trace its origins, for it springs 
from a union with Iowa College which was established by the Iowa 
Band at Davenport in 1 846. 

"While Iowa College was struggling along in Davenport, Josiah B. 
Grinnell had taken Horace Greeley's advice to "Go West." Born in 
Vermont in 1822, Grinnell had a liberal college training before be- 
coming a Congregational minister. In 1854 he purchased land in 
Poweshiek County, laid out the town of Grinnell 120 miles west of 
the Mississippi, and projected a college Grinnell University 
which in 1858 was combined with Iowa College. Grinnell organized 
a Congregational Church and became its first minister. He helped 
form the Republican party in Iowa in 1856 and served in the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Iowa as well as in the United States Congress. 
Through the years he was actively engaged in railroads and other 
business interests. He was always a devout Christian and an ardent 
temperance advocate. The impact of the character and personality 
of Josiah B. Grinnell can be felt to this day on both the town and 
the college that bear his name. 

From its humble beginnings on the Mississippi, through the lean 
formative years in the valley of the Skunk River, Grinnell College has 
grown by dint of good business sense, the devotion of its faculty, and 
the generosity of its alumni and friends, until it has developed into 
one of the outstanding schools in the Midwest. To reach this peak 
required constructive leadership, not only in financing the college but 
also in building up the effective and inspired teaching staff that has 
won widespread acclaim for Grinnell. The half dozen men who have 
guided Grinnell since 1865 have exhibited unusual qualities of leader- 
ship over the years. Happily for Iowa as well as for Grinnell, one of 
these presidents, John Scholte Nollen, wrote the following history 
before his death in 1952. Born in Pella, educated at Central College 


and the University of Iowa, Nollen taught at Grinnell for many 
years before assuming the presidency in 1931. He brought to this 
book a fluent pen, a ready wit, and an Olympian detachment in his 
narrative that should make this volume unique in its field. Since 
Grinnell was founded in 1846, the very year Iowa achieved statehood, 
the book mirrors the growth and development of higher education 
in our private colleges through more than a century of time. 

The twenty-five chapters that make up the book have been divided 
into four parts which are self-explanatory. The first three parts are 
the work of Dr. Nollen, while the fourth part contains chapters 
which President Nollen asked others to prepare, or which were soli- 
cited by the editor to round out the story. President Samuel N. 
Stevens wrote an Epilogue which carries the story from 1946 to 1952. 
In addition, an unfinished autobiography of President Nollen's early 
life has been included. 

The editor is grateful to the following members of the staff of the 
State Historical Society of Iowa for assistance in preparing the 
manuscript for publication: Dr. Mildred Throne, Dr. Robert Rutland, 
and Mrs. Adelaide Seemuth. James Stronks of Iowa City, an alumnus 
of Grinnell, also read the manuscript in galley and made excellent 
suggestions. Grateful acknowledgment is especially made to Dr. Leola 
Nelson Bergmann for valuable assistance in editing and in seeing the 
manuscript through the press. 





From New England to the Prairies 

1 The New England Heritage 3- 

2 The First Pioneers and Asa Turner 13 

3 Denmark 21 

4 The Iowa Band 29 

5 A College for Iowa 41 

6 Grinnell and the "University" 51 

7 The Early Years at Grinnell 59 


They Carried the Torch 

8 The College Under Magoun, 1865-1884 69 

9 The Presidency of George A. Gates, 1887-1900 82 

10 The Social Sciences and Jesse Macy 92 

11 The Presidency of Dan Freeman Bradley, 1902-1905 103 

12 Administration of President Main, 1906-1931 108 

13 Through the Great Depression, 1931-1940 118 

14 ' Through the Second World War, 1940-1946 126 



15 The Academy 133 

16 The Faculty and Statf 137 


x Grinnell College 

17 The Board of Trustees 144 

18 The Alumni 155 

19 The College in War 158 


Campus High Lights 

20 Art and Music 165 

21 Athletics and Physical Education 172 

22 The Library 184 

By Margaret G. Fullerton 

23 Student Publications 190 

By Charmayne Wilke 

24 The Theatre 199 

By Kent Andrews 

25 Grinnell's Plan for College Living ; 205 

By Evelyn Gardner 



Epilogue 215 

By Samuel N. Stevens 


A Members of the Iowa Band 227 

B So Many Yesterdays: Reminiscences of an Octogenarian 231 

Footnotes 263 

Index 273 



John Scholte Nollen Frontispiece 

The Iowa Band from Andover Seminary in 1843 68 

Presidents of Grinnell 69 

An Early Science Laboratory 84 

Physics Laboratory in the New Hall of Science 84 

Iowa College at Davenport about 1855 85 

Men's Dormitories 85 

Rededication Service, Herrick Chapel, 1949 85 

Administration Building Tower 100 

Three Units of Women's Quadrangle 101 

Darby Gymnasium 116 

Aerial View of the Campus 117 

Part One 

From New England to the Prairies 



The New England Heritage 

"I LIKE this place. It has atmosphere/* In these words more than one 
visitor, American or European, has expressed his feeling about Grin- 
nell. This "atmosphere" is essentially that of the New England 
college town. Grinnell, town and college, is a bit of New England 
transplanted and flourishing among the cornfields of Iowa; not the 
later New England of manufacture and dense traffic, of teeming cities 
and a varied population of foreign origin, but the older, simpler, 
rural New England, still marked with the stamp set upon their new 


4 Grinnell College 

world by the Pilgrims of the Mayflower and the Puritans of Salem. 
These sturdy men cherished, above their practical material interests, 
two ideals: religion and education. The most characteristic product 
of this dual devotion is that peculiarly American institution, the 
Christian college. 

Grinnell College and the town of Grinnell have their roots deep in 
the Pilgrim and Puritan tradition; so their story cannot be told with- 
out reference to the developm mt of religious thought in early New 
England. For the modern mind, steeped in the lore of experimental 
science, it is difficult to recapture the emotion or to appreciate the 
burning zeal of the older divines of New England in their passionate 
quest for absolute truth. To us their diverse efforts at a precise formu- 
lation of the eternal verities may seem like an attempt to scrutinize 
the inscrutable and to solve the insoluble. Their theological subtleties 
and bold paradoxes are foreign to our way of thinking. Moreover, 
we may even be Soiiused rather than edified by their habit of hurling 
verbal thunderbolts at one another. However, if we are to get at the 
genesis of Christian education in the Midwest, we must at least take 
a rapid flight over this Sahara of arid speculation and stony invective. 
The miracle of Isaiah's vision was re-enacted on our soil. "Like a root 
out of dry ground," from the dogmatic ardor of the New England 
theology grew the tree of life for religion and education in the West. 

The first half of the nineteenth century was a time of peculiar un- 
rest in the ecclesiastical history of New England. The inevitable was 
happening. Wherever religion is interpreted dogmatically, there is 
sure to be, as long as the human spirit is free, reaction in the form of 
questioning, faction, schism, heresy. Protestant orthodoxy, with its 
sectarian divisions, has no central authority to cushion change with 
ex cathedra solutions, and any variation in doctrine is likely to be 
accompanied by a more or less noisy and destructive explosion. 

For one hundred and twenty years after the landing of the Pilgrims, 
Congregationalism was in undisputed possession of New England. 
There was little occasion for doctrinal dissension, although questions 
of church government did cause heated discussion, as there were 
many who favored the Presbyterian rather than the democratic Con- 
gregational system. The Puritans, who had been Anglicans before 
their migration and who looked upon the Church of England as their 
ecclesiastical mother, naturally formed an established church of their 
own in their new home. Dissenters, such as Quakers and Baptists, 


were unwelcome and, in case of recalcitrance, were persecuted, jailed, 
driven away, and even martyred. Furthermore, the legislature, or 
General Court, exercised control in ecclesiastical matters, and only 
church members, a small minority of the population, had the fran- 
chise, until this privilege was abrogated in 1692. The official expres- 
sion of Congregational faith remained, in substance, the Calvinistic 
"Westminster Confession adopted by Parliament in 1647. By the 
eighteenth century, however, the ckwrches of New England had 
achieved such complete independence that they resented missionary 
work in their territory by the Anglican Church. Yale was purged of 
episcopacy by the trustees of the college, who voted that rectors and 
tutors should not be accepted without examination as to the "sound- 
ness of their faith in opposition to Arminian and prelatical corrup- 
tions." * 

The "Great Awakening," the powerful religion revival beginning 
in Jonathan Edwards' church at Northampton in ; .17*34 and extending 
widely with George Whitefield's preaching a few years later, strongly 
reinforced the Calvinism of the New England churches, which had 
fallen into laxness during the preceding decades. On the other hand, 
this revival of doctrinal orthodoxy led to wide and violent contro- 
versy, intensified by the uncharitable attacks of the revivalist preach- 
ers upon ministers who repudiated their methods. The faculties of 
both Harvard and Yale were led by the excesses of the movement to 
issue "testimonies" against Whitefield himself. Even Edwards, who 
has with good reason been called the father of modern Congrega- 
tionalism, was expelled from his pastorate at Northampton in 1750 
and forbidden by the town meeting to preach there again, 2 His sub- 
sequent declaration of preference for the Presbyterian form of church 
government no doubt prepared the way for his later call to the presi- 
dency of Princeton College, only a few weeks before his death. 

Another occasion for religious controversy arose from the persistent 
efforts of the established church in England to extend the Protestant 
Episcopate in the colonies. As Samuel Adams wrote in 1768, these 
efforts were "very alarming to a people whose fathers, from the 
hardships they suffered under such an establishment, were obliged to 
fly their native country into a wilderness. . . . We hope in God such 
an establishment will never take place in America." 3 This fear of 
"ecclesiastical tyranny" and "prelatical rule" reinforced the exaspera- 
tion at civil oppression that moved the colonies to revolution. 

6 Grinnell College 

Far more perilous, however, to the solidarity of New England 
Christendom was the defection of the Unitarians, a reaction to the 
Great Awakening. The spirit of free inquiry was abroad (was it not 
the Age of Reason?), and there was wide revolt against the doctrinal 
rigidity and the metaphysical subtleties characteristic of the tradi- 
tional theology and also against the emotional excesses that often 
accompanied revivals. By the beginning of the nineteenth century 
Boston and Harvard College had been captured by the new liberal 
movement. The conservatives then rallied their forces and found an 
eloquent leader in President Timothy Dwight of Yale, and a new 
"awakening" of great power swept westward. The Congregational 
Missionary Societies of Massachusetts and Connecticut were organized 
in 1798 and 1799. Their purpose was to send the gospel to "the 
remote parts of our country, where Christ is seldom preached," and 
even "through more distant regions of the earth, as circumstances 
shall invite and the ability of the society shall admit." 4 So home and 
foreign missions were recognized as the responsibility of the New 
England evangelical churches. They consequently had a large part 
in the evangelizing of the new and undeveloped West. 

The concern of orthodox Congregationalists in Massachusetts over 
the inroads of Unitarianism was responsible for the founding of And- 
over Theological Seminary. The way was open at Andover through, 
the provision by the Phillips brothers, founders of Phillips Academy, 
of a fund for the support of students who wished to pursue theologi- 
cal studies. When a pronounced liberal was appointed to the chair 
of divinity at Harvard, Dr. Jedidiah Morse of Charlestown, a mem- 
ber of the board of overseers, and Dr. Eliphalet Pearson, professor 
and acting president, who had been the first head of Phillips Acad- 
emy at Andover, withdrew from the Harvard Corporation. In July, 
1806, they formed an association to found a conservative theological 
institution at Andover. Four other gentlemen joined them in the 
association, among them Samuel Abbott, who had bequeathed his 
estate for the education of theological students at Harvard, but who 
now revoked this will and transferred the bequest to Andover. 5 

Meanwhile a similar movement to found a seminary on orthodox 
principles had begun ten miles away at West Newbury. An effort to 
unite these two movements, similar in spirit and motive, finally suc- 
ceeded in 1808, but not without difficulty. The crux of the problem 
was of course doctrinal, for there were two camps of orthodox Cal- 


vinists, separated by super-metaphysical subtleties. Dr. Pearson and 
his associates were "Moderate'* or "Old Calvinists" and held to the 
Westminster Confession and the doctrine of election, but were in- 
clined to stress the love of God rather than His absolute sovereignty. 
The brethren at West Newbury, on the other hand, were Hopkinsians, 
so named after Samuel Hopkins, a pupil of Jonathan Edwards. They 
called themselves "Consistent Calvinists," and were as hyper-Calvin- 
istic in their interpretation of divine sovereignty and predestination 
as Mrs. Edwards had been in her assertion that she was willing to 
endure damnation if God could thereby be glorified, and as Hop- 
kinsian Professor Leonard Woods at Andover, who, when his fifth 
child was born, doubted whether he ought to ask God to save all his 
children, lest he thus offend against foreordination. 6 

These two schools of strenuous orthodoxy finally arrived at a 
workable compromise after nine months of "complicated negotiations 
between theologians of great ability and astuteness in drawing fine- 
spun distinctions." Dr. Pearson journeyed thirty-six times alone in his 
chaise from Andover to Newburyport to carry on this debate. How- 
ever, the parties surrendered none of their cherished theoretical differ- 
ences: Hopkinsian money was to support only Hopkinsian teaching, 
and Moderate Calvinist funds were to be used to pay professors of 
that faith. Meanwhile, Hopkinsians remained free to scoff at the 
"absurdities of the old Calvinism." Nevertheless, these discordant 
elements were merged in a Creed, and the Association Statutes pro- 
vided that "every article of the aforesaid Creed shall forever remain 
entirely and identically the same, without the least alteration, or any 
addition or diminution." Every professor must pledge himself to 
maintain and inculcate the Christian faith as summarily expressed in 
the Shorter Catechism, "in opposition not only to Atheists and In- 
fidels, but to Jews, Mahometans, Arians, Pelagians, Antinomians, 
Arminians, Socinians, Unitarians, and Universalists, and to all other 
heresies, ancient and modern," and he must repeat this declaration 
every five years. The Rules of the Seminary began with 7 chapters 
of 65 articles, and grew to 13 chapters of 102 articles, 7 Evidently 
the personnel at Andover was expected to maintain a precarious 
balance on a theological tight rope. The first president of "Iowa 
College" the original name of Grinnell was an expert in this 
acrobatic exercise. 

Despite all the efforts at strict dogmatic statement, the old conflict 

8 Grinnell College 

of orthodoxies would not down. One member of the board of trus- 
tees remonstrated for forty years against subversive tendencies in the 
Seminary: "Candidates for ordination were not measuring up to the 
standards in the matter of total depravity . . . there was error in Zion, 
the professors were deviating from the Catechism/ 3 It seems odd in 
perspective that Professor Edwards A. Park, uncompromising cham- 
pion of an unchanging Calvinism, should have been considered "not 
sound in the faith." s All these honest brethren were zealously en- 
gaged in the enterprise attributed to Theodore Parker by Julia Ward 

Saving the perilous souls of the nation 
With holiest, wholesomest vituperation. 9 

Parker himself, in turn, offered a shining target for the shafts of the 
conservatives. One reverend opponent wrote: "Hell never vomited 
forth a more blasphemous monster than Theodore Parker and it is 
only the mercies of Jesus Christ which now preserve him from 
eternal damnation." Samuel Hopkins had been no less explicit about 
the Arminians: "The smoke of their torment shall ascend up in the 
sight of the blessed forever and ever . . . and all this display of the 
divine character and glory will be ... most entertaining, and give 
the highest pleasure to all who love God, and raise their happiness to 
ineffable heights." But "vituperation" was not confined to such 
crusading extremists. Even such a benevolent and liberal spirit as 
Emerson described Garrison's Convention on Universal Reform as 
consisting of "madmen, madwomen, men with beards, Bunkers, Mug- 
gletonians, Come-outers, Groaners, Agrarians, Seventh-day Baptists, 
Quakers, Abolitionists, Calvinists, Unitarians and Philosophers." 10 
It remained for William James to discover virtue in "varieties of 
religious experience." 

Conditions of living in the new seminary at Andover were as nar- 
row and rigid as the brand of theology there professed. Stark sim- 
plicity and extreme economy were the rule. Tuition was free, room 
rent two to four dollars a year, board in Commons plain and cheap, 
dispensed in an unheated room. Molasses was often substituted for 
meat, and in an access of asceticism or penury the students voted to 
dispense with sugar. That students and teachers suffered from in- 
digestion was not surprising. Nor were summer epidemics uncom- 
mon. For exercise, the students blasted and cleared away rocks on 


the grounds, or did carpentry in a cold barrack. "Coffins fashioned 
in the workshop by student hands were grim reminders of the 
brevity of life. . . . Hard by [there was a cemetery on the campus] 
the winter snows drifted over the graves of students who had died 
before their time and lay in the winding sheet of God's acre. 55 It 
was not exceptional that the work of the day began at 4:30 in the 
morning. At Yale, too, prayers began at 4:30 in the summer and at 
5:30 on winter mornings. Timothy D wight got up early enough to 
"qualify" for parsing a hundred lines of Homer before these exercises 
began. 11 

It was these sturdy Congregationalists of the old faith who fostered 
the two great movements for the spread of Christianity, home and 
foreign missions. The Haystack Meeting of students at orthodox 
Williams College in 1806 gave birth to foreign missions. The Ameri- 
can Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was organized in 
1 8 1 in response to a petition by four Andover students. Likewise, the 
organization of the American Home Missionary Society in 1826 fol- 
lowed an appeal from Andover students. The spread of Christian 
education in the opening West was another absorbing interest of these 
pioneering theologues. It was an Andover man who started a sem- 
inary at Jacksonville which, with the help of a Yale Band, became 
Illinois College. It was another from Andover who "dedicated Wa- 
bash College to Christ as he knelt in the snow of the primeval forest 
on a winter day." 12 One Andover class after another sent a large 
contingent westward. Twenty-six different classes sent at least ten 
each into the home missionary field in thirty -three states, from Maine 
to Texas. 

Iowa's turn came in the 1840's, when the tide of settlement began 
to pour across the Mississippi into a territory newly opened as the 
Indian tribes retreated westward. This rich new land tempted thou- 
sands to pioneering adventure. It could not help appealing to the 
imagination of young men imbued with the missionary spirit, lured 
by the no less hardy adventure of carrying the gospel to this new 
population that was reputed to be in urgent need of religious conver- 
sion and educational opportunity. 

The first thought of the Iowa country as a home mission ground 
seems to have occurred to a group of young men studying theology 
at Yale. This was quite in line with Yale tradition. As early as 
November, 1828, in response to an essay on "The Call of the West" 

10 Grinnell College 

by one of their members, a group of students gathered under the 
elms at New Haven and pledged themselves to give their lives to the 
work of education and of preaching the gospel in what was then the 
Far West, the state of Illinois. 13 The founding of Illinois College in 
1829 was largely the work of this Yale Band. So, in 1837, seven 
theological students at Yale formed the te lowa Educational Asso- 
ciation ... to establish upon a firm basis a college for the future 
state of Iowa." The "firm basis" in the minds of these young men 
was a land-sale plan, such as appeared repeatedly in the founding of 
western colleges. 51 " 

One of the young men, Reuben Gaylord, on March 1, 1838, wrote 
on behalf of the group to the secretaries of the American Home 
Missionary Society: 

A few young men, members of this seminary, have become deeply interested 
in that section of our country lying west of the Mississippi, commonly 
known as the "Iowa District," or "Black Hawk Purchase." Seeing its des- 
titute condition, both as respects education and religious institutions, and 
learning that the District is filling up with a rapidity unparalleled in the 
history of our country, we feel a strong conviction that, if the way can be 
opened, it is our duty to plant our feet west of the Father of Waters. We 
wish to concentrate our influence, and bring it to bear upon the future 
state of Iowa while yet in its infancy. Our object will be two-fold to 
preach the gospel, and to open a school at the outset, which can soon be 
elevated to the rank of a college. Knowing that such an enterprise cannot 
be accomplished by individual effort, the following brethren are ready to 
associate and pledge themselves to engage in the work, if the way can be 
opened so as to warrant the undertaking: J. P. Stewart, M. Richardson, 
H. D. Kitchel, A. B. Haile, R. Gaylord, J. A. Clark, M. Mattocks. Upon 
mature consideration we have thought best to lay the subject before your 
Society and put the inquiry, How much may we expect you to do toward 
founding such an enterprise? It is our purpose to enlist one or two more of 
the right stamp, who will throw themselves into the work, determined not 
to yield to any obstacle which is not insurmountable. One of our number, 
Stewart, was educated at the west, and has traveled extensively in the Iowa 
district. The writer of this has spent two and one-half years as teacher in 
Illinois College, at Jacksonville, so that we are not acting without such 
knowledge as will enable us to come to an intelligent decision. The tract of 
country we propose to enter, embraces an area of nine thousand square miles 
at present, and this will doubtless soon be enlarged by other purchases from 

* In 1837 Iowa was still a part of the Territory of Wisconsin. In forming the Iowa 
Educational Association the members of the Yale Band showed that they were familiar with 
the book by Albert M. Lea, Notes on the Wisconsin Territory; Particularly with Reference 
to the Iowa District or Black Hawk Purchase, published in Philadelphia in 1836. 


the Indians still further west. It has a population of from thirty to fifty 
thousand, and by its superior soil, local advantages and salubrious climate, 
holds out strong inducements to an industrious class of emigrants, who are 
making their way thither in large numbers. Its destitution of school and 
religious privileges is almost entire. Towns and villages are springing 
rapidly into being, one of which, Burlington, already numbers one thousand 
people, and it is of the greatest importance that a stand should be early made 
by the friends of education and religion. Friends [funds?] will be provided 
to support one or two of us as teachers. The others will devote themselves 
to preaching, and will be under the necessity of looking to you for a partial 
support. As one of the above individuals, and in their behalf, I now address 
you. Will you write us as speedily as convenient, expressing your views of 
our prospective enterprise, and stating what the society will be able to do 
for us. This will throw light upon our paths, and we trust promote the 
object for which you are laboring. 14 

Only three of the seven Yale men actually went west, however, 
and only one, Reuben Gaylord himself, participated in the educa- 
tional enterprise planned by the seven. But other Yale men, older 
than the group of 1837, had a part in the work to be done princi- 
pally by the "Iowa Band" from Andover. Most important of these, 
a leading figure in the religious and educational winning of the West, 
was "Father" Asa Turner. Others were Julius A. Reed and "William 
P. Apthorp, who was also a student at Andover. Apthorp had no 
direct part in the educational enterprise, but Reed became one of the 
prime movers in it. 

Julius A. Reed, whose career was to be closely bound up with 
Iowa College, was born at East Windsor, Connecticut, January 16, 
1809, one of the many descendants of Governor William Bradford 
of the Mayflower. He was graduated from Yale in 1829, and his call 
to the ministry came four years later, after tutoring in New York 
and Mississippi, seeing the West on a visit to a brother in Jackson- 
ville, and debating the claims of law and medicine. He had a "pro- 
phetic glimpse" of the Iowa country across the river in May, 1833: 
"I could see the prairie where Montrose now stands, and the bluff 
beyond, with a tall tree here and there upon its brow. The view was 
beautiful, but, I reflected that the vast region between me and the 
Pacific Ocean was inhabited only by savages. All beyond the river 
seemed buried in profound sleep." Reed returned to New Haven (a 
six weeks' trip on horseback) , entered Yale Seminary, was graduated 
in 1835, and was commissioned by the American Home Missionary 

12 Grinnell College 

Society, He was ordained at "God's Barn/' Asa Turner's church at 
Quincy, in April, 1836, and in January, 1837, first set foot on 
Iowa soil: 

I crossed the river on the ice from "Warsaw to Keokuk, and preached the 
first sermon ever preached in the place by a Congregational minister, and I 
think by any minister. I preached in a building afterwards known as the 
Rat Row. At that time there were scarcely more than a half dozen buildings 
in the place, of which the Rat Row was the best. The inhabitants were 
chiefly river men, and were rough. Some of my friends thought it hazardous 
for me to attempt to preach there, but I could not ask for better treatment 
than I received. I recollect a man who was prostrated by rheumatism and 
was not expected to live. He had kept an account of the liquor he had 
drunk, and said it amounted to twenty-seven barrels. ... I saw an Indian 
hunting within forty rods of the landing. 15 

Upon the completion of four brief pastorates in Illinois and a 
year's service as chaplain of the insane asylum at Worcester, Massa- 
chusetts, Reed again answered the call of the West. Following Asa 
Turner's advice, he came to the Territory of Iowa and began preach- 
ing at Fairfield on November 29, 1840. From 1845 to 1857 he was 
agent of the Home Missionary Society for Iowa; more than sixty 
churches were organized under his supervision. 10 He was a charter 
member of the board of trustees of Iowa College, 1846 to 1868, was 
treasurer of the College, 1858 to 1863, and acted as principal of the 
Preparatory Department and teacher of mathematics, 1862 to 1863. 
Dr. George F. Magoun testified of him: 

In the College business, his industry, his minute accuracy, his competence 
and practical judgment, his inflexible integrity, and love for Christian 
education were invaluable. In several instances someone has done for the 
College what no other could have done; and Dr. Reed's part in discovering 
the fraud of the second Treasurer, in extricating us from financial difficul- 
ties, and in conducting the removal [to Grinnell] was one. His success in 
business hid the fact that he was alsq a sound and discriminating theologian 
though not very widely read, but deserving the honorary degree he should 
have earlier received. 17 

Reed retired from active service in 1869, but continued his helpful 
and generous interest in the Congregational enterprises of the state 
to the end of his days. He died in Davenport August 27, 1890, the 
last of the early patriarchs to pass away. 



The First Pioneers and Asa Turner 

THAT portion of the Louisiana Purchase now known as Iowa had 
neither name nor independent existence for fully three decades 
after President Jefferson, in March, 1804, "shutting up the Con- 
stitution for a time," 18 took over this vast territory. This unauthor- 
ized purchase from Napoleon, negotiated the previous year by Mon- 
roe and Livingston, turned out to be the best land deal in our history. 
At the time, this section was largely unknown. Jefferson transmitted 
accounts he had received telling of "Indians of giant stature, of a 


14 Grinnell College 

mountain of salt one hundred and eighty miles long, forty-five miles 
wide, and of towering height." As late as 1819, Thomas Hart 
Benton of Missouri, later United States Senator, described the land 
west of the Mississippi as an arid plain, without wood or water. 19 
Long before, however, Patrick Henry had a more prophetic vision: 
"Cast your eye, sir, over this extensive country and see its soil inter- 
sected in every quarter with bold, navigable streams, flowing to the 
east and to the west, as if the finger of heaven were marking out the 
course of your .settlements, inviting you to enterprise and pointing 
the way to wealth. 35 20 

The day was still far distant when men were to discover the in- 
exhaustible agricultural riches of the Iowa land. The Indians had no 
thought of this potential wealth. William Clark, Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, reported of them in 1826: 

During several seasons in every year they are distressed by famine in which 
many die, and the living child is often buried with the dead mother. They 
Have neither hogs nor cows, and do not want them, because they would eat 
up their little patches of corn which are without fences, and because, as the 
whole nation go out to hunt twice a year, they want nothing but horses and 
dogs which accompany them. In these expeditions the aged and infirm, when 
unable to keep up, are frequently left to die. 21 

For many years, even before the Louisiana Purchase, mining and 
the fur trade had lured white men across the Mississippi. As early 
as 1690 Perrot is; said to have discovered lead in the Galena-Dubuque 
area. The lead mines opened here continued to be the principal 
source of wealth from this unexplored region. For both Indians and 
white trappers, the fur trade was important. Early travelers found 
the meadows teeming with "Buffaloes and other wild beasts," deer, 
black bear, beaver, otter, grey fox, raccoon, muskrat, mink, elk, 
panther, lynx, and swarming with wild turkey. In 1788 Julien 
Dubuque, fur trader, obtained a sanction from the Indians to work 
the lead mines, the value of whose product through the years was 
counted in millions. 22 

French and Spanish explorers had some difficulty with the fluid 
name of the nomadic Siouan tribe of hunters who roamed over this 
territory before the white immigration, and early documents give 
about fifty different spellings for these Aioua or loway Indians. 23 
They were described as rude and crude, of great physique, deep- 
voiced and dark-colored, courageous and emotional (weeping copious 


tears of joy) , good-hearted and intelligent. Their contacts with the 
whites were sporadic until well into the nineteenth century. 

As late as 1832 there were not over fifty white persons settled in 
the Iowa country, and these few were squatters without legal rights. 
The following year, as a result of the Black Hawk Purchase, the 
Indian title to the lands expired. Long lines of pioneers crossed the 
Mississippi, still illegally, as Congress had passed acts in 1785 and 
1807 forbidding anyone to enter upon public lands until they were 
surveyed and offered for sale. In spite of this, there were 10,531 set- 
tlers across the river by 1836, and twice that number by 1838, when 
both Calhoun and Clay inveighed in Congress against these "lawless 
intruders." 24 

This sprawling wilderness, once a part of the Territory of Louisiana, 
had been incorporated in the Territory of Missouri when that district 
was established in 1812; but when in 1821 Missouri was admitted as 
a state, the Iowa country was left without civil government and con- 
tinued so until it was made part of the Territory of Michigan in 1834. 
Two years later it was included in the Territory of Wisconsin. 

It was in 1836 that the name "Iowa" (derived from the name of 
the river, and indirectly from that of the Indian tribe) first appeared 
in print as applied to this section, in Notes on the Wisconsin Territory 
by Lieutenant Albert M. Lea, who had traversed this region with the 
United States Dragoons. 25 

The Territory of Iowa was established in 1838; it included all the 
region north of the Missouri line, and running up into Minnesota 
and the Dakotas. One of the early acts of the Supreme Court of the 
Territory was to validate the claims of the settlers, who through 
claim associations and land clubs had effected an orderly organization 
for the protection of their status; this was their answer to the charge 
that they were lawless intruders. Finally, on December 28, 1846, 
President Polk signed the act for the balanced admission of Florida 
and Iowa, and so Iowa became the first state free from slavery in the 
Louisiana Purchase. 

Many of the early settlers in the Iowa country were Southern, 
drawn, however, not from the sedentary slaveholding class but from 
the Scotch-Irish stock of the foot-loose pioneers. The Southern pi- 
oneer followed the streams and forests. The prairie lacked, to his 
mind, both fuel and sufficient water, shelter from the winter's cold, 

16 Grinnell College 

and fertility. And so the prairies remained for occupation by the 
Northern pioneers. 26 

As to the quality of these early lowans, reports naturally differ. 
Lieutenant Lea, writing in 1836, when the settlers were still the 
"lawless intruders" of the Clay-Calhoun invective., found everything 
lovely, even among the miners: 

The character of this population is such as is rarely to be found in our 
newly acquired territories. "With very few exceptions, there is not a more 
orderly, industrious, active, pains-taking population west of the Alleghenies, 
than is this of the Iowa District. Those who have been accustomed to asso- 
ciate the name of Squatter with the idea of idleness and recklessness, would 
be quite surprised to see the systematic manner in which everything is here 
conducted. For intelligence, I boldly assert that they are not surpassed, as 
a body, by an equal number of citizens of any country in the world. 

Asa Turner's impression at the same time was similar: "The settlers 
generally are of much better character than usually falls to the lot 
of a new country. For enterprise, intelligence and industry, they far 
surpass those who first settled Illinois." 27 

The miners of Dubuque, in 1834 and 1835, were described by 
Edward Langworthy: "My experience proves that nowhere has ever 
such a state of society existed for honesty, integrity, and high toned 
generosity as was found among the miners. . . . No need here for 
locks to keep out burglars." Charles Augustus Murray, an English 
traveler, found in Dubuque "as profligate, turbulent, and abandoned 
a population as any in the world, [yet] theft is almost unknown; 
and though dirks are frequently drawn, and pistols fired in savage 
and drunken brawls ... I do not believe that an instance of larceny 
or housebreaking has occurred." And a young home missionary saw 
this picture: "In such a population there was none of the religious 
element, but, on the contrary, there was a total destitution of the 
fear of God, and, I had almost said, of regard for man. There was, 
of course, no recognition of the Sabbath, and no public worship, 
while vices of almost every kind were practised. A gentleman in- 
forms me that, wishing to procure a Bible, he searched the place 
[Dubuque] in vain to find one. . . ." Another summed it up in a fair 
generalization: "This population is a mixed multitude gathered from 
all parts of the United States, possessing every degree of intelligence 
from the liberally educated, to the most ignorant, and belonging to 
almost every religious sect in Christendom, besides including many 


who boast that they are infidels/' 2S The Home Missionary Magazine 
in August, 1842, stated that there were only 2,133 professing Chris- 
tians in a population of 60,400. 

There could be no question, however, of the sobriety and the piety 
of the New Englanders who crossed the Mississippi in 1836 and set- 
tled at a spot known first as "Haystack," and soon as "Denmark." 
Their coming was the result of "Father" Turner's missionary labors. 

Asa Turner, pioneer extraordinary and home missionary patriarch, 
was born on a farm in the town of Templeton, Massachusetts, June 
11, 1799, grandson of a Revolutionary soldier who had seen service 
at Bunker Hill and Saratoga. Asa was a sturdy youth, quick, social, 
impulsive. Unsatisfied by the Unitarianism of the parish, he was con- 
verted to an orthodox faith by the reading of Doddridge's Rise and 
Progress of Religion in the Soul. Even as a student, he conducted 
religious services in the home and was called "The Little Priest." 

He taught school at Templeton and Winchendon, and was already 
twenty-two when he entered Amherst Academy, and twenty-four 
when he became a freshman at Yale. He was graduated with the Yale 
class of 1827, almost one-third of whose members entered the Chris- 
tian ministry. Already he had been active in evangelistic work, in 
the annual revival services of religious awakening. Poverty and over- 
work impaired his robust health. Entering college with bedding and 
two dollars, he worked on the academic woodyard, taught school, 
and boarded himself at about fifty cents a week; result, chronic 
dyspepsia, which left him "half dead." 

After a brief course at Yale Theological Seminary, Turner was 
licensed to preach at the age of thirty. Meanwhile, in 1828 he had 
joined a group of Yale men who planned to go to Illinois to preach 
and promote education, and who founded Illinois College, of which 
Turner became a trustee. 

The year 1830 was decisive for him. He went to Boston to study 
with Lyman Beecher and met Martha Bull, who was teaching there. 
They were married August 31, he was ordained September 6, they 
started west September 14, and arrived at Quincy, Illinois, November 
5, fording streams and passing through prairie and timber fires 
on the way, Quincy was then a frontier village of about four 
hundred souls. A Presbyterian church was organized December 1, 
with fifteen charter members, "three Baptists, three Congrega- 
tionalists, four Presbyterians, and five from the world." Already 

jg Grinnell College 

Turner had lifted his spirit above sectarian disputes: "I do think the 
'isms' of evangelical Christians among the greatest evils in this 
"Western country. The withering influence is seen in almost every 
church, stirring up jealousy and strife and suspicion, paralyzing 
action, and putting a damper on all the holy affections." However, 
he created an orthodoxy of his own: "All must come into the church 
through the door of total abstinence/ 5 Poverty was the rule in the 
little parish: "But few have outside garments. Children met me at 
the Sunday School one morning when it was 14 below zero, more 
than half of them with nothing but their summer dresses. Little boys 
clad in tow-cloth/' Epidemic diseases were common; at one time for 
ten weeks "there was but one family where there was no affliction." 

It was well that the Turners were accustomed to simple living. 
They came to a home where one room served as sitting room, bed- 
room, study, kitchen, and dairy. They lived on wheat batter-cakes 
and corn dodgers, milk toast, coffee, and tea. Their salary was $400, 
half of which the first year went for debt. Not unnaturally, illness 
followed privation. 

The young missionary did not spare himself. His parish was 
broad "as boundless as the eye can see a territory greater than 
that promised to Abraham, more abundant in its productions, and, I 
fear, almost as destitute of the knowledge of the true God." Turner 
preached two or three times each Sunday, and on Wednesday eve- 
nings, "held conferences Saturday evenings, prayer-meetings Thurs- 
day evenings, and for women Wednesday afternoons," superintended 
the Sunday School, and preached twice a week in the country at three 
stations eight to fifteen miles distant. Besides, he was in great demand 
for "protracted meetings" or revivals at other towns as far distant as 
Galena, two hundred miles away, and he was instrumental in organiz- 
ing thirteen churches in northern Illinois. 

Travel had its difficulties. On the way back from Presbytery in 
Jacksonville, "on Thursday it stormed; on Friday left my wagon and 
wife so as to get home for the Sabbath; the cold was excessive, the 
storm very severe; nine miles on my way came to a creek, so cold I 
dared not swim; hired a man to build a raft and help me across; swam 
my horse and arrived in season; had been sick five weeks; took cold; 
was obliged to swim my horse three times, and swim with her twice, 
and thus, all drenched with water, ride fifteen miles before I could 


In 1832 Asa Turner went East to interest people in Illinois College 
and the new territory he was serving. At New Ipswich, New Hamp- 
shire (birthplace of Ephraim Adams), two men were moved to fur- 
ther inquiry, one of them visiting Quincy two years later. At last, 
in 1836, four bachelors and four men with their families journeyed 
from the East to seek western homes, arriving in Quincy while Turner 
was across the Mississippi reconnoitering the Black" Hawk Purchase. 
The newcomers, one of whom had a brother already settled in the 
Purchase, crossed the river and settled ten miles inland, buying out 
the squatters and acquiring a cabin measuring eighteen by sixteen 
feet, the first home of eighteen persons. These New Englanders were 
not welcomed by the earlier pioneers, who were Southerners; one of 
these, the earliest settler at this spot, had taken up a claim in 1835 
and was "sorry when he heard that the Yankees were coming." 29 

In 1833, at the request of the members and encouraged by the 
pastor, the Quincy church became Congregational. This change at 
Quincy from the Presbyterian to the Congregational polity became 
important later in the ecclesiastical history of Iowa. Asa Turner's 
background and education were in the Congregational tradition. His 
early connection with Presbytery at Quincy was due to the practical 
effect of the "Plan of Union," 30 which had been adopted in 1801 by 
the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church and the Congrega- 
tional Association of Connecticut, to which the associations of Ver- 
mont, Massachusetts, and Maine later acceded. Both denominations 
were then essentially Calvinistic in theology, but they differed widely 
in polity, Presbyterianism being highly centralized, with authority 
over local churches mounting through Presbytery, Synod, and Gen- 
eral Assembly, while in Congregationalism the local church was com- 
pletely independent. 

There was, at first, fraternal cooperation in missionary extension. 
The American Home Missionary Society represented both denomina- 
tions, "to promote mutual forbearance and a spirit of accommoda- 
tion" between members of the two communions in new settlements. 
Its agents were at first largely Presbyterian, and the sentiment grew 
that the Congregational form of government was not well adapted to 
the mixed population of the West. This steady drift toward Presby- 
terianism in territory largely settled by Congregationalists from New 
England resulted in an estimated loss of over two thousand churches 
to Congregationalism in the home mission territory. 

20 Grinnell College 

The dissatisfaction of many who were loyal to the New England 
tradition grew with the acrimonious differences between conservatives 
and liberals within the Presbyterian fold, which led to its split into 
Old School and New School organizations in 1837, when the Plan of 
Union was formally abandoned by the Old School party. The New 
School Presbyterians attempted to keep up the connection, but a 
national convention of Congregational churches in 1852 declared the 
plan inexpedient. This declaration was generally accepted by the 
churches. The dissension between Old and New School had to do 
with the attitude toward slavery as well as with theological differences. 

"Upon such minds as had gone into the missionary work from 
New England" the controversy among Presbyterians "produced a 
deep and abiding conviction that it was not the church of their 
fathers nor of their youth, and that in it they could not fight the 
battle of life either with freedom or efficiency." 

Asa Turner's church at Quincy prospered under the Congregational 
banner. In eight months it became self-supporting with but fifty- 
five members, and during the first year received nearly eighty new 
members. More than once, no doubt, Asa Turner had cast longing 
glances across the Mississippi upon the thinly settled Iowa district, 
and he had been charmed with the beauty of the site that was to be- 
come Davenport. 31 

In April, 1836, the month in which this Iowa land was made a part 
of the newly established Territory of Wisconsin, Turner and his 
fellow-member of the Yale Band, "William B. Kirby, crossed the river 
at Fort Madison for a survey of the Black Hawk Purchase. They 
traveled north through the sparsely settled country, going a few 
miles beyond the site of Davenport, preaching at such settlements as 
they found along the way. Turner's impression was most favorable: 
"As to the country, I see but one objection. It is so beautiful that 
there might be an unwillingness to exchange it for the paradise 
above, . . . The soil [is] similar to that of the Military Tract; as a 
whole . . . better. Prairies generally dry and rolling, streams clear, 
of course more healthy than they generally are in this state [Illi- 
nois], better supplied with timber, water-power, coal, etc." 82 It 
is evident that he was already prepared in spirit for further pioneering 
in this newer country. The call was not long delayed. 



IN THE summer of 1836, when the New Englanders who had been 
drawn westward by Asa Turner's plea at New Ipswich finally 
reached the Black Hawk Purchase, there were about ten thou- 
sand white settlers across the Mississippi. The only town claiming 
one thousand inhabitants was Dubuque, far to the north. No doubt 
these newcomers avoided the river bottom because of the prevalence 
of the ague, which the early settlers considered incurable. They made 
their way to the plateau ten miles inland above the Skunk River, on 


22 Grmnell College 

whose banks the brother of one of them was then building a sawmill. 
Their first name for the new settlement was "Haystack," as the hay 
for the community was kept in a common stack, making a prominent 
landmark on the open prairie. They later called it "Denmark" after 
a hymn which seems to have been a favorite tune with the settlers 
from New Ipswich. 83 

These New Englanders ran true to type. Half of their townsite was 
set apart for a school, and within a year a schoolhouse was erected 
which also served as a church. It was a rude structure covered with 
split oak boards smoothed with a drawing-knife, the floor loose, the 
walls unplastered, the whole unpainted. A pulpit was made of two 
cottonwood boards in front and one on each side, with a black walnut 
board nailed across the top. The pews were plain wood slabs without 
backs. "This house was the cradle of Congregationalism in Iowa." 84 
In this cabin in Denmark, Iowa, Miss Elizabeth Houston from Lynde- 
borough, New Hampshire, began to teach in 1837. William P. 
Apthorp, Yale and Andover home missionary, preached there inter- 
mittently in 1837 and 1838. 

A Congregational church was organized May 5, 1838, with thirty- 
two members, representing every New England state but one. The 
ministers present were Asa Turner, William Apthorp, and Julius A. 
Reed. The new church called Asa Turner to be its pastor. He ac- 
cepted, and began his thirty years' ministry at Denmark on August 3, 
1838, as the first settled Congregational minister in the Iowa coun- 
try. 35 He came with the understanding that an institution of learn- 
ing be founded, thinking, no doubt, of the successful work of the 
Yale Band in Illinois. 

The village of Denmark then consisted of three houses and a 
schoolhouse. Conditions of living in these pioneer homes were severely 
simple. A daughter of an early settler wrote: 

Come with me, favored children from ample Eastern homes, into our cabin, 
twelve by sixteen feet. One window of three panes of glass, made to swing 
out on leather hinges, a leather strap to fasten it inside, a large fire-place 
with sod-chimney, a loose floor, a slab-door, with wooden latch and leather 
string, an attic for store-room, to which we went up on wooden pins driven 
into the logs on the left side of the fire-place, while on the right were four 
narrow shelves for a cupboard, with a curtain hung before it. Two bed- 
steads in opposite corners; under these, two trundle-beds; back of them 
three swing-shelves against the wall for library. The table in the center, the 
side of a bed serving for seats while eating; at night the table placed across 


the hearth so another bed might be made in the center. Every thing moved 
twice a day. Chests containing our clothing piled up at night, and spread 
around in the morning for seats. In this house thirteen of us lived, longed, and 
hoped; yes, and enjoyed. 36 

Conditions of travel were no improvement over what Asa Turner 
had found in Illinois. Julius A. Reed wrote in his Reminiscences: 

There is not a stream in Iowa, north and east of Cedar Falls, or south of 
Cedar Falls and east of Des Moines, that has not been forded by one or more 
of these pioneers, and some of the largest at many different points. Some- 
times they drove their horses through the creeks and caught them as they 
came out, crossing themselves on logs; sometimes they swam their horses by 
the side of a canoe, sometimes took their buggies across large streams, piece- 
meal, in skiffs. Father Turner once swam the creeks between Farmington 
and Denmark, with his horse and buggy, though he could not swim one 
stroke himself. It was hard for him to stop when he had once started. . . . 
Bro. Lane had a narrow escape in the ice at Keosauqua. . . . Bro. Ripley was 
carried over the dam at Bentonsport. 37 

Mr. Reed makes it clear also that theological controversy was not 
limited to New England. The minister of a German Congregational 
church at Dubuque left the Association. 

His plea was that our belief on some point connected with the fall of our 
first parents was erroneous. . . . With Joe Smith [Mormon] on one side and 
Abner Kneeland [Atheist] on the other ... we had no heart for curious 
speculation and had no use for anything in our preaching but the essential 
facts of the gospel. . . . We were assailed with charges of heresy and dis- 
order. . . . Congregationalists of Danville had been made so suspicious of 
Father Turner, through the same insinuations from the same source, that 
they were pleased that he was prevented from being present at the organiza- 
tion of their church. . . . Charges . . . were circulated at the east till they 
produced an extensive distrust of western Congregationalism. Presbyterian 
papers were full of these charges and Presbyterians visiting New England 
repeated them. 38 

Asa Turner's salary from the Denmark church was $300, paid 
partly in produce. In 1839 he began to act as agent of the Home 
Missionary Society, and thus $200 was added to his income, which 
for ten years was never more than $500, often less. "That he was 
economical in his household you can easily believe," wrote Julius 
Reed. "I have seen his children more than once making their suppers 
solely of stewed pumpkin and milk. I have heard that his family and 
his horse have been supplied from the same barrel." At one time 

24 Grinnell College 

Turner rode for nearly half a day to borrow money so as to get his 
letters from the post office. Postage on eastern letters was then twen- 
ty-five cents, payable by the receiver. 39 

Before the end of 1838, "Father" Turner was heartened by the 
arrival of a fellow-laborer in the new area across the Mississippi. 
Reuben Gaylord, of the ce lowa Educational Association" at Yale, who 
meanwhile had taught at Illinois College, was commissioned by the 
American Home Missionary Society in July, ordained in August, 
married Miss Sarah Burton of Round Prairie, Illinois, in October, and 
arrived at Mount Pleasant with his bride in December, soon to be- 
come Turner's close neighbor in a newly organized church at Dan- 
ville. Gay lord's first report to the Society was optimistic: 

After a fatiguing journey of nearly five weeks, I have found everything as 
favorable here as I expected, considering the age of the country. The first 
settlers came into this county about four years since, and it now contains not 
far from 4,000 inhabitants on an area twenty-four miles square. The im- 
provements have been rapid beyond a parallel in any country. . . . Mt. 
Pleasant is three years old. It stands high and commands an extensive view 
of timber and prairie. It will have every facility for building when the 
enterprise of the people shall develop its natural resources. I mention these 
things to show the prospects of the place for future growth. There has been 
occasional preaching here by the Methodists, who have done much good. 40 

Reuben Gaylord organized five churches in the Iowa territory and 
the first Congregational church in Nebraska; later he represented the 
Home Missionary Society in the founding of many churches in the 
Far West. He was one of the first trustees of Iowa College. 

In 1840, after a brief interlude in the East, Julius A. Reed re- 
turned to Iowa for a lifetime of service. That same year, on Novem- 
ber 6, Turner, Gaylord, Reed, and licentiate Charles Burnham, with 
the help of three ministers from Illinois and five laymen, organized 
the Congregational Association of Iowa at a convention held at Den- 
mark. 41 This was the first Congregational State Association formed 
west of New York. 

The next year brought two further accessions to the ministerial 
ranks. Oliver Emerson, Jr., club-footed and half -paralyzed from 
birth, afflicted with a chronic kidney disease, had never seen a well 
day and never taken a step without pain. He began preaching while a 
student at Waterville College, Maine, preached his way through Lane 
Seminary in Cincinnati, was twice refused ordination as a Baptist 


because he rejected "close communion/' joined the Congregational 
Church at Davenport, and continued preaching as a private member 
until the Congregational Association ordained him in November, 
1841, "with anxiety and hesitation." His salary at Davenport was 
fifteen dollars a month and "boarding 'round/' This wreck of a man, 
living a Pauline life as itinerant evangelist for eastern Iowa, was the 
founder of many churches. As an apostle to the "scattered sheep in 
the wilderness," Emerson evangelized the whole region between 
Davenport and Dubuque and at one time served ten congregations 
simultaneously. His itinerant work enabled him to lead in the forma- 
tion of not less than twenty-five churches, not all Congregational. 
He was a trustee of Iowa College, 1852 to 1883. "No speaker stirred 
the college students more effectively in the '60's than he," said L. F. 

John C. Holbrook, like Reed and Gaylord a descendant of Governor 
Bradford of the Plymouth Colony, was the son of a paper manu- 
facturer and book publisher at Brattleboro, Vermont. He had re- 
ceived a desultory education by private tutors and at Norwich Mili- 
tary Academy. Despite an early experience of sermons up to "six- 
teenthly" in an unheated meeting house, he turned his back upon a 
promising business career and, moved by a revival and the reading of 
Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, dedicated him- 
self to Christian service and began lay preaching and the private 
study of theology. In 1839 he took his family to Davenport, whither 
a farmer brother-in-law had preceded him. Disgusted with the auto- 
cratic leadership of a rigid Old School Presbyterian pastor, he with- 
drew and with others formed a Congregational church. Licensed to 
preach by the Congregational Association in November, 1841, Hol- 
brook held briefly a ministry at Lyons, then accepted a call to a small 
Presbyterian church at Dubuque, which soon became Congregational. 
Here he continued his service for twenty-two years, with an interval 
of three years in Chicago, where he participated in the founding of 
the New England Church and the Congregational Herald. He also 
was one of the first trustees of Iowa College. 42 

Turner, as first home missionary agent for Iowa, was moved by 
elation and dismay as he saw the flood of pioneers pouring into his 
new empire. Insistently he pressed upon his eastern correspondents 
the urgent needs of this new population: "Have the churches yet to 

26 Grinnell College 

learn that the best time to teach a state, as well as a child, is in its 
infancy?" In June, 1840, Turner wrote: 

I have been here now almost two years, and during this time the A.H.M.S. 
has not sent a single man to this territory. Do try to find some more good 
men and true. We need some ten at least this moment imperatively need 
them. Why should this most interesting territory be left? The land sales 
are over. Settlers have got their titles to earth. Now is the time to secure a 
title to heaven. ... I suppose every day adds to our number, even Sundays. 
Children come into the world without respect of days; so [people] do into 
the territory. Do labor a little in our behalf. 43 

After an exploring tour for the Society as far north as Dubuque, 
Turner again sent a plea to the eastern churches, this time for twelve 
more home missionaries. The following year he asked in his annual 
report: "Ought the six missionaries (in the field) to be left alone to 
labor with a congregation of about a thousand added to the territory 
every month?" 

For a time these Macedonian cries for help seemed to go unanswered, 
and the tireless missionary had moments of discouragement. He 
wrote later of this phase: 

For twelve years [i.e., beginning at Quincy] I had written so many letters 
to call men into this Western field that I had about concluded it was a waste 
of time and paper. And especially after I got to Iowa. I had heard so often 
of ministers, boxed and marked "for Iowa," lost on the road, that I had lost 
pretty much all faith in spiritual transportation companies. I did not really 
believe that a batch of them would come worth their insurance policy. One 
of the number wrote me that my want of faith in their intention operated 
as a stimulant to make them determined to come anyhow. 

When he began to receive inquiries from a group of students at 
Andover Seminary, he answered, with uncharacteristic skepticism: 

June 7, 1843. My dear young brother, I am happy to hear a reinforcement 
from Andover is talked of. I hope it may not end in talk, but I fear. I have 
received so many promises of the kind that they do not now even begin to 
excite hope. If jour professors should write and say that the whole class 
would start for Iowa in two weeks, I should expect to see, in the course of 
two years, one or two of them who could find no other resting-place for the 
soles of their feet. 44 

This time, however, the spiritual transportation company was really 
at work. 

Meanwhile, expansive educational plans were the order of the day 


in the new and hopeful West. At the 1837-1838 session of the Wis- 
consin Territorial Assembly, held in Burlington, charters were au- 
thorized for eighteen institutions for the territory, including eleven 
west of the Mississippi. One of these, t a college for the purpose of 
educating youth, the style, name and title whereof shall be "The 
Philandrian College of the town of Denmark, 3 " was placed under the 
direction of seven trustees by act of January 19, 1838. The incentive 
for this action came from a family in Princeton, Illinois, who had 
contributed to the funds of Illinois College and selected Denmark as 
a proper site in the Black Hawk Purchase. Loss by fire of the family 
mills at Princeton and the failure of an emissary to secure funds in 
the East caused the projectors to abandon the enterprise, and with it 
the plan to establish several academies as feeders for the "Philan- 
drian." 45 

Less ambitious, but more in keeping with the pioneer conditions, 
was the actual fulfilment of Asa Turner's desire for an institution of 
learning at Denmark. The owners gave seventy-two town lots and 
fourteen out lots for such an institution, and the territorial legislature 
of Iowa, on February 3, 1843, granted a charter for Denmark Acad- 
emy, which thus became the oldest incorporated educational institu- 
tion in the Territory of Iowa. 46 The catalogue stated the pedagogical 
theory of the founders as follows: "Education consists in the amount 
of manhood, spiritual as well as intellectual, which is developed, and 
not in the abundance of facts with which the mind is gorged." In- 
struction began in the church building in September, 1845. 

The first principal, Albert Anderson Sturges, came from Granville, 
Ohio, by way of school teaching at "Washington, Iowa. After two 
years at Denmark he completed his own education at Wabash College 
and Yale Seminary. He was ordained at Denmark in 1851 and later 
had a remarkable career as missionary of the American Board in 
Micronesia. His successor for five years was the Rev. George W. 
Drake, an Oberlin man, who worked as a stonemason before and after 
school, taught briefly at Eddyville before coming to Denmark, and 
afterward taught at Oskaloosa. Then came Henry Kingman Edson, 
under whose twenty-seven years' service the Academy saw its greatest 
growth, from an enrollment of 18 up to 272. He was an Amherst 
man, served as principal of Hopkins Academy at his birthplace, 
Hadley, Massachusetts, studied theology at Andover, and was licensed 
to preach before going West. During his principalship, in 1867, a 

28 Grinnell College 

commodious stone academy building was erected, greatly enlarging an 
older structure. His later years were spent as professor of didactics 
at Iowa College, and then in retirement at Grinnell. 47 Denmark 
Academy did yeoman service until, like so many other private pre- 
paratory schools, it was submerged by the rising tide of public educa- 
tion in the secondary as well as in the elementary field. 



The Iowa Band 

IF THE first impulse in Iowa came from Yale, the decisive one came 
from Andover. However, even there the Yale influence was indirectly 
traceable. Among the budding theologians at Andover early in the 
forties there was a relatively mature young man named Edwin Bela 
Turner. Born at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, October 2, 1812, 
he was the son of a well-known temperance lecturer. Converted at 
sixteen, he and other young men began to hold religious services, out 
of which a church developed. When his family moved to Godfrey, 


3 o Grinmll College 

Illinois, Edwin attended Illinois College, graduating in 1840. He 
carried with him to Andover his knowledge of and interest in the 
Vest and a personal acquaintance with Asa Turner. 

As early as March, 1841, he wrote from Andover to "Father" 
Turner, expressing his inclination toward the Mississippi Valley as a 
field of work, but with doubtful optimism about his fellow-students 
at the Seminary: "The majority of Andover students have not suffi- 
cient zeal and energy for the West, but would soon acquire [them] 
by mingling among Western people." He was writing for informa- 
tion on behalf of the "Domestic Branch of the Society of Inquiry." 
The next January another letter came to Denmark from three mem- 
bers of this "Society," including two later members of the Iowa 
Band, James J. Hill and Horace Hutchinson. "Our minds," they 
wrote, "are drawn towards the Great Valley. . . . Compared with the 
needs of other parts of our country, or even of the world, at this 
juncture, many of us incline to believe that those of three or four 
North-western states and territories are particularly urgent and im- 
perative." 48 

The solitary home missionary at Denmark had made so many vain 
pleas for help from the East that he could not be sanguine over this 
approach. Ready enough to send cautious advice to the young men 
at the Seminary, he yet had little hope that he would ever see them. 
But by that time the die was cast at Andover. 

Ephraim Adams, leading member and historian of the Iowa Band, 
tells the story in which disabling sickness turns out to be a means of 

It was a beautiful evening in the summer of 1842, when the students of 
Andover Seminary assembled in the chapel, to be led as usual in their evening 
devotions by one of the venerable professors of those days. Among them sat 
one, pale and emaciated by continued illness, one of whom friends began 
to whisper, "Unless relieved soon, we fear he will never be well, even if he 
lives.". . . He had entered the chapel that evening under the combined in- 
fluence of his studies and his disease. He longed for the time when he should 
be a preacher; but then, could he be one? Even the duties of the Seminary 
were a burden almost too heavy to be borne. . . . Just then there came to his 
mind the thought that there was a field where the necessary labors of a 
minister would probably counteract, rather than foster, his disease; and that 
field the West. "With this came a rush of other thoughts, of things that he 
had heard and read about the West. It would be self-denial to go; but then, 
in self-denial there would come strength of character, with the gain of a 


more conscious consecration to God. Then there was the probable influence 
of his going upon fellow students, friends, Christians, and the Church, for to 
go West then was truly a missionary work. . . . The spell was upon him, and 
he seemed to stand alone as before God, his feelings, his petitions, all em- 
bodied in one sentiment, one feeling, a position of soul in which his one 
desire was, "Lord, prepare me for whatever field Thou hast before me. Pre- 
pare me for it, and make me willing to enter it." 

It was Daniel Lane, and his trouble was the endemic Andover disease, 
dyspepsia. He was a Maine man, graduate of Bowdoin in 1838, and 
had taught school before beginning his theological studies. He was 
in the middle year, when "the student's heart kindles with desire to 
preach the great truths of the Bible to his fellow men." His urgent 
thoughts had the absorbing power of a vision. "He went out that 
evening not as he came in. Henceforth the prayer was, "May I be 
found in the right place, doing the right work!' " 49 

The next spring, in their senior year, Daniel Lane and two of his 
classmates, Hutchinson and Ephraim Adams, were on a tramp 
through the hills, talking about their future field of service. Their 
feelings inclined toward the West. Hutchinson suggested a common 
enterprise: "If we and some others of our classmates could only go 
out together, and take possession of some field where we could have 
the ground and work together, what a grand thing it would be!" 
Soon after, a meeting of the students was called to hear an elder of a 
church in Cincinnati present the claims of the West. At the hour 
appointed, the elder failed to appear, but a Western meeting was held 
none the less. A letter was read from a little church, on the frontier 
it was from Ira Houston of Denmark, Iowa calling for young men 
for the new territory; two of the professors also urged the claims of 
fields of labor outside of New England. One of the seniors, Harvey 
Adams, was so impressed that he pondered the question through a 
sleepless night and the following day, and finally came to the decision, 
"I am for the West, where needed, and where most needed." 50 

There followed a series of evening meetings for prayer and con- 
sultation, to which the men already mentioned quietly invited others. 
The meetings, secret at first, were held in the dark in a corner of the 
unlighted Seminary library, Daniel Lane, as assistant librarian, hav- 
ing access to the building. Various western locations were discussed. 
Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin were, they thought, already com- 
paratively well provided. Missouri was suggested, but there slavery 

32 Grinnell College 

was an obstacle. There remained the newest territory of all, Iowa. 
Correspondence was opened with the secretaries of the Home Mis- 
sionary Society and with Asa Turner. 

Daniel Lane was the first to come to a decision: "I am going to 
settle this question so far as I am concerned," he announced. "We 
have been thinking about it long enough to conclude one way or 
another." One evening, as he walked with a friend, after a day spent 
in fasting and prayer, he said, "Well, I am going to Iowa. Whether 
any one else goes or not, I am going." "And I think I will go with 
you," said quiet Ephraim Adams. Here was the nucleus. Gradually 
others joined in this decision, until there were twelve, one of whom, 
however, desisted at the last for fear of the climate, though Asa 
Turner had written: "Effect of climate on healthy persons about as 
great as going from Andover to Lowell." 51 

Evidently Asa Turner's skepticism about recruiting for the West 
began to thaw before the warm interest of these young men at And- 
over. He answered their many questions with characteristic home- 
spun humor and practicality, especially as to the advisability of mar- 

Don't come here expecting paradise. Our climate will permit men to live 
long enough, if they do their duty. If they do not, no matter how soon they 
die. Chances for health, if one is inclined to pulmonary complaints, I think 
are greater than in New England. I have known many persons improved by 
a residence here. We have some two hundred people connected with our 
society here. I doubt whether one in fifty has ever had fever and ague. I 
never knew so much good health for so long a time. Office and station are 
but little regarded here. People will not speak of you or to you, as the Rev. 
Mr. So-and-So, but will call you simply by your name, and your wife Peggy 
or Polly, or whatever her name may be. ... Come prepared to expect small 
things, rough things. Lay aside all your dandy whims boys learn in college, 
and take a few lessons of your grandmothers/ before you come. Get clothes, 
firm, durable, something that will go through the hazel brush without tear- 
ing. Don't be afraid of a good, hard hand, or of a tanned face. If you keep 
free from a hard heart, you will do well. Get wives of the old Puritan stamp, 
such as honored the distaff and the loom, those who can pail a cow, and 
churn the butter, and be proud of a jean dress or a checked apron. Tell those 
two or three who think of leading out a sister this fall, we will try to find 
homes as good as Keokuk, the high chief and his lady live in, and my wife 
will have the kettle of mush and the johnny-cake ready by some cold night 
in November. 52 

With one exception, the men who formed the Iowa Band were 


New Englanders (one was a New Yorker) , and all but three were 
graduates of New England colleges, three of Amherst, two of Bow- 
doin, one each of Dartmouth, Harvard (by way of Yale), and Ver- 
mont. One each came from Union College, New York University, 
and Illinois College. They were all members of the Andover class of 
1843. The names of the eleven were: Ephraim Adams, Harvey 
Adams, Ebenezer Alden, Jr., James Jeremiah Hill, Horace Hutchin- 
son, Daniel Lane, Erastus Ripley, Alden Burrill Robbins, William 
Salter, Benjamin Adams Spaulding, and Edwin Bela Turner. 

Despite Father Turner's sage advice, these young missioners had 
little conception of the conditions they were to encounter in the field 
of their choice. William Salter had a cozy plan for his missionary 
activity: "I am going to Iowa; and, when I get there, I am going to 
have my study and library. Then I am going to write two sermons 
a week; and, when the Sabbath comes, I am going to preach them, 
and the people, if they want the gospel, must come to hear." The 
reality was somewhat different. 

Well, he came to Iowa to find his home, for the time being, in the house of 
kind Christian people, in which the one room must answer all the needs 
of the family, with those of the new minister superadded. The familiar quilt 
of those days partitioned off one corner for his bedroom and study; and his 
study-chair was a saddle. As for written sermons, they were, of course, few; 
and if any one was compelled to go about in search of the people, instead of 
being sought by them, it was William Salter. 53 

Another, most likely Ephraim Adams, 

. . . pictured to himself a country destitute of preachers, and a people, with 
the recollections of Christian homes fresh in their memories, all eager to hear 
the gospel. He had fancied, that, when once among them, the simple an- 
nouncement that he came as a minister would be enough immediately to draw- 
about him those famishing for the bread of life. "Oh, what a joy," thought 
he, "to be a home missionary!" 

Imagine the change in his views as he found, in the place to which he was 
assigned, the great majority of the people not only just as indifferent as 
elsewhere, but, owing to the sharp, worldly features of a stirring Western 
town, even more so. The few that had any interest at all in religious things 
were cut up into cliques and denominations of all sorts, some of which he 
had never heard of before; and, to meet their wants, there was a minister 
or preacher of some kind at every corner of the streets, making it, as the 
Sabbath came, not only difficult to find a place or an hour in which to 
preach, but more difficult still to secure anything like a stated congregation 

34 Grinnell College 

from Sabbath to Sabbath. Here was actual experience as against the theory 
of home-missionary life. 

Later wisdom led Ephraim Adarns to this mature afterthought: 

Often the young minister finds himself coming awkwardly into his calling, 
because he seeks to carry into it the full panoply of the schools, or of 
favorite theological giants, instead of going to his work simply in the name 
of the Lord. The process of getting to work so as to work successfully, in 
which everyone has so much to learn that has not been taught him by books 
and teachers, is always more or less a process of disappointments and failures. 
A modification of previous views and plans becomes necessary. There are 
frequent calls for self-adjustments and adaptations, to meet unthought-of 
exigencies; so that the man often, in the course of a few years, comes out 
far different in many respects from what he had proposed. So it proved in 
the case of the classmates, who, in a few short days, were taken from the 
quiet scenes of student life at Andover, and set down one here, and an- 
other there as Home Missionaries in Iowa. 54 

Having made up their minds to a common endeavor, "each to 
found a church and all a college," the adventurous Band lost no time. 
It was the fateful year 1843, which, according to William Miller's 
calculations from Daniel and Revelations, was to see the cataclysmic 
end of the world, when the Millerites, clad in white garments, went 
to housetops and hilltops to await their translation. For these young 
men it was instead the year of a great beginning. Nor were they 
allowed to forget the educational aspect of their mission. Shortly 
before their departure they were invited to the home of Samuel 
Farrar, treasurer of the Seminary, who urged that a part of their 
missionary work in Iowa should be the early founding of a college, 
and who then gave each of them a copy of the charter and constitu- 
tion of Phillips Academy. 

Near the close of the term at the Seminary, September 3, 1843, a 
public meeting was held in the South Church at Andover, in recog- 
nition of this unusual group of Christian apostles to the frontier. 
Leonard Bacon, "the Congregational Pope of New England," himself 
twenty years out of Andover, came from New Haven for the sermon, 
and Dr. Milton Badger of the Home Missionary Society advised the 
Band: "You go where you will find a soil of surpassing richness, all 
covered with beautiful flowers. But remember that the soil is yet in 
its natural state, and must be all turned up. Those flowers, though 
beautiful to the eye, are but flowers of weeds, wild and useless. They 
must be rooted out and better seed cast in their place." 65 


Asa Turner had written: "Well then, come on; come all of you 
directly to my house; come here to us, and we can then help you to 
your respective fields of labor." So Denmark, Lee County, Iowa, was 
to be provisional journey's end, and boxes were shipped to Burlington, 
Iowa, via New Orleans. Two of the Band were detained for a year, 
Hill by the illness and death of his father, Ripley by a graduate ap- 
pointment at the Seminary. The other nine were to rendezvous on 
Tuesday, October 3, at the Delavan House (a temperance hotel) in 
Albany, the next morning to take the train westward. Hutchinson 
was delayed a day by the death of a friend. Lane and Robbins had 
married, evidently unaffrighted by Asa Turner's warnings. 

A month's travel lay ahead, with experiences quite new to the 
hardy adventurers. The westward journey from Albany began Wed- 
nesday, October 4, 1843, the first stage ending at Buffalo, where they 
spent Sunday after the inevi cable trip to Niagara Falls; several of the 
pilgrims spoke at an evening service in the First Presbyterian Church. 
Monday, October 9, they boarded the steamer Missouri bound for 
Chicago over the Great Lakes: 

. . . head winds and rough sea without, and seasickness and monotony on 
board, made it anything but a pleasant passage. Late on Saturday night, in 
stormy weather, they had only reached Milwaukee. There most of them left 
the boat to tarry for the Sabbath. A few, either too sick to leave their berths, 
or for some other special reason, remained on board to arrive at Chicago in 
the morning. Those tarrying for the Sabbath had a quiet, pleasant day, and 
on Monday found a boat to take them, on their way to join those who had 
gone before them. And so the Lakes were passed. 

Chicago, then a frontier town of eight thousand inhabitants, was 
the western terminus of lake transportation, but was without rail 
connections. Farmers drove in from all parts of Illinois to find a 
market for their produce. Farm wagons were thus available for the 
westward trip, and in such the pilgrims continued their hegira, some 
across the prairie to Davenport and down the Mississippi by boat, 
others by the longer southerly course direct to Burlington. They had 
laid in a supply of canvas wagon coverings, blankets, coffee, bread, 
and bacon for the trek across the prairie. 

Now began Western life; and, for a while, it was well enjoyed. Now in 
a slough in the bottom-lands of some sluggish stream, and now high up on 
the rolling prairie: what a vast extent of land meets the eye, land in every 
direction, with scarce a shrub or a tree to be seen! How like a black ribbon 

36 Grinnell College 

upon a carpet of green stretches away in the distance before them the road 
they are to travel! And occasionally some far-off cloth-covered wagon like 
their own is descried, like a vessel at sea, rightly named a "Prairie schooner." 
In the settled portions, what farms! what fences! how unlike their Eastern 
homes! No stones, no barns, children and pigs running together. Then what 
places in which to sleep! and what breakfasts! If, after a morning ride, they 
made a lucky stop, such honey! such milk! such butter and eggs! and all so 
cheap twelve and a half cents a meal! 

Day by day they traveled on, gazing, wondering, remarking and being 
remarked upon. Some thought them "land-sharks," some Mormons. But 
even this became at last wearisome and monotonous. On Saturday afternoon, 
the southern party, worn with travel, halted at Galesburg for another Sab- 
bath's rest. 

Monday morning found them early on their way, refreshed, and eager for 
the end. "To-day," thought they, "the setting sun is to look with us upon 
the great Mississippi;" and so it proved. For an hour or so, near the close of 
the day, they had been winding and jolting through timbered bottom-lands 
among huge trees, grand in their silence, gazing the while earnestly forward, 
till at last it was seen, the smooth, broad bosom of the great river, with 
the last silvery rays of the setting sun playing upon it. "Three cheers," cried 
they, "for the Mississippi!" Their hearty cheers rang out upon the forest; 
and, in a few moments more, they were on the river's bank. But the ferry- 
boat had just made its last trip for the day; and, though they hallooed for 
help, no one responded to the call. The twilight deepened. It was soon dark, 
save as the stars and the moonbeams sparkled and danced upon the waters. 
The hallooing had ceased as useless, and things looked desperate; but the dip 
of a paddle was heard, and a canoe soon came in sight. It was a chance to 
cross the river, twenty-five cents apiece, and a bark of limited accommo- 
dations. Brothers Salter and Turner declared they would rather stay by the 
stuff all night. The others paid the price, and stepped in. It was a heavy 
load for a light canoe, and all must remain motionless. So, in stillness and 
silence, with God's stars looking down upon them, they were paddled across 
to Iowa's shore. 

Now in Iowa, at Burlington! Kind friends, even here, were waiting their 
arrival; and, as the news spread, they were soon constrained to turn from 
tavern fare to Christian homes. The watchers by the stuff carne over in the 
morning; and before another night they had traveled fifteen miles on Iowa 
soil to Denmark. They had seen the Western pastor in his home, and he had 
scattered them for hospitality among the members of his flock. The northern 
party soon came in safety. All were to rest a while, and then scatter. 

It was October 23 when they sighted the promised land. 56 

Such an influx of new preachers was unexampled in the young life 
of the Territory of Iowa. In anticipation, Asa Turner and Reuben 
Gaylord, both veterans of five years in the Iowa country, had taken 


a long tour in September to spy out the land for the newcomers. 
Sunday, November 5, 1843, was a notable day for Denmark nine 
young ministers from the East to be formally welcomed, seven of 
them to be ordained: Ephraim Adams, Alden, Hutchinson, Lane, 
Salter, Spaulding, and Edwin Turner. With them were William A. 
Thompson, a Yale man who had fallen in with the Band on their 
western trip, and a licentiate, Charles Granger, who had come in 
July. Pilgrim pioneers already in the territory, in addition to Asa 
Turner, Reuben Gaylord, Julius A. Reed, Oliver Emerson, and John 
C. Holbrook, were Charles Burnham, a Dartmouth man who had 
come in 1841 from teaching in the Missionary Institute at Quincy, 
Illinois (joining Apthorp there) ; and Allen B. Hitchcock, whose 
family had come from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, to Iowa in 
1837. He had studied at Harvard, was graduated from Illinois Col- 
lege in 1838 and from Yale Seminary in 1841, then became pastor of 
the church at Davenport. In 1 843 there were fourteen little Congre- 
gational churches in Iowa, with a total of about three hundred mem- 
bers, one-third of these at Denmark. 57 

The missionaries already in the field were overjoyed at this sudden 
more than doubling of their number. Reuben Gaylord said: "Such 
a day I had never seen before; such a day I had never expected to see 
in my lifetime. The most I could do, when alone, was to weep tears 
of joy, and return thanks to God. Tather' Turner was radiant. He 
said: Tor three weeks past, I have felt like weeping all the time. 
My heart has overflowed. O what a week we have had! The Lord 
be praised!'" 58 

Before the ordination there had been a meeting to decide upon 
future locations. 

The young men were willing to place themselves in Father Turner's hands 
for assignments, but he was not willing to accept the responsibility. He and 
Mr. Gaylord met the young men, spread a map before them, and described 
the field, and then retired, leaving them to adjust the matter among them- 
selves. The wonderful thing "was done with perfect harmony and good will, 
and quickly done, without an unpleasant word or a jealous thought; and 
everyone was satisfied." Hutchinson inclined to Burlington, and Harvey 
Adams to Farmington. A man from Keosauqua, seeking a minister for that 
place, picked out Daniel Lane. Bloomington, now Muscatine, a smart town 
of four hundred, seemed to be the place for one of the brides of the Band, 
and so Alden B. Robbins went down there to stay a little while, say fifty 
years or more! Out in the New Purchase, in the region about what is now 

3 8 Grmnell College 

Ottumwa, some rough work was to be done. Brother Spaulding said he 
would as soon take that field as any. William Salter and E. B. Turner rather 
liked the idea of exploring fields to the north in Jones and Jackson Counties. 
Ephraim Adams selected Mt. Pleasant, and Mr. Alden, Solon. 59 

Spaulding's experience indicates the conditions found by the more 
adventurous brethren. Five days after ordination he reached his field, 
November 10, 1843: "Their frail dwellings, slight fences, beaten 
trails and newly made graves [of the Indians] are still seen; and they 
are often passing and repassing, carrying away corn which has been 
raised on their fields, as if unwilling to leave a land which has been 
so long their home." 60 On September 15, 1844, a church was organ- 
ized and a communion service held where less than two years before 
"savages were sitting and lying upon the floor, smoking their pipes 
and singing their songs." A few months later Spaulding formed an- 
other church at Eddyville, holding his first service in an Indian wicki- 
up. A year later he began another church at Ottumwa, a village then 
consisting of fourteen buildings. 

The question of ecclesiastical affiliation for the newly established 
churches was important and as yet unsettled. At Buffalo the young 
men had been told that there were only Presbyterians to unite with, 
which was almost true, because of the practical working of the Plan 
of Union. Asa Turner had been positive in answer to a question about 
the best polity for the West: "Congregationalism, the world over!" 
But when he met the group at Burlington, he was noncommittal 
". . . if they wished to be Presbyterians, Presbytery was to meet at 
such a time and place, if Congregationalists, the Association would 
meet at Denmark/ 3 They all chose Congregational ordination, and 
though three of them took charge of Presbyterian churches, these 
also soon became Congregational. In at least one case, holy guile 
solved the problem. The church was Presbyterian; many of the mem- 
bers, however, were Congregationalists. Unfortunately, there was but 
one ruling elder, who made himself obnoxious by showing a "dicta- 
torial spirit" and involving the church in debt. In order to circum- 
vent the unpopular brother, a young man made a motion that all the 
members be elected ruling elders; the motion prevailed, and the ma- 
jority then proceeded to transform the body into a Congregational 
church. 61 There was pressure from the Home Missionary Society upon 
the new churches for organic union with the Presbyterians, and an 
elaborate plan of union was actually adopted by the Iowa Congrega- 


tional Association in 1843, but since Presbytery never gave official 
recognition to this advance, nothing further was done in the matter. 
It would be difficult to estimate the value of the pioneering service 
rendered, often under the most trying conditions, by the members of 
the Iowa Band and their few predecessors. Among them they gave 
over five hundred years of ministry to Iowa, most of them spending 
a lifetime of service in this field. Historians of Iowa record their 
appreciation of the work accomplished by these young pioneers: 

What they did, suffered, and endured constitute one of the religious and 
educational epics of Iowa history. At first they found more fasts than feasts. 
They preached under the trees and in rooms over saloons. . . . No like group 
of men exerted a wider or more lasting influence in the making of Iowa. 
They were nowhere the mass, but everywhere the leaven. ... It is in part 
due to these deeply religious, educated, cultured, courageous men and women, 
that the Iowa of today belongs to the "Bible Belt". . . with the lowest per 
cent of illiteracy in the United States. 62 

It was the custom of the Band, at periodic meetings of the Asso- 
ciation, to draw up a "testimony" for all surviving members to sign. 
At Burlington on June 6, 1863, in the twentieth year after their 
coming, there were seven to sign the statement recording "with grati- 
tude their testimony to the faithfulness and care with which Divine 
Providence and grace have upheld them, their continued and con- 
firmed trust in the promises of the great Head of the Church, their 
joy and gladness of heart in the work." The last of these statements, 
dated again at Burlington, May 24, 1901, found only Ephraim Adams 
and William Salter left to record 

. . , their devout thanksgiving to the great Head of the Church for the 
continued care of divine Providence over them to the fifty-eighth year of 
their ministry in Iowa, their grateful recollections of the goodness of God 
in giving to them and to their brethren who have rested from their labors, a 
humble part in planting Christian civilization in this beloved Common- 
wealth, and their fervent prayers that the fruits of righteousness may in 
every part of the state be sown in peace of them that make peace in all the 
future years of its history. 63 

One of the precious heirlooms in the possession of Grinnell College 
is a silver-headed ebony cane, presented to Benjamin Spaulding at 
Ottumwa in 1864, and inscribed with the name of each surviving 
oldest member of the Band. It thus passed from Spaulding to Lane, to 
Harvey Adams, to Robbins, to Ephraim Adams, and finally to Salter, 
after whose death in 1910 it came to the College. 

40 Grinnett College 

To this brief record of the Iowa Band, let us add a final word on 
their leader, Asa Turner. After thirty years' service to the church 
at Denmark, Father Turner found in failing health and advancing 
years reasons for retirement, and in October, 1868, he became pastor 
emeritus. His last years were spent quietly at Oskaloosa. He suffered 
a paralytic stroke in 1878 and an irreparable loss in the death of his 
wife in 1 8 82, a year and a half after their golden wedding anniversary. 
He died December 13, 1885, at the age of eighty-six. 

The General Association of Iowa passed this tribute to his noble 
Christian character: 

A Christian experience deep and thorough, formed under peculiar obstacles 
in youth, developed into an unwearied evangelism; an industrious and con- 
scientious use of his time, energies, and means for the salvation of men; an 
ever-vigilant care of the churches among which he labored; a constant in- 
terest in the spread of the gospel every- where; and a notable courage in 
bearing reproach and facing danger for the cause of truth and righteousness. 
. , . The acuteness of his mind; his genial and incisive mother -wit; the 
kindly interest that he took in all whom he could benefit especially all of 
the household of faith; his benign and gracious patriarchal manners as age 
wore on; his utter lack of self-seeking; his constant beneficence, won him, 
without effort of his own, the dear esteem and fraternal and filial love of 
Christians and ministers of Christ beyond all denominational lines. And 
reverence for his great and thorough nobleness, simplicity, and truth of 
character, and his consecrated life, deepened in all who knew him to the end. 64 


A College for Iowa 

COLLEGE building was in the minds of all these pilgrims of Iowa. 
While the members of the Iowa Band were still at Andover, Ephraim 
Adams said to his associates: "If each one of us can only plant one 
good permanent church, and all together build a college, what a work 
that would be!" 6S At the same time, half a continent distant, Asa 
Turner said to Julius A. Reed: "We must take steps to found a col- 
lege. 3 ' 

At the meeting of the Congregational Association on October 6, 


42 Grinnell College 

1842, a committee was appointed to report upon the expediency of 
founding a college in the Territory of Iowa, but this committee re- 
ported that a discussion of the subject was inexpedient, and recom- 
mended that another committee be appointed to "correspond and 
take such other measures as may be necessary." At the next meeting, 
April 13, 1843, Asa Turner reported for this committee that a letter 
had been addressed to the editor of the Congregational Journal in 
New Hampshire. After the arrival of the Band in Iowa, its members 
were "a little surprised and not a little gratified" when at one of the 
first meetings at Denmark they were invited to "tarry a few moments 
to listen to plans for founding a college." 66 

On March 12, 1844, a meeting of ministers and others interested 
in founding a college was held at Denmark; a plan was approved to 
find a tract of land subject to entry, obtain funds (of course in the 
East) for its purchase, "and then sell it out in parcels ... to settlers 
favorable to the object; thus securing an endowment for the institu- 
tion and a community in which it might prosper." 6r (This was an 
idea common to settlers in a new country, and, among others, it was 
later exploited by J. B. Grinnell in the establishment of the town and 
the college that bear his name.) A committee of exploration with 
Julius A. Reed as chairman was to find a suitable location. 

A favorable report was made to a meeting on April 16, 1844, of 
eleven Congregational and five New School Presbyterian ministers. 
They approved a resolution presented by Reuben Gaylord: "That we 
deem it expedient without delay to adopt measures, preparatory to 
laying the foundation of an institution of learning in this territory." 
The site proposed by the committee was on high wooded land in 
Buchanan County, on the Wapsipinicon River, which offered water 
power for miles, 68 (Three years later a trapper was to found at this 
point the town of Independence.) The report was adopted unani- 
mously by the brethren, who now formed the "Iowa College Asso- 
ciation." They then appointed Asa Turner as their agent to seek 
funds in the East for the purchase of this tract, those present agreeing 
to defray his expenses from their scanty resources. 

Asa Turner went East the next month, and on May 2 8 and 29 met 
in Boston with a group consisting of ten prominent ministers and two- 
laymen who had just organized a "Society for the Promotion of Col- 
legiate and Theological Education at the West." They considered his 
report with care, and sent him home with wise though partly adverse 


counsel. They considered it expedient "to begin to put things in 
train for the foundation of a college in Iowa," but were definitely 
opposed to the land speculation plan. They advised instead the choice 
of a favorable location; the securing, if possible by donation, of say 
forty acres for college grounds, and as much more land as might be 
donated; to raise money by outright gift, without offering "peculiar 
privileges" in return; to get churches to make annual contributions; 
to "avoid the contraction of debts as a first principle"; to begin in- 
struction on a moderate scale, enlarging plans as means warranted; 
and to hope for help from the East when plans were so matured that 
they could "secure the confidence of the Eastern mind." 69 

The pioneering brethren in Iowa perforce accepted this advice from 
the East, and at their next Association meeting, October 6, 1845, 
they appointed a committee on location, which selected Davenport 
as the most promising site for the college, "a point which, at that day, 
for ease of access and beauty of situation, stood forth without a 
rival." Asa Turner had been impressed by its beauty on his first ac- 
quaintance with the Iowa country. In June, 1846, this choice by the 
committee was approved, "provided the citizens would raise fourteen 
hundred dollars, and provide certain specified grounds for a loca- 
tion." 70 At this historic meeting, James J. Hill of the Band laid a 
silver dollar on the table and asked that trustees be appointed to care 
for it as the nucleus of an endowment. 71 A board of twelve trustees 
was accordingly selected, and thus, on June 10, 1846, Iowa College 
began its corporate existence. 

These first trustees were Ephraim Adams, Harvey Adams, Ebenezer 
Alden, Reuben Gaylord, J. C. Holbrook, Daniel Lane, Julius A. Reed, 
A. B. Robbins, Asa Turner; Presbyterian ministers J. M. Boal and 
W. W. Woods, and W. H. Starr, layman. Of the original trustees, 
Boal served only a year, Alden three years, Starr five, Lane seven, 
Woods ten, Gaylord eleven, Holbrook and Reed twenty-two, Turner 
forty, Harvey Adams and Robbins fifty, Ephraim Adams sixty-one 
years. Of the other pioneers, Salter was a trustee from 1850 to 1863, 
Oliver Emerson from 1852 to 1883. 

In 1847, after the citizens of Davenport had pledged $1,362 and 
thirteen lots, Articles of Incorporation were recorded at Davenport, 
signed by five of the Iowa Band, four of the earlier pioneers, three 
Presbyterian ministers, and three laymen. Of these founders, four 
were educated at Yale, two at Amherst, and one each, at Bowdoin, 

44 Grinnell College 

Dartmouth, Vermont, Norwich, Trinity, Union, and Maryville, 

The original charter reads as follows: 

Be it known to all whom it may concern that we, Asa Turner, Jr., Daniel 
Lane, John C, Holbrook, Julius A. Reed, Harvey Adams, Reuben Gaylord, 
Alden B. Robbins, Ebenezer Alden, Jr., Ephraim Adams, William H. Starr, 
William W. Woods, Gamaliel C. Seaman, Henry Q. Jennison, James Mc- 
Manus and Charles Atkinson, do for ourselves, our associates and our suc- 
cessors, adopt the following articles of association, in order to become a 
body corporate and politic, agreeable to an act of the General Assembly of 
the State of Iowa, entitled "An Act to authorize general incorporations for 
other purposes than those of pecuniary profit," and approved February 24, 

Article 1. This body shall be styled "The Trustees of Iowa College." 

Article 2. The object of this body shall be to found and sustain an institu- 
tion of learning to be called Iowa College and to be located at Davenport, 
Scott County, Iowa. 

Article 3. The object of this institution shall be to promote the general 
interests of education and to qualify young men for the different professions 
and for the honorable discharge of the various duties of life. 

Article 4. The Board of Trustees shall have power to remove any member 
who shall be guilty of dishonorable conduct or who shall neglect to attend 
to the duties of his office. They shall also fill all vacancies and may at any 
annual meeting add to their number; provided that the whole number of 
trustees shall not exceed twenty-one. No instructor in the college shall be 
a member of the board except the president, who shall be a member 
ex officio. 

Article 5. The clerk of the board of trustees shall reside in Davenport, 
or its immediate vicinity, and the records of the board shall be deposited in 
his hands. 

Article 6. There shall be an annual meeting of the board of trustees at 
Davenport on such day as shall hereafter be designated by them. 

Article 7. The first meeting of the board of trustees shall be held at 
Davenport, on Thursday, the seventeenth day of June, 1847, at which meet- 
ing rules and regulations for the government of the board shall be adopted, 
which rules and regulations may be altered or amended at any annual meeting. 

Signed by the members. Filed for record, June 17, 1847, at 11 o'clock a.m. 
Recorded in Book E of Deeds, pages 355 and 356. Jno. D. Evans, Recorder, 
Scott County, Iowa. 72 

Once the location of the new college had been secured, instructions 
were given "to plan and erect a building, which shall be a permanent 
college building, in good taste, and which, when enclosed, shall not 
exceed in cost the sum of $2,000." In keeping with the injunction of 


the eastern society, trustees and members of the Association pledged 
themselves to make up any deficiency up to $600. 

So the building was erected, and all bills paid. It was one-story 
brick, located near Western Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets 
in Davenport. It measured thirty-five by fifty feet, with the chapel on 
one side, and two recitation rooms across the hall. This was ample 
space for the modest beginnings, for when the first term opened in 
November, 1848, there were but two students to meet Erastus Ripley 
of the Band, professor of ancient languages, whose salary was to be 
$500. "There were appropriate opening exercises, including an ad- 
dress and dedicatory prayer. It was a windy, wintry day. Not many 
were present, but a few were there, with hearts full of gratitude to 
God for all success hitherto in the enterprise wherein by faith was 
seen a college for Iowa." 73 

A graduate of the early years, later a distinguished educator, Dr. 
Henry Holmes Belfield, described the beginnings as follows: 

The solitary building of the College was a cheap brick edifice of three rooms, 
a large room which served as chapel, lecture room, general assembly hall, 
recitation room. One of the two smaller rooms contained the chemical and 
physical apparatus . . . meager enough. No laboratory, not even for the 
professor. Science teaching was then, as elsewhere at that time, by lecture 
and recitation. An occasional experiment, such as could be performed with 
the simplest apparatus, relieved the monotony of text-book and lecture. The 
other little dingy room, furnished with wooden benches, one chair and a 
blackboard, was the mathematical recitation room. When four recitations 
were conducted at one time, a professor's house furnished the necessary 
fourth room. 

Thus was re-enacted on the banks of the Mississippi the old story 
of the founding of New England colleges. Harvard was founded on 
a gift of 260 books and 780 bequeathed by a Puritan divine. Yale 
was built on forty folios, when ten ministers presented a number of 
books, each saying: "I give these books for the founding of a college 
in the colony/' Dartmouth began humbly as an Indian charity school. 
Williams was founded on a small bequest for a "free school/* Am- 
herst grew out of a small village academy and was hampered for 
twenty-five years by a crippling debt. 

From the first, the founders of Iowa College were faithful to the 
legacy of liberty that was theirs as heirs of the Congregational tradi- 
tion; and no doubt they remembered the difficulties created for And- 

46 Grinnell College 

over by attempts to perpetuate doctrinal differences through the con- 
trol of seminary funds. They were determined that their new college 
should be free from ecclesiastical domination. So it happened that, 
though New School brethren had cooperated in the founding, they 
refused to accept the offer of Presbyterian funds for the endowment 
of a professorship, coupled with the condition that control of the 
chair be vested in Presbytery. Since then there has never been any 
question that the trustees, as a self -perpetuating body, had undivided 
powers of management and control, nor have the Congregational 
churches ever sought to limit them in their liberty. 74 

Iowa College began, naturally, as a preparatory school, and it gave 
the first instruction of any kind in Davenport. (Not until two 
years later was a district school opened there.) The first catalogue, 
for 1849-1850, sets the tuition charge at $5.00 a term, and the cost 
of board at $1.50 a week. The catalogue for 1850-1851, when there 
was a freshman class, sets the tuition in the Preparatory Department 
at $15.00, in the College at $24.00 for the year. 

It should be remembered that the dollar then had far greater pur- 
chasing power, in most directions, than today. A good six-room 
house could be built for $800, "and $2500 secured a town mansion 
of the finest architectural design.** In Iowa at that time beef and 
pork sold at two to three cents a pound, corn at twelve and a half 
cents a bushel, and other agricultural products in proportion. On the 
other hand, clothing, furnishings, and books were more expensive 
than in the East, and living was necessarily severely simple. 75 

Ephraim Adams remembered te y ears anxiety and labor" for the 
infant College: 

. . . teachers toiling, trustees planning, and the executive committee trying 
to execute, meeting often, with much to be done, but never able to do it. 
When they could do nothing else, they could at least pray. So they worked 
and prayed and worked. Every year, as the churches came together in their 
annual association, the story of the college was told, its wants rehearsed, and 
their prayers and alms besought. This was not without response. 

In 1849 there were subscribed for it four hundred and forty- two dollars 
and sixty-five cents, all but four of the subscribers being ministers; and 
the minutes of that year show the whole number of ministers to have been 
twenty-one. ... As the old tale of pecuniary embarrassment was there told 
[in 1850], hearts were opened for relief, and four hundred and fifty dollars 
were pledged. In the minutes of that meeting it stands recorded that "the 
wives, also, of the ministers, anxious to share in the enterprise of founding 


this college, resolved to raise a hundred dollars out of their own resources; 
and seventy dollars were subscribed by fourteen persons who were present.' 
"It was a great sum then," said one of them, years afterward; "it was a 
great sum then, five dollars, but I managed to pay it." 

So it went on for years afterwards. In 1852 a hundred and fifty-three 
dollars were raised; in 1853, seven hundred and eleven dollars. In this year 
came the first decided help from abroad the donation from Deacon P. "W. 
Carter of Waterbury, Connecticut, of five thousand and eighty dollars. It 
seemed a great sum. 76 

This first considerable gift to the endowment came through the 
vigilance of someone who learned that money had been deposited, 
subject to the donor's order, with the home missionary treasurer in 
New York for the benefit of some educational institution in a new 
western state. On inquiry it was learned that the donor was Preserve 
Wood Carter, farmer, whose son Franklin was later to be president 
of Williams College. Correspondence with Mr. Carter, endorsed by 
Dr. Milton Badger of the Mission Board, brought a check for one 
hundred dollars, and later the magnificent gift of $5,080, which, con- 
sidering the time and the circumstances, was one of the most helpful 
contributions in the history of the College. It was used for the en- 
dowment of the Carter professorship of ancient languages. 

In 1850 "the critical Ripley, a superior linguist," 77 was joined by 
the Rev. Henry L. Bullen, who came from the East as professor of 
mathematics and natural philosophy (i.e., physics), and the first col- 
lege freshman class of six members began its academic career. By 
this time growth had been rapid. There were 28 students in Latin 
and 8 in Greek, and a total of 70 in the Preparatory Department, 
conducted in 1851-1852 by Francis Adams Ball, in turn followed by 
Daniel 'Lane of the Band. The studies of the freshman year were 
modeled strictly after the common curriculum of the New England 
colleges: algebra, Davies' Legendre (geometry), Livy, Latin composi- 
tion, Horace's Odes, Xenophon's Cyropaedia, Herodotus, Worcester's 
history, and a manual of elocution. It is evident that the preparatory 
course had been heavily loaded with ancient languages. 

In 1853 two new departments were opened in the College. The 
"tactful and winning" David S. Sheldon, M.A., "with the largest 
teaching gift (has Iowa ever had finer?) ," came as professor of chem- 
istry and natural (i.e., biological) science. A graduate of Middlebury 
College and Andover Seminary, he had taught at Burlington from 
1850 to 1853, and after the removal of Iowa College to Grinnell, he 

48 Grmnell College 

remained in Davenport to teach science at Griswold College. He was 
a member of the Board of Trustees of Iowa College from 1859 to 
Dr. Belfield wrote of him: 

Professor David Sylvester Sheldon . . . taught the Natural Sciences. Having 
some means of his own, he was not wholly dependent upon the meager pit- 
tance called his salary. He therefore consecrated himself to his work, refusing 
flattering calls elsewhere. Professor Sheldon is my ideal of a Christian scholar 
and gentleman. Modest, gentle, a thorough scholar, a good citizen, he im- 
pressed himself deeply on every student, on none more than myself, who had 
the rare privilege of being one of his household during my junior and senior 
years. 78 

Daniel Lane, "upright and godly," who "excelled most men in pure 
character and unadulterated goodness," was principal of the Prepara- 
tory Department, 1852-1855, and also, in 1853, professor of mental 
and moral science, a field of instruction which was no doubt added 
because a senior class was in the making. And indeed, in June, 1854, 
two brothers, John H. and William "Windsor, received their diplomas, 
the first B.A/s produced by any college in all the vast territory west 
of the Mississippi. 79 They were sons of an Englishman, John "Wesley 
Windsor, who had been a midshipman in the British Navy (once in 
battle against our famous Constitution} ; he had been in Brazil, the 
Shetland Islands, and France. In 1820 he came to New York, was 
converted, and returned to England as a lay preacher. In 1844 he 
came to Iowa, became a deacon in John C. Holbrookes church in 
Dubuque, and was licensed as a home missionary ministering to many 
small communities in Iowa. 80 

The brothers followed an invitation from Professor Ripley to at- 
tend Iowa College, with a promise to help them find work. They 
walked half the way from Maquoketa to Davenport, finding a ride 
in a stagecoach for the rest of the distance. The forty-mile walk 
home at Christmas was more exhausting, "a bitter cold day, wolves 
howling and the wind blowing hard/* They worked their way 
through the four years, beginning with "chores" feeding pigs, 
milking cows, sawing wood for four or five wood stoves. As labor 
was cheap, the day's work began at 4 a.m. While dressing on bitter 
winter mornings, they often stepped in the snow that had drifted 
into the attic room. Most of their studying had to be done after 
eight in the evening. 81 

Both brothers were graduated from Andover Seminary in 1857 and 


ordained in 1858. Both began their pastoral service in Iowa, but 
whereas John's work was about equally divided between the West 
and New England, William's was largely confined to Iowa and Illinois. 
"In death they were not divided," except by distance; John died 
August 23, 1908, at LaGrange, Illinois; William, September 8, 1908, 
at Los Gatos, California. 

It was in 1854 that the city fathers of Davenport began to make 
trouble for the new college, whose importance as a pioneering venture 
in higher education they did not appreciate. The growth of the town 
led them to cut a street through the campus. A new location was 
found on ten acres between Brady and Harrison streets, above Tenth, 
and an "elegant stone building with a boarding house" was erected 
in 1855 at a cost of $22,000. 

At this time prospects were bright. In his study of educational 
opportunities in the new state, N. Howe Parker says of Iowa College: 

This College is located in the city of Davenport, and occupies grounds of 
great natural beauty, overlooking a wide expanse of prairie on the north, and 
commanding on the south a fine view of the Mississippi River and the adjacent 
cities. . . . The institution, under the care of well-qualified instructors, is 
furnished with a chemical and philosophical apparatus, and has a library of 
some 2000 volumes. With the new building . . . the College will be prepared 
to offer facilities for a thorough education, both in the preparatory and col- 
lege departments. 82 

Satisfaction with more commodious quarters for the growing col- 
lege was short-lived, however. Again a street was thrust through the 
ten-acre tract, completely ruining it for the use intended. Finally in 
1858 the trustees decided to sell the property and seek a site elsewhere, 
a decision reached because of a combination of circumstances: the 
persistence of the city authorities in building streets through the 
college grounds; lack of funds for necessary improvements; indebted- 
ness caused by a breach of trust by the financial officer; fear that the 
College would not succeed in its present eastern location when rival 
colleges were starting in the interior, now rapidly being settled. Then, 
too, Davenport was not a congenial home for the College, an at- 
mosphere probably stemming from the institution's temperance senti- 
ment which found no favor among the strong liquor interests of the 
town. 83 However, in spite of some drawbacks Iowa College had made 
progress during the years in Davenport, enrolling 139 students in 
1856. There had been some increase in funds. In 1856 Ephraim 

50 Grinnell College 

Adams, acting as agent, had secured $11,000 in subscriptions, "a 
large part of which was realized," and the Society for Western Col- 
leges had made appropriations of about $6,000 for current expenses. 
In 1859 the property of Iowa College was sold and proposals were 
invited for a new site. 84 

God, in his providence, had one in preparation. A few years previous, in the 
heart of the State, a colony had settled with the express purpose of establish- 
ing, and at the outset had made provision for, an institution of learning. 
Here a school had already been commenced. After due thought and much 
prayer, it was concluded, with the general approval of all parties interested, 
that the fountain opened by the Father of Waters should be united with the 
rill of the prairies. 85 

The next step was the merger of Iowa College with Grinnell Uni- 
versity. Among the trustees were two men who were to play an im- 
portant part in the future life of the College: J. B, Grinnell and 
George F. Magoun. 


Grinnell and the "University" 

EPHRAIM Adams gives credit to Divine Providence for a succession 
of events which the unregenerate mind would describe as a series of 
fortunate accidents, producing unforeseen results. Fortuitous indeed 
were the steps by which the town of Grinnell and the college of the 
same name came to be established on the prairies of the young state 
of Iowa. The first line of causation we have described. The moving 
cause in the second line was a Congregational preacher named Josiah 
Bushnell Grinnell. 86 


52 Grinnell College 

c 'Oh, that my friend Freeman were here! If Freeman were here, he would 
build an altar and make an offering/' The speaker was James Bryce, author 
of "The Holy Roman Empire" and "The American Commonwealth." On 
the platform at Iowa College he has just been introduced to Josiah Bushnell 
Grinnell, oekist-eponymus of the town, and heard the story of its founding. 
Little wonder that the historian's mind reverted to the great days when 
Hellas was sowing her colonies from end to end of the Mediterranean, and 
to be an oekht was greater than to be a king even a demigod. 

So wrote an eminent graduate of Iowa College, J. Irving Manatt. 87 

This oekist, Grinnell, like the pioneers from Yale and Andover, 
was of sturdy Pilgrim stock, and he too passed "through harsh ways to 
the stars." His ancestry was Huguenot and Scotch (Paris has several 
reminders of the name "Crenelle"), and he was born on a farm near 
the village of New Haven, Vermont, December 22, 1821, while his 
father farmer, schoolmaster, and temperance lecturer was ad- 
dressing a Forefathers' Day Meeting in the village church. After the 
death of his father in 183 1, the orphaned boy went to live with a guar- 
dian in the village. At fifteen he was entrusted with the care and sale 
of stock and the hiring of "hands" for the haying. He went to school 
only in the winter and, like Lincoln, studied grammar and arithmetic 
by a pine cone fire at a neighbor's. For a year, before he was seventeen, 
he taught a country school for ten dollars a month, boarding 'round at 
farm houses. During the next two years he attended Castleton Semi- 
nary, the Allen Classical School at Vergennes, and taught at Middle- 

Intending to enter Yale College, he went to New Haven. But 
during a short visit at a young lady cousin's home in near-by Meriden, 
he was warned against such a course by her guardian, the venerable 
Rev. Erastus Ripley (no doubt a kinsman, but not father, of Ripley 
of the Band) , a radical antislavery preacher, who felt that the tone 
of student morals at Yale and the old courses of study in the classics 
would endanger the boy's future. With a letter to President Beriah 
Green from Ripley, Josiah went instead to the Oneida Institute near 
Utica, "the hot-bed of radicalism as it existed at that day." The 
Institute combined education (which favored living and sacred lan- 
guages rather than the classics) with manual labor on a farm. 88 He 
was graduated in 1843, with his digestion impaired by rigidly austere 
living at a dollar a week. 

Colportage in Wisconsin for the American Tract Society followed, 


and correspondence for the New York Tribune ', couched in terms so 
glowing that the state reprinted the letters to induce immigration to 
Wisconsin. In 1847 Grinnell was graduated from Auburn Theologi- 
cal Seminary which he found conservatively stuffy after the free at- 
mosphere of Oneida. His first charge, 1847-1850 (he was ordained 
in October, 1848), was a Congregational church at Union (Green- 
wich) Village, thirty miles north of Albany. This unique church, 
whose cultured, high-minded parishioners were equally devoted to 
temperance and social reform, freely opened its doors to Negroes in 
a salutary effort to uplift a class. Grinnell, preaching against the 
saloon and slavery, doubled the membership of the church during 
his three years' pastorate there. 89 In 1849 he received a master's degree 
from Middlebury College. 

In 1850 Grinnell went to Washington, D. C., full of crusading 
ardor, to establish a Congregational church as a free pulpit and a 
focus of reform. There he was distressed to find an "open alliance of 
politicians and the Church, to keep still" about the evils of slavery. 90 
Emotions were being sharpened by the appearance of the first chap- 
ters of Mrs. Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin in the National Era published 
by Gamaliel Bailey, who was one of GrinnelPs supporters, together 
with other leaders of opinion like Henry Ward Beecher, Richard S. 
Storrs, and Horace Bushnell. 

Though the young crusader found eminent supporters, even among 
political leaders, and was enabled to buy the vacated Trinity Church 
building for his new congregation, his ministry in the scrubby Capital 
City was not for long. Passions ran high. Congressmen carried pistols 
and bowie-knives, other clergymen gave him no support, his throat 
gave signs of failing him, and he had a "pleasing early matrimonial 
prospect which I did not desire to have clouded by violence, or by 
the lips of base informers." So he shook the dust of Washington 
from his feet and returned north, continuing his preaching and anti- 
slavery and temperance agitation in New York, meanwhile acting as 
superintendent of a "ragged school." Early in 1852 he married Julia 
A, Chapin of Springfield, Massachusetts. 91 

Outdoor speaking, in which Horace Greeley often joined, ruined 
GrinnelPs voice, and Greeley recommended a novel cure: "Go West, 
young man, go West. There is health in the country, and room away 
from our crowds of idlers and imbeciles." 92 And the great editor 
made his advice practical by sending Grinnell to Springfield, Illinois, 

54 Grinnell College 

to report to the Tribune on the state fair held there. While in the 
West, Grinnell went to Missouri to inspect a tract of land inherited 
by his wife, and by chance met Henry Farnam, capitalist, philan- 
thropist, and railway builder from New Haven, who advised him to 
"Go to Iowa, a free State, which I have just come from; and I am 
to build a railway across to the Missouri River, an extension of the 
Rock Island Road." Grinnell's interest in Iowa had been further 
aroused by his meeting with Julius A. Reed, whose advice he sought 
in a letter written December 27, 1853. ^ 

Evidently the great open spaces fascinated the preacher-reporter, 
for on his return to the East, he began to advertise for associates 
"desirous of educational facilities, and of temperance and Congrega- 
tional affinities," who would be willing to join him in founding a 
colony in the new state of Iowa. He thought it important that the 
new population be homogeneous, and so he asked for "persons of 
congenial, moral and religious sentiments, embracing mechanics, and 
pecuniary ability to make the school and the Church paramount and 
attractive institutions from the outset." 94 

Farnam had introduced Grinnell to one of his engineers, a son of 
the famous Dr. Leonard Bacon, who suggested a location in township 
80, range 16 west, near Lattimer's Grove, high land along the rail- 
way survey (not to be divulged) where a future north-and-south 
road was also indicated. 95 This was in Poweshiek County (organized 
in 1848), named after the Fox chief who, with Chief Keokuk of the 
Sauks, had ceded this section of Iowa in 1842. The exact spot recom- 
mended was marked with a red flag on a tall flagpole at a controlling 
point on the surrey. 

In the spring of 1854, Grinnell, with Dr. Thomas Holyoke of 
Searsport, Maine, the Rev. Homer Hamlin of Wellington, Ohio, and 
Henry M. Hamilton, a young surveyor just out of Western Reserve 
University, set their stakes at the spot marked by the red flag. Grin- 
nell drove to Iowa City to locate and buy 5,000 acres for the new 

The educational feature of the original plan was not forgotten, and 
160 acres, divided into 348 lots, were set apart for the proposed uni- 
versity. Hamilton contributed the profits on the sale of 1,200 acres 
of his land to start a "Literary Fund" for the benefit of the univer- 
sity. 96 

The "Trustees of the Literary Fund" were incorporated in January, 


1855, and on August 13, 1856, articles creating a university corpora- 
tion were filed with the recorder of Poweshiek County. These foun- 
ders were H. Hamlin, T. Holyoke, H. M. Hamilton, S. L. Herrick, 
G. Gardner, T. B. Clark, L. C. Phelps, S. Loomis, J. W. Stowe, J. 
Conwell, A. A. Stevens, J. B. Grinnell. 97 

Grinnell was to be a temperance town, and so every deed for lots 
sold to settlers bore the provision that if strong drink were sold on a 
lot, it should revert to the maker of the deed. The Congregational 
Church was organized in 1855. A rude $150 building sixteen by 
twenty-four feet, erected on contract by J. B. Grinnell in six days, 
was used for both school and church. The first teacher was Miss 
Louisa Bixby. 98 

This year 1856 was a busy one for J. B. Grinnell. In February he 
helped in the organization of the Republican party at a meeting in 
Iowa City. He was elected to the State Senate where he served for 
two terms, 1856 and 1858; he led the movement for a state-supported 
system of free schools, and was instrumental in bringing Horace 
Mann, whom he had long admired, to Iowa to devise a school law for 
the state." He also began the erection of a building for the "Grinnell 
University," which was incorporated August 13, 1856. 

The following year he was admitted to the bar. As chairman of 
the Senate committee on schools he introduced a school bill which 
remained the basis of all future educational legislation. He also gave 
active support to the establishment of a state agricultural college, 
and became a regent of the State University. Naturally, however, his 
first and enduring loyalty belonged to the institution growing up in 
his eponymous town. This institution was to be "separated into two 
departments a male department which shall resemble eastern col- 
leges, a female department which shall be modeled in its domestic 
arrangements and in its general course of instruction, after the Mt. 
Holyoke institution at South Hadley, Mass." 10 

The sexes were still to be definitely separated. Two distinct loca- 
tions for the two departments were to be at least one-fourth of a 
mile from each other, the building for the female "seminary" to be 
erected first. This building was not completed until 1861 and, as 
"East College," for some years served all the purposes of the institu- 
tion after the merger with Iowa College. The name first adopted 
for the projected men's college and "seminary" at Grinnell was "Peo- 
ple's College," but this was soon changed to "Grinnell University." 

56 Grinnell College 

This "Grinnell University," before the merger with Iowa College, was 
somewhat more than a dream. As J. B. Grinnell, its founder and 
president, said at the ceremony inaugurating the first president of 
the newly merged colleges, it brought to the marriage "an untarnished 
reputation, two* professors, a half hundred of students, the good-will 
of a community, and a considerable dowry of the value in College 
building, lands, and cash, of twenty-five thousand dollars." 101 

The two professors were Leonard Fletcher Parker and the Rev. 
Stephen L. Herrick. The Early History of Grinnell, Imva, 1854-1874 
indicates a more ambitious educational program (antedating Pro- 
fessor Parker's arrival) most of which evidently remained on paper. 
It records: 

The University faculty was thus constituted: J. B. Grinnell, A.M., presi- 
dent; S. L. Herrick, A.M., professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy; 
Thos. Holyoke, M.D., professor of chemistry, physiology and agricultural 
chemistry; Sam'l Loomis, A.M., professor of Ancient Languages, Mental and 
Moral Philosophy; Mrs. A. J. Hamlin, wife of H. Hamlin, instructor in 
French, etc.; Mrs. C. S. Wyatt Mrs. Frank Wyatt instructor in music; 
Miss J. E. Loomis, instructor in Rhetoric, etc. ; Miss L. Bixby wife of H, A. 
Wolcott instructor in English branches; Darius Thomas, instructor in 
vocal music. 

These persons were all residents of the town, who gave "more or less 
of their time to the institution, some of the officers laboring gratui- 
tously." 102 Evidently J. B., like other enthusiastic founders, was not 
averse to propaganda by exaggeration. He was a typical promoter, 
just the right energetic leader for the bustling, rapidly expanding 
West. His was a magnetic personality, a generous, outflowing nature, 
incorrigibly optimistic, eagerly seizing upon new ideas and promising 

There was excitement for students and townspeople in February, 
1859, when John Brown spent a weekend in Grinnell, bringing with 
him a load of "contraband" on the way by the Underground Rail- 
way to safety in Canada. Brown was entertained by Grinnell, who 
turned over his large wool barn for the accommodation of the Ne- 
groes. An evening meeting was arranged for Brown at the church, 
and Grinnell helped him in his further travel by surreptitiously pro- 
viding him with a stock car from Iowa City to Chicago. J. B. was 
roundly denounced by antiabolitionists for his part in this affair, and 
for it was adorned with the sobriquet "John Brown Grinnell." 


There was further excitement when the Rock Island Railway 
finally extended its lines to Grinnell in 1863. This new accessibility 
was no doubt partly responsible for the sudden increase in the enroll- 
ment of the College from 92 to 174 in the following year. 

To the mythical "faculty" listed above, with its expansive "et- 
ceteras," the Early History adds the following significant informa- 
tion: "Professor L. F. Parker and lady came later and were able and 
devoted instructors before the removal, and in the college after re- 
moval filled their respective positions with ability and fidelity." 103 
Here indeed was the nucleus of a real faculty for the pioneer college. 

Leonard Fletcher Parker was born of Puritan and Revolutionary 
stock August 3, 1825, at China (now Arcade) in western New York. 
Fatherless at four, he lived and worked on a small farm encumbered 
with debt until he was twenty, meanwhile attending the academy at 
Arcade, teaching district school, and becoming ardently interested 
in the antislavery movement. He started for Oberlin College, then a 
"ferment of reforms," with five dollars in his pocket, and spent four 
dollars on the way. He made his way by teaching and was graduated 
in 1851 and married in 1853 at Oberlin, having remained for two 
years* study at the Theological Seminary. His plan to go as a foreign 
missionary to Siam was frustrated by failing health. The doctors said 
he was dying of consumption, but he had fighting blood ; defying the 
verdict, he lived to be eighty-six. 104 

After three years* teaching in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, Parker 
was drawn to Kansas by the free soil agitation; but "bleeding Kan- 
sas" was in the throes of civil war, and the town of Lawrence gave 
no promise of school work. He went to Iowa, and there was advised 
by an evangelist to stop at Grinnell rather than Des Moines, as it was 
"a temperance town, anti-slavery, growing like a spring flower and 
building a university." 105 

Arriving in September, 1856, he found a town of perhaps two 
hundred inhabitants, a public school newly opened, "with the school- 
room well filled. After weeks later others came in to compel an over- 
flow. A third room was added in 1857." When he arrived excavation 
was proceeding for the "University." Parker's first impression of 
Grinnell was favorable: "The intelligence of the people, their cheer- 
ful acceptance of pioneer conditions, their purpose to make every- 
thing vastly better, and their spirit of pitching into everything that 
promised good with a cheerful abandon, and then with Mr. Grinnell 

5 g Grinnell College 

a living sunbeam, everywhere at home and an unpaid advertising 
agency everywhere in the state and out of it, I concluded this is the 
spot." 106 On the other hand, the new arrival was scrutinized with 
some question: to the more conservative Grinnellians "an Oberlinite 
was an object of suspicion, a crank probably." But Parker soon 
proved his reliability and his value as a teacher and a citizen. 

In 1858 he became the first county superintendent of schools, ful- 
filling his duties with a six-day teaching schedule in Grinnell and 
visits to the rural schools as frequently as possible. The impression he 
made on one of these visits is described by R. E. Sears, a pupil in the 
Brooklyn school, later a student at the College: 

I always remember the first time I saw him. It was about 1860 or earlier. . . . 
Our school consisted of a dozen scholars in a little room perhaps twenty feet 
square. One morning there was a delicate rap on the door and I was told by 
the teacher to go to the door. I opened it and there stood a gentleman of 
delicate frame but with a face such as I had never seen except in picture books. 
To my boyish fancy he seemed a stranger from another world. He advanced 
and introduced himself to our young teacher. Then followed an hour of I 
do not remember what, except that it was an hour of absolute harmony. 107 

During his service as county superintendent he "discovered" two 
farm boys, Jesse Macy at Lynnville and J. Irving Manatt at Bear 
Creek, who were to become famous in education. Parker's teaching 
hours were divided between the public school and the infant Univer- 
sity, which he served without charge. Like Iowa College, the Uni- 
versity in the early years was a preparatory school, as indeed was also 
the State University at Iowa City, where Parker, passing through in 
1856, found sixty pupils studying everything from the highest study, 
algebra, down to the three R/s. 

Mrs. Parker (Sarah Candace Pearse) was a true helpmeet for him. 
Also of Revolutionary stock, she was born on a farm in- the town of 
Sudbury, Vermont, February 21, 1828. She had taught in Cincinnati 
before graduating from Oberlin, then in Vermont and at Painesville, 
Ohio, before her marriage. She was quite capable of mending the 
failing budget of the college boarding hall by her good management, 
taking over her husband's duties as county superintendent when he 
was called to the State University of Iowa, and teaching some of his 
classes during his one European sabbatical leave in 1875. She was 
the first and for seven years the "Lady Principal" of Iowa College 
after its merger with Grinnell University. 108 



The Early Years at Grinnell 

IOWA College, having ceased its operations at Davenport in 1858, re- 
mained in a state of suspended animation until the merger with 
Grinnell University was voted by the trustees. Meanwhile, circulars 
had been issued by the Board inviting proposals for relocation, to 
which eight towns and eight individual landowners replied. Three 
of the trustees visited proposed sites at Anamosa, Maquoketa, Musca- 
tine, Davenport, and Grinnell. Such locations as Des Moines, Fort 
Dodge, and Webster City were evidently considered too far west. 


50 Grinnell College 

The arguments for Grinnell emphasized "healthiness, cheapness of 
living, opportunities for students to obtain work and teaching, cen- 
tral position, absence of temptations to squander time and money/' 
As a final inducement to the trustees the communication from Grin- 
nell concluded: 

We ardently desire that henceforth the interests of these two institutions 
may be united. So far as we can judge, the voice of our brethren in this 
state favors it, and the prosperity of the two united in one will be secured 
by the union. We earnestly hope that the time has fully come when the 
friends of Congregationalism in Iowa may unite their efforts in building up 
and sustaining one college, and only one; that one being so located as to be 
properly a college for the state. To secure this result we have already ten- 
dered your honorable body all the property which we have secured, &c. We 
propose not merely to aid you in the erection of buildings, and in financial 
affairs, but also to rally around you in the support of good order in society 
and of proper discipline in the institution. The students who come among 
us will find us in the social circle and in public the uniform supporters of 
your plans and the zealous advocates of your educational measures. 109 

After long discussion, the trustees at Davenport voted on Septem- 
ber 27, 1858, "to remove Iowa College to Grinnell at the commence- 
ment of the next college year or as soon thereafter as the interests of 
the institution will permit." In April, 1859, the trustees of the 
Literary Fund and the University at Grinnell took steps to make over 
their holdings to the trustees of Iowa College, who then added 
Thomas Holyoke and the Rev. S. L. Herrick to their number. J. B. 
Grinnell had been a member of this Board since 1854. 

Before the removal from Davenport, the funds of Iowa College had 
been seriously impaired by the dishonesty of a treasurer who "swin- 
dled the College out of $13,000," and there were debts to be paid. 
By the energy of Julius A. Reed, the liquidation was successfully com- 
pleted, and Reed traveled to Grinnell "with our scanty library, our 
few pieces of apparatus, our meagre nucleus of a museum, and the 
old safe containing the college papers and $9000," 110 to be added to 
the funds; of Grinnell University, whose thirty-five pupils now be- 
came the "Preparatory Department." The name Iowa College was 
retained for the united institution. 

The growth of Iowa College during the first few years after the 
merger appears from additions to the faculty as well as the enroll- 
ment. L. F. Parker, principal of the Preparatory Department, 1860- 
1861, was elected professor of ancient languages in 1861. He was 


joined in 1863 by Carl W. Von Coelln as professor of mathematics 
and Mrs. Parker as principal of the Ladies' Department. In 1864 
the Rev. Henry Webster Parker came as professor of chemistry and 
natural science; the Rev. Charles W. Clapp, from a pastorate at 
Rockville, Connecticut, as professor of rhetoric and English literature 
and instructor in vocal music; and the Rev. Samuel Jay Buck as 
principal of the Preparatory Department. 

During the pioneer years at Davenport ten students had been grad- 
uated from the College. There were no graduates from 1858 to 1865, 
as the men who might have received their diplomas during the first 
years after the removal to Grinnell were called away by the Civil War. 

In 1861 there was a freshman class of twelve. But then the war came. Soon 
all but two were in the field. Other young men came, but their minds turned 
feebly to Latin and Greek, while their thoughts were following those who had 
enlisted in their country's cause. Sometimes, when the news was sad, the 
recitation room even had no place for the lesson either for student or teacher, 
but gave way to a discussion of the situation, its responsibilities and demands. 
One after another was missing. Where gone? To the war. As the thickening 
conflict was prolonged and the call for men became more urgent, twenty-six 
enlisted at one time, their teacher at the head. The time came when all the 
male students of military age were bearing arms. They were found in fifteen 
different Iowa regiments and in some of other states. Their record as soldiers, 
and a tablet hanging inside the chapel door on which is subscribed the names 
of eleven that never returned, are witness to noble service rendered. 111 

It was impossible to keep the men at their books. Students joined 
Company E of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, which was made up largely 
of enlistments from the vicinity of Grinnell, and other units. Pro- 
fessor Parker wished to go with them, but was dissuaded by the trus- 
tees. In 1864, however, he did join the twenty-six students who were 
enrolled in Company B of the Forty-sixth Infantry, and acted as 
first lieutenant, much of the time in command of the company. "It 
was the hour of supreme effort on the part of the government, when 
the college retained no student within its walls who was liable to 
military service." 

Two, who were consistent members of the Society of Friends, and 
did noncombatant service during the war, later did inestimable service 
to the College: Robert M. Haines as a leading trustee, Jesse Macy as 
the most distinguished member of the faculty. Of the ten men pre- 
viously graduated during the years at Davenport, three laymen all 
had distinguished records in the Union Army, and two of the minis- 

62 Grinnell College 

ters also served, one as chaplain, the other on the Christian Com- 

It was the women students who kept the College going during the 
four years of the Civil War. 112 The question of coeducation had arisen 
quite naturally, in the absence of women's colleges and the impos- 
sibility of realizing at that time the dual plan first proposed for 
Grinnell University. The problem had been solved at Oberlin as 
early as the 1830's when "y un ladies of good minds, unblemished 
morals, and respectable attainments" were received and "placed under 
the superintendence of a judicious lady whose duty it is to correct 
their habits and mould the feminine character." However, there was 
not complete equality at Oberlin: "young ladies received only three 
cents an hour for the labor of the steward's department^ together with 
the washing, ironing, and much of the sewing for the students," 
whereas the men received five cents; in return, the weekly charge to 
women was reduced from one dollar to seventy-five cents. 118 At 
Davenport, in the absence of other provision, girls had been admitted 
to college classes on a petition from parents and with faculty approval, 
in spite of the opposition of men students. 114 

The year 1865 saw the graduation of the first class completing the 
college course at Grinnell, and at the same commencement, the inau- 
guration of the first president. For seventeen years Iowa College had 
continued without a titular head, except for the president of the 
Board of Trustees, Alden B. Robbins of the Iowa Band. The first 
attempts to supply such academic leadership were fruitless. During 
the years at Davenport, the eminent Congregational clergyman, Dr. 
Ray Palmer of Albany, had been elected to the presidency in 1856, 
and in 1858 the Rev. Jonathan Blanchard, who had resigned as presi- 
dent of Knox College; but neither accepted the proffered post. After 
the removal to Grinnell, the Rev. Horace Bushnell, D.D., famous 
liberal theologian, who had just terminated his long pastorate at Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, declined a call to the young college in Iowa. In 
1861, the attempt of a committee to interest the Rev. S. W. S. Dutton, 
D.D., was equally unsuccessful. Finally, in August, 1862, the trustees 
turned to one of their own number, the Rev. George F. Magoun, who 
had been a member of the board since his pastorate at Davenport and 
was at this time minister of the Congregational Church at Lyons. 115 

Again there was delay, as the election was conditional upon provi- 
sions being made for the salary of the new head. At the request of 


his fellow-trustees, John C. Holbrook was given leave of absence 
from his church at Dubuque to seek help in New England. The first 
modest goal of $2,000 was soon passed, and hopes raised to $5,000; 
then the elated agent succeeded in interesting Samuel Williston of 
Easthampton, Massachusetts, whose benefactions to Christian educa- 
tion were already considerable. This generous Congregationalist con- 
tributed a total of $28,500 for the endowment of the presidency at 
Grinnell. 116 

When provision had thus been made for his support, Magoun ac- 
cepted the presidency at the annual meeting of the Board in July, 
1864, and was also elected professor of mental and moral science. He 
was granted a leave of absence of six months for travel in Europe. 
"My health was so broken," he wrote later, "having buried wife and 
child, that all the assurance I could give the Trustees was that on my 
return, if I could do any work at all, I would see what could be done 
for the College." Mrs. Abby Hyde Magoun had died at Lyons, Feb- 
ruary 10, 1864. In his Inaugural Discourse, Magoun mentioned "sor- 
rowful providences" as opening the way to his acceptance of the 
presidency, and added: "Surrendering a most happy pastorate, and 
declining other posts of honorable and more gainful service, I have 
heeded this call as the voice of God." 117 

It will be noted that the members of the faculty in these early years 
were recruited almost exclusively from the ranks of the clergy. In- 
deed, there was then no graduate work offered in this country except 
in theology, and the ministry was therefore the only learned profes- 
sion in that sense. The versatility of these clerical pedagogues must 
seem prodigious to the too highly specialized academic minds of our 
day. An excellent example of this variety of talents was Henry "Web- 
ster Parker, clergyman, scientist, artist, poet, historian, and taxi- 
dermist. His father, the Rev. Samuel Parker, was a member of the 
first class graduated from Andover Seminary in 1810. After a pas- 
torate of twenty-five years at Danby, New York (near Ithaca), and 
two other brief charges, Samuel Parker was "exploring agent" for 
the Missionary Society in the Oregon Territory, 1835-1837, and en- 
listed Marcus Whitman as associate missionary. Born at Danby, 
September 7, 1822, Henry was graduated from Amherst College in 
1843, and from Auburn Theological Seminary (of which his father 
had been agent) in 1846, a year before J. B. Grinnell. Ordained in 
1848, he was pastor of Presbyterian churches at Aurora and Dans- 

64 Grinnell College 

ville, New York, then of Congregational churches at Brooklyn, New 
York, and New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1864, at the age of forty- 
two, he came to Grinnell (no doubt through J. B/s influence) as pro- 
fessor of chemistry and natural science. He also taught painting, 
trained himself in taxidermy, and created a museum of stuffed birds 
and animals. 118 

In 1870 Parker returned to the East and became professor of men- 
tal, moral, and social science at Massachusetts Agricultural College at 
Amherst, where he also taught rhetoric and elocution, English com- 
position, the Bible, geology, physical geography, physiology, and land- 
scape gardening "as a system involving the study of nature and of 
art." He was also college chaplain and chairman of the committee on 
fancy articles of the Hampshire Agricultural Society, for which he 
wrote a poem, "Farm "Wonders." In 1879 he returned to Grinnell as 
professor of natural history, serving until his retirement in 1889. He 
was given a D.D. degree in 1886. His publications included a book 
of verse in 1850, The Agnostic Gospel, with Related Essays, The Spirit 
of Beauty y and How Oregon was Saved to the United States. 

Such extraordinary breadth of interest was possible at a time when 
universal knowledge was still the scholar's ideal, when Humboldt was 
reputed to have encompassed within himself the total sum of human 
science. However, it should be remembered that laboratory science 
was still in its infancy, and social sciences, as Parker said, were "quite 
inchoate." Thus the teacher's task was the relatively simple one of 
imparting "book-larnin' " and listening to recitations on the text. 

In the Grinnell curriculum, only chemistry had gained a separate 
existence among the sciences, all the rest being included under such 
generic terms as "Natural Philosophy," "Natural Science," and "Nat- 
ural History." It was not until the middle seventies that physics 
appeared as a secondary subject, not until the nineties that it became 
a distinct department. Biology and zoology emerged from the 
"Natural History" complex in 1891, and botany finally separated 
itself in 1902. 

The first Mrs. Henry W. Parker, nee Helen E. Fitch, of Auburn, 
New York, was a vivacious lady, "of whose gracious beauty in all my 
wanderings I have never known the match," wrote the widely 
traveled J. Irving Manatt. Like her husband an artist (she taught 
drawing) and a collector (she was inordinately proud of a huge case 
full of sheik), she was also author of a novel, Constance Aylmer* 


published by Scribners in 1869, but unsold. Mrs. Parker never re- 
ceived any royalties to reimburse her for the borrowed money spent 
for the plates of the book. Her sprightly letters to a sister in the 
possession of the latter's granddaughter, Mrs. Marquis Childs de- 
pict the social life of a pioneer community with some condescension; 
she seems to have been incorrigibly and quite consciously "Eastern." 
She quotes with relish her husband's comment that, in comparison 
with other women at a party, she was a "hummingbird among spar- 
rows" she, in her "green silk and green headdress/' while "every- 
body else had on plain dark delaines, black silks, etc." The local shops 
were not helpful. 

You said you would let me know about bonnets. I hope you will for it is 
impossible to get information here. I went into a milliner shop once and drew 
back thinking I had made a mistake but was urged to walk in. A stove with 
the dinner steaming on it, a table set in the middle of the floor, a bed in the 
corner, a girl dressmaker and behind the door a bit of a counter with a small 
set of shelves and a few boxes was what I saw. Yet there I must buy a straw 
bonnet for spring by and bye. . . . No tailor here but a Hoosier cutter. 

Mrs. Parker found social customs strange and crude. As to re- 

First came plates, second came tea, carried by the host, then the son with milk 
and sugar, then the daughter with a dish of watery, stewed cranberries, which 
went swimming about the tea cup on the plate. After some time biscuit and 
butter went the rounds, then came a glass dish of cheese! Then a plate 
of tarts. Lastly came cake. At 10 o'clock we were politely reminded to 
keep early hours and so broke up! The people here are mainly from country 
villages or are and have been plain farmers all their lives. They are substantial 
New Englanders. There are two or three families of more refinement and 
accustomed to city ways of living. 

She was irked by the habit of carrying dishes in piles "up to the chin" 
and made much of her own use of a "salver," which she hoped to 
teach the inhabitants to imitate. It troubled her especially that the 
hired help expected to sit at the table with the family, and she finally 
put her foot down against this remnant of frontier democracy. (In 
the census of 1850, of 192,214 inhabitants of Iowa, only ten are 
listed as "domestic servants.") But she thought there was some hope 
for improvement: 

Never mind, all these ways of the backwoods will disappear in time. I do 
what I can by example and advice when it is asked. But there is one hopeless 

66 Grinnell College 

western fashion which will only die out in the next generation. Borrowing! 
My yeast-pot is a nuisance. One neighbor depends so much upon it (and 
when she returns any it is not fit to make good bread) that Henry proposes I 
shall save the yeast she hereafter returns and give it to her instead of mine 
when she borrows! . . . Another neighbor used our wheelbarrow all summer 
till it really seemed as if it was his and that we had the privilege of keeping 
it in our yard. My pattern bag I have seriously thought of hanging by the 
back door so often have I to dispense these. The wash-tub has gone -weekly 
and the butcher's wife I guess tries out all the lard for the shop in my iron 
kettle. I have lent dresses (for patterns) , night dresses, chemises, drawers, 
sun-bonnet, Henry's clothes and cap, Mr. Parker's vest and dressing-gown, 
shoes, mouse-traps, baskets, all sorts of tools, coal &; wood, books 3 all sorts of 
cooking materials, flour, meal, eggs, soda, mustard, spices, tin pans, egg beater, 
thread and needles, everything in short except my large enamelled preserve- 
kettle, that nobody shall have. Even the cat has been proposed for, being a 
good mouser. Much cake being left at my tea last week, a neighbor who is 
wife of one of the richest here, offered to take it in exchange for fresh beef 
as they "had been killing" and as she wished to have some company! ! ! Henry 
cannot get over that. Well, it is something pleasant to live where your 
notions get a shock occasionally. One gets broader ideas. ... A neighbor 
has just sent in to borrow pen and ink. 

In one respect, however, Mrs. Parker had to hand the palm to the 
new West. On a stagecoach ride westward, "the way led through a 
beautiful region abounding in corn and grain. The country was 
fine like an old cultivated farm district not like a new country. 
You should have seen one farm of thirty thousand acres 119 with one 
field of 250 acres of ripe grain. You can see nothing of this mag- 
nificence at the East." 

Some years later, a famous Englishman recorded a pleasanter im- 
pression of the social scene at Grinnell. James Bryce, the distinguished 
author o The American Commonwealth >, wrote to Mrs. Jesse Macy, 
February 16, 1891: "We have a delightful recollection of our glimpse 
of your life the most idyllic life, if I may use the expression, I 
have seen in the West, was that of Grinnell." 

Part Two 

They Carried the Torch 


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The College Under Magoun 


COMPARED to many of the pioneers, his friends and associates in the 
new West, George Frederic Magoun was born with a silver spoon in 
his mouth. 120 His father was a leading citizen of Bath, Maine, ship- 
owner, bank president, mayor of the city, member of the state legis- 
lature in both branches, and as such co-author of Maine's first law 
prohibiting intoxicating liquors. 

The family, like the Grinnells, was of Huguenot descent and came 
by way of North Ireland to America in 1660. George was born 


70 Grinnell College 

March 29, 1821, attended Bath Academy, graduated from near-by 
Bowdoin College in 1841 (A.M. in 1856), studied theology at And- 
over and Yale, and spent two years in the "West, 1844-1846, as prin- 
cipal of the public school at Galena, Illinois, and of an academy at 
Platteville, Wisconsin. He returned to Andover for the completion 
of his divinity course, graduating in 1846. The next year he married 
Abby Anne Hyde of Bath. 

He was ordained January 25, 1848, at Shullsburg, Wisconsin, 
where he founded a home missionary Congregational church. He 
was pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church at Galena in 1848, and 
five years each of Congregational churches at Davenport and Lyons, 
Iowa, with an interval of law study and practice at Burlington, 1851- 
1855. He assisted at the forming of the Republican party, and in 
1856 became a trustee of Iowa College. He received the degree of 
doctor of divinity from Amherst College in 1867. 

President Magoun was a man of large stature and commanding 
presence, with a leonine head, long hair and beard, prominent nose, a 
resonant voice, and an oratorical manner. A student in 1871 re- 
marked on the amusing contrast between Dr. Magoun's "ornate, lofty, 
high-sounding" introduction and the drawling, unadorned simplicity 
of Horace Greeley as a lecturer. 121 

Magoun was fearless and decisive, an ardent partisan, combative and 
dictatorial, yet generous in nature and tender in his affections. His 
personality was of the all-out type that inspired adoring loyalty in his 
admirers, but also the undying hatred of certain others over whom he 
rode roughshod. The word "compromise" was not in his large vocab- 
ulary. One alumnus never forgave him or the College for the 
summary dismissal of his father (Professor Charles W. Clapp) from 
the faculty on the same commencement day that the son received 
his diploma. 122 

Two events in particular tested the sturdy courage of Magoun as 
a leader. In 1871 "East College/' the original Grinnell University 
building, burned, and the next year there was a better "Central Col- 
lege" to take its place. In 1882 a tornado destroyed the entire college 
plant just at commencement time, but graduation exercises were held 
as usual, and the next year three new buildings were ready for oc- 
cupancy. In such emergencies Magoun had the invaluable backing of 
J. B. Grinnell, who gave himself to the cause with all his character- 
istic energy, personally raising large sums for the rebuilding. J. B. 


was fond of saying later that the "cyclone was a wind-fall for Grin- 
nell," both town and college. 

President Magoun brought with him all the belligerent orthodoxy 
of the Andover Calvinists, the doctrinal severity and rigidity which 
the more conciliatory members of the Iowa Band had found ill adapted 
to their pioneering religious tasks. The "Articles of Faith" adopted 
by the Iowa Association in June, 1845, were as conservatively Cal- 
vinistic as the Andover stalwarts could have required; 123 but the 
members of the Band and their early associates were too busy with 
their absorbing religious message to waste time in theological hair- 
splitting. Magoun, on the contrary, was rock-ribbed in his conser- 
vatism, and he asserted it with ponderous dogmatic vehemence. 

As the unmitred bishop of Iowa Congregationalism, he saw to it 
that no young minister who accepted the newly propounded Dar- 
winian theory of evolution was settled in an Iowa pastorate. Natural- 
ly, the Higher Criticism of the Bible, with all its implications, was 
anathema to him. As a teacher, he never forsook the old-school psy- 
chology of Noah Porter's Human Intellect, or the type of apologetics 
represented by Mark Hopkins' Evidences of Christianity. Wide read- 
ing and a retentive memory provided him with an arsenal of con- 
troversial lore, which he could train with devastating effect upon any 
attempt to oppose or even mildly question his dogmatic statements. 

In theory according to the catalogue his courses were sup- 
posed to encourage "the utmost freedom of inquiry and investigation, 
with special reference to the clear distinction of truth from error." 
But the "clear distinction" rather than the "freedom" was Magoun's 
province. His method of teaching was by monologue, and his occa- 
sional questions to the students were couched in such terms that they 
always suggested the acceptable answer. Naturally, there was no need 
of preparation by the student, and inattention was common in his 
classes. At the least dissent, Magoun could be an angry Jove hurling 
his thunderbolts. On the other hand, he could be faultlessly courteous 
and affable. 

As a matter of course, the reins were held tight during Magoun's 
administration. It was a period of rules and regulations applied with 
an iron hand, and the students sometimes felt that the judicial process 
was tinged with espionage. Demerits were imposed for what today 
would seem trivial and even absurd causes, such as a young woman's 

72 Grinnell College 

walking half a block downtown with a man she chanced to meet, 
though the gentleman in question was an elderly acquaintance. 

College girls enjoyed no informality of attire. Agnes Wilson wrote: 
"I will give you a list of the fashions. Hoops and great bustles are 
all the rage, also dresses with basques. Almost every girl wears curls 
or frizzes. . . . Hats are mostly turbans and are worn on top of the 
crown." 124 Social relations between men and women students were 
guarded with special care. "Young gentlemen" were allowed to visit 
"young ladies" only Saturday afternoons, later also Friday evenings. 

Of course Iowa College held no monopoly in such restrictive legis- 
lation. It is said that Oberlin College, in the old days, had "coeduca- 
tional walks" on the campus, consisting of two boards far enough 
apart so that a couple could not walk arm-in-arm, and that one of 
the primitive rules there read that a young man and a young woman 
should not "walk together unless they were going in the same direc- 
tion." An early rule at Princeton provided that students must take 
off their hats at a distance of ten rods for the President, and five for 
a tutor. It may be remembered that students at Andover Seminary 
were supposed to observe 102 rules laid down in thirteen chapters. 

Of course dancing, cards, billiards, intoxicants, gambling, and 
tobacco were equally taboo at Grinnell, and these indulgences were 
linked with "profanity, obscenity and lewdness" in the college rules, 
and with "keeping of gunpowder, fire-arms and other dangerous 
weapons." The early laws of Harvard and Yale were full of similar 
restrictive regulations. 

Attendance at morning and evening religious exercises, and twice 
at Sunday services, was strictly required at Grinnell. Old grads still 
remember "going to prayer-meetings" as the chief social experience 
of their student days. This was quite in the old Andover tradition. 
When the eminent German theologian Dr. Friedrich Tholuck was 
calling upon Professor Parker, he inquired: "How do you get along 
without the opera and theater?" The reply was prompt: "You forget 
that we have the church and the sewing society." At Grinnell, going 
to a circus cost a student from twenty -five to a maximum of thirty- 
one demerits. 

President Magoun came to Grinnell as a widower, shortly after the 
death of his wife and child at Lyons. Six years later, in 1870, he 
married Elizabeth Earle, twelve years younger than himself. She 
came from Brunswick, Maine (where he had attended Bowdoin Col- 


lege) , was a graduate of Mt. Holyoke and a teacher there until her 
marriage. "Cultured, refined, a brilliant conversationalist, a mar- 
velous Bible-class teacher, a gifted speaker, glowing with enthusiasm, 
cordial in her social relations, zealous in missionary endeavor, she was 
for many years a woman of commanding influence in our denomina- 
tional life. After severe and prolonged suffering she 'fell on sleep* 
January 7, 1896." 125 Her husband survived her by less than a 
month. Mrs. Magoun was "Acting Lady Principal" from 1882 to 
1884, and occasionally took charge of classes in English literature. 
Her alert mind and keen sense of literary values made her a stimulat- 
ing teacher. Her memory is perpetuated by the ever- vacant chair in 
the membership of a work-and-reading club that bears her name. 

During the twenty years of President Magoun's administration, the 
faculty of Iowa College was marked by an academic distinction rare 
among the small colleges of the growing West. The oldest member of 
the faculty, Leonard Fletcher Parker, has already been introduced as 
the first qualified teacher to come to the town of Grinnell, and the 
first member of the faculty in the merged college, as professor of 
ancient languages. He was another example of the versatility of the 
preacher-pedagogue of that day. As a student at Oberlin, while 
looking forward to future work as a foreign missionary, he had taken 
charge of classes in Greek and Latin in the absence of the professor. 
His theological studies were interrupted by poor health, and he was 
thus shifted to a teaching career. Nevertheless, he was ordained in 
1862, and though never a pastor, he preached frequently. He acted 
as county superintendent of schools in Poweshiek County in 1858- 
1861 and 1869-1871. His interest in politics and reform led to his 
election as Representative in the Iowa state legislature in 1867, and 
in 1868 he became a trustee of the State University at Iowa City. In 
1870 he accepted a call to the new department of Greek at the Uni- 

Parker's departure from Grinnell was no doubt due in large part to 
the difficulty he found in close association with so domineering a chief 
as Dr. Magoun, for Parker was himself a man of positive nature, 
vigorous in his expression of his views, and far more adroit than the 
ponderous president. Besides, Parker, who was first on the ground 
and had complete confidence in his own ability, could not help feel- 
ing aggrieved that another, less expert in education, had been placed 
over him. Parker's former student, Professor J. Irving Manatt, 

74 Grinnell College 

wrote: "President Magoun with his strong personality dominated all. 
The Oberlin element was a bit restive/' There was no provision in 
Dr. Magoun J s book on logic for the amicable meeting of the irre- 
sistible force and the immovable object. 

Though Greek was an optional subject at Iowa City, it became 
under Professor Parker's skillful tuition one of the most popular 
courses at the University. In 1874 his title was broadened to include 
the instructorship in history, and his interest in this secondary field 
increased until he became entirely engaged in that study. During his 
last years at Iowa City he was head of the department of history, 
while retaining his interest in ancient philology and literature. 

His crusading dedication to reform, especially to the temperance 
cause then being hotly debated in Iowa, brought his professorship at 
the University to an untimely end. The Board of Regents happened 
to be politically opposed to prohibition, and used its power to de- 
mand the resignation of three prominent members of the faculty who 
had been active in the support of the prohibitory law. Professor 
Parker was thus inactive during the academic year 1887-1888. The 
Alumni Association of the University protested vigorously against this 
action of the regents, and by an almost unanimous vote asked recon- 
sideration, but in vain. The years at the University had also brought 
bitter bereavement; of three children then living, two had drowned 
in the Iowa River. Mr. Parker's return to Grinnell belongs in the 
next chapter. 

Of Carl Von Coelln little is known save that he was an "importa- 
tion from Germany," and that he at one time attended the academy 
at Orwell, Ohio, of which Professor S. J. Buck later, in 1862, became 
principal. 126 En route to Iowa in 1863 Von Coelln and his wife 
stopped in Ohio to see the Bucks. Von Coelln had accepted a position 
as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Iowa College, 
a post in which he remained until 1869. He was state superintendent 
of public instruction from 1876 to 18.82, and a member of the faculty 
of Buena Vista College for some years after its opening in 1 891. 

Samuel Jay Buck, next in age to Professor Parker, was destined to 
one of the longest terms of service in the history of the College at 
Grinnell. 127 From Russia, Herkimer County, New York, where he 
was born on July 4, 1835, his family moved to a farm near the village 
of Mecca in eastern Ohio, and there he spent his boyhood. He was 
graduated from Oberlin College in 1858, from the theological school 


in 1862, and was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1863* 
As principal of the academy at Orwell,, Ohio, near his home, he com- 
bined teaching with preaching. Von Coelln's recommendation led 
to Buck's selection early in 1864 as principal of the Preparatory and 
English department at Grinnell. When Von Coelln resigned in 1869, 
Buck succeeded him as professor of mathematics and natural philos- 
ophy, his subjects later changing to mathematics and physics, and 
then to mathematics and astronomy. 

Intermittently Buck acted as pastor of near-by churches, as county 
superintendent of schools, county surveyor, weather observer, and 
financial agent for the College. In 1903 Tabor College honored him 
with a degree of doctor of divinity. He retired in 1905, after more 
than forty years at Grinnell, most of the time as senior professor and 
from 1884 to 1887 as acting president. He and Mrs. Buck (an 
Oberlin classmate) lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniver- 
sary, November 17, 1909. 

During the twenty years of President Magoun's administration, 
the curriculum remained almost unchanged. The "Classical Course" 
naturally continued Greek and Latin as the core of the curriculum. 
The "Scientific Course/' which first made its appearance in 1862, 
omitted the ancient languages, added advanced mathematics, and was 
extended from three to four years largely by the simple expedient of 
adding "electives." The "Ladies' Course" also grew from three to 
four years by absorbing some of the didactic material of the disap- 
pearing "Normal Department/' 

However, a few courageous females were by this time permitted 
to attempt the full college courses, "with due regard to constitutional 
differences and suitable safeguards." 12S President Magoun, as trustee, 
had from the first supported the admission of women to college 
privileges, but evidently this liberality was accompanied by mental 
reservations, without formal explanation of what the "constitutional 
differences" might be. 

So too Magoun's argument, in his Inaugural Discourse, in favor of 
the modern languages as claiming a place in the college course with 
the ancient, "perhaps before them," was not followed through. Ger- 
man and French remained feeble adjuncts to Greek and Latin, which, 
by 1884, absorbed the energies of two instructors. 

The classics were taught by men of real distinction. When L. F. 

76 Grinnell College 

Parker went to Iowa City In 1870, he was succeeded by Dr. John 
A very, the "distinguished philologist" whom Dr. Magoun called 

. . . our specimen scholar, pure and simple, one of the most unpretending of 
erudite men, having in Sanscrit only one superior in all the land, Whitney, 
his own instructor, knowing hardly more of the ways about our little town 
than those to his recitation room, the church, and the post office, able to 
stint himself to almost any extent for books which no one else in this great 
commonwealth could read, toiling and economizing for years to set himself 
free from bread-winning occupations that he might delve more profoundly 
in Oriental tongues, died suddenly just as he had attained his freedom and 
resigned his chair at Bowdoin. 129 

When Avery was called to Bowdoin in 1 877, he was followed by 
Fisk P. Brewer, A.M., 

... as strong intellectually as he was feeble physically, of extraordinary 
attainments in several learned specialties, at home in Modern Greek as in 
Ancient, and in the linguistic transition from the one to the other, following 
a classical recitation with utmost keenness when he could scarcely breathe, a 
humble, tender-hearted, refined, cheerful Christian believer, gave us eminent 
evidence for thirteen suffering years, how brilliancy of mind and fervor of 
faith can conquer and command the body. 

Next in this worthy succession, coming in the last year of Dr. 
Magoun's administration, was Dr. John M. Crow, who was the 

. . . most devoted of these three men to the ancient Greek, had studied abroad 
like them, though not so long in Greece as Brewer, a child of nature never 
spoiled, losing none of the genuineness and quaint shrewdness of his rustic 
youth, enlivening with them his learned lectures on ancient art and his 
homely fireside talk; it is easily remembered here how all too late he went 
to Colorado to live, if possible, and started homeward only to die. He would 
have been a preacher, but for feeble lungs. 

Meanwhile, Latin was taught by Richard W. Swan from 1871 to 1883. 
He was an older man, who had taught at Phillips Exeter and at Al- 
bany, than whom Magoun knew "few milder or more inoffensive*' 
faint praise indeed! 

English language and literature was still taught by one professor, 
with sporadic dashes of instruction in elocution. Professor Clapp, 
whose abrupt dismissal in 1871 has been mentioned, was followed in 
1873 by Stephen G. Barnes, A.B., who came directly from graduation 
at Lafayette College, remained professor of English language, litera- 
ture, and rhetoric until 1891, and in course of time acquired a "Rev- 


erend," a Ph.D., and a Litt.D., and became Dr. Magoun's son-in-law. 
He was resident licentiate at Andover Seminary in 1879. 

Ill health seemed common among the teachers of this generation. 
Barnes was slight in build, sallow in color, and suffered from insomnia. 
He repelled students by a cold, distant manner and a stony look, but 
his chilly exterior concealed a warm interest in their welfare, which 
expressed itself especially in persistent concern about their religious 
sentiments and convictions. 

One of the ablest students at Grinnell in the later years of Barnes's 
professorship remembered him as third, with Macy and Crow, in the 
trio of teachers who most markedly influenced his development. 130 
Less serious students were rebellious at Professor Barnes's puritanical 
attitude and suspected him of reporting to the Rhadamanthine presi- 
dent trivial infractions of college regulations which he happened to 
observe. After leaving Grinnell, he held pastorates at East Long- 
meadow, Massachusetts, and St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and for brief 
periods was dean of the theological department of Fisk University and 
lecturer on systematic theology at Hartford Seminary. Iowa College 
gave him a D.D. in 1896. 

Physics and the biological sciences remained adjuncts to mathe- 
matics and chemistry until H. W. Parker, who had taught "Chem- 
istry and Natural Science" from 1864 to 1870, returned from Massa- 
chusetts in 1879, as professor of natural history, remaining until his 
retirement in 1889. Continuing his earlier interest, he did much to 
restore the museum of natural history, which had been destroyed by 
the tornado in 1882. 

Dr. Henry Carmichael, the first professionally trained chemist to 
fill the chair of chemistry, was called to Bowdoin College in 1873 
after but two years at Grinnell. He was followed after a year's 
interval by William H. Herrick, A.M., who remained until 1885. 
During the brief service from 1871 to 1873 of Albert Sherburne 
Hardy (an author of some reputation), the courses in mathematics 
and natural philosophy expanded into "Civil Engineering, Applied 
Mathematics and Military Drill,** but this was a transient phenomenon. 

President Magoun himself taught mental and moral science, and 
congratulated himself at the beginning on using the newest texts, but 
as he inclined to remain faithful to these same texts for a generation, 
their novelty was at last somewhat tarnished. So the contention in his 

78 Grinnell College 

Inaugural Discourse that western college culture must be "advanced" 
and "progressive" yielded to an increasing conservatism. 

Two new departments were in the making during the last years of 
President Magoun's administration. By far the more important of 
these, because of the developing genius of Jesse Macy, deserves ex- 
tended notice in a later chapter. The other was an extension of in- 
terest in the education of prospective teachers, which goes back to 
the early years of the College. Desultory instruction in this field was 
followed in 1879 by the transfer of the Rev. Henry K. Edson, A.M., 
from the principalship of Denmark Academy to the newly created 
chair of the theory and practice of teaching, 131 

Two years before, the early sporadic teaching of music had crys- 
tallized into a "Conservatory of Music" under the direction of Wil- 
lard Kimball, who came as instructor in 1875, and remained as 
director until 1894. During this time it was a loose annex rather than 
an integral part of the College. 

Under President Magoun's leadership the College grew very grad- 
ually in enrollment, with occasional sharp fluctuations. Counting 
both men and women, and remembering that during this period the 
"Ladies 5 Course" was less severe in its requirements, the total registra- 
tion rose from 60 in the college department in 1864 to 112 in 1883- 
1884. There was a sudden decrease from 105 in 1870 to 69 in 1871- 
1872, due perhaps to the burning of "East College" and to the retire- 
ment of four of the five members of the college teaching staff. Again, 
in 1882, the tornado that destroyed the college buildings caused a 
drop in the enrollment from 160 the highest figure for the entire 
period to 120. The registration of preparatory, English, normal, 
and music students remained greatly in excess of that in the college 

The most dramatic and potentially tragic event of Dr. Magoun's 
administration was the famous "cyclone" of 1882, the first destruc- 
tive tornado to wreak its havoc upon an educational institution. This 
furious storm cut a swath of ruin through the town and completely 
wrecked the two large brick buildings which then housed the Col- 
lege, "West College" (built in 1867), and "Central College" (built 
in 1872 after a fire in December, 1871, had destroyed the original 
building, "East College," erected in 1861). 

The event seems sufficiently unique to justify quoting a descrip- 
tion by an observer from outside, the Rev. David O. Mears, D.D., of 


Worcester, Massachusetts, who had come to Grinnell to deliver the 
commencement address: 132 

The 17th of June, 1882, in Grinnell, was a day of terror and of death. All 
through the sunshine the sky seemed a curtain, above which the intolerable 
heat could not find a vent. Not a breath of air moved even the topmost 
leaves of the highest trees. The grass, parched by the burning heat, rustled 
like silk, beneath the tread of men who ventured upon their errands. Even 
the children gave way to the oppressiveness of the day, and waited for the 
sun to set. The cattle sought the shade of the trees, but panted for breath, 
as if between them and the sun there was no foliage. They sniffed the air 
in fear of what men did not see. The birds winged a hurried flight before 
the storm-clouds for safety. 

The evening gave no rest. From an hour before sunset, hurrying clouds 
banked the western sky. These clouds, colored with green and yellow and 
crimson, swayed to and fro in malignant shape, arresting attention through 
their fantastic changes. ... At eight o'clock, after the sunset, the huge 
clouds put on their deepest black, as of mourning for what was to come. 
Following a fierce thunder-gust of rain, and a brief, deathly calm, at a quar- 
ter past eight, the black funnel-shaped cloud was seen making its awful 
course. Within its sable folds the caged lightnings were at their horrid play. 
Almost in a moment of time there was the fearful terror of blackness and 
the deadly roar and all was still as if the shrill whistling train of death 
were passed. 

There was only death and ruin left in its track, save where people had 
hidden in cellars, some of whom were yet prisoners beneath the debris. Build- 
ings had been tossed like egg shells from their foundations. Freight trains 
with many cars had been seized by the fiery hands and tossed ojQf the track. 
The ponderous locomotive had been lifted from its standing place as children 
toss their toys. Trees within its track were twisted from their roots, some one 
way, and some another, by the electric forces in their havoc and play. The 
spokes of wheels were twisted from their hubs by a process no man has dis- 
covered. Carriages were lifted from the street and lodged in the tops of trees. 
Human beings were seized by the terrible blast and carried away hundreds of 
feet, and left among the ruins that had covered from sight the streets and 
gardens. Huge timbers were driven deep into the earth as no ponderous ham- 
mers could drive them. The college buildings of stone and brick were crum- 
bled under the crunching hand of destruction. For the width of a quarter 
of a mile, the prostrated ruins were a monument of death. Thirty-two dead 
bodies were left as its evidences, while nearly a hundred persons more were 
seriously wounded. 

"No such destruction of its outward belongings/* said Professor 
Park of Andover, "ever befell any college in the whole history of 
education.' 5 13a But the resolute temper of the pioneers was still alive. 

80 . Grinnell College 

College exercises were suspended only on Monday, June 19, when the 
victims of the tornado were buried. Commencement was held at the 
appointed time, and the graduates of 1882 an unusually able 
group have always taken pride in their distinction as the "Cyclone 
Class." Dr. Magoun's manuscript for his baccalaureate had been swept 
away in the storm. He chose a new text for his sermon, modified for 
the occasion: "And God was in the "Whirlwind." 

There was an unexampled outpouring of sympathy and help from 
every part of the country. The list of donors who came to the rescue 
includes many famous names Blair, Dodge, Russell, Sage, Vander- 
bilt, Huntington, Gould, Jesup, Whitney, Farnam, Slater, Mather, 
Corliss, Coats, Goodnow, Farnsworth, Phillips, Ames, Hyde, Ham- 
mond, Blatchford, Armour, Farwell, Hooker, Grimes, Congregational 
churches everywhere, and even "six Wellesley girls," and the trustees 
of Knox College. 134 Three buildings were erected that same year to 
replace the two destroyed; three years later a fourth was added. 

Dr. Magoun's presidency ended in 1884, when he was sixty- three 
years old. He retired unwillingly from his post of authority, but his 
inflexibility and conservatism were felt to be detrimental to the fur- 
ther development of the College in a time that was seething with new 
ideas and methods. He continued his teaching function, as professor 
of mental and moral science, until 1890, and then lived in retirement 
at Grinnell until his death in his seventy-fifth year, January 30, 1896. 
The Minutes of the Congregational Association for 1896 record the 
following tribute: 135 

Doctor Magoun, eloquent as a preacher, profound as a thinker, eminent 
as an educator, was one of the strong personal forces of our state for many 
years. His loyalty to his conceptions of truth, his bold and convincing utter- 
ances, his interest in that which affected men socially, politically and reli- 
giously, drew attention to him early. He was a man to be taken account of, 
so all felt who saw his grand proportions and heard his trumpet voice. He 
was intimately associated with the Congregational fathers of Iowa, the 
founders of Iowa College. It was not strange that they turned to one who 
moved before them like a king, and called him to the place which it was 
long his pride to fill, the presidency of the young and struggling school. 
That was his real life-work. It commanded him. His heart went into it. He 
gave the name of the college publicity. He drew to it the respectful and 
kindly thought of many friends who opened their hands to it with gifts. In 
the time of the great disaster his name and influence meant much for its re- 
building. His literary activity was unremitting as long as his health allowed, 
and even after it was seriously broken. He had the genius of work. His most 


valuable contribution to the churches of Iowa is his "Life and Times of Asa 
Turner." It is a monument of patient research, showing better than anything 
else the work of those pioneers who planted our churches in Iowa. He held 
the pen of a ready writer. It was natural for him to speak his thought fully. 
He was quick to defend his position, if assailed. He was not easily intimi- 
dated; the polemic spirit was no stranger to him. He loved the missionary 
work and the workers of our churches. He was a corporate member of the 
American Board. He was before the war an earnest opponent of slavery. The 
cause of temperance always enlisted his hearty sympathy. He did a good 
work and will live in the respectful memory of the Christian people of Iowa 
as well as in the respect, honor and affection of many who, as students, learned 
of him to think and to believe. 



The Presidenq^ of George A. Gates 


THREE quiet years of interregnum followed the retirement of Presi- 
dent Magoun. Professor Buck, by virtue of seniority, officiated as 
acting president. He was a schoolmaster of a type fast disappearing; 
large of frame and slow of movement, quiet in speech, patient and 
industrious, solid and unimaginative, kindly in spirit, with an ele- 
mentary sense of humor expressing itself in too obvious quips uttered 
without the moving of a muscle. One of his favorite witticisms was 
to refer to an abandoned part of the former curriculum as "The Old 



Ladies' Course." He was a textbook teacher, capable of using the same 
book (in physics! ) for a lifetime, so that students passing down the 
class text from generation to generation with all the old traditional 
jests (after the lesson on the lever: "Well now leave *er be") scrib- 
bled in the margin, and the traditional horse-laugh, could anticipate 
the recital. He was not alone in this fidelity to the familiar. So bril- 
liant a lecturer as Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes at Harvard used the 
same notes on anatomy for thirty-five years. Steadily conservative, 
a fatherly spirit, carrying on in the old ways, Buck saw a healthy 
increase in the college enrollment during his incumbency from 122 
in 1884 to 187 in 1886-1887. The registration of preparatory and 
music students also rose to- a new maximum. Quiet waters made good 

During this time Iowa College again had the unpleasant experience 
of seeing its presidency declined by two distinguished ministers. In 
December, 1884, the Rev. Charles F. Thwing, pastor of the North 
Avenue Church in Cambridge, was elected president, but declined; 
in 1890 he became president of Western Reserve University. The 
catalogue for 1885-1886 names the Rev. David O. Mears, D.D., as 
president-elect. Dr. Mears was the pastor of the Piedmont Congre- 
gational Church at Worcester. He was widely known as preacher, 
lecturer, and author, and had a special relation to Grinnell by his 
marriage with Mary, the beautiful and accomplished daughter of J. B. 
Grinnell, which resulted from his coming to Iowa College as com- 
mencement speaker at the time of the tornado. But Dr. Mears pre- 
ferred to continue in the ministry, and after further search the choice 
of the trustees fell upon the young pastor of the Congregational 
Church at Upper Montclair, New Jersey, George Augustus Gates. 186 

There could scarcely be a stronger contrast than that between the 
first and second presidents of Iowa College. The transition was like 
a sudden leap from the past into the future, from fixity to fluidity, 
from metaphysics to experimental science, the conservative reluctantly 
passing the torch to the radical. A good touchstone, for that time, 
was the difference in the attitude toward the theory of evolution. 
While Magoun, at least in his public utterances, remained to the last 
hostile to the Darwinian "heresy," Gates was capable of saying to a 
graduate student in biology, himself as yet undecided in the matter: 
"Are you an evolutionist? You will never amount to anything until 
you are." Meanwhile, the teachers of science had been quietly prepar- 

84 Grinnell College 

ing the way for the acceptance of evolution, without interference 
from Dr. Magoun. 

George Augustus Gates was born January 24, 1851, in the village 
of Topsham, Vermont, the son of Hubbard Gates, miller, who moved 
soon after to St. Johnsbury, and died in 1861. The widowed mother 
opened a millinery shop to support her three children. George at- 
tended St. Johnsbury Academy and was graduated from Dartmouth 
College in 1873. After two years as principal of an academy at Mor- 
risville, Vermont, he began his theological studies at Andover Semi- 
nary, where he was graduated in 1880, having meanwhile tutored in 
Boston and spent the years 1878 and 1879 in study and travel abroad, 
hearing lectures at Gottingen, Bonn, and Neuchatel. 

During the generation that separated Gates from Magoun, decisive 
changes had developed in the theological atmosphere at Andover. A 
notable exception was the chair of Christian theology held since 1847 
by the formidable Edwards A. Park, who remained solidly anchored 
in his dogmatic assertion of strict Calvinist orthodoxy. The other 
professors, who had come in the sixties and seventies, were more open 
to the new currents of thought coming from the advance of natural 
science, biblical criticism, and German scholarship. The time was 
fast approaching when Andover was to be the very storm center of 
theological controversy in the country. The new spirit was most 
evident in William Jewett Tucker, who came to the faculty in 1879. 
In contrast with Park's static theology, he interpreted Christian 
thought dynamically, and was among the first to see the social im- 
plications of Christianity (he was the founder of the Andover House 
settlement in Boston) , 137 

Gates's generous nature and deep human sympathy could not help 
responding eagerly to such intellectual and moral leadership. He was 
also powerfully influenced by his contact with the progressive thought 
of German philosophers and theologians, particularly by the "realistic 
idealism" of Rudolf Hermann Lotze at Gottingen, with its emphasis 
on the emptiness of abstract notions and the fullness of individual 
life, with its aspirations, feelings, and desires, its aesthetic and ethical 
interests, and its religious faith. 

Gates thus approached his pastoral responsibilities as a convinced 
and enthusiastic modernist. He was made aware of the bitterness of 
the conflict between old and new when he was charged with subver- 
sive radicalism and therefore refused ordination by an ecclesiastical 





council at Littleton, New Hampshire. The council was presided over 
by President Bartlett of Dartmouth, who was to make amends ten 
years later by conferring a D.D. upon his former student, and who 
even recommended Gates to succeed him in the presidency of his Alma 
Mater. Similar fears as to his theological soundness led the American 
Board to decline to accept Gates for missionary work in Japan. A 
newly organized Congregational church at Upper Montclair, New 
Jersey, showed more courage by calling the proscribed radical to its 
pulpit, and he remained the successful pastor of this church from 
1 8 8 to 1 8 87, when he came to Grinnell. In 1 8 82 he was unanimously 
accepted for ordination by an ecclesiastical council headed by Lyman 
Abbott. Charles Noble, then a pastor in New Jersey, later called to 
the chair of English at Grinnell, was a member of this council. It was 
also in 1882 that Gates married Isabel Augusta Smith of Syracuse, 
New York. 

The arrival of George A. Gates on the Grinnell campus in 1887 
had the effect of an electric shock. He did not have the impressive 
personal presence of Dr. Magoun. Of medium height and slender 
build, with short sandy hair receding somewhat from his broad fore- 
head, a ragged moustache concealing his full lips, with merry blue 
eyes and a quizzical expression of countenance, the new president had 
none of the Jovian air of his predecessor. Nor did he have a preacher's 
manner. He spoke in short, sharp sentences, quite different from the 
oratorical rotundity of Magoun's periods. Not only was he a con- 
vincing speaker by the clear impact of his thought and the fearless 
courage of his utterance, but he had the gift of brevity. His short 
Friday morning chapel talks were powerfully effective. He had a 
keen sense of humor, and his frankness often gave the impression that 
he enjoyed shocking people by a startling brusqueness. His pedagogi- 
cal method was in keeping with this habit. The textbook and the 
opinions of traditional authorities were only occasions for sharp, bold, 
ruthless discussions in which student contribution was explicitly en- 
couraged. He was positive in his views, blunt and forthright in ex- 
pression, but never authoritarian. 

Pomp and ceremony were quite foreign to his nature, and that he 
must preserve the professional dignity of his office never occurred to 
him. He was happy batting up flies for the ball players in his shirt- 
sleeves, or coasting down a hill on his bicycle, thoughtless of the 
bumps that might lie in wait for him at the unseen bottom. One of 

86 Grmnell College 

his characteristic sayings was "You get your best fun on the edge of 

Of course Gates's theological and philosophical views and his frank 
acceptance of the "higher criticism" of the Bible were diametrically 
opposed to those of Dr. Magoun, who, still teaching mental and moral 
science, no doubt had to restrain himself to avoid taking sharp issue 
in his classes with his presidential successor. Dr. Frank I. Herriott in 
his reminiscences records an occasion when the old school won out 
by a subtle stratagem. President Gates was to* preach at the Congrega- 
tional Church. Seeing Dr. Magoun in the congregation, he asked him 
to assist in the service. In his opening prayer the old war horse made 
such an eloquent and powerful plea to the Almighty to guide the 
thought of the preacher in ways of truth and to shield him from the 
manifold errors of insidious modern heresy and infidelity that his 
young successor shifted from an intended discourse of controversial 
tenor to a completely inoffensive sermon to which the most conserva- 
tive of his hearers could not take exception. But that was a type of 
ironic courtesy which Gates the crusader was more likely to honor in 
the breach than in the observance. 

Gates was not a great scholar, and his pedagogical experience was 
limited. He was wise enough to leave the educational planning and 
functioning of the curriculum to his faculty, while he attended most 
successfully to the public functions of his office and to student dis- 
cipline. He was a keen sleuth, or perhaps still enough of a boy inside 
to sense the ways of boys, and he enjoyed grilling the mischievous 
youths who worked off their surplus energy in miscellaneous pranks. 
He usually succeeded in locating the culprits in jig-time, no matter 
how cleverly they covered their tracks. Gates discarded the minute, 
vexatious regulations of the old days, for he expected students to be 
ladies and gentlemen and good citizens. In his eyes the cardinal sin 
was lying. His own transparent honesty, his winning kindliness and 
humor removed any sting from his discipline, even of the young 
sinners whom he handled most roughly. They often became and 
remained his most ardent admirers. 

President Gates showed excellent judgment in his selection of new 
members of the faculty, and, as he had the appointment of an almost 
entirely new teaching staff during his term of thirteen years, that was 
his most important and lasting contribution to the life of the College. 
The faculty, which was relatively strong under Magoun, became un- 


der Gates one of the best teaching groups in the entire country this 
in spite of a pitifully low salary scale. 

Of the nine members of the teaching staff whom Gates inherited 
in 1887, only two, Buck and Macy (one mediocre, the other truly 
great) remained through his entire term of service. Of the sixteen 
full members of the faculty at the close of his presidency, fourteen 
were chosen by him, in addition to others who came and went during 
the period. This fact alone indicates to what extent again, as in the 
first presidency, the College became the "lengthened shadow of a 
man." So far as it is known, the retirement of older members of the 
faculty was accomplished without the bitterness that accompanied 
some such changes under the former administration. 

The work in the classics was notably strengthened in personnel and 
reached high distinction. Professor John M. Crow, who added in- 
struction in the modern languages to his proper work in Greek, was 
a humanist of the most humane type. His quiet, sober, kindly man- 
ner still carried an illumination which inspired respect. No mere 
syntax-grinder, he made his students conscious of the human interest 
of his subject and its enduring value for the modern world, the litera- 
ture and life of the Greeks becoming through his interpretation a 
living influence in the thought of his students. His service at Grinnell 
lasted only seven years. In 1890 he sought relief from tuberculosis in 
Colorado, but found only temporary improvement and died on the 
way home. The contrast between Professor Crow and his wife, 
Martha Foote Crow, who served from 1884 to 1891 as "Lady Prin- 
cipal/' was quite marked. A source of some amusement to the stu- 
dents, she expressed her individuality by spelling their name "Crowe," 
and always marched briskly ahead of her husband as they walked to 
their work at the College. A beautiful woman, mercurial and senti- 
mental, her moods varied from graciousness to severity. She could 
wax sweetly lyrical about the blue gentians on the campus, and then 
pour out the vials of her disapproval upon young ladies who departed 
from her accepted norm of conduct. After leaving Grinnell, she was 
assistant professor of English literature at the University of Chicago 
and at Northwestern, where she also served as dean of women. 

After Professor Crow's death, Greek was taught a d interim by the 
Rev. James A. Towle (A.B., Harvard), until in 1892 the coming of 
John Hanson Thomas Main marked a new era, to be discussed in the 
chapter dealing with his long and fruitful presidency. The growing 

88 Grinnell College 

popularity of the courses in Greek led soon to the transfer from the 
preceptorship of the Academy of Clara E. Millerd ( A.B., A.M., Grin- 
nell, later Ph.D., Chicago), one of the most brilliant women grad- 
uates of the College, to a professorship of Greek and philosophy. 

Latin (with French as an adjunct) was taught from 1886 to 1890 
by Ernest Sicard, Ph.D., a native of France who spoke English with 
a strong accent. He was a scholarly man whose teaching contrasted 
sharply with that of Professor Crow in his emphasis upon grammatical 
and syntactical minutiae to the virtual exclusion of literary values. 138 
He was succeeded by Moses Stephen Slaughter, Ph.D., who came from 
graduate study at Johns Hopkins and an instructorship at Bryn Mawr 
College (where he met his charming and accomplished wife) . After 
five years at Grinnell he was called to the chair of Latin at the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin. Slaughter was not an outstanding scholar in 
the narrower sense, but he was a great teacher, making participation 
in his classes an absorbingly interesting experience, spiced with mis- 
chievous humor. Occasionally a bright student came back at the 
professor. One such, with an innocent air, asked: "Professor, what 
does MSS stand for?" Slaughter answered: "You ought to know 
that; those are just my initials/* The boy grinned and said: <C O, now 
I understand. The notes to this passage say 'MSS hopelessly corrupt/ " 
The professor used to tell this story with great gusto. 

Slaughter was succeeded at Grinnell by William Arthur Heidel 
(Ph.D., Chicago), one of the most learned men in philology and 
philosophy among classicists. After nine years at Grinnell he rounded 
out a notable career on the faculty of Wesleyan University, Connecti- 
cut, where he occupied the chair of Greek and published a series of 
scholarly works. 

The modern languages came to life during the Gates administration. 
At first a feeble adjunct to the classics, they claimed a professorship 
when John R. Wightman, Ph.D., came in 1889, After two years he 
transferred to Oberlin, and was succeeded by Raymond Calkins 
( A.B., Harvard) , who taught French and German for two years, but 
was soon on the way to a distinguished career as pastor of Congrega- 
tional churches in New England. He was succeeded in 1893 by John 
Scholte Nollen (Ph.D., Leipzig) , who was later to become the fifth 
president of the College. 

The English department was still served for a time by a succession 
of clergymen. Barnes carried on until 1891, followed for two years 


by the Rev. Newton M. Hall (A.M., Dartmouth). In 1893 the Rev. 
Charles Noble (A.B., Williams), came from a pastorate at Charles 
City, Iowa, and continued on the faculty for twenty-six years. He 
was born in New York, December 3, 1847, the son of a minister. 
After graduation from Williams he studied at Union Theological 
Seminary and abroad, was ordained in 1873, and held pastorates at 
Franklin, New York; Hyattsville, Maryland; Woodbridge, New Jer- 
sey (at which time he participated in the council that ordained George 
A. Gates) ; and Charles City, Iowa. 139 Neither a scholar nor an accom- 
plished teacher, Noble had a literary knowledge that was broad rather 
than deep; but he had a most lovable and sympathetic nature, and 
his influence as a friendly adviser far transcended his importance as 
a pedagogue. 

In his second year at Grinnell he found an invaluable colleague in 
Selden Lincoln Whitcomb (A.M., Columbia), 140 who was the first 
professor of English literature in Grinnell to bring an ample scholarly 
training to bear upon his teaching in this field. Born at Grinnell, 
July 19, 1866, he was graduated from Iowa College in 1887. He 
taught foreign languages in 1887-1889 at Stockton Academy, Kan- 
sas, earned his master's degree at Columbia University in 1893, and 
carried on graduate study at Cornell University, Harvard, Chicago, 
and Colorado. During his eleven years 5 professorship at Grinnell he 
developed a new technique in the study and criticism of literature 
and stimulated serious work in comparative literature with the help 
of colleagues in other language departments. His book, The Study 
of a Novel (1905), set a new standard in literary analysis. Leaving 
Grinnell in 1905, he taught English literature at the University of 
Kansas, and was professor of comparative literature there from 1919 
until his death in 1930. 

Whitcomb, poet as well as scholar, published several booklets of 
verse. Short of stature, quiet and retiring in manner, never in robust 
health, he limited his activities to his study and his classroom, except 
for his meditative pleasure in nature and his membership in several 
learned societies devoted to economics, sociology, and politics, as well 
as literature. His modest estate was willed by his widow to Grinnell 
College for prizes in poetry, which bear his name. 

The natural sciences found their full place in the curriculum dur- 
ing the administration of President Gates. Following the five years' 
service of Joseph Torrey, Jr., Walter Scott Hendrixson 141 (A.M., 

<20 Grinnell College 

Harvard, 1889; Ph.D., 1903; Berlin and Gottingen, 1894-1895) 
came in 1890 to spend thirty-five years as head of the department of 
chemistry. He shared with Professor Harry Waldo Norris (biology) 
the responsibility for making Grinnell a center of research as well as 
of distinguished teaching in science. From their laboratories issued 
an unbroken stream of publications in their specialties and a succes- 
sion of well-trained young scientists for the colleges and the research 
laboratories of the country. 

Physics, hitherto unequally yoked with mathematics, became a 
separate department in 1893, with the arrival of Frank F. Almy 
(B.Sc., Nebraska) , 142 He remained for thirty-nine years head of this 
department, from which also many younger physicists went on to 
academic teaching. 

In the biological sciences, the inclusive term "natural history" re- 
mained through 1891. Following the retirement of Henry "W. Parker, 
whose last year was filled out by Norris as instructor, Erwin Hinckly 
Barbour (Ph.D., Yale) held this chair in 1889-1891, going then to a 
successful career as professor of geology at the University of Nebraska 
and as state geologist. He was followed by Norris, 143 who rounded out 
a full half-century as a member of the Grinnell faculty in 1941. 

Norris was born in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, September 11, 1862, 
was graduated from Iowa College in 1886 (M.A., 1889, D.Sc., 1924), 
and did graduate work at Cornell University, the University of 
Nebraska, and Freiburg, Germany, With his coming, "natural his- 
tory" became biology and zoology, with further limitation to zoology 
in 1903. He was exchange lecturer at Harvard in 1913-1914, and at 
various times taught summer courses at the universities of Iowa, 
Illinois, and Minnesota. He engaged in internationally recognized re- 
search on the comparative anatomy of the nervous system, his pub- 
lished researches numbering some sixty titles. To the life of the Col- 
lege he also made a singularly valuable contribution in his chapel and 
vesper talks and in his work as chairman of the faculty, a post he held 
for many years. 

Norris succeeded in carrying into all his living and doing the un- 
compromising and clear-eyed integrity that characterize the true 
scholar. It was due largely to him and to Professor Hendrixson that 
the laboratory sciences won their full place in the curriculum at 
Grinnell, though only after many a skirmish with the proponents of 
the older restricted course of study. The result was the acceptance of 


the new concept that a rounded college course included both the 
humanistic disciplines and the sciences. Soon, as we shall see in the 
next chapter, the social sciences also claimed a larger place in the 
scheme of education. 

When former President Magoun retired from teaching in 1890, 
the way was open for a full-fledged and modernized department of 
philosophy under James Simmons, Jr. (A.M., Beloit), who had come 
as instructor in mathematics in 1889, after three years' graduate 
study in Berlin. He soon changed the older title "mental and moral 
sciences" to "philosophy and pedagogics," retaining the work in edu- 
cation carried until 1892 by Professor Edson, and also elementary 
work in psychology. 

Simmons, quiet and unassuming, became one of the most beloved 
and efficient members of the faculty, constantly active in counseling 
and in committee work. His early death, after but a decade of teach- 
ing at Grinnell, was felt as a personal bereavement by all who knew 

Faculty control of the educational interests of the College was 
firmly established under President Gates, and with it the independent 
sovereignty of each department of study within its particular sphere. 
The pressure of new subjects upon the curriculum broke through the 
bonds of the older courses of study. In 1895 Grinnell adopted the 
Group System, then newly inaugurated at Johns Hopkins, in order 
to make room for new material and yet prevent the indiscriminate 
choice of unrelated subjects and the piling up of elementary courses 
in many fields. Thus a high degree of elasticity was secured, without 
the danger of futile scattering which was inherent in the method of 
the uncontrolled election of subjects with which Harvard was then 
experimenting when President Eliot had "turned Harvard over 
like a flapjack," as Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to John Lothrop 


The Social Sciences and Jesse Macy 

WITH Gates's strong personal commitment to the cause of social prog- 
ress, it was inevitable that he should do all in his power to encourage 
the study of social science at Grinnell. The local atmosphere was al- 
ready favorable to this development through the presence in the fac- 
ulty of a graduate of the College, whose unfolding genius, growing 
through a strangely changing program of teaching, was to make him 
a great pioneer in the study of national and international politics. 
Jesse Macy 14 * was the youngest son, the thirteenth of fourteen chil- 



dren, in a Quaker family settled on a farm near Lynnville, Iowa. 
Pioneering was in the Macy blood, as was sturdy independence of 
thought. The founder of the American branch, an English Puritan, 
emigrated from Wiltshire to Massachusetts about 1635, came under 
condemnation of the law in the colony by harboring "obnoxious'* 
Quakers, and escaped to the island of Nantucket, where the family 
became converts to the faith of the English Friends. Jesse's progeni- 
tors later joined a Quaker settlement in the forests of North Carolina, 
His parents, to escape the blight of slavery, journeyed over mountains 
and across rivers to the wilds of Indiana, later moving to a still newer 
section of the Hoosier state. Jesse was born in Henry County, In- 
diana, June 21, 1842. In the 1850*s, the pioneering urge drove his 
parents to seek a larger opportunity for their many children in 
Poweshiek County, Iowa, fifteen miles south of the location selected 
by J. B. Grinnell and his associates for a town and a university. 

Jesse was seventeen when Professor L. F. Parker, who was then also 
county superintendent, "discovered' 5 him and persuaded his father 
to send him to Grinnell to be educated. Since Jesse was destined to be 
the most distinguished son of the College and its most influential 
teacher, and since no other man's career was more completely bound 
up with Grinnell, it seems appropriate to give ample space to the 
events of his life. 

"The week John Brown was hanged" (December 2, 1859) Jesse 
Macy walked fifteen miles across the prairie and came to Grinnell to 
complete his fragmentary preparation for college. A girl in the later 
academy class of 1865 remembered the "tall gangling figure in a 
butternut suit" coming into the upper room of the public school, and 
remarked that the young recruit was well behind her own class in 
preparation. After one term Jesse's beginning of formal education 
was interrupted. These fanner boys had to work for the few dollars 
it cost to go to school, and Jesse applied himself to farm labor and 
rural school teaching. When he continued his own schooling, it was 
at the Friends' Institute near Oskaloosa, from 1861 to 1863, after 
which he returned to Grinnell for another term in the junior prepara- 
tory class. 

Meanwhile he had been chosen a member of the representative com- 
mittee of the Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends. It was this official 
responsibility rather than personal preference that led him to claim 
the legal exemption from military service granted to Quakers, when 

94 Grinnell College 

he was drafted for the Union Army in 1864. The military officers 
refused to honor this exemption and insisted on his bearing arms, but 
he steadily declined. As he was denied hospital service for which he 
applied, he remained with his military unit and participated, strictly 
as a noncombatant, in Sherman's March to the Sea. He was at last 
given a hospital assignment shortly before he was mustered out at the 
close of the war. This extraordinary experience is described graphi- 
cally and with good humor in his Autobiography. His personal con- 
tact with the pretentious rigidity and arrogance of the limited military 
mind was calculated to confirm him in his loyalty to Quaker prin- 

In February, 1866, Macy entered Iowa College as a freshman. He 
was just twenty-eight when he was graduated from the classical 
course, which included Greek, Latin, mathematics, mental and Chris- 
tian science (no relation to Mrs. Eddy's later sect), "belles lettres" 
(bits of English literature, rhetoric, aesthetics, and general history) , 
a smattering of physical science, and one term of political science. 

While remaining a member of the Society of Friends, he had joined 
the Congregational Church at Grinnell and chosen the ministry as his 
life work. However, instead of going to Yale for a theological course, 
he accepted a position as tutor in Iowa College, to which he had been 
elected without his knowledge, but a position for which he had 
qualified himself by teaching Academy classes during his own college 
years. By the end of the year, the trustees elected him principal of 
the Academy. Their urging, together with his fear that a serious 
weakness of the throat would prove a permanent impediment to suc- 
cess in the pulpit, led him to abandon his plan for a ministerial career 
and accept the teaching profession that seemed "thrust upon him." 

During the fifteen years of Principal Macy's administrative service, 
he was feeling his way toward his lifework and his original method 
as a teacher. More or less filling gaps in the curriculum, he taught 
mathematics (rebelling against repetition of the same material), 
ancient languages (with a defective verbal memory and uncertainty 
as to the forms of speech) , physiology, history of civilization, history 
and constitutional law (replacing desultory lectures by visiting jur- 
ists), and political economy, for which his preparation consisted of 
six weeks devoted to the study of an inferior text in economics. All 
the time his own chief interest was in politics and government. 

During the last two years of his principalship he was also acting 


professor, and then professor, of history and political science in the 
College. From 1885 to his retirement in 1912 he gave his time alto- 
gether to college teaching; his chair was described presently as con- 
stitutional history and political economy, and finally as political 

Macy's interest in problems of government and social reform 
stemmed in part from his family's discussions of the slavery issue and 
the reading of Horace Greeley's editorials in the New York Weekly 
Tribune and of Mrs. Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin as it appeared serially 
in the National Era during his boyhood; in part from his experience 
in the Civil War, after which he sought but failed to find work among 
the freedmen in Missouri. His method, which was a natural expres- 
sion of his personal rectitude and devotion to truth, was stimulated 
by the reading of Darwin's Origin of Species, which came to him as 
a "veritable new gospel." The unprejudiced objectivity of Darwin's 
approach, the untiring accuracy and patience of his twenty years' 
observation and gathering of facts, the honesty of his consequent 
generalizations, came as a revelation of a scientific method which Macy 
was eager to apply to the study of human relations, in order that there 
might be a science of politics, leading to a "new and righteous order." 
"Great as was the revolution actually accomplished in the advance- 
ment of the natural sciences, even greater and more beneficent would 
be the expected revolution to be accomplished in social and political 
science." 14S 

Macy was realistic enough to recognize the difference in the ma- 
terials of political as compared with natural science: "What men say 
and think about the operations of oxygen and hydrogen makes no 
difference to the phenomena; but what men say and think about 
the relations of capitalists and their employees does make a difference." 
So opinions, prejudices, traditional views, partisan loyalties, and 
hatreds, which have no place in the study of physical and biological 
phenomena, are among the very materials of investigation in the field 
of politics. But Macy was also enough of an idealist to believe that a 
political debate, conducted in the scientific spirit, might promote a 
willingness to surrender individual and partisan advantage for the 
sake of general welfare. However, the political scientist would al- 
ways begin by inquiring, not how the human animal ought to behave 
according to any preconceived system, but how he actually does 

96 Grinnell College 

Macy tells in his Autobiography how he stumbled on the proper 
method of study in his chosen field. He was teaching a class in Greek 
and Roman history, and though he had himself found much pleasure 
in reading Rollins' Ancient History, he could not arouse the students' 
interest in the remote subject of the Greek city-state. At last, in a fit 
of desperation, he closed the book and dismissed the class with the 
assignment: "You may take the town of Grinnell for your next 
lesson!" So he and his pupils consulted local officials, interviewed 
pioneer citizens, read town ordinances and state laws, and learned what 
they could about the relation of the little municipality to township, 
county, state, and federal government. When at last they resumed 
the study of the ancient Greeks, both class and teacher were trans- 
formed: "We had planted our feet upon the solid earth. Political 
phenomena, in Athens or Grinnell, had become an object of tran- 
scendent interest, and civil duties were to be taken note of in the 
classroom as an important part of our daily work." 146 

Here was the new method: never to learn by rote out of a book 
what the student could see with his own eyes, but to go to the grass- 
roots, gather the facts, and let theories grow out of the facts. This was 
quite in the spirit of Macy's great contemporary, Justice Holmes, who 
said in his Lowell Lectures (1881) : "The life of the law has not been 
logic; it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time . . . even 
the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a 
good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by 
which men should be governed." 

Macy was eager to impart his discovery to other teachers, espe- 
cially to those in the public schools, but he found it most difficult to 
wean the ordinary pedagogue away from his (or her) dependence 
upon the authority of the textbook. School superintendents de- 
manded a book containing the materials which the teachers could not 
be expected to gather at firsthand. Making this concession from his 
design, Macy published Civil Government in Iowa (1881), and ex- 
panded it in A Government Textbook for Iowa Schools. Publishers 
were asking for a general text on civil government, and the result 
was Our Government, What It Does and How It Does It (1886). 

This was the beginning of extensive writing, during a period of 
forty years, on political, social, religious, and international subjects. 
Meanwhile, textbooks in civil government multiplied throughout the 
country, all following the lead of Macy's essential idea. In his later 


writing Macy encountered charges of radicalism because he combatted 
the rigidity of contemporary interpretations of the Constitution. 
Here again he was at one with Justice Holmes, who said: "The Con- 
stitution is an experiment, as all life is an experiment." 

The chair of political science in Iowa College was the original crea- 
tion of Professor Macy. In it he pioneered not only in the instruc- 
tional material but also in the use of the discussion method rather 
than formal lectures or textbook recitation. Though he had strong 
convictions, he never imposed his own opinions on his students or 
gave them ready-made formulas. He was so objective in his attitude 
and consistently inductive in his method that his students often com- 
plained they could not discover where the professor stood on con- 
troversial issues. 

Abstractions and facile generalizations never allured his inquisitive 
and realistic mind. It was the human scene itself, with all its crudities, 
complexities, contradictions, and oddities that fascinated him. For 
statistics and mere book-learning he had little use, and for propa- 
ganda none at all. It was refreshing to watch his keenly penetrating 
mind, illumined by a dry and kindly humor, cut through the specious 
sophistries of self-important pedantries of academic debate to the 
warm human values underneath. Human conduct was his raw ma- 
terial, and his clearness of vision in reading it was matched by the 
honesty and simplicity of his interpretation. He was therefore con- 
sistent in treating with great patience and consideration the imma- 
ture opinions and arguments of his students, when they were genuine 
and honestly expressed. But toward evasion and disingenuousness he 
was without pity. 

Professor Macy was an idealist with a realistic method. He was a 
rare combination of the scientific mind and the sympathetic heart, one 
of the few men whose minds and hearts are big enough to harbor a gen- 
uine concern for the whole of humanity, without the least admixture 
of sentimentality. His thinking about the facts of political behavior 
rose inevitably into a philosophy, which was at one with his religion. 
His steady loyalty to the church was based more upon his conviction 
of the social significance of the church as an institution than upon 
any dogmatic consideration or any direct personal inspiration he 
derived from it. He was fundamentally impelled to an unswerving 
devotion to those institutions which he felt were expressive of the 
common life and instrumental in its best development. 

98 Grinnell College 

Among the happiest of Professor Macy's life experiences were the 
cordial relations formed with other authorities in the field of interest 
that he had made peculiarly his own. Such contacts were widened 
through occasional leaves of absence for foreign travel or temporary 
teaching elsewhere, or by giving courses at summer sessions of Ameri- 
can universities. He carried on this work even after his retirement 
from active teaching at Grinnell, and in 1913 gave the Harvard Lec- 
tures at the French provincial universities in Poitiers, Tours, Bordeaux, 
and Toulouse, substituting for Albert Bushnell Hart. During his 
stay in England he formed close associations with such leaders of 
advanced thought as Sidney Webb and George Bernard Shaw. 

James Bryce became Macy's intimate friend and visited him at 
Grinnell whenever his travels brought him within reach. Bryce con- 
sulted Macy with regard to his American Commonwealth and later 
books, and asked him to prepare the abridgement of his Commonwealth 
for college use. In 1921 Lord Bryce wrote to Mrs. Macy: "There was 
no one in your country whose friendship I valued more or for whom 
I had a deeper respect/* And one of Professor Macy's old students 
expressed the general feeling of many in saying: "He was the wisest 
and kindest man I have ever known." 

Professor Macy was already well established in his college chair 
when his former teacher of classics, Professor L. F. Parker, declining 
calls from other colleges, returned to Grinnell from his unhappy 
experience at the State University. He relieved Macy of part of his 
dual chair by creating, in 1888, a separate department of history, 
which he conducted until his retirement. Professor Parker remained 
a teacher of the old school, and retained undimmed his crusading 
loyalty to causes that appealed to his patriotic and religious devotion. 
He differed from Macy in his inflexible partisanship and in his grow- 
ing conservatism, supported at times by special pleading. But Pro- 
fessor Parker's vivid personality, his generous interest in his students, 
and his never failing devotion to the welfare of the community en- 
sured him the widest recognition as the Grand Old Man of college 
and town. 

Professor Parker retired in 1898 and was succeeded by Allen John- 
son (Ph.D., Columbia), 147 who brought modern equipment to the 
teaching of history. After seven years Professor Johnson accepted a 
call to Bowdoin College and went from there to Yale, where he edited 
the collection of Chronicles of America. In 1926 he retired from 


teaching to become general editor of the Dictionary of American 

Reactions differed toward the establishment of a new department 
of study under the challenging title of "Applied Christianity/* Gates 
was characteristically enthusiastic, Parker instinctively hostile, Macy 
favorable with quiet reservation to the injection into the Grin- 
nell scene of a firebrand whose name was George Davis Herron. 148 
Herron was born into a devoutly religious family in Montezuma, 
Indiana, January 21, 1862, and even in his boyhood seems to have 
developed a persistent conviction that he was destined to play a 
messianic part in the regeneration of the world. His formal education 
was fragmentary an unfinished course of study in the preparatory 
department of Ripon College in Wisconsin but he was able to 
assimilate the materials for his career as a public speaker by diligent 
reading. Impatient of the lore of the schools, he managed admission 
to the ministry without the formality of a course in theology, and he 
did not escape the tendency to cocksureness that is often found among 
the self-taught. He was twenty-one when he entered the ministry 
and married the daughter of the mayor of Ripon. His horizon was 
widened by two years* subsequent travel and study in Europe. 

In 1891 Herron was pastor of a small Congregational church at 
Lake City, Minnesota, when an address before the State Association 
of Congregational Churches at Minneapolis gave him an opportunity 
to display his oratorical power before a wider audience. His subject 
was "The Message of Jesus to Men of Wealth." The impression made 
by this address led to his call to Burlington, Iowa, as associate pastor 
with Dr. William Salter of the Iowa Band. Here his fervid preaching 
of a social gospel aroused the instinctive hostility of many conserva- 
tive members of the church, but found ardent support among the 
liberal-minded. Among these were Mrs. E. D. Rand, wealthy widow 
of a pioneer lumberman, and her daughter Carrie. Their sympathy 
with the young preacher's desire to find a free platform and a wider 
resonance for his radical message prompted them to provide the en- 
dowment for a chair of Applied Christianity at Iowa College, in 
which, with the cordial support of President Gates, Herron was 
installed as professor in 1893, just after Tabor College made him a 
doctor of divinity. Mrs. Rand and her daughter also now made Grin- 
nell their home, and Carrie became instructor in social and physical 
culture, as well as principal for women in the College. 

100 Grinnell College 

The impact of the personality and the teaching of Professor Herron 
upon the College and the larger community was electric; it soon be- 
came nationwide. His appearance was arresting rather than impres- 
sive: a slender frame of somewhat over medium stature, a pale com- 
plexion contrasting with the deep black of hair and beard, a carrying 
voice which could become rasping in invective, a combative self- 
assurance, and a certain hypnotic power reminding one of Svengali in 
Du Maurier's Trilby. The man had a passionate conviction of his 
prophetic mission, which made him as ready as Amos to ride rough- 
shod over the prejudices and cherished traditions of creative minds, 
and with harsh denunciation to attack entrenched privilege in eco- 
nomic and social life. 

This flaming evangel of a Christ-motivated society made a power- 
ful impression on serious and generous minds in the college com- 
munity, as well as on ever wider circles outside. Here was a prophet 
of a new Christian order who might have hastened the progressive 
movement toward social justice in the nation if his unquestionable 
power had not been vitiated by weaknesses that became more evident 
during his eventful six years at Grinnell. 

The contrast between Macy and Herron, who were working in the 
same general field, was as sharp as that between Magoun and Gates, 
though in a different way. Both, indeed, had a common passion for 
social righteousness and shared a common devotion to the ideals of 
Christian living. Both, likewise, were self-taught. But despite the 
Quaker's inbred faith in the "inner light," Macy was conscientiously 
scientific in his survey of the political and economic scene, basing all 
his study upon a careful investigation of factual data. Herron was 
audaciously intuitive, believing himself the recipient of direct per- 
sonal revelation of the truth. There was always a twinkle in Macy's 
eyes; Herron was too intense ever to be humorous. Macy's method 
was Socratic he made his students talk and acted as a judicial arbiter 
of their discussions; Herron was authoritative and taught by omnis- 
cient exhortation. Macy's style was simple, lucid, didactic; Herron's 
utterance was apocalyptic, with free use of superlatives and flam- 
boyant phrases. Macy's high-pitched voice and somewhat hesitant 
manner disqualified him for effective public speaking; Herron was a 
forensic wizard, Macy was a faithful and humble communicant of 
his church; Herron was its caustic critic. Macy would improve the 
social structure by intelligence and good will; Herron would lay the 



torch to it, that after its destruction there might arise something 
nearer to the heart's desire. In short, Macy was for reform, Herron 
for revolution. 

In essence, it was Herron's manner rather than his substance that 
was most offensive to the defenders of the status quo. His theory, in 
so far as he had a definite doctrine, was not more subversive than that 
of progressive religious and social thinkers in general. His earlier 
publications were approved by religious journals of various denomina- 
tions and highly praised by men whose judgment carried weight. 
Lyman Abbott said of Herron's first book: "It is electric, and needs 
not the impassioned utterance of the speaker to give it emphasis. It 
flashes with a fire that is internal, and contains even more than it 
imparts. It is timely, courageous, Christian." Dr. John H. Barrows 
commented: "Nothing so eloquent and timely has appeared for many 
a month," and Josiah Strong wrote: "In this volume there speaks a 
man with the profound conviction and intense earnestness of one of 
the old Hebrew prophets." 

Unfortunately, there were rifts in this champion's armor. He was 
the victim of his own extraordinary qualities, and he lacked the 
strength of character to overcome his peculiar temptations. His self- 
confidence easily took the form of overweening pride, his intense con- 
viction made him impatient and censorious, his eloquence ran into 
exaggeration and wild invective, his hatred of the tyranny of wealth 
and privilege and his sympathy for the victims of social injustice were 
marred by his personal love of luxury and the alluring satisfactions 
that wealth can buy. Of money that came into his hands he was a 
thoughtless spendthrift. His domestic life was unhappy, and he took 
refuge from discord (doubtless much of his own making) in the 
adulation and ease that he found in the home of his patroness, whose 
daughter was his best comforter. Even in Burlington, before his com- 
ing to Grinnell, "a domestic tragedy had developed which made it 
impossible for him to continue as pastor/' 

There came into his manner an acerbity and a martyr-complex 
neither of which could gain him sympathy. His scathing condem- 
nation of existing institutions aroused bitter antagonism and even 
alienated many who had once been his ardent partisans. President 
Gates continued to support him with exemplary loyalty, but many 
of the trustees and some members of the faculty felt that his presence 
was detrimental to the best interests of the College. This opposition 

102 Grinnell College 

led to his resignation in October, 1899. When he joined the Socialist 
party, his enemies felt that their strictures had been justified. 

Mrs. Herron secured a quiet divorce in a distant Iowa town. When 
it became known that she and her four children had been compensated 
with a large sum from the Rand fortune, and when Herron and Carrie 
Rand were married in an informal service, "each choosing the other 
as a companion," the Greek tragedy of the flaming prophet of 
righteousness seemed to have reached its catastrophe, at least so far as 
Grinnell was concerned. 

In June, 1901, a Council of Iowa Congregational Churches, after 
full investigation, found Herron "guilty of immoral and un-Christian 
conduct" and expelled him from the Congregational ministry. His 
later opulent life abroad, in Italy and Switzerland, his third marriage 
after Carrie's death, and his activity as a sort of super-spy for Presi- 
dent Wilson during and after the first World War had only faint 
reverberations among his old associates in the Midwest. 

The Herron episode, backed by Mrs. Rand's financial support, made 
Grinnell the center of nationwide interest in the bold experiment of 
applying the teachings of Jesus to the solution of social and economic 
problems. Eminent lecturers were brought to Grinnell for addresses 
on social questions; summer schools and "retreats" organized by the 
department of Applied Christianity brought ministers and social 
workers to Grinnell from every part of the country for discussion 
and conference. One feature of such meetings has remained a per- 
manent characteristic of great educational value: Grinnell College has 
always maintained a free platform for the serious discussion of con- 
troversial issues. 

The administration of President Gates had made Grinnell a pioneer 
in the preaching of the Social Gospel. Reform was in the air, and 
soon the muckraker was abroad, proclaiming the economic and social 
sins of the nation. The Protestant churches began to draw together 
in a concerted movement toward social justice. In 1908 the Federal 
Council of the Churches of Christ in America was organized, and the 
Council soon went on record as advocating protection of the worker 
from occupational diseases, abolition of child labor, suppression of 
the sweatshop, reduction of the hours of the work day, workers* com- 
pensation, old age insurance, and "the most equitable division of the 
products of industry that can be devised." The church was well on 
the way toward a new interpretation of the Abundant Life. 

Presidency of Dan Freeman Bradley 


THE contention aroused by the activities of Dr. Herron cast a shadow 
over the last years of President Gates*s administration. Not only some 
of his associates on the faculty and among the trustees but many of his 
ministerial brethren were increasingly critical of the radicalism that 
seemed to be injected into the academic blood stream. This disapproval 
reacted upon the president, who had remained a sturdy champion of 
freedom of teaching. He could not help feeling also that Herron, whom 
he had supported with fraternal loyalty, had let him down. Burdened 


104 Grinnell College 

by such griefs, and by the state of his wife's health, which required a 
change of climate, he resigned the presidency in 1900. A brief but 
strenuously public-spirited pastorate at Cheyenne, Wyoming, was 
followed by two further college presidencies, at Pomona College, 
California, 1901-1909, and at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. 
His death, November 20, 1912, was the indirect result of a serious 
injury in a railway accident. 

During the interregnum following the departure of President Gates, 
John H. T. Main, professor of Greek, served as acting president. He 
seemed so well fitted for academic leadership that his colleagues on 
the faculty urged his election to the vacant presidency. However, 
the trustees were still faithful to the tradition that the head of a 
Christian college be a minister. They were also mindful of the sus- 
picion of the College that had arisen among ministers, and hence de- 
sired that the new president be able to reknit strong bonds of sym- 
pathy between the churches and the College. In September, 1900, 
they extended a call to Professor Frank Knight Sanders of the Yale 
Divinity School, who visited Grinnell but declined the offer, probably 
because of the financial burden it involved. Then their choice fell 
upon another prominent churchman who seemed to possess all the 
desired qualifications: the Rev. Dan Freeman Bradley. He was 
elected president in June, 1902. 

Dan Freeman Bradley I4Q was born into a family of missionaries in 
Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand) , March 17, 1857. He was a graduate 
of Oberlin College and Oberlin Theological Seminary, and had some 
academic experience as acting president of Yankton College in South 
Dakota, 1889-1892, and as a trustee of Oberlin. He had been for ten 
years pastor of the First Congregational Church in Grand Rapids, 
Michigan. Dr. Bradley was an excellent preacher, though without the 
exuberance of Gates or the fiery eloquence of Herron; he was possessed 
of a friendly and loyal spirit. The fine trees on the Grinnell campus, 
many of them planted by his hands, bear witness to his love of 
natural beauty. 

He introduced an element of conservatism into the academic scene 
which was welcomed by friends of the College who had been disturbed 
by what seemed to them perilously radical tendencies. He was received 
with sympathy by the churches of the state, and did much to re- 
establish the College in their confidence. In short, Dr. Bradley did 
for Grinnell just what the trustees wished to have done. On the other 


hand, the students were inclined to be critical of the informality with 
which he conducted public exercises (the Chapel had never before 
been used for pep-sessions) , and the faculty failed to find in him the 
educational leadership which seemed to them essential in the conduct 
of academic affairs. He was himself disappointed in the lack of en- 
thusiasm he encountered among men from whom he had confidently 
expected financial support. 

Dr. Bradley presently realized that he was better fitted for the 
pastorate than for a college presidency, and after three years he re- 
linquished the somewhat uncongenial task at Grinnell and accepted 
a call to the important pulpit of the Pilgrim Congregational Church 
in Cleveland, which he served with distinction for thirty-two years. 
His well-earned place of leadership in the Congregational ministry 
was recognized in his election as associate moderator of the National 
Council in 1925; and his Alma Mater honored him in 1934 with a 
medal of distinction as the most useful alumnus of Oberlin. Dr. 
Bradley retained a generous interest in the welfare of Grinnell Col- 
lege until his death in 1939. 

Faculty changes were relatively numerous during the three years 
of Dr. Bradley's administration. Professor Buck's long reign as sole 
professor of mathematics was nearing its end, and for the first time 
expert teaching came to this department in the persons of William 
James Rusk (A.M., Toronto and Bishop's College), who began his 
forty years' service in 1903, and Raymond Benedict McClenon (A.B., 
Yankton; Ph.D., Yale), who came as instructor in 1905, to become 
professor in 1918. 

Two new departments were created. Botany was severed from the 
biological complex and began its separate existence in 1903, under 
Bruce Fink (Ph.D., Minnesota) , who transferred to Miami University 
after three years. A department of speech was organized by John P. 
Ryan (A.B., Cornell; A.M., Chicago), who came as instructor in 
1903 and became professor in 1906. 

The resignation of Professor Nollen, who transferred to Indiana 
University in 1903 after a year's leave of absence abroad, was fol- 
lowed by the appointment of Percy B. Burnet, A.M. He was suc- 
ceeded after two years by Roy Henderson Perring (A.M., Indiana; 
later Ph.D., Pennsylvania) , who remained for thirty-eight years, first 
as professor of modern languages, later confining his teaching to 

106 Grinnell College 

Allen Johnson's departure for Bowdoin brought Paul Frederick 
Peck (A.B., Grinnell; Ph.D., Chicago) back to Grinnell as professor 
of history in 1905. Dr. Heidel was succeeded by Charles Newton 
Smiley (A.B., Drury; Ph.D., Wisconsin) as professor of Latin in 
1905. In the department of English, Professor Whitcornb was fol- 
lowed in 1905 by Herbert S. Mallory (Ph.D., Yale), who remained 
in Grinnell only two years. 

After the death of Professor Simmons late in 1900, John Elof 
Boodin (Ph.D., Harvard) became professor of philosophy, succeeded 
in 1904 by John Dashiell Stoops (A.B., Dickinson; Ph.D., Boston), 
who thus began thirty-eight years of service in this department. 

The aftermath of the Herron episode was more complicated. The 
departure of Dr. Herron in 1899 gave Associate Professor Garret 
Polhemus Wyckoff (A.B., Grinnell) 150 charge of the department for 
the second semester. He remained as acting professor until 1903, then 
filled out Professor Macy's absence on leave as acting professor of 
political science, and in 1905 became professor of economics. 

Meanwhile, as a result of meeting Dean Main on a transatlantic 
vessel, Edward Alfred Steiner (Ph.D., Heidelberg) 151 had become 
professor of Applied Christianity in 1903 and continued to adorn this 
chair for thirty-eight years. Dr. Steiner was born in Slovakia, then 
under Hungarian domination, November 1, 18 6. He was educated 
in the public schools of Vienna and the gymnasium at Pilsen, Bohemia, 
attended the University of Heidelberg, and later the universities of 
Gottingen and Berlin. A pilgrimage during his student days to the 
home of Tolstoi left a deep impression upon him. An indiscreet in- 
terest in revolutionary literature made him an object of suspicion to 
the Hungarian authorities; a timely warning made him a fugitive 
and an emigrant to America. His book From Alien to Citizen is a 
moving story of his escape from the clutches of a despotic government 
to our shores and of the struggles of a lone immigrant with inhospita- 
ble elements in this land of the free. 

From an extraordinary variety of discouraging adventures and hard 
labor he came at last to Oberlin, where he found spiritual peace and 
a vocation, entered the Seminary, and received his B.D. in 1891. He 
was ordained a Congregational minister that same year and held 
pastorates at St. Cloud and St. Paul, Minnesota, Springfield and 
Sandusky, Ohio. In 1903 he was the special representative of the 
Outlook in Russia, where he renewed his acquaintance with Tolstoi, 


whose biographer he became. In September, 1903, he came to Grin- 
nell, from where he also carried on a lecturing activity that covered 
the entire country; he wrote sixteen books and many magazine arti- 
cles. For some years he made frequent trips abroad with groups of 
students, investigating immigration conditions and problems. 

Probably no one connected with the College from the beginning 
has carried the name of Grinnell to so wide an audience throughout 
the nation as has Dr. Steiner. Considering that English was not his 
mother tongue, his felicity of style and his effective use of humor 
and pathos may be called phenomenal; his power to express spiritual 
values in forms that are intellectually and emotionally telling is un- 
excelled. He received two honorary degrees from Grinnell, D.D. In 
1915, L.H.D. in 1943. 

Dr. Bradley's brief administration marked the end of the ministerial 
tradition at Grinnell. Henceforth the presidency was to be considered 
as primarily an educational function, demanding the service of men 
with a definite training and experience in the academic field. Such a 
man was then immediately available, and this time the trustees and 
faculty were agreed that the College could be best served by the pro- 
motion of Dean Main, who had already proved his ability as a teacher 
and an administrator. This time there was no need of a hiatus be- 
tween administrations. 


Administration of President Main 


JOHN Hanson Thomas Main 152 was born at Toledo, Ohio, April 2, 
1859. His father was a farmer and contractor, of remote English 
descent, but the branch that settled in Maryland early in the seven- 
teenth century came from Germany. His mother died when he was 
a few weeks old, and he was brought up by an aunt near Fremont, 
Ohio. Intending to become a physician, he read some medicine while 
attending Moore's Hill College in southern Indiana (A.B., 1880; 
A.M., 1883). After graduation he taught in country schools, then 


returned to Moore's Hill to teach Latin and Greek, and to become 
vice-president of the college. Here, in 1881, he married Emma Myers 
of Jeffersonville, Indiana. He did his graduate work and earned his 
Ph.D. in Greek under the famous Gildersleeve at Johns Hopkins, 
1889-1892, meanwhile teaching Greek and Latin at the Woman's 
College of Baltimore (now Goucher) and holding a fellowship at 

Dr. Main began his thirty-nine years* service at Grinnell in 1892 
as professor of Greek. At this time he seemed the typical cloistral 
scholar and teacher, whose influence would be limited to the college 
close. He was very tall (six feet four), slender, quiet, retiring in 
manner, and ineffective in public address, but a born teacher. He 
immediately drew to the study of Greek some of the ablest of the 
academic youth and aroused their enthusiastic loyalty. His capacity 
for academic leadership soon became evident to his colleagues, who 
elected him secretary of the faculty and member of the curriculum 
committee which so dominated the academic procedure (untouched 
by President Gates) that other members of the staff jocularly, or 
sometimes petulantly, referred to it as the Impermm in Imperio. 

During the interval following the departure of President Gates, 
Main was made acting president and with the coming of Dr. Bradley 
became dean of the faculty. In 1906 he entered upon his twenty-five 
years' service as president, the longest and in some respects the most 
fruitful administrative term in the history of the College, ending with 
his death April 1, 1931. 

The friends and associates of John H. T. Main were able to follow, 
in his career, the unanticipated development of a public leader. Be- 
ginning as a highly successful teacher, but demure and unimpressive 
in his wider relations, by dint of an indomitable will and untiring 
devotion to the interests of Grinnell and of higher education, he suc- 
ceeded in becoming one of the great college builders of his generation 
and a leader in academic affairs in state and nation. His growing im- 
portance as an educator was recognized by five honorary doctorates, 
including one from Harvard, and by his election in 1924 to the gov- 
erning board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of 
Teaching. During the first World War he served as member of the 
American Relief Commission to the Near East, 

As an executive officer, President Main tended to be somewhat 
autocratic. Confident of his own ability and his own judgment, he 

Grinnell College 

found It difficult to devolve responsibility, and he was impatient of 
opposition. The Board of Trustees, of which he was the president as 
well as the appointee, did little more during his administration than 
approve his recommendations, consequently losing some of its active 
members who had independent opinions and expressed them with 
vigor. He made some costly mistakes in acting, without full support 
of the trustees, upon his own imperfect business judgment, and toward 
the end this cost him the backing of some strong friends of the Col- 
lege. Nevertheless, largely by his own personal efforts, he raised the 
College to a new height of importance and influence. 

The quarter-century of President Main's administration saw the 
building of the Grinnell of today. Curriculum, character of the fac- 
ulty, endowment, effective plant, campus organization these are 
in large part the work of his brain and his unflagging energy. Though 
it was many years since he had left the classroom for wider fields of 
activity, still all his thinking to the last day remained educational in 
the truest sense. 

Not only in the rebuilding and the modernizing of the curriculum, 
and the choice of instructors, but in the planning of residences for 
men and women, in the development of student government, in the 
Gates Memorial Lectures, and in the Harvard Exchange relationship, 
he thought always in terms of a liberal education. The "Women's 
Quadrangle and the Men's Dormitories are perhaps the most char- 
acteristic expression of this dominant interest in his life; because he 
embodied unique educational values in the structures and the furnish- 
ings of these student homes, they became a model for other institu- 
tions far and wide. 

Above all, President Main had a zeal for the building of character, 
and he could contribute greatly to this end because he was himself 
endowed with a rarely rich and powerful character, some of whose 
outstanding qualities no one who knew him well could fail to observe 
and admire. Like the good Greek that he was, he remained a follower 
of Plato and an uncompromising idealist. He could not deliver an 
address without reference to eternal and absolute verities, and his 
clear eyes were unwaveringly fixed upon the Hellenic triad of the 
Good, the True, and the Beautiful. He was a man of faith, to whom 
Jesus was not a vague image in the dim distance, but a living presence 
calling men to follow Him, the very Master of Life. 

He had abounding courage and never turned his back upon a 


baffling problem or a threatening foe. He was sincerely a man of 
peace; yet he had the qualities of the good soldier. He had a power 
and persistence of will that carried him through every crisis of his 
severely tested administration and that bade him in the end drive 
himself with the last ounce of his waning strength, that his long task 
might be fully accomplished. 

His was a sensitive spirit, responsive to every fine and lovely thought 
or thing, sympathetic and affectionate beyond the imagination of 
those who could not penetrate beneath the outer shell of reserve that 
always encased him to the core of tenderness in his heart. The last 
word in an estimate of his character must be devotion. He believed 
in Grinnell with a loyalty that claimed his whole being. 

The outward aspect of the College was transformed during Presi- 
dent Main's administration. For many years there had been little 
building on the campus. Under Gates had come the Mears Cottage 
for women and the two gymnasiums; under Bradley, the Carnegie 
Library, secured with the influence of Dr. Albert Shaw, alumnus and 
trustee. Now Herrick Chapel and the Christian Association building 
(1906) provided an adequate center for the religious life of the Col- 
lege. Students who had been housed in private dwellings through the 
town were gathered into the Women's Quadrangle (1915) and the 
group of Men's Dormitories ( 1917) , built according to the president's 
plan. These residence groups furnished a beautiful and dignified set- 
ting for the integration of student life for both men and women on 
the campus, making it possible to organize the social life of students 
more effectively and to experiment with appropriate methods of stu- 
dent self-government. A dean of men and a dean of women were 
added to the staff in order to give better guidance to the social as well 
as the academic life of the College, and housemothers or hostesses for 
the various cottages and men's dormitories made the life of these 
residence centers more homelike. It must be admitted that the men 
at first looked askance at the intrusion of this female element into 
their masculine life, but the ladies who assumed this motherly func- 
tion soon made themselves popular and indispensable. 

The religious life of the students was not neglected. President Gates 
had experimented with a brief vesper service on Wednesday after- 
noons, but this experiment was of short duration. It was while Dr. 
Main was acting president in 1901 that he proposed a regular Sunday 
afternoon period of worship in the Chapel; he favored a service rather 

H2 Grinnell College 

formal in type, musically enriched, with the use of liturgical elements. 
This was arranged by a committee of the faculty, and for forty years 
this vesper service continued as a "heritage of beauty/' The archi- 
tecture of Herrick Chapel (built in 1906) lent itself admirably to 
this purpose, as did the Terrill Memorial Organ after 1908; the men's 
and women's glee clubs furnished the personnel of an exceptionally 
effective vesper choir. 153 

To accommodate the rapidly growing enrollment, a new Recita- 
tion Hall was erected in 1916; and in the following year a new Presi- 
dent's House was built, which was admired and envied by visiting 
college executives. An athletic field and grandstand and a modern 
heating plant had been provided in 1910; in 1927 a swimming pool 
rounded out the equipment for physical education. 

When Dean Main became president, it was assumed that his duties 
would be academic rather than financial. However, it soon became 
evident that no one else was equal to the task of attracting the neces- 
sary funds; and perforce the scholar-teacher-administrator became 
also the financial agent of the College. This function he fulfilled with 
a success beyond the dreams of his predecessors. 

Fortunately, Dr. Wallace Buttrick, executive secretary and later 
chairman of the General Education Board, had great faith in Grinnell 
College and was personally friendly to its president. Dr. Main was 
able to launch three campaigns for endowment, based on conditional 
grants from the Rockefeller Foundation. Thus one endowment cam- 
paign for $500,000 was completed in 1908, another for the same 
amount in 1914. Four years later a more ambitious effort was con- 
templated: the raising of one million dollars in pledges, to secure an 
additional gift of half a million from the General Education Board. 
World War I and its aftermath greatly delayed progress on this cam- 
paign. The attempt to set up outside organizations to carry the load 
had no success, and the work, after such costly experiments, came 
back to the Grinnell office. Extensions of time were granted by the 
General Education Board, and finally by the last day of the last year 
of grace, December 31, 1930, the great task was completed. To it 
President Main gave the final efforts of his failing strength, as he was 
assailed by a fatal anemia for which medical science had no cure. 

During the first quarter-century since the founding of the College, 
the endowment had grown to $90,000, including subscription pledges 
and unpaid notes. Twenty-five years later the productive funds 


amounted to almost $400,000. At the close of President Main's quar- 
ter-century, the productive endowment amounted to $2,165,000. 
There had been an equally notable increase in the value of the college 
plant. By 1945 the endowment had increased to $3,760,000, and the 
value of the plant to $2,600,000. 154 

Another significant event of Dr. Main's administration was the 
change in the name of the College. In 1909, with the renewal of the 
original charter, the trustees decided to abandon the confusing name 
"Iowa College" (there being two state institutions of later date, the 
State University of Iowa and Iowa State College), except as the legal 
title of the corporation under the old charter, and to adopt the name 
"Grinnell College," which was already in general use. 

Grinnell College was granted a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1907, 
and was early admitted to the approved list of the Association of 
American Universities, the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, and 
the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Grad- 
uates of the College were given large recognition by the Rhodes 
Scholarship Trust and for the special Iowa fellowships at Columbia on 
the Roberts Foundation, and the Perkins scholarship at Harvard. 

President Main's activities served always to widen the scope of 
Grinnell College. The Harvard Exchange relationship, established in 
1912, brought a succession of distinguished men to Grinnell as tem- 
porary members of the faculty. Albert Bushnell Hart initiated this 
plan at Grinnell, and he was followed by George Herbert Palmer, 
Clifford Herschel Moore, Lawrence Joseph Henderson, Thomas Nixon 
Carver, James Hardy Ropes, Edward Caldwell Moore, George Howard 
Parker, William Ernest Hocking, William M. Davis, George D. Birk- 
hoff , George Graf ton Wilson, and other eminent Harvard teachers. 

The Gates Memorial Lectures also brought leading interpreters of 
the Social Gospel to the campus for brief courses of lectures. Among 
these were Hugh Black, Walter Rauschenbusch, Edward A. Ross, 
Franklin H. Giddings, Shailer Mathews, Willard L. Sperry, Harry 
Emerson Fosdick, Francis J. McConnell, Rufus M. Jones, Charles W, 
Gilkey, Harry F. Ward, Reinhold Niebuhr, George A. Buttrick, and 
Half ord E. Luccock. 

In 1913 the Grinnell-in-China educational movement was inau- 
gurated, and since that time Grinnell graduates have been active in 
the conduct of schools for Chinese boys and girls at Techow in the 
province of Shantung. 155 In this same year the annual Fellowship Con- 

114 Grinnell College 

ference of Congregational Churches in Iowa was inaugurated, in 
connection with which eminent leaders in the fields of religion, philos- 
ophy, and sociology have been brought to Grinnell for memorial 
lectures on a foundation created in honor of former President George 
A. Gates, and in memory of his dedication to the cause of the Social 

Another outpost of Grinnell, in the Near East, is Anatolia College. 
This college was organized in 1886, growing out of a school long 
operated under the A. B. C. F. M. at Marsivan in Turkey, In 1890 
the Rev. George E. White, Grinnell "82, became a member of its 
faculty, in 1913 its president. During the first World War the 
college was closed by the Turks. After interim work with the Near 
East Relief, Dr. White in 1923 began the creation of a new Anatolia 
College at Salonika, the ancient Thessalonica, "beginning not only 
without a building, but without a bench, a book, a bed or a bell." 
Since that time the staff has been made up largely of Grinnell grad- 
uates ) r . White's son George D. and his wife, both '15, Dean and 
Mrs. Carl Cornpton, both '13, and a succession of others. Dr. White 
tells the story in "Adventuring with Anatolia College." 156 The col- 
lege at Salonika was taken over as a hospital during the second World 
War, first by the Greeks and then by the Germans, but was reopened 
in 1945. 

During the quarter-century of President Main's administration the 
academic enrollment (exclusive of music) had grown rather steadily 
from 388 in 1905-1906 to a maximum of 785 in 1925-1926. A dis- 
turbing element had entered into the picture, however, when the 
first World War brought the Student Army Training Corps to the 
Grinnell campus in the fall of 1917. The young officers who were in 
command of the training corps were too inexperienced to succeed in 
the care and discipline of the boys in their charge, and were too con- 
scious of their brief authority to cooperate smoothly with the mem- 
bers of the faculty who remained to carry on their teaching func- 
tions. As a result of this condition, there was a needless loss of life 
among recruits from an epidemic of influenza. Meanwhile several 
members of the faculty were in auxiliary war service away from 
Grinnell, and President Main himself worked, from December, 1918, 
to June, 1919, as a member of a commission appointed by the Near 
East Committee of New York to investigate famine conditions in 
Armenia and Syria. Much remained to be done to restore normal 


conditions on the campus after the disbanding of the S. A. T, C. 
which brought a sudden drop in enrollment. The flush twenties more 
than compensated, however, but the early depression years brought 
the enrollment down to 661 in 1930-193 1, and further to a low point 
of 551 in 1933, when the enrollment in music, which had touched 
nearly 300 in 1920, dropped almost out of sight, with 19. But this 
was a problem for the next administration. 

The doubling of the enrollment up to 1925 had brought with it a 
large increase in the size of the teaching staff, and also the establish- 
ment of several additional departments of study. In 1905 there were 
sixteen departments; by 1931 ten had been added, partly by the 
division of modern languages into German and Romance languages, 
the separation of economics and sociology, and of education and 
psychology; partly by the creation of new departments, such as 
business administration, history of thought, art, drama, journalism, 
and physical education. The "School of Music," originally semi- 
independent, was now incorporated into the curriculum as a regular 
department of the College. There were also temporary titles, such as 
engineering, history of philosophy and religion, biblical education 
and religious education, and religious thought. 

It is evident that in these years of expansion the College was reach- 
ing out for an ever wider interpretation of the concept of liberal 
education (in which President Main used to say that Grinnell "spe- 
cialized") , with the result that some rather technical material was 
more or less fully absorbed, and there was inevitable duplication of 
the subject matter between the departments. Later years were to see 
a recession from this tendency. 

With the great increase and constant fluctuation of personnel dur- 
ing this administration, it is manifestly impossible to follow the 
changing membership of the faculty in full detail. Of the sixteen 
members of professorial rank who came before 1906, eight remained 
beyond 1931. They were Norris in biology, Almy in physics, Rusk 
and McClenon in mathematics, Perring in German, Ryan in public 
speaking, Stoops in philosophy, Steiner in Applied Christianity. 

Changes in personnel during President Main's incumbency were 
kaleidoscopic, and the pattern remaining at the close of his admin- 
istration was in many ways different from that at the beginning. The 
fundamental purpose of the College had not changed; the ideal of a 
liberal education was constantly held in view, but the injection of 

Grinnell College 

rich new material into the curriculum led to much experimentation 
in the arrangement of the course of study. 

The group system, which had liberalized the curriculum in the 
nineties, in turn broke down under the pressure of multiplied courses. 
A major-and-minor system was adopted, with specific requirements 
stressing foreign languages (preferably ancient) for the B.A. degree, 
and laboratory science and mathematics for the B.S., with minimum 
requirements for either degree in English, mathematics, laboratory 
science, social science, foreign language, and philosophy or psychology. 

Later the B.S, degree was discontinued, "orientation" and physical 
education appeared among the general requirements, and an ancient 
language or an additional laboratory science were admitted as pos- 
sible substitutes for the required mathematics. Still later a system of 
concentration and distribution was adopted, with a grouping of sub- 
ject matter and comprehensive examinations at the end of the course. 

Naturally, the discussion as to the meaning and the content of a 
"liberal education" continued, and committees labored interminably 
to devise curricular arrangements that would combine strength with 
flexibility. The faculty continued to prove its liberality by its readi- 
ness to try educational experiments with a view to educational 

The title of dean of the faculty was unknown in Grinnell until Dr. 
Main was so designated with the coming of President Bradley. Presi- 
dent Main at first continued to carry the duties of this office as a part 
of his administrative work, but when his frequent absences on endow- 
ment business suggested the revival of the deanship, Dr. John S. 
Nollen was recalled from his Red Cross service abroad in 1920 to fill 
this post, in which he continued until his election to the presidency 
in 1931. 

Meanwhile the functions of a dean of men and a dean of women 
had been carried on as auxiliary service by various members of the 
faculty. Thus Fanny Cook Gates (Ph.D., Pennsylvania) was pro- 
fessor of physics and hygiene and dean of women, 1913-1916. The 
increase in the enrollment and the creation of the dormitory system 
made it advisable to give greater emphasis to the personal guidance 
of students. This service was first developed into a major function by 
Luella Jane Read (Ph.D., Michigan), who became dean of women 
in 1919, after serving as instructor in German, and who also taught 
the history of art until her death in 1932. Her service to the College 





was recognized in the naming of Read Cottage in the "Women's 

The first full-time dean of men was Paul Norton MacEachron, * 1 1 , 
who went from Oberlin Seminary to Techow, China, in 1916 as 
educational director of "Grinnell-in-China," and returned to Grinnell 
as dean in 1922. He was succeeded in 1925 by James Franklin Find- 
lay, '22 (PhJD., New York University) 5 who transferred to the dean- 
ship of men at the University of Oklahoma, and then became presi- 
dent of Drury College. In 1929 Shelton L. Beatty (A.M., Cornell) 
came as dean of men and assistant professor of English, until he 
entered the naval service in 1943, when the second World War had 
reduced the registration of men to a handful. 

In general, it may be said that during President Main's administra- 
tion Grinnell College grew to full stature as one of the leaders in 
mid western higher education. The last word about the president him- 
self was spoken by Professor Harry W. Norris at the memorial service 
held in Herrick Chapel: "President Main personifies to me the driving 
force of ideals. On such men rest the staggering burdens of the 
world's unsolved problems. Such men are never daunted by disaster, 
never frightened by fear. With eye fixed upon the goal they never 
swerve from the course of their dreams. They may perish in the 
attempted fulfilment of their plans, but at least they hand the torch 
to light the way through the dead wood of tradition." 15T 


Through the Great Depression 


BY THE end of 1930, after eleven years of strenuous effort, President 
Main had succeeded in securing pledges for one million dollars in his 
third endowment campaign. When, after his death, the officers of 
the General Education Board came in April, 1931, to make settle- 
ments on the Board's conditional pledge of half a million, only two- 
thirds of this amount was actually due, as one-third of the million 
in pledges still remained unpaid. This one-third was never realized, 
except in very small part. The Great Depression was on, and friends 


of the College who had pledged generously out of previous prosperity 
were now utterly unable to keep their pledges, and most of these 
were subsequently written off by the trustees as uncollectable. 

The depression had a cumulative effect upon Grinnell, as upon 
colleges in general. The academic enrollment, which had already 
declined from 785 in 1926 to 661 in 1930, dropped to a new low of 
551 by 1933. Meanwhile, heavy deficits began immediately after the 
settlement with the General Education Board, at the rate of about 
eighty thousand dollars for the first fiscal year. Conditions were most 
unfavorable to the raising of money for current expenses. 

It was under these conditions that John Scholte Nollen (A.B., 
Iowa; Ph.D., Leipzig) was promoted from the deanship to the acting 
presidency in April, and to the presidency in June, 1931. He was 
born January 15, 1869, at Pella, Iowa, the town founded by his ma- 
ternal grandfather, the Rev. Henry P. Scholte, a Dutch noncon- 
formist minister who had brought a colony of Hollanders to Iowa in 

John received his early education from his father, who had taught 
mathematics at a gymnasium in Holland before coming to Pella, to 
become in time cashier of the local bank. This instruction at home 
was supplemented by courses at Central College in Pella. After grad- 
uating in 1885, he taught there for two years, in such varied fields 
as preparatory science, Greek, mathematics, and history, then studied 
a year at the State University of Iowa, specializing in chemistry and 
physics. The five years from 1888 to 1893 were spent abroad, two 
years in private tutoring at Cham, Switzerland, the rest in study at 
the universities of Zurich, Leipzig, and Paris (Sorbonne and College 
de France) . 

He came to Grinnell as professor of modern languages in 1893, 
and after ten years transferred to Indiana University as professor of 
German. He was married to Emeline Barstow Bartlett in 1906, just 
before taking a year's leave of absence abroad, whence he was called 
to the presidency of Lake Forest College, Illinois, in 1907. Mrs. 
Nollen died in 1910; four years later he married her sister, Louise 
Stevens Bartlett. 

With the entrance of the United States into the first World War, 
Mr. Nollen in the fall of 1917 volunteered for service abroad under 
the Y.M.C.A., and after working with the American troops in France 
he was appointed general secretary of the Association to organize and 

12Q Grinnell College 

direct its work with the Italian Army. "When it became evident that 
this war service would last indefinitely, he resigned the presidency of 
Lake Forest College, as well as the presidency of the Association of 
American Colleges, in which capacity he had also served on the educa- 
tional section of the National Council of War. After the completion 
of his service with the Y.M.C.A., he served for some months in 1920 
with the Commission to Europe of the American Red Cross, In the 
fall of this year he returned to Grinnell as dean of the faculty. Dur- 
ing his eleven years as dean he did occasional teaching in the modern 
languages and in religious education. 

The transition from Main to Nollen was marked again by a sharp 
contrast between a president and his successor. Main and Nollen 
always were and remained as close as the initial letters of their names 
in personal friendship and mutual confidence, but they differed in 
disposition and policy. M. was autocratic, N. cooperative; M. was 
remote, N. companionable; M. towered above his associates, N. was 
primus inter pares, M. was a Platonic idealist, N. a realistic meliorist; 
M. was a devotee of absolute verities, N. inclined to pragmatism; 
M. was essentially solitary (a tendency accentuated by later deaf- 
ness) , N. was sociable; M. was impatient of opposition or criticism, 
N. welcomed advice or suggestion; M. had the longest administration 
in the history of the College, N. came to the helm at sixty-two and 
could expect only a few years of executive activity. 

"O wad some power the giftie gie us. . . ." N. had this "giftie" 
presented to him in a collection of letters gathered by his former In- 
diana colleague, John M. Clapp, then at Lake Forest, when the latter 
was proposing him (without his knowledge, during his year abroad) 
for the presidency of Lake Forest College. As N. has characterized 
M. in these pages, let the latter return the compliment. President 
Main wrote as follows: 

I [have] had every opportunity to know in detail of [Professor Nollen's] 
work in the classroom, his training and his personality. He is a man with 
especially fine training and possesses, I believe, the qualities of personality 
and executive ability that are demanded in a successful administrator. He 
is a scholar in the best sense of the term. The work he has done has won 
recognition the country over, and he is looked upon by men competent to 
pass judgement as one of the ablest men in his department in the United 
States. He has every assurance of a brilliant future in his own department. 
I believe, however, that he is so well qualified for administrative work that 
he ought to take up the work of administration permanently. He is a man 


of large sympathies and appreciates thoroughly the claims of all the subjects 
embraced in the college curriculum. He is a ready writer, a man of first-rate 
business ability, has a wonderful capacity for detail, and would be able easily 
to keep in touch with every college department and interest. In the matter 
of personality I am acquainted with no man whom I regard as his superior. 
He is sane, easily approached, sympathetic, and quick to appreciate in difficult 
situations the exact thing to do. I have long regarded him as the best availa- 
ble man for a presidential position. 

This too-generous estimate by a friend is transcribed with proper 
diffidence, at the risk of its subject's appearing to be eavesdropping 
at his own funeral. 

Naturally, the first concern of the new administration and of the 
trustees was to conserve the financial stability of the College in a time 
of severe economic crisis without impairing its educational efficiency. 
It was impossible to avoid laying a burden upon the administrative 
and teaching personnel; and in keeping with the general practice of 
colleges during the depression, salaries (none too large) were reduced 
as much as 20 per cent (half of this cut was subsequently restored). 
The faculty met this necessity with exemplary magnanimity. 

In view of the extreme difficulty in the way of securing gifts for 
current expenses, a resolute effort was made to increase income by 
adding to the enrollment while also raising the charges for tuition 
and living to a figure commensurate with the quality of the service 
offered. Success was achieved in this matter, in spite of the cost of 
the method adopted, through the efficient work of field agents who 
were as much interested in the quality as in the number of the new 
students secured by their efforts. President Main had always been 
opposed to such field work, being persuaded that the quality of in- 
struction at Grinnell should be its only recommendation ("the best 
mousetrap," etc.) . He did not reckon with the power of the personal 
approach in publicity, or the extent to which other colleges, and even 
the state universities, were taking advantage of it. Much of the credit 
for the rapid increase in the enrollment at Grinnell was due to the 
intelligent work of Mrs. Elizabeth Howe, Associate in Public Rela- 
tions, 1934-1937, whose efforts raised the enrollment from the Chi- 
cago area from 40 to 140. The entire academic enrollment was in- 
creased from 551 in 1933 to a new maximum of 817 in 1937-1938, 
and in June, 1939, the 168 students receiving bachelor's degrees con- 
stituted the largest class ever graduated from the College. 

122 Grinnell College 

In order to accommodate the increased attendance, three large 
residences were taken over as additional dormitories. The over-all 
charge for tuition, room, and board, which in 1933 had been tem- 
porarily reduced to $620 as an emergency measure, was gradually 
increased to $750, which was still far below the amount charged by 
eastern colleges for similar accommodations. The general result of 
these expedients was the achievement of a balanced budget by 1936. 

Another prime concern of the administration was the conserving 
and improvement of the teaching function of the College. To this 
end it became a difficult duty to sever the connection of several in- 
structors with the College, and to find competent persons to fill these 
and other vacancies. It is a testimony to the appeal Grinnell made to 
well-trained and experienced teachers that, despite the financial diffi- 
culties of the time, it was possible to raise the general standard of 
teaching to a higher level. 

The core of the faculty remained intact. Of the more important 
members of the staff in 1931, thirty-six continued through the nine 
years of this administration. The serious vacancy caused by the death 
of Dean Luella Read in 1932 was filled in 1933 by the election of 
Evelyn Gardner (A.B., Beloit; A.M., Radcliffe, formerly dean of 
women at Emporia College) as dean of women and associate professor 
of English. 

The perennial discussion of the curriculum continued as usual, with 
an effort to limit the number of two-hour and two-student courses, 
to encourage scholarship by an improved grading system, and to 
arrive at a better balance of teaching loads among the members of 
the staff. A system of comprehensive examinations with reading 
periods was adopted in 1933. The circumstances which had led to 
the appointment of a dean of the faculty did not now exist, and as 
was the case during the earlier years of the preceding administration, 
the president continued to exercise the functions of the deanship. 
Certain of these functions, especially during the frequent absences of 
the president on visits to alumni gatherings throughout the country, 
and with "prospective donors," were assumed by Professor Henry S. 
Conard as chairman of the faculty, and his intelligent and devoted 
service to the interests of the College deserve grateful appreciation. 

The tendency toward democracy in college government, which 
began with President Gates, came to its fullest development under 
this administration. The Board of Trustees was urged to change the 


rule by which the president of the College had always been also 
chairman of the Board; and Fred Crego Smith, alumnus of the Col- 
lege and ever generous and loyal trustee, was elected president of the 
Corporation. The Board of Trustees was strengthened by the return 
of most useful members who had recently retired, the substitution of 
inactive members by new accessions giving promise of faithful service, 
and the election of two women to the Board, as seemed appropriate 
for a coeducational college. 

All appointments to the faculty were made on recommendations of 
relevant faculty committees, and freedom of teaching continued to 
find defense against occasional criticism from the outside. Each 
teaching department remained autonomous within its own field. 
Trustees and faculty were animated by the same spirit of friendly 
cooperation; there was a minimum of the friction that is inevitable 
where many minds meet in common effort, and in spite of the eco- 
nomic difficulties of the period, the College approached the idyllic 
state of a harmonious confraternity of scholars. The students were 
given every opportunity for self-government they were ready to 
assume, and the advice of representative student groups was sought 
with reference to legislation affecting student life and organization. 

Meanwhile, the gracious hospitality of the "first lady" made the 
President's House, ideally adapted to the purpose, a genial social cen- 
ter for the College, with a welcome also for the people of the town, 
few of whom had as yet entered its inviting doors. 

The interest of the alumni was maintained and perhaps raised to 
a higher level. Many of them had found their enthusiasm flagging 
under the impact of continuous and burdensome though necessary 
appeals for funds, especially when professional soliciting agencies were 
employed whose tactics were more vigorous than judicious. Direct 
financial admonitions were now avoided at the many reunions attended 
in all parts of the country, though no secret was made of the needs 
of the College. There was enough in the recognized standing of the 
College and in the fine record being made by the newer graduates to 
arouse new pride in Alma Mater. 

The constituency of the College was widened by the action of the 
Episcopal Diocese of Iowa in "adopting" Grinnell, there being then 
no college in the state officially recognized by that church. The Bishop 
of Iowa was elected to the Board of Trustees and became a faithful 
and valued member of this body. 

124 Grinnell College 

Interest in international affairs was further stimulated by the 
association of the College with the American Friends' Service Com- 
mittee and the Congregational Council for Social Action in organiz- 
ing and conducting since 1935 a summer institute of international 
relations on the Grinnell campus, attended by delegates from all parts 
of the Midwest. 

Since 1937 the generous interest of a friend of the College has 
provided the Rosenfield Lectureship on International Relations, which 
has brought a succession of experts to Grinnell, spending enough time 
on the campus for public lectures and more intimate conferences 
with students. The lecturers have included \V. Arnold-Forster, British 
authority on world affairs, formerly associated with the League of 
Nations; Professors Hans Kohn and Walter Kotschnig of Smith Col- 
lege; Professor Owen Lattimore, leading expert on the Far East and 
political adviser to Chiang Kai-shek; Dr. Hans Simons of the New 
School for Social Research; and Dr. Pitman B. Potter, long connected 
with the Institute for International Study at Geneva. These develop- 
ments have represented an attempt at a realistic appraisal of the forces 
making for a new world order. Much credit is due in this connection 
to the organizing leadership of Professor Charles E. Payne, head of 
the department of history. 

Mr. Nollen's personal interest in world affairs was stimulated by 
several sojourns abroad, so that he spent altogether ten years in resi- 
dence in European countries. During his deanship he had a year's 
leave of absence in 1927-1928, spent in teaching at Pomona College 
in California; this followed upon attendance during the summer as a 
delegate at the World Conference on Faith and Order at Lausanne, 
Switzerland. His more recent public services have included member- 
ship on the Iowa State Board of Educational Examiners from 1933 to 
1940, the governorship of the Nebraska-Iowa District of Kiwanis 
International in 1936, and the chairmanship for Iowa of Finnish Re- 
lief under Herbert Hoover. In 1941 he was appointed state chairman 
of the War Finance Committee for Iowa under the United States 

President Nollen arrived at the normal retiring age in 1939, but at 
the instance of the trustees he remained in office for an additional 
year, during which a committee of the Board, with representation of 
the faculty, engaged in an exhaustive search for his successor. The 
committee winnowed a list of one hundred and fifty suggested names 


down to a small group o the most available, but when some of these 
gentlemen visited Grinnell, none seemed to the local authorities to 
combine all the desirable qualities. 

Then an apparently fortuitous concatenation of casual circum- 
stances led to the desired result. Toward the end of the year, Presi- 
dent Nollen happened to be invited to speak on "college day" at the 
Congregational Church in "Wilmette. Passing through Chicago, he 
happened to call on an alumnus of Grinnell, who chanced to mention 
the remark of a friend favorable to a Dr. Samuel Nowell Stevens at 
Northwestern University. With some difficulty, the alumnus suc- 
ceeded in arranging an interview for Dr. Nollea with Dr. Stevens 
on Sunday afternoon. Immediately after the interview Dr. Nollen 
sent a report to members of the trustee committee (of which he was 
not a member) . They had further conferences with Dr. Stevens, who 
then came to Grinnell for a visit and met other members of the Board 
in Des Moines. 

Within a few days the whole matter was settled; election of Dr. 
Stevens followed at the annual meeting of the trustees at commence- 
ment. The next day the new president was presented to the alumni 
at their annual meeting, and met many who had come to attend the 
commencement exercises. Thus the torch was handed on from in- 
cumbent to successor with smoothness and dispatch, and a clear course 
was open for the new administration. 

The attitude of the faculty toward the retiring executive was most 
generously expressed in the following resolution, adopted January 8, 

Our friend and President, John Scholte Nollen, having resigned from the 
active administration of Grinnell College, the faculty wishes to place on 
record its profound respect and affection for one who has been its honored 
chief for nine years. He was elected at a time when all agreed that the new 
president should be one familiar with the traditions of Grinnell. His name 
was the only one mentioned on the campus, and he entered on his term of 
leadership with the unanimous support and confidence of his colleagues. That 
confidence has been fully justified. The range and versatility of 'his mind, 
the ample scholarship that he has never allowed to lapse, the integrity and 
generosity that all could count on, having been humanized by his friendliness, 
his sense of humor, his unfailing patience, and his joy of living. Dr. and Mrs. 
Nollen have been a priceless element in the life of Grinnell for over twenty 
years. They will be greatly missed and gratefully remembered by their 


Through the Second World War 


THE recovery of the country from the Great Depression and the threat 
hanging over the world of a global war made it imperative that the 
new leadership of the College be in firm and experienced hands, 
ready to guide its destinies into an as yet uncharted future. Such 
leadership Dr. Samuel N. Stevens seemed unusually well qualified to 
provide. Men who knew him intimately testified that he was alert, 
vigorous, and well-rounded, <c a superb administrator, utterly devoted 
to education in its best sense," with an enormous fund of energy, 


accomplishing things by working with people, enlisting their loyalty 
and cooperation. In discussions with the trustees, he gave convincing 
evidence of a philosophy of life and education that was in full accord 
with the historic character and ideals of Grinnell College. The con- 
junction seemed most fortunate. 

Samuel No well Stevens was born October 22, 1900, at Eastport, 
Maryland, near Annapolis. His father, Philip T. Stevens, was an 
officer in the United States Navy, assigned to the experimental station 
at the Naval Academy,* the family had been connected with naval 
affairs for several generations. Samuel served in the United States 
Army at the end of the first World War, in 1918, and received his 
undergraduate education at Wesleyan University in Connecticut 
(B.A., 1921). Graduate work at Johns Hopkins University was fol- 
lowed by a theological course at the Garrett Biblical Institute in 
Evans ton, Illinois (B.D., 1924) and graduate courses in psychology 
at Northwestern University (Ph.D., 1926). In 1922 he married 
Anna Albert, who was a graduate of Johns Hopkins. Beginning as 
an instructor in psychology at Northwestern, he became a professor 
in charge of graduate courses in business and industrial psychology, 
specializing in psychotechnical problems. This special interest enabled 
him to act later as an expert consultant to important industries. 

In 1929 he undertook the development of adult higher education 
at Northwestern, becoming the director of this department in 1931. 
Out of this experience grew the University College of Northwestern 
University; as its dean, he saw its enrollment increase from 400 to 
over 3,000. He also directed a course on the history and enjoyment 
of music for about 3,500 participants annually, and was active in the 
work of the North Shore Festival Association. He is a member of 
Phi Beta Kappa and other honorary societies. 

Dr. Stevens began his service as president of Grinnell College on 
July 1, 1940. His wide and varied experience made it possible for 
him to apply himself without delay to the tasks of his position, which 
soon posed new and difficult problems with the outbreak of World 
War II. His many connections at Washington enabled him to secure 
for Grinnell such military educational units as were best adapted to 
the facilities of the College. There was an Officer Candidate School 
in the Adjutant General's Department, numbering about 750, in 
residence from October, 1942, to July, 1943 ; a Specialized Training 
Assignment and Reclassification Unit in residence from July, 1943, 

128 Grinnell College 

to March, 1944, which brought from 500 to 1,100 men to the cam- 
pus; and a unit o the Army Specialized Training Program from 
September, 1943, to March, 1944, attended by 250 to 30 men. The 
care of such large numbers was made possible by two important 
additions to the college plant, the Gardner Cowles Dormitory, pro- 
viding additional dormitory rooms and a spacious refectory, and the 
Darby Gymnasium, with modern equipment for physical education 
and indoor games, as well as abundant space for large gatherings. 
These buildings were completed just in time for the use of the military 
units, and much of their furnishing could be secured only with the 
use of military priorities. 

As at the time of the Civil War, so now, Grinnell became prac- 
tically a women's college for the duration, and the civilian enrollment 
dropped to half the normal figure. The faculty too was reduced, 
partly by the demands of the war upon the younger personnel, partly 
by the retirement of an unusual number of older professors and the 
merging of departments related in subject matter. Latin and Greek 
were combined into a department of classical languages, and business 
administration was merged with economics. 

The members of the faculty who were drawn into the national 
service included Henry Alden, Shelton L. Beatty, Evelyn M. Boyd, 
Herschel M. Colbert, Ben Douglas, H. K. Gayer, John W. Pooley, 
Elbert M. Smith, Walter J, Schnerr, and Dwight L. Wennersten. 
Others on leave were G. L. Duke, John Scott Everton, Raymond B. 
McClenon, and John C. Truesdale. 

The "emeriti" included Henry S. Conard (D.Sc., 1944), Letitia 
Moon Conard, John W. Gannaway, Cecil F. Lavell, Eleanor Lowden, 
John S. Nollen, Harry W. Norris, George L. Pierce, William J. Rusk, 
E. B. T. Spencer, Edward A. Steiner, John D. Stoops, Milton Wittier, 
and G. P. Wyckoff. 

Earl D. Strong, professor of economics, was elected dean of the 
College in 1944. In the absence of Dean Beatty, Associate Professor 
Joseph W. Charlton became acting dean of men, and Professor Paul 
Spencer Wood succeeded Professor Conard as chairman of the faculty. 
In 1945 the new office of vice president of the College in charge of 
institutional development was created by the trustees, and Louis Gage 
Chrysler, former mayor of Grinnell, was elected to this office. 

The new administration was able soon to announce important addi- 
tions to the resources and the physical equipment of the College. Al- 


though these were in part due to the maturing of older plans, they 
testified to the strong faith of friends of the College in the present 
leadership and the assured future of Grinnell. In addition to the 
Cowles Dormitory, the gift of Gardner Cowles, publisher of the Des 
Moines Register and Tribune, and the Darby Gymnasium presented 
by Trustee John Frederick Darby, other gifts came to Grinnell. In 
1942 Benjamin A. Younker, of Des Moines, and his family created 
the munificent Younker endowments to provide for the erection of 
an additional dormitory for men, a health center, instruction in 
branches of study pertaining to health, and a large number of scholar- 
ships to be awarded "without financial responsibility or liability for 
repayment upon the part of the recipients, so that they may start life 
free from debt and in the hope that those who in later life are in a 
position to do so, of their own accord, will give some other boy or 
girl in need of financial assistance the opportunities that Grinnell has 
given them/* In 1945 the trustees inaugurated a campaign for one 
million dollars as an addition to the working funds of the College. 

Plans under way for the improvement of the curriculum were now 
quickly matured. The proliferation of short-hour courses was sum- 
marily stopped with the adoption of a uniform system of four-hour 
courses. The material of the curriculum was organized into five 
divisions: Language and Literature, including the ancient and modern 
foreign languages, English, and speech; Social Studies, including 
economics and business, history, philosophy, religion, political science, 
psychology, and sociology; Natural Sciences, including botany and 
zoology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics; Fine Arts, including 
art, drama, and music," and Education, including health education, 
physical education, secretarial training, and teacher training. 

As the College completed, in 1946, the first century of its persistent 
contribution to the furtherance of liberal education in America, its 
objectives were stated as follows in the annual catalogue: 

Grinnell College is a college of liberal arts, dedicated to the advancement of 
humane learning. The College defines a liberally educated person as one who 
has the ability to read, write, and speak his own language well and has an 
appreciation of its literature; who can read at least one foreign language and 
has first-hand acquaintance with the literature and culture of the country 
in which it is spoken; who is thoroughly grounded in the history of the 
modern world and in the Christian tradition, and has a sympathetic under- 
standing of the social problems of his time; who has subjected himself to the 
discipline of science and learned to understand the principles and methods 

130 Grinnell College 

of the natural sciences and the part which they play in modern society; who 
has acquired the ability to perceive the values of the arts and to derive enjoy- 
ment from them; and who has learned to care for his own bodily health and 
to take an intelligent interest in the health of the community in which he 

In order to implement these objectives, which supersede the usual 
academic requirements met by the mere passing of certain designated 
courses, the College offers the student a form of guidance which inte- 
grates educational, social, and vocational counseling into the academic 
pattern. It is significant that more recently other colleges and univer- 
sities east and west have been developing similar programs. This may 
indicate how the pioneering activity of Grinnell in the past continues 
in vital response to the needs of the present and the demands of a 
living future. 

Part Three 



The Academy 

IN A sense, the Iowa College Academy antedates the College itself, 
since it was necessary in the beginning to prepare students for the 
first college freshman class, entering in 1850. For many years the 
preparatory enrollment exceeded that of the four college classes. It 
was not until the eighties that the number of college students equalled 
the number in preparatory courses, and not until the nineties, in the 
administration of President Gates, that the college enrollment def- 
initely surpassed that of the Academy. The attendance of prepara- 


134 Grinnell College 

tory students grew rather rapidly during the years in Davenport, 
from 2 in 1848 to 70 in 1850, to 130 in 1857. In the first full year 
at Grinnell there were 99 academy students, 64 denominated "Males 5 * 
and 35 "Females." During the Civil War the number fell to a total 
of 41, but then rose rapidly until in 1867 there were 238 enrolled 
in the Academy, while there were only 68 in college classes. The all- 
time high in the academy enrollment came in 1871, with 259 stu- 
dents, most of whom were in the so-called normal and English courses. 
In succeeding years there was much fluctuation in attendance, with 
a gradual downward trend. In course of time the development of 
the public high school throughout the Midwest undermined the col- 
lege preparatory courses, finally leading to their abandonment. The 
Iowa College Academy continued until 1910-1911, when it enrolled 
102 students; then it disappeared from the scene, leaving only a 
residue of "sub-freshmen" to be sloughed off during the next two 
years. Thus the Academy had existed for sixty-three years, doing 
an essential task in giving boys and girls an excellent preparation for 
college until the public school system could take over this service. 

In the early years there was no distinction between College and 
Academy in the teaching staff. The first principal to devote his en- 
tire time to the preparatory and English department was the Rev. 
Samuel Jay Buck, from 1864 to 1869, when he became professor of 
mathematics and natural philosophy in the College. The most im- 
portant early period in the history of the Academy was that from 
1871 to 1885, when Jesse Macy was principal; he too took on college 
courses, in history and political science, and soon devoted his energies 
exclusively to college teaching, though his old students always con- 
tinued to refer to him as "Prin Macy." He was succeeded for brief 
periods by two graduates of the "Cyclone Class" of the College, who 
were likewise destined to have distinguished careers in the academic 
field: from 1885 to 1888, Oliver Farrar Emerson, '82 (Litt.D., Ph.D., 
Cornell), son of pioneer and trustee Oliver Emerson, later professor 
of English at Western Reserve University; and George Meason 
Whicher, *82 (Litt.D., Dr., University of Padua), gifted classicist 
and poet, for many years professor of Greek and Latin at Hunter 
College in New York City. Moses Stephen Slaughter (Ph.D., Johns 
Hopkins) took over for one year, combining the principalship with 
his professorship of Latin in the College. After them, from 1890 to 
1899, came J. Fred Smith, a Dartmouth man, and finally from 1902 


to 1911, Charles Henry Horn (A.M., Olivet), the last of the line 
of principals. 

The first preceptress of the Academy was Mrs. L. F. Parker, 1863- 
1870, who was also "Lady Principal" of the College, as were after 
her Mary Ellis, 1874-1882 (the young women named their Ellis 
Society after her), Mrs. Magoun, 1882-1884, and Mrs. Martha Foote 
Crow, 1884-1888. Later preceptresses included Mary Haines, '90 
(later Mrs. Frank I. Herriott, daughter of alumnus and Trustee 
Robert M. Haines), Clara E. Millerd, '93, later professor of Greek 
and philosophy in the College, Emeline Barstow Bartlett ( A.B., Vassar, 
later Mrs. John S. Nollen), Arietta "Warren (Ph.D., Michigan), 
Grace Moreland Henderson (B.L., Western Reserve), and finally 
Fanny Orythia Fisher, '94, from 1902 to 1911. 

During most of its history the Academy was operated solely as a 
feeder for the College. However, from 1871 to 1884 the regular 
preparatory courses were supplemented by a normal and English de- 
partment. The strictly preparatory course consisted very largely of 
Latin and Greek, with one year of mathematics, one term each of 
English, physiology, and mental science, and two terms of ancient 
history. The English course at first retained Latin, but eliminated 
Greek and added English, astronomy, and physical geography. Later 
Latin disappeared from the English course and snippets of "Science," 
modern language, drawing, didactics, and additional mathematics 
filled the void. It was apparently thought that this miscellaneous ma- 
terial would be useful to teachers in the common schools who did not 
look forward to a college course. After 1 879 the training of teachers 
was transferred to the College, with the creation of a professorship 
of the theory and practice of teaching. Courses in didactics now ap- 
peared in the outline of college studies, with the somewhat grudging 
early footnote: "The time for Didactics is taken from the other 
studies." The technique of this particular operation is not indicated. 

The unique value of the Academy was expressed by Principal 
Smith in the President's Report for 1898 as follows: 

Unquestionably the preparation for College afforded by the Academy far 
excells that of any public High School. Contact with College men and 
women, concentration of thought and energy upon carefully arranged "work, 
the training afforded by skillful teachers of broad scholarship and wide 
experience, are advantages of untold value. Perhaps the most helpful in- 
fluence of all is the almost unconsciously acquired realization that the work 

136" Gr inn ell College 

is but preparatory, an introduction to a higher course. The average High 
School graduate is more exposed to the danger of considering his education 
finished. The Academy student realizes fully that his is but just begun. 

It was the hope of the principal that the Academy might become a 
"well endowed, permanent institution, well fitted to continue the 
good work of the past fifty years." This hope was not realized. 


The Faculty and Staff 

THE faculty of Iowa College In 1848 consisted of one professor; in 
1850 there were two teachers; in 1853, three. Under President 
Magoun's administration the teaching force grew from five in 1865 
to thirteen in 1885. The thirteen years of the Gates administration 
saw an increase from 15 in 1887 to 24 in 1900. Three were added 
to the number in the three years of Dr. Bradley's service. During 
the quarter century of President Main's administration, with an un- 
exampled increase in enrollment and equipment, the teaching force 


138 Grinnell College 

grew from 27 to 70. There was no further increase, though there 
were many changes during the next ten years, when the enrollment 
reached its maximum. With the heavy drop in the enrollment of 
men, due to the second World War, the teaching force in 1943 was 
reduced to 54. There was a similar development in the office force 
and service staff, which grew from zero to a maximum of 48, then 
fell to 37. The total payroll thus grew from one to a high of 121, 
decreasing then to 91. 

The earliest records of the faculty were destroyed in the cyclone 
of 1882, with the exception of minutes from 1878, which were 
rescued by President Magoun. Probably there was little change in the 
preoccupations of the faculty until the end of the first thirty years, 
when there were as yet only eighty-five students, including "Ladies," 
in the college courses. These preoccupations seem to have been largely 
of a disciplinary nature, and the faculty was cooperating loyally with 
the trustees in this field. It was the day of "demerits," and also of a 
species of inquisition or "self -reporting" (each class had a faculty 
father-confessor) of which the trustees finally disapproved. The in- 
tensive work of later years on the curriculum was not then antici- 
pated, for the traditional course of the New England college was 
taken for granted. 

The meetings of the faculty, therefore, were concerned with small 
details of housekeeping and matters of individual student conduct, 
governed by a system of numbered rules. Larger matters of disci- 
pline came under four heads: probation, suspension, dismissal, and " 
reinstatement. Actions are recorded on the provision of a stove for a 
professor's room, on "objectionable phrases" in the student paper 
(leading to 10 to 15 demerits for the editors), on permission for 
parties, receptions, and sleighrides, on excuse from Sunday evening 
church for a young lady who had "no escort," on the prevention of 
Halloween "misdemeanors," on smoking, drinking, and billiard-play- 
ing, on a "violent scuffle in Professor Buck's room," on students 
breaking into the taxidermy room, on permission to attend the 
Methodist Church, on order in chapel, on "profanity and low lan- 
guage" in the student paper (considered also by the trustees) , on the 
use of the Revised Version at prayers, on evening skating by ladies 
(not allowed), on a request for a pump in the cistern, and for 
thermometers in the rooms, on the location of the bell-rope, on the 
"Roman" pronunciation of Latin, on pancake or strawberry "festi- 


val," oyster supper, and "sugaring off," on calling hours, on inex- 
pedience of a dramatic performance, on a leak in the roof, on mats 
and scrapers at the doors, on the spelling of "catalog," on discourag- 
ing attendance at theaters, on the stealing of a sophomore cake, on 
hazing, throwing of water, forgery of names, and frequently on noise 
and disorder. A student who later became a trustee was chided for 
his "unsteadiness in recitation and insubordination of spirit." One 
student was haled before the faculty for smoking, and plead "the use 
only of catarrh cigarettes, so medicated as to conceal the odor and 
taste of tobacco." Another who eventually became a federal judge 
was suspended for six weeks for "posting an impertinent notice in 
the Reading Room." Another who was destined to a place among 
the benefactors of the College was "forbidden to associate with the 
young damsels of the College." Students were admonished "not to 
be under trees on the campus in study hours," with demerits for 
violation. They were granted permission to use the "reformed or 
brief spelling" if such words were printed or written backhand. The 
trustees were respectfully asked to arrange so that teachers could 
draw their salaries monthly, and also to put in a steam heating ap- 
paratus; after its installation, there were actions relating to its de- 

Under the liberalizing administration of President Gates there was 
a gradual change in the content of the faculty minutes. The concern 
about disciplinary matters persisted for a time, and the catalogue of 
student delinquencies still adorned the record. However, scholarly 
interests were coming to the fore. The old habit of bestowing a 
master's degree after three years of intellectual living was abandoned, 
and a graduate course and examinations for the M.A. adopted. Regu- 
lations on College Honors were approved. The group system (after 
Johns Hopkins) was substituted for the old restricted courses. The 
epic struggle between the scientists and the classicists for the full 
recognition of laboratory science in the curriculum was fought and 
won. The modern languages and the social sciences were gaining 
ground. The "Princeton Examination Scheme" was adopted to com- 
bat dishonesty in written work, but this honor system was abandoned 
after a few years for lack of student support. Grades were recorded 
in letters A to E, instead of percentages. In an access of meticulosity, 
pluses and minuses were appended by the professors, but these were 
banned a year later. Caps and gowns were discussed and eventually 

140 Grinnell College 

adopted, as was also a commencement address by a distinguished 
visitor instead of class orations. The social amenities were considered 
and a system of chaperons and hostesses adopted for parties and 
picnics, but dancing and smoking in public were still taboo. The 
semester system was adopted. Gradually a system of standing com- 
mittees of the faculty was developed to take over the routine ad- 
ministration of academic matters. Five such committees appear for 
the first time in 1895 on curriculum, athletics, scholarships, teach- 
ers and schools, and extension lectures. These proliferated so rapidly 
that there were eighteen in 1902, and twenty-one in 1904, in spite of 
a movement in 1903 to "consider reduction in the number and work 
of Faculty committees." One member used to refer to committee 
meetings as "the great American disease." 

During the earlier years of President Main's long administration, 
the social regulations of an older day were reaffirmed: no dancing or 
card parties in term time, or Immediately before or after; no strolling 
or driving of men and women on Sundays. Sunday calling, however, 
was now left to the discretion of the dean. Fraternities were still 
opposed, and in fact were never established at Grinnell. Dishonesty 
in examinations was still a matter of concern, as was also the question 
of chapel attendance, which had become voluntary under Gates. A 
student council was formed to represent student opinion and regulate 
student conduct, and on its recommendation a semester fee was 
adopted to cover admission to all athletic contests, lectures, and reci- 
tals. The old hostility to the drama had vanished, and three dramatic 
performances a year by students were approved; later years saw even 
the phenomenon of a faculty play and the formation of a department 
of drama. A chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was secured; the Harvard 
Exchange established; membership in the Assocation of Collegiate 
Alumnae, the Association of American Colleges, and other intercol- 
legiate organizations followed. The rapid development of intercol- 
legiate athletics called for constant faculty control of regulations, 
personnel, and schedules. New courses and departments of study 
were approved, the curriculum and teaching loads were matters of 
regular study, and the organization of the student body remained a 
subject of discussion. 

During the thirties much attention continued to be given to cur- 
ricular matters. A reading period and a system of comprehensive 
examinations betrayed Harvard influence. A new curriculum was 


adopted, governed by the principles of distribution and concentra- 
tion. A summer session, tried fitfully in earlier years, was again at- 
tempted, then abandoned. A new grading system was adopted, for 
the better recognition of superior work and to correct the tendency 
toward up-grading which seems to be a professorial weakness. The 
student council was twice reorganized. It was considered inexpedient 
to form a unit of the R.O.T.C. Arrangements were made to co- 
operate with the Friends Service Committee and the Congregational 
Social Council in a summer session of an Institute of International 

During the early forties, the faculty was organized in five divisions: 
language and literature, social studies, natural sciences, fine arts, and 
education. A four-course plan was adopted, implying four-hour 
courses throughout, graduation requiring sixteen such courses. The 
number of departments was reduced by merging those covering 
similar material, thus eliminating some duplication, and the number 
of faculty committees was reduced to fifteen. New major fields for 
the bachelor's degree were set up in general humanities, American 
history and literature, and international relations. New action was 
taken on appointments and tenure. A trimester division of the year 
was substituted for the semester plan, each of the three terms to 
cover 15i weeks, thus adding ten weeks to the college yean 

The impact of the second "World War was evident in its effect upon 
the faculty. Younger members of the teaching force were drawn into 
the armed forces or into auxiliary service. Action was taken on de- 
grees for men in the national service, and a "conditioning program" 
adopted for students remaining in college. A number of faculty 
members, including some "emeriti," participated in the teaching force 
or the administration of the units of the Army Specialized Training 
Program which were in residence until March, 1944, Meanwhile, 
considerable change in the personnel of the faculty was involved in 
the retirement of an unusually large group of the older professors, 
so that the Directory for 1944-1945 listed fourteen "emeriti," by far 
the largest number in the history of the College. The veterans who 
had borne the burden and heat of the day for a generation and longer 
were receiving their honorable dismissal. The task was now laid upon 
the shoulders of their younger associates and successors. 

In the higher ranks of the faculty fairly long terms of service have 
been common. The average length of service for full professors is 

142 Grinnell College 

just under fifteen years; one-third of all professors from the begin- 
ning of the College have been in residence twenty years or more. 
Professor Norris' term of fifty-one years is, of course, unique; only 
three other professors have served for forty years. There has been 
far less permanence in the lower grades. Associate and assistant pro- 
fessors have had an average term of somewhat over six years, with 
one extreme case of thirty-five years, and only three others of twenty 
years or more. Instructors have averaged under three years, with a 
maximum of eighteen, and assistants average about a year and a half. 

In the early years of the College there was no office force: the 
financial affairs of the institution were in the hands of a treasurer 
who was a member of the Board of Trustees, serving, like his col- 
leagues, without salary. Registration and other auxiliary services 
were carried on by the faculty. At that time the typewriter was 
unknown. During President Gates's administration, two local bank- 
ers, H. C. Spencer and C. W. H. Beyer, neither one a trustee, served 
as treasurer and auditor, the former until 1902, the latter until 1906, 
followed by bankers George H. Hamlin and Samuel J. Pooley, '92. 
The first salaried officer of the Board was Horace H. Robbins, '69, 
son of A. B. Robbins of the Iowa Band, who had also been the first 
president of the Board. H. H. was secretary from 1887 to 1906, and 
a member of the Board from 1890, and he kept the College books 
during his term of office. Herbert W. Somers, '82, succeeded him as 
secretary from 1907 to 1921. Louis V. Phelps came to Grinnell as 
superintendent of construction for the new dormitory system in 
1915, and remained as business manager and secretary-treasurer of 
the Board. The first full-time registrar of the College was Mary E. 
Simmons, '91, who served from 1908 to 1925; she was succeeded by 
Bethana McCandless, '19. 

The administrative staff of a modern college would look formida- 
ble, if not fantastic, to an old-timer, serving as it does a multitude of 
functions unknown in the early days. Not only deans, registrars, 
secretaries, and bookkeepers, but counselors, consultants, vocational 
experts, public relations folk, publicity men, directors of foods, col- 
lege nurses, superintendents of buildings and grounds, personnel 
advisers, and hostesses (a woman's college calls them "wardens") 
make up an extensive list of services necessary to the health and com- 
fort as well as to the recruiting and guidance of a large student body. 
The business of education, like that of industry, has developed a 


whole complex of specialized services. The jack-of-all-trades has 
passed away with the disappearance of the frontier and of pioneer 
versatility. Specialization is the order of the day in the auxiliary 
services of the College, as well as in the teaching and research of the 



The Board of Trustees 

THE trustees of an American college represent an element in the 
academic life for which there is no analogue in the administration of 
higher education in other countries. On the European continent such 
education is a function of the state, directly controlled by a depart- 
ment of the central government and dependent on the government for 
its support. The internal organization of such a university is complete- 
ly controlled by the faculty, which elects its own presiding officer by 
a process of rotation from its own ranks. The "colleges" of the English 


universities, growing out of early voluntary associations of teachers 
and students, are governed by a head, or master, and fellows, or grad- 
uate students. The legal control of the American college, on the 
contrary, is completely in the hands of an extraneous self -perpetuat- 
ing corporation from which the members of the teaching staff are 
usually explicitly excluded by the charter. The president of the col- 
lege, ex officio member and also often chairman of the Board, is the 
only direct link between the trustees and the faculty. The relation- 
ship of the trustees to the college is therefore much like that which 
obtains in any charitable trust. The trustees constitute the corpora- 
tion and manage the property. Administration and faculty are their 
employees, whose appointments, tenure, salaries, and privileges are 
subject to their direction and control. In the course of a natural 
evolution, boards of trustees have usually divested themselves of 
strictly educational functions, and have left the internal management 
of the college and the control of its students to the faculty. 

In the early years, at Davenport and Grinnell, the trustees of Iowa 
College concerned themselves with every detail of academic life, and 
evidently felt themselves directly responsible for the action of the 
College in loco parents. They even dealt with individual cases of 
student discipline, which are duly recorded in their proceedings. As 
late as the eighties and nineties they directed the courses of study to 
be taught, ordered that the faculty "hear each four lessons a day" 
(June, 1881), and later expected instructors to teach an average of 
eighteen hours a week (June, 1890). "When a professor resigned in 
protest against this arrangement, his resignation was cheerfully ac- 
cepted by the Board. 

The trustees deliberated on the proper calling hours for students, 
on commencement honors, and the contents of the student publica- 
tion. They legislated on the personal habits of students, commanding 
church and daily chapel attendance, study hours, and abstention from 
"profanity, obscenity, intoxicants, gambling, dancing, cards, billiards 
and all unlawful games'* (June, 1884). However, they reacted 
against an unwise procedure of the administration by advising the 
abandonment of the system of self -reporting by students, no doubt 
considering it too much like the "popish** rule of the confessional, or 
accepting the student judgment that lying was developed by this 
weekly inquisition in chapel. They kept a close rein on individual 
members of the faculty, interviewed them personally on occasion, 

146 Grinnell College 

reminded them of rules to be observed, and suggested desirable resig- 
nations. They made the faculty responsible for the observance of 
rules of propriety. They controlled the assignment of scholarships to 
students. They asked the faculty to limit intercollegiate contests 
(June, 1888) and disapproved the use of non-students in athletics 
(June, 1893). They considered $117 spent for periodicals for the 
library "quite large," and one of the trustees, an Oberlin man, is 
said to have actually asked the famous question: whether the students 
had read all the books already on the shelves. They considered the 
dissatisfaction of the seniors with Dr. Magoun's required course in 
logic and made it optional (June, 1890). They passed a resolution 
against secret societies, which, incidentally, have never been estab- 
lished at Grinnell. They decreed that examinations should count one- 
tenth of daily work in computing grades (January, 1892) and voted 
against semi-annual examinations. 

In the nineties it was decided that the faculty should have a voice 
in the selection of "members of its corporate body" and be consulted 
as to honorary degrees, and that seniors should be permitted to choose 
a commencement speaker from the outside, in place of the traditional 
annual orations for men and essays for women. Permission was re- 
fused to keep the library open evenings. In 1895 the faculty was 
entrusted with the arrangements for commencement, and it was 
ordered that students present their petitions through the faculty. 
However, indiscreet remarks by members of the faculty were frowned 
upon in a resolution condemning professors and instructors who 
criticized the administration or fellow-teachers in the presence of 
students (1905), and committees were still being appointed to in- 
quire into the work of individual teachers. 

During President Main's administration the trustees relinquished 
their direct control of academic work and mores^ and limited them- 
selves to their more appropriate duties as custodians of the property 
and promoters of the financial interests of the College, which were 
growing rapidly in importance. Repeated efforts during preceding 
years to add significant amounts to the funds of the College had met 
with indifferent success, and deficits in current accounts had become 
almost chronic. The trustees themselves had to bear the larger part of 
the financial burden involved, and their resources were not equal to 
the demands. By 1904, after almost sixty years of labor and struggle, 
the productive endowment amounted only to the utterly inadequate 


sum of $340,000, the value of the plant to approximately $250,000. 
Meanwhile, the income from investments had been falling steadily. 
The interest rate, amounting to 1 per cent in the early years, became 
8 per cent by 1886, fell to 7 per cent and 6 per cent ten years later; 
by 1903 the recognized rate was 5 per cent, though loans were still 
made at 6 per cent. The catalogue for 1890-1891 lists about four 
hundred names of contributors to an endowment fund of $200,000, 
in sums ranging from $5.00 to $25,000. Of $62,000 secured during 
1904-1905, the trustees themselves contributed $25,300, the alumni 
$10,117, the faculty $6,650; only $19,770 came from other donors. 
For many years the only large gift from outside sources had been 
$50,000 for the library building, secured from Andrew Carnegie by 
the efforts of alumnus and Trustee Albert Shaw in 1903. In 1886 the 
trustees had declined an offer of $50,000 by E. A. Goodnow of Wor- 
cester, donor of Goodnow Hall and Mears Cottage, because it was 
conditional upon changing the name of the College, which the Board 
considered "unwarranted," though they might have considered a 
change of name for $150,000 or $200,000. 

It became evident that the College must make very substantial 
additions to its endowment and plant if it was to maintain its place 
as a pioneer and leader among the colleges of the Midwest. The trus- 
tees did what they could by making generous pledges themselves and 
appointing a succession of field agents to work with the president 
on financial campaigns. Fortunately, President Main succeeded in 
interesting the General Education Board, which administered John 
D. Rockefeller's benevolences. He likewise obtained further support 
from the Carnegie Corporation. With this encouragement, two cam- 
paigns, each for $500,000, were completed in 1908 and 1914, touched 
off in each case by a conditional offer of $100,000 by the General 
Education Board. In spite of this notable increase in endowment, 
deficits still occurred for which the trustees felt a painful respon- 
sibility. The expansion of the College made further heroic efforts 
imperative in order to provide a plant equal to the needs of the grow- 
ing student body, without waiting for the slow accumulation of the 
necessary gifts. 

In 1909 a plan to form a "syndicate** to finance a music building 
had been abandoned. In 1913 plans were approved for the organiza- 
tion of the Grinnell College Foundation, a corporation separate from 
the Board of Trustees, formed to finance the building of a complete 

248 Grinnell College 

system of dormitories by a bond issue to be amortized from subse- 
quent gifts and by a long-term use of surplus income from rentals. 
By this method the Women's Quadrangle was completed in 1915, 
and the Men's Dormitories in 1917. Meanwhile, the Alumni Recita- 
tion Hall, the President's House, and a new heating plant were erected 
with funds secured from other sources. Thus within a few years a 
completely modern plant was created, which made the College self- 
sufficient, for the time being, in the organization of the student life. 

In 1909 the trustees amended the Articles of Incorporation, adopt- 
ing formally the name "Grinnell College," which was already in com- 
mon use, while retaining for the Corporation the old charter title 
e The Trustees of Iowa College." They discontinued the indeterminate 
tenure for trustees by dividing the Board into three classes, each 
elected for a term of six years, and they continued an earlier provision 
for alumni representation. They adopted a new scale of salaries: 
president $4,000, professors $1,600 to $2,000 (compared with $1,200 
in the nineties), assistant professors $1,200 to $1,400. In 1914 a 
system of sabbatical leaves for professors was adopted, providing full 
salary for a semester's leave, or half salary for a year. By 1917 the 
president's salary was raised to $7,500, in 1919 to $9,000; other 
salaries were scaled higher somewhat in proportion. 

There still remained the necessity of further addition to the pro- 
ductive funds. In 1919 the trustees made a bold venture of faith by 
contracting with a professional money-raising agency, with a draw- 
ing account of $800 a week, for a campaign to raise three and a half 
millions. "Within a year the professional agency was discharged, since 
it had succeeded only in accumulating a debt which the trustees were 
compelled to underwrite. In the process, the agents of the concern 
had so alienated the alumni by their crude methods that it was diffi- 
cult to revive the confidence and support of these graduates. In 1920 
a more manageable campaign was inaugurated by an offer of 
$500,000, conditional upon the raising of an additional million by 
the College. Even this amount proved exceedingly difficult to attain. 
The General Education Board was generously willing to grant suc- 
cessive extensions of time, but it was not until the very last day of 
grace, December 31, 1930, that the task was completed, with gifts 
and pledges for a million dollars secured and a heavy total of def- 
icits paid up. 

But now the Great Depression brought new difficulties. Pledges 


made in good faith could not be collected, because generous donors 
found themselves impoverished; actually only two-thirds of the con- 
templated million and a half was realized. Mounting costs, a dwin- 
dling student body, and reduced charges, resulting in a decreased in- 
come, made new deficits, and it was practically impossible to find new 
money. Salaries were cut, and resolute efforts gradually built up the 
student body to a new maximum, requiring the use of additional 
dormitory space, while charges were restored and then increased to a 
more adequate figure. Tuition in the early years had been fantas- 
tically low, beginning at a rate of $24, and remaining at this figure 
for thirty years. By 1889 the tuition had risen to only $37; it be- 
came $50 in 1895, $70 in 1910, $100 in 1914, $125 in 1917, $150 
in 1919, $160 in 1921, $210 in 1925, $250 in 1934, and $320 in 
1941. There was a somewhat similar increase in living expenses for 
students. In the early years, it was stated that "board may be ob- 
tained in good families at $1.50 or $2.00 per week," and when the 
College began to furnish board and room, the price for meals was 
still $1.50 to $1.75 per week, and room rent $3.00 to $4.00 per term 
of twelve weeks. In the fifties, total charges for room, board, and 
tuition for the entire college year varied from $63 to $75, according 
to figures quoted in the catalogue. By 1919, when the new dormitory 
system at Grinnell was in full operation, the over-all annual charge 
was $525. This amount was gradually increased until in 1942 the 
over- all charge, including all fees, became $800. Even this sum, 
over ten times the amount of the expenses quoted a century earlier, 
remained well below the actual cost per student to the College, and 
far below the charges by eastern colleges for similar accommodations.* 
Another experiment in college financing, common to western in- 
stitutions, was disappointing in its results. Apparently it was not 
clear to trustees, here or elsewhere, that the magnitude of their opera- 
tions did not justify competition with insurance companies in the 
annuity business, nor did they reckon with the rapid drop in interest 
rates or the disastrous effect of an unanticipated depression upon 
income from farms and other real estate, nor did they realize that 
annuitants are apt to enjoy an altogether unwarranted longevity. 
The agents of the College therefore entered into a large number of 
annuity contracts, at rates graduated according to the age of the 

* In 1953 the over-all charge amounted to $1,400, o which $600 was tke tuition. 

150 Grmnell College 

annuitant, sometimes as high as 8 per cent upon the presumed value 
of the property taken over as principal. The trustees tried to direct 
these operations within safe limits, but their best wisdom was frus- 
trated by the inherent unsoundness of the procedure itself and by 
the unsettling effect of the Great Depression upon values and in- 
comes. Losses from this source added heavily to the burden of other 
deficits. On the other hand, welcome help came from the ever- 
generous General Education Board, which again came to the aid of 
colleges, including Grinnell, by a three-year appropriation for teach- 
ers* salaries. 

In spite of all difficulties, a balanced budget was achieved in 1936, 
and for some time things proceeded on a fairly even keel. The early 
forties brought new problems as well as new resources. With the 
entrance of the United States into the second World War, President 
Stevens succeeded in securing three military training units for the 
Grinnell campus, thus keeping the Men's Dormitories full to over- 
flowing, in spite of the virtual disappearance of civilian men students 
from college halls. It had been intended to accommodate 750 men 
in these units; the numbers actually in residence fluctuated widely, 
but at times ran up to about 1,200. It was fortunate that the Cowles 
Dormitory had just been completed before the arrival of the military 
units. The educational arrangements were far superior to those of the 
S. A. T. C. in the first World War. The College undertook all re- 
sponsibility for teaching faculty and administration, as well as hous- 
ing and meals. Relations with the military command were most 
amicable and cooperative, the men were loud in their praise of the 
comforts provided for them, and on nationwide educational tests the 
units in Grinnell ranked among the very highest in achievement. 

The twenties had seen but one addition to the college plant, the 
building of the swimming pool in 1926, due largely to the interest of 
Trustee Jay N. Darling. In the thirties the pressure of a greatly in- 
creased enrollment was met by the taking over of several large resi- 
dences as temporary dormitories, but there was no new construction. 
In 1940 occurred the first loss by fire since 1871, in the burning of 
the Rand Gymnasium. The early forties brought a new building era. 
The Darby Gymnasium provided a modern center for physical edu- 
cation for men, while the Cowles Dormitory provided an adequate 
refectory for the men of the College, as well as additional housing 
and recreational facilities. At the same time the munificent donation 


by the Younker family of Des Moines, establishing the Marcus and 
Annie Berkson Younker Endowment, provided for the erection of a 
Health Center and another Men's Dormitory, as well as funds for 
generous scholarships, eventually amounting to eighty-four such 
awards to students. This donation, the largest in the history of the 
College, is a signal testimony to the regard in which Grinnell is held.* 
The administration announced that it "came to Grinnell unsolicited. 
After the founders had Investigated the privately endowed colleges 
of Iowa, Grinnell was selected by them as the college best adapted to 
carry out the objectives: to assist boys and girls to obtain a college 
education, to give supervision to their health while In college and to 
help support the teaching staff of the college," 

From the long list of good citizens who have given generous service 
to the College as members of the Board of Trustees, It is difficult to 
select a few for special mention. It was not until 1875 that an alum- 
nus was elected to the Board; in 1876 there were two; in 1884, three. 
Since 1891 the Alumni Association has nominated first two, then 
three trustees, and others have been elected by direct action of the 
Board. Since 1903 a majority of the trustees have been alumni. 

In the early years it was naturally the men of the Iowa Band and 
their fellow-pioneers who kept the flickering light burning by their 
unconquerable devotion. Some of them saw such fruition of their 
hopes as must have surpassed their fondest anticipations In the diffi- 
cult formative years. The longest and perhaps most fruitful service 
among the pioneers was that of Ephraim Adams, covering sixty-one 
years, a record almost matched by that of alumnus Albert Shaw's sixty 
years on the Board. Harvey Adams and A. B. Robbins each served 
forty-nine years, the latter for the first seventeen years as president of 
the Board, before there was a president of the College. "Father" Tur- 
ner served for thirty-nine years, Oliver Emerson thirty-one, Daniel 
Lane twenty-six, J. C. Holbrook and Julius A. Reed each twenty-one, 
William Salter thirteen, Reuben Gaylord ten. Of the laymen on the 
original board, James McManus served for thirty-two years, Charles 
Atkinson and Henry Q. Jennison each sixteen years. Among the early 
residents of Grinnell, J. B. himself was a trustee for thirty-six years, 
Dr. Magoun for twenty-eight, S. L. Herrick for twenty-six, Dr. 
Thomas Holyoke for seventeen. From near-by Newton, Colonel John 

* In April, 1953, the College received an even larger donation $5,000,000 from the 
estate of John Frederick Darby. 

152 Grinncll College 

Meyer attended meetings for forty-one years. From pastorates in 
Dubuque, Des Moines, and Eddyville came the Rev. Joshua M. Cham- 
berlain, generous donor, trustee for thirty-seven years, treasurer of 
the College for nineteen years, and librarian for seven years. 158 

There are several cases of two members of a family (father and son 
or daughter, husband and wife, brothers) serving on the Board, but 
only one case of three members of one family: Colonel Samuel Mer- 
rill, 159 Civil "War veteran and seventh governor of Iowa for two 
terms, trustee from 1867 to 1900; his brother Jeremiah H., from 
1875 to 1904; and the son of the latter, Samuel A., of the class of '79, 
from 1898 to 1920. Also from Des Moines came the Rev. Alvah 
Lillie Frisbie, D.D., 160 pastor of Plymouth Church, trustee for thirty 
years; his son, A. L., '00, an alumni trustee. From Osage came Hon. 
James A. Smith, 1 * 31 organizer of an extensive lumber business, state 
Representative and Senator, his thirty years of benevolence remem- 
bered in the naming of Smith Hall; his son Fred Crego, '00, suc- 
ceeded him as trustee and became chairman of the Board. Colonel 
J. K. P. Thompson, 162 Civil War veteran of Rock Rapids, served for 
fourteen years; his nephew Burt J., of Forest City, was twice a 
member of the Board. 

Among the trustees of the intermediate years, the longest service 
was that of Archibald Cattell, '91, who was one of the most active 
and faithful members of the Board for twenty-eight years. Henry 
W. Spaulding 18S of Grinnell, buggy-builder extraordinary, was ac- 
tive on the Board for twenty-six years. Roger Leavitt of Cedar Falls 
and James G. Olmsted of Des Moines each served seventeen years. 
Among others prominent in the public eye who were trustees, we may 
mention superintendent T. O. Douglass, D.D.; Governor and United 
States Senator Albert B. Cummins; Iowa Supreme Court Justice 
William D. Evans; Director of the United States Mint George E. 
Roberts; Governor and Senator Clyde L. Herring; Edward W. Cross, 
D.D.; Jay N. Darling, cartoonist; Walter W. Head, banker and 
insurance president; George M. Bechtel, broker; F. L. Maytag, manu- 
facturer (succeeded later by his grandson Frederick Louis Maytag 
II) ; Brigadier-General Hanford MacNider; Rt. Rev. Harry S. Long- 
ley, D.D., S.T.D., Bishop of Iowa; Stoddard Lane, D.D., minister of 
Plymouth Church, Des Moines; Robert B. Adams of Odebolt, farmer 
extraordinary; Woodward Harold Brenton, banker. 

In the early years, it did not occur to the trustees that it might be 


appropriate for a coeducational college to have women on its govern- 
ing board. In the eighties the death of Hon. R. D. Stephens, after 
but four years' service, suggested the election of Mrs. Stephens as his 
successor, but she remained only two years. Thirty years later Mary 
Chamberlain, '92, daughter of Trustee J. M. Chamberlain, was a mem- 
ber of the Board for four years. After another quarter-century, it 
became the policy of the Board to include women in their number, 
with the election of Mrs. David S. Kruidenier of Des Moines (daugh- 
ter of Gardner Cowles, ex~*82) , and of Mrs. Frank P. Hixon of Lake 
Forest, Illinois. 

The naming of the grounds and buildings serving the College was 
naturally a function of the trustees. Blair Hall, laboratory, was 
named for John L Blair; Goodnow Hall, first used as a library, then 
as a laboratory, for Hon. E. A. Goodnow of Worcester, Massachusetts. 
The office building, formerly Chicago Hall, was renamed after Presi- 
dent Magoun. The first dormitory unit for women, vulgarly yclept 
"the Shack/ 5 was named Mears Cottage, for Mary Grinnell Mears, 
'81, at the request of the donor, E. A. Goodnow, a member of Dr. 
Mears's church. The central building of the new Women's Quad- 
rangle was made a memorial to President Main. James Cottage is 
named for Mrs. Mary B. James of Minneapolis; Cleveland for Martha 
Cleveland (Mrs. LeRoy Dibble), '67, of Kansas City; Haines for 
Mrs. Robert M. Haines, *65; Read as a memorial to Luella J. Read, 
late dean of women. Among the men's dormitories, Smith Hall is a 
memorial to Trustee James A. Smith; Langan to W. H. Langan of 
Des Moines; Rawson to alumnus and Trustee Charles A. Rawson; 
Gates to President George A. Gates; Clark to Theodore F. Clark, 
father of Edith M. Clark (Mrs. F. A. McCornack), *89, of Sioux 
City; Dibble to Dr. LeRoy Dibble of Kansas City. Cowles is named 
for donor Gardner Cowles, ex-"82. The women's gymnasium, de- 
stroyed by fire in 1940, was named for E. D. Rand, of Burlington, 
father of Carrie Rand, the donor; the Library, for Andrew Carnegie; 
the Chapel, for Trustee S. H. Gerrick, '65; the new men's gymnasium, 
for Fred Darby, '95. Three sections of the college grounds have been 
named: Chamberlain Park, the women's campus, for the donor, 
Trustee J. M. Chamberlain; the Athletic Field for Herbert Clark 
Ward, *9G; the men's campus for Paul MacEachron, *11, formerly 
dean of men. The fine service of President Bradley was recognized 

154 Grinnell College 

by naming a splendid clump of trees, among the many planted by 
his hands, the Bradley Oaks. 

The roster of the Board of Trustees for the centennial year of 1946 

* Robert B. Adams Odebolt 

* W. Harold Brenton, B.S. Des Moines 

* George Melville Crabb, '06, M.D. Mason City 
John Frederick Darby, '95, LL.D. Tulsa, Oklahoma 
Chester Charles Davis, '11, D.Sc., LL.D. St. Louis, Missouri 
Rt. Rev. Elwood Lindsay Haines Davenport 

* John R. Heath, '19, LL.B. Chicago, Illinois 

* Mrs. Frank P. Hixon, A.B. Lake Forest, Illinois 
Harry Lloyd Hopkins, '12, LL.D. Washington, D. Q 

* Stewart Ray Kirkpatrick, '15 Omaha, Nebraska 

* Mrs. David S. Kruidenier Des Moines 
Fred Albert Little, '16, LL.B. Des Moines 
Rev. Bruce H. Masselink, B.D. Burlington 

* Frederick Louis Maytag II, A.B. Newton 

* Gerard Scholte Nollen, '02 Des Moines 
Samuel J. Pooley, *92 Grinnell 

* Joseph Frankel Rosenfield, '25, J.D. Des Moines 
Albert Shaw, 79, Ph.D., LL.D., Litt.D. New York City 
James Glenn Shifflett, LL.B. Grinnell 

* Samuel Nowell Stevens, Ph.D., ex officio Grinnell 
Burt J. Thompson, *94, LL.B. Forest City 

* Rudolph Wilson Weitz, '21 Des Moines 

* Murray DeWitt Welch, '16, LL.B. New York City 

The members whose names are starred are still serving on the Board. 
They, together with the following, make up the 1953 Board of 

Louis G. Chrysler, Sr., Chico, California 

Donald H. Clark, St. Louis, Missouri 

W. Donald Evans, Des Moines 

Rev. Judson E. Fiebiger, Grinnell 

Rupert A. Hawk, Grinnell 

Maxwell H. Herriott, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Mrs. Leonard Hurtz, Omaha, Nebraska 

Robert Kinsey, Grinnell 

Dr. Angus C. McDonald, Huntington Park, California 

F. Wendell Miller, Rockwell City 

John W. Norris, Marshalltown 

Fred M. Roberts, Seattle, Washington 

Rt. Rev. Gordon Smith, Des Moines 




The Alumni 

THE QUALITY of a college as an educational institution depends prima- 
rily upon its teaching force, and secondarily upon its physical assets 
and equipment. Another criterion is the output of the "knowledge 
factory," which is more difficult to estimate. In general, it may be 
said that Grinnell graduates everywhere have been noted for their 
sturdy character and their pubHc spirit, as well as their devotion to 
the ideals of the College. Faye Cashatt Lewis, in the novel, Doc's 
Wife, bears interesting and humorous testimony from the outside to 
tie loyalty of Grinnellians: 


Grinnell College 

If one has attended Grinnell College, one need never worry about his passage 
through the pearly gates! I write this in no spirit of cattiness toward Grin- 
nell College, but in puzzlement and wonder. I have never known the alumni 
of any other institution to emanate such complete satisfaction with their 
alma mater. I have never heard any of them say that Grinnell is the most 
wonderful school on earth; they merely exude that opinion in some subtle 
way that I have not been able to analyze. Most of them are intelligent and 
discriminating people, who know something of other schools elsewhere, so 
there must be some basis for this opinion. 

For many years, only desultory attention was paid to the organiza- 
tion of Grinnell alumni. The General Alumni Association was^estab- 
lished in 1879, but the catalogue makes no mention of its existence 
until 1890, when the officers, in addition to president, vice-president, 
secretary and treasurer, included an "orator," who disappears from 
later lists. The organization of local alumni groups followed very 
slowly. The alurnni in the Chicago area were first in the field, organ- 
izing in 1892. The Des Molnes group followed nine years later, as 
did the association formed in Southern California. In 1903 a New 
England Association was organized; in 1905 the alumni of New 
York and vicinity formed an Association of Middle States, the San 
Francisco area gathered in a Bay Association, and a local group was 
established in Grinnell. The following years brought a more rapid 
increase in the number of local groups, attesting to the spread of 
graduates of the College throughout the country and even into the 
Orient. The Minneapolis-St. Paul group was formed in 1907. In 
1912 associations were formed in Montana, Oregon, and Utah, and 
the "Inland Empire"; in 1913 Denver, Omaha-Council Bluffs, and 
the Oriental group in China followed. In addition to the more im- 
portant towns in Iowa, by the twenties such more distant centers as 
Kansas City, Lincoln, "Washington, San Diego, and Urbana were 
organized. Ten years later Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Phila- 
delphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis had been added. By 1920 the cata- 
logue listed thirty-five alumni associations; a few of these had a pre- 
carious existence, but new groups replaced those that ceased to f unc- 
tion, and in the early forties there were thirty-three associations still 

The attention of the College to its alurnni interests has been some- 
what sporadic. In the early years there was no attempt to keep in 
touch with graduates and former students from the central office in 
Grinnell, and it was usually in connection with financial campaigns 


that ad hoc efforts were made in this direction. Looking toward the 
systematic encouragement of alumni Interest in college doings, from 
November, 1900, the loica College News Letter was sent to graduates 
and others interested. 

The first publication aimed specifically toward alumni was the 
Grinnell Review, begun in October, 1905. A two-column paper, it 
was published monthly during the college year and "devoted to the 
interests of Iowa College and its graduates." Concerned mainly with 
money-raising, it carried news of alumni and of the College as well 
as reviews, essays, poetry, and editorials. 

In November, 1919, President John Hanson Thomas Main wrote 
this message to readers of the Review. 

Whatever contribution the Middle West may have for American thought, 
this contribution cannot be articulate without a journal where it may be 
expressed. The Grinnell Review expects to be such a journal . . . Yet here, 
as in the East, are men and women in passionate revolt against the existing 
order and men and women In exquisite harmony with it. If the Grinnell 
Review can express the particular quality of this revolt and the harmony, 
It will have done much. 

Grinnell and "Yon was another bulletin of Information for the 
alumni and friends of Grinnell College which was published from 
1921 to 1940. Continuing along the same lines as the Grinnell Kc- 
vleiVi It was published eight times during the year. There were reg- 
ular columns for births, deaths, and weddings, and a "Here and 
There" column with alumni news by classes, 

The alumni publication. Alumni Scarlet and Black, Is issued four 
times a year in September, November, February, and May, and It 
varies In size from four to twelve pages. Births, deaths, and mar- 
riages are listed, and a "People You Know" column carries alumni 
news by classes. In addition it has major alumni stories, campus news 
and events, and an "Across the President's Desk 33 section. 


The College in War 

DURING the hundred years of the history of the College, the United 
States has been involved in four wars, each of which naturally affected 
the institutional life. The participation of pioneer Iowa College in 
the Civil War is indicated by the catalogue for 1865-1866, which 
lists seventy- one men, practically the entire masculine enrollment, 
as having entered the service from Grinnell; one member of the fac- 
ulty and five of the ten men graduated at Davenport were also in 
the national service. Of this number, eighteen were commissioned 



officers, including one Lieutenant Colonel, two Majors, and two Cap- 
tains. Casualties were relatively high, with eleven fatalities, five 
killed in action, six the victims of disease and exposure in prison 
camps. The names of those who gave this "last full measure of devo- 
tion" are engraved on a marble tablet in the College Chapel Pro- 
fessor Jesse Macy in his Autobiography gives an interesting account 
of the grudging attitude of military officers toward recruits who were 
legally entitled to be noncombatants. 

It was probably not merely the backwash of the Civil War that 
brought the first and only experiment with peacetime military train- 
ing at GrinnelL It was probably rather due to the engagement of 
Albert S. Hardy as professor of civil engineering "etcetera/ 5 and the 
fact that he was a West Pointer. In any case, during Mr. Hardy's 
presence, 1871-1874, military drill in artillery and infantry tactics 
was required of all male students for a half hour daily, four days a 
week. After his departure students still drilled under "officers 
selected from their own number who had large experience in the late 
war," but this arrangement was dropped in 1876, "owing to the want 
of a suitable instructor," whom it was hoped to provide "as soon as 
circumstances allow"; but this was the last mention of the matter in 
the catalogue. 

The six months* war with Spain in 1898 made little impression 
upon the college enrollment, which showed a drop of only ten, from 
280 to 270, more than made up for in the following years. The 
President's Report for 1898 had this brief reference to such participa- 
tion as there was: 

The call for volunteers for the war against Spain has affected our numbers 
probably less than those of institutions in which regular military organiza- 
tions existed. Three of our students were already members of the National 
Guard and felt, therefore, under this special obligation to enlist. Three 
others have followed them. Five of these are in Company K of the 50th 
Regiment [which never left the United States], and one in the 49th Regi- 
ment [which spent the winter in Cuba], ... A military company has been 
formed which includes a very large number of students. They drill regularly, 
so far as they are able to do so without arms. These they have tried to 
obtain but up to this time have not been successful. 

Military medicine was then still in its infancy, and the choice of 
training camps, dictated by political pull, was most unfortunate; 
consequently, disease was rampant. Of all the volunteers from the 

Grinnell College 

entire state of Iowa, about two hundred died In the service, of whom 
just one man was killed in battle. 164 

The first World War caused a serious dislocation of college pro- 
grams throughout the country, and there was a disturbing lack of 
intelligent cooperation between military commands and the academic 
organization. In many cases, as at Grinnell, young and inexperienced 
officers, who were evidently overmuch impressed with their brief 
authority, made it impossible for college officials to work effectively 
with them, and by ill-advised orders, jeopardized the health of the 
men under their charge in the Students' Army Training Corps. As 
President Main said in his Report for September, 1920: 

The confusion and disarrangement attendant upon military service during 
the first portion of the year, and demobilization continuing through the year 
1918-1919, made the establishment of normal conditions, for college work 
and activity, practically impossible. Connected with this period there is 
much to regret from the College point of view. On the other hand there is 
every reason for thanksgiving from the point of view of loyalty to the 
great cause to which our country committed itself, 

The faculty made every concession to students entering the na- 
tional service. On April 30, 1917, they voted full credit for such 
students In courses In which they were in good standing, and students 
were granted degrees In absentia. In March, 1918, proportional 
credits were voted for men leaving for the national service. In 1919 
men who were unable to return to complete the course were granted 
a "war diploma" recording their work in college. Meanwhile, twenty- 
three members of the faculty, among them the president, were en- 
gaged In various forms of war work. 

During the first World War, the total number of Grinnell men 
and women in all forms of war service was 951, of whom 868 were 
In military service and 83 in auxiliary services, such as the Red Cross, 
the Y.M.C.A., and War Camp Community Service. The number in 
training on the campus in, the S.A.T.C. was 259. From the classes 
attending college during the war, 301 were in the service. The total 
number of fatalities was 22, of whom 6 were killed in action and 16 
died of disease evidence that the army medical service was still on 
a low plane. There was a great improvement in this- service during 
the following quarter-century, as appears from its record in the 
second World War, when, however, airplane accidents during train- 
ing introduced a new element of danger. 


For about a quarter-century after the armistice of 1918, the Col- 
lege was free to return to its traditional pacific activities, and Grin- 
nell made a conspicuous contribution to the discussion of ways and 
means to organize the world for peace by holding summer institutes 
and lectureships on international relations. The reluctance of the 
nation to take an active part in the second World "War is a matter of 
history, as is the decisive impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor, De- 
cember 7, 194 1, upon the public mind. A year before this historic 
event, arrangements had been made at Grinnell for training in 
aviation for students applying for such preliminary training. Now 
the war claimed the service of all able-bodied men of military age. 

The American participation in the first World War was so brief 
that its impact upon the colleges, though disturbing, could be con- 
sidered a disagreeable interlude. The second World War made incom- 
parably greater demands upon the resources of the nation, and far 
more effective arrangements were made for the indispensable co- 
operation of our educational institutions. As for Grinnell, the normal 
college activities were carried on by the women, while the men en- 
tered the national service. The total number of Grinnell students, 
graduates, and former students engaged in various branches of the 
national service exceeded 1,300, the great majority in the army and 
the air corps, relatively few in the navy, the marine corps, and the 
medical service. Of forty-four who were reported as giving their 
lives, twenty- four were direct war casualties, eleven were victims of 
plane accidents and five of other accidents, and four died of disease. 
Over two-thirds of the casualties were commissioned officers. 

In addition to the students and alumni mentioned above, there 
were large numbers of men resident for short periods on the Grinnell 
campus for specialized training under the army. This educational 
work was far better organized and directed than was the case in the 
S.A.T.C. in 1918. By October, 1942, an Officer Candidate School 
was set up under the office of the Adjutant General; it took over the 
Men's Dormitories, the Alumni Recitation Hall, and several buildings 
off the campus. During the next nine months this school graduated 
over fifteen hundred administrative officers. This work was discon- 
tinued July 1, 1943, together with similar courses in other centers 
throughout the country. Immediately afterward the facilities of the 
College were made available for the Army Specialized Training Pro- 
gram, which included instruction in foreign languages, the history, 

162 Grinnell College 

geography, and culture of foreign areas, mathematics and the physical 
sciences, and physical education. The Officer Candidate School had 
utilized only military personnel for instruction, but the Specialized 
Training Program required civilian instructors. Many members of 
the Grinnell faculty were engaged in the administration and full or 
part-time teaching, and a number o additional instructors were 
engaged by the College for this work. A great flow of soldiers passed 
through the various programs of instruction, and at times the military 
personnel on the campus exceeded 1,200. The War Department dis- 
continued these programs throughout the country in March, 1944. 

During the war, following the recommendation of the North Cen- 
tral Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and of the Edu- 
cational Policies Commission, the College admitted students from 
high schools at the end of the junior high school year, under rather 
strict conditions of scholarship and maturity. The effect of the war 
upon student enrollment did not, of course, end with the cessation 
of hostilities. The return of the younger members of the armed 
forces was necessarily slow; the demands of the armies of occupation 
continued. For the year 1945-1946, the registration of women at 
Grinnell was by far the greatest in the history of the College, while 
the enrollment of men began to rise from the minimum of the war 

Meanwhile, new and formidable developments in the conduct of 
war, such as radar, rocket propulsion, and the atomic bomb, changed 
the whole basis of national defense. The spectacular evidence in re- 
cent research of the paramount value of the trained mind and the 
pursuit of pure science will justify anew the claims of our colleges 
and universities to freedom of action and adequate support in their 
essential educational work. 

Part Four 

Campus High Lights 


Art and Music" 

CONSIDERING the great importance of art and music in Greek cul- 
ture, it seems strange that these disciplines found their way very slowly 
into the program of the American college, though its early curriculum 
was dominated by classical influence. The Puritan was indeed wedded 
to the Good, but he paid scant heed to the Beautiful, and in that he 
was un-Hellenic. Besides, his English ancestry was not conducive to 
artistic endeavor. 

Typically, both at Davenport and then at Grinnell, Iowa College 

* This chapter is based on studies made by Edith A. Sternfeld, associate professor of art, 
and George L. Pierce, professor emeritus of piano. 


Gr'mnell College 

paid only the slightest lip service to the arts. It is only by comparison 
with other colleges that Grinnell was early in the development of this 
interest. In the sixties the catalogue of Iowa College lists an instructor 
in vocal music, and states that "instruction in instrumental music can 
be obtained in the village," but there is no indication of organized 
work in this field. An interest in art, equally inchoate, appears even 
later. An instructor in drawing is listed for the first time in the cata- 
logue for 1877-1878, but no place is provided for it in the curriculum, 
whereas by this time a "Conservatory of Music" is announced, with a 
three-year course of study. Meanwhile, it appears that opportunities 
for instruction in drawing and painting were offered by the ubiq- 
uitous Professor H. W. Parker and his vivacious lady while they were 
in Grinnell, and later by Professor Barbour and his sister. 

Art disappears from the catalogue during the ten years from 1878 
to 1888, when an instructor in drawing and painting is listed, though 
again the curriculum knows nothing of the subject. Three years later, 
Alfred V. Churchill appears for one year as "director of the Art 
School," and three courses are offered in drawing and painting, with 
additional provision for ee wood-carving and china-painting." These 
accessories were omitted from the courses offered by Susan Burroughs, 
'84, who succeeded Churchill as director, but continued for only 
two years. 

For a period of twenty years, from 1895 to 1915, art again had no- 
place in the college curriculum. It was in vain that the trustees had 
shown some hospitality to the claims of art; in June, 1891, they re- 
ferred to the executive committee a petition asking for an art depart- 
ment. The faculty was also asked to consider a combined music and 
liberal arts course, but they displayed a grudging attitude toward art 
instruction, as appears from an inconclusive vote in June, 1893, on 
a recommendation that courses be given in free-hand drawing and the 
history and principles of art. 

In February, 1895, art was accepted by the faculty as a three-hour 
elective, but in September this credit was rescinded. In March, 1898, 
an unfavorable report was made on a proposed art exhibit, but in 
March, 1900, an art class under Mrs. H. H. Robbins was approved. 
Meanwhile, members of the faculty and others had formed an art 
club, which made a collection of photographs of masterpieces and 
held exhibits with informal lectures for the benefit of students and the 


It was not until 1915 that courses in art history and theory began 
to receive full recognition for college credit. Miss Millerd offered 
courses in Greek and Roman sculpture and the Italian Renaissance, 
Miss Sheldon lectured on mediaeval art, and Professor Spencer's 
courses in classical archaeology and Greek and Roman monuments 
also contained relevant material. The course in archaeology con- 
tinued until Mr. Spencer's retirement in 1940; the course in monu- 
ments was conducted in turn by Professors Smiley and Bridgham, 
with an interval from 1929 to 1940. Miss Read, then assistant 
professor of German, began teaching in the field of art in 1918; 
during the next fourteen years she gave a variety of courses in the 
art of the Renaissance, the Netherlands, American art, domestic art, 
modern painting, history of architecture, and art appreciation. In 
1925 the College received a gift of $50,000 from the Carnegie Cor- 
poration for the development of courses in art. 

Thus far, except for sporadic instruction in the early years, the 
art courses given were all in the field of history and theory. Studio 
courses in creative art began in 1930, with Edith Sternfeld (A.B., 
Northwestern; B.A.E., Art Institute of Chicago; A.M., Iowa) as 
assistant, later associate, professor of art. With changing assistance, 
particularly by Mrs. Elizabeth M. Hensley in crafts, Miss Sternfeld 
developed a full-fledged department of art, offering a major in this 
subject. The aim of the instruction was stated as follows: 

Throughout the work of the department the aim is to develop a sensitivity 
to artistic values, sound critical judgment, and interests which will be a 
source of satisfaction during and after college days. Opportunities are offered 
for the exploration of various mediums and techniques and for the develop- 
ment of skills with a view to ease and adequacy of expression. While the 
courses are definitely nonprof essional in character, they are fundamental and 
thorough enough to serve as the basis for later specialization should that be 
desired. But the chief purpose is to give to all students artistic resources 
which will make daily living richer and more significant. 

By the early 1940's, courses in history and theory included intro- 
duction to the visual arts, history and appreciation of art, modern art, 
interior decoration, and dress design. The studio courses included art 
structure (in design and drawing) , art in the elementary school, 
crafts, lettering and advertising design, puppetry, and studio prob- 
lems. A new educational feature was a picture rental collection of 
framed originals or reproductions available to students or faculty 

168 Grinnell College 

members for the decoration of their rooms. For the benefit of the 
whole academic community, a variety of loan exhibitions, numbering 
eighty from 1930 to 1945, presented collections in many art forms, 
including oil paintings, water colors, prints, Japanese, Chinese, and 
Amerindian art, sculpture, stained glass, textiles, and fresco. Noted 
artists have cooperated by giving lectures on their art fields. 

During the sixties and early seventies the College had made some 
provision for instruction in vocal music. The first instruction in this 
subject was offered in 1862-1863 and again, 1867-1870, by the Rev. 
Darius E. Jones, 105 who sang his way through an extraordinary variety 
of occupations, as manufacturer, editor, church chorister, pastor, sec- 
retary of the American Home Missionary Society, agent of the Bible 
Society, representative of the Boston and Maine Railway, composer, 
and compiler of songs. In 1863 William Beaton taught vocal music, 
and from 1864 to 1867 the Rev. Charles W. Clapp added this func- 
tion to his duties as professor of rhetoric and English literature. For 
the two years, 1873-1875, Harlow S. Mills, '74 (D.D., 3 14) had 
charge of this work. At this same time Miss Debra C. Fessenden was 
the first instructor in instrumental music to appear as a member of the 
teaching staff. 

All this was preliminary to the appearance in 1875 of Wiliard 
Kimball (B.Mus., Oberlin) as instructor in vocal and instrumental 
music. He became professor the next year when a regular course in 
music was "contemplated/* In 1877 a "Conservatory o Music" was 
organized with Kimball as director, and a three-year course was out- 
lined in the catalogue. Director KimbalFs nineteen years at Grinnell 
saw the full development of the Conservatory, with a teaching force 
of five instructors, a maximum enrollment of 180, and courses in 
piano, pipe organ, violin and stringed instruments, voice culture, and 
the science and theory of music. In the early years music was still 
regarded as an extra; in June, 1880, the trustees permitted it to be 
offered as an optional subject only in the ladies* course, and the ex- 
pectation was that the Conservatory should be self-sustaining. Seven 
years later the trustees by-passed a suggestion that music be an 
optional subject in the classical course. 

By this time it appears that Director Kimball took over the work 
in music as a private venture, and in 1888 a separate catalogue was 
issued for the Conservatory. He had the use of the college plant, but 
in return was required in 1889 to pay 10 per cent of his gross income 


to the College. In 1891 the offering of a degree for the music-literary 
course was voted down, but the next year music became available as 
an elective in the junior and senior years of all college courses. In 

1893 the Conservatory of Music was taken over by the trustees as an 
integral part of the College, and the equipment was purchased from 
Kimball, who transferred the next year to the University of Nebraska, 
taking his staff of instructors with him. 

It was therefore a completely new music faculty that took over in 

1894 under Rossetter Gleason Cole (Ph.B., A.M., Michigan; later 
Mus.D., Grinnell) as director, and the Conservatory was now renamed 
the School of Music. The opportunities for the election of music by 
the academic students were enlarged by the offering of ten two-hour 
courses in theoretical music, including courses in harmony, counter- 
point, theory and history of music, musical analysis and form, and 
aesthetics of music. A normal course for teachers was also added. 

Integration with the College had the result that gradually a large 
majority of the music students took academic courses, and the influ- 
ence of the music faculty affected the College life in the organization 
of the College Glee Club and the Amphion Orchestra, which culti- 
vated serious music of a type quite different from that purveyed by 
conventional student clubs, and which carried its influence far and 
wide on concert tours. There had been earlier choral groups of an 
ephemeral character, but here was the beginning of the application of 
ideals in musical education that made it truly coordinate with long- 
cultivated academic fields. This tendency found its final expression 
when the School of Music became the Department of Music in the 
College in 1931. 

Mr. Cole was succeeded as director for brief periods by Henry "W. 
Matlack (B.Mus., Oberlin; A.B., Grinnell), 1901-1903; by William 
B. Olds (A.B., Beloit; instructor in singing since 1901) as acting 
director, 1903-1904; and 1904-1907 by Dudley Lytton Smith (A.B., 
Western Reserve; instructor in piano since 1901). In 1907 George 
Leavitt Pierce (B.Mus., Oberlin) began his twenty-four years of 
service as director. 

During this period there were six others of full professional rank 
on the music faculty. Edward Benjamin Scheve (hon. Mus.D.) came 
in 1906 as professor of musical theory and composition and instructor 
in organ. He continued to render distinguished service as teacher, 
composer, and organist until his death in 1924. 

170 Grinndl College 

Henry V. Matlack returned to Grinnell in 1909 as acting professor 
of musical theory and instructor in organ; lie was acting director dur- 
ing Professor Pierce's leave of absence in 1910-1911, and remained as 
professor until he became assistant to the president in alumni relations 
in 1922, continuing as college organist and serving again as professor 
of organ as well as alumni secretary, 1931-1936. 

The enrollment in the School of Music increased rather steadily 
after 1910 and in 1920-1921 reached an all-time high of 293, of 
whom 152 were also enrolled in academic courses; 90 were children. 
Ten years later the depression had left its mark, reducing the enroll- 
ment in music to 89 adults (practically all academic students) and 
14 children. It was evident that the public at large still considered 
music a luxury. 

Meanwhile, the teaching staff had done not only its full share in 
developing an interest in good music on the campus, but also in 
making the excellent results available to the public. As a successor to 
the Amphion Orchestra, Professor Pierce in 1907 organized the Grin- 
nell College Symphony Orchestra, which continued under his direc- 
tion until 1940, except for his two leaves of absence, when Professor 
Scheve took charge, 19 10-1911, and Professor Peck, 1930-1931. Dur- 
ing its best years the orchestra numbered fifty-five members; its 
repertoire included symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schu- 
bert, Franck, and Dvorak, the classic overtures, and a variety of con- 
certos with eminent soloists. 

The Grinnell String Quartet was also organized in 1907, and, under 
the leadership of David E. Peck as first violin, performed the classic 
quartets and a selection of modern works. During the thirty-five 
years of its existence this quartet probably did more for the apprecia- 
tion of chamber music in the Midwest than any other organization. 

The Men's Glee Club, organized in 1895 by Rossetter G. Cole, was 
conducted from 1901 to 1907 by Dudley L. Smith, from 1907 to 
1910 by George L. Pierce, and then for twenty-seven years by David 
E. Peck, its repertoire including many of the finest works for male 
chorus. The club made frequent tours in the Midwest and two sing- 
ing trips to the Pacific Coast. In 1924 it won first place at the contest 
of college and university glee clubs in Chicago, and a high place 
among eastern clubs in the subsequent contest in New York. For 
forty years it sang without the personal direction of the conductor. 
The Grinnell College Girls* Glee Club was conducted by George L, 


Pierce from 1907 to 1942. This club also made annual tours o the 

Midwest, and one trip as guests of the Sante Fe Railway to Los Angeles. 

A general choral organization was attempted as early as 1874, when 

the "Lowell Mason Society" met to sing works by classical composers. 

In the eighties this was followed by a "Mozart Club" and a "Musical 
Union/' and in 1901 an "Oratorio Society" sang Mendelssohn's Elijah. 
The first permanent College Choir was organized in 1907, consisting 
of the membership of the two glee clubs. For thirty-five years this 
"Vesper Choir" introduced its members to the best sacred music as a 
part of the formal vesper service on Sundays in the College Chapel. 
With an enlarged membership, it participated annually in the produc- 
tion of the great oratorios. The Choir thrice entered the Des Moines 
Eisteddfod, twice winning the first prize and once the second prize. 

Members of the music faculty were responsible for the organization 
of the music festivals held in May or June since 1901, first with the 
participation of the Chicago Symphony (not the one founded by 
Theodore Thomas), later with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra un- 
der Frederick Stock, and the New York, Minneapolis, and St. Louis 
symphonies. The musical programs brought to Grinnell included the 
names of practically all the great recital artists of the past fifty years, 
famous string quartets, orchestras, and other instrumental groups, 
bands, choruses, and singing groups. 

Grinnell was one of the first colleges in the country to offer the 
degree of bachelor of arts with a music major, and to provide a 
standardized course for the degree of bachelor of music. In recent 
years, the department of music has become so completely integrated 
into the academic curriculum that students are no longer listed sep- 
arately as enrolled in music. 



Athletics and Physical Education' 

THE athletic teams representing Grinnell College have long rejoiced 
in the sobriquet of '"Pioneers," which might be a recognition of the 
early development of interest in athletics on the campus, as well as 
of the priority of the College in midwestern education. During the 
first decades this interest remained subordinate to the demands of 
humbler and more lucrative occupations upon the leisure hours in the 
student life. John Hall Windsor, '54, first graduate of the College, 
wrote in 1889: "First claims on physical exercise in 1849-1854 were 

* This chapter is based on. a study made by John C. Truesdalc, professor of physical 




so great in sawing wood and doing chores that gymnasium and out- 
door recreation were rendered unnecessary. Still, we had some first- 
class baseball games. Even now we would willingly take up the chal- 
lenge of freshmen against sophs, though the game as we knew it would 
doubtless astonish the professionals of today." 1GG H. H. Belfield and 
E. O. Tade, '58, wrote: "This was the glacial period of amusements. 
No gymnasium, no baseball, no rowing, no glee clubs, no nothing. 
We did hunt a little along the river and in the woods. Life was too 
serious to be devoted to frivolous sports. Our amusements were 
'prisoner's base' and 'town ball' mere general games. We were 
nearly all poor young men and had to cut wood and do chores for 
our fun and to pay board." This was the story for the Davenport 

The early years at Grinnell brought little change of procedure. 
Professor Jesse Macy, 70, writing in 1902, remembered no playing 
of games during the Civil War period, but claimed credit for himself 
introducing a game of football, "neither Rugby nor Association" 
the latter term equivalent to "soccer." Macy reports that Charles N. 
Cooper, '67, was a positive advocate of regular physical training, 
prophetic of later enthusiasm for athletics, and that he "raised a little 
fund and erected a swing among the locust trees west of Alumni 
Hall," the present Music Building. Mahlon Willett, '69, "contracted 
a very uncomfortable habit of arising early in the morning and tak- 
ing a brisk walk or run into the country before breakfast. By down- 
right persistence he induced a score of others to join him in these 
early perambulations." 16T This was the first adumbration of the later 
keen interest in track sports. 

The "national game" was naturally the first to be played with some 
regularity on the Grinnell campus. Macy reports that baseball was 
introduced about 1867 by a returned soldier, Michael Austin, 71, 
later a trustee of the College, The first match game with an outside 
team was played in 1868 with the State University. Grinnell won, 
24-0. This was apparently the earliest intercollegiate contest in Iowa. 168 
Baseball, played in both spring and fall, remained the one athletic 
game on the campus through the seventies, with occasional outside 
games. The student paper indulged in frequent editorial exhortations 
to a flagging athletic interest. It urged students to "bestir them- 
selves, to wear down the weeds on the base paths of the diamond field, 
to walk or hunt instead of day-loafing or smoking as their Saturday 

174 Grinnell College 

pastimes. Our boys are famous for their eloquent orations on "Physi- 
cal Culture*; our eyes long for a practical demonstration." 

The sporadic interest in soccer mentioned by Macy was revived in 
the late seventies and early eighties, when the students evidently be- 
came possessed of a football. Thus the News Letter in May, 1881, 
wisecracks: <e the football is here, and when a student is sad and wants 
to die, he goes out and runs the ball across the campus for an hour. 
If he isn't dead before morning, he will have endured so much bodily 
anguish that the blues can not get hold upon his constitution. . . . 
The Juniors, essaying to beat the Preps, were ingloriously defeated by 
a score of 8 to 7." Such intramural matches continued throughout 
the eighties. 

The change from soccer to Rugby toward the end of this decade 
was highlighted by the first intercollegiate game in modern football 
west of the Mississippi. * The occasion was a challenge issued by the 
State University Foot Ball Team in October, 1889, to any college or 
other team in the state of Iowa. The Grinnell student papers for 
October and November abound in discussions of the challenge and 
its results. The first approach was almost a plea in avoidance: "Our 
boys have just started to play foot ball and perhaps could not do up 
the S. U. I. team. However we are ready to try them in base ball this 
year." 169 But evidently the student dander was up, and the Pulse for 
October 26 published a communication urging acceptance of the 

Why cannot we accept their challenge? The answer is simply because we 
do not know enough about the Rugby game. We have balls, grounds laid 
out, several Rugby players, and a whole host of men who would make good 
Rugby players. We could put a rush-line in the field of an average weight 
of 170 Ibs., and all of them men who can run an 11 -sec. gait. But to play 
this game as it should be played there must be a large amount of practice 
and in order to get this practice there must be system. If they are not will- 
ing to do this and if proper training cannot be taken, then let us keep quiet 
and still retain the old worn-out back seat which we have hitherto held in 
respect to foot ball. 

A football association was formed, "the longed-for football" arrived, 
Rugby was now the popular game, and the challenge was accepted. 
The Pulse for November 23 reported the epic struggle: 

* One sports authority cites 1881 at the University of California as the starting date for 
collegiate football in the trans-Mississippi West. See Christy Walsh (ed.), College Foot- 
ball , . . (Culver City, Calif., 1949) ^ 19, 


The S. U. I. has quite a reputation among Iowa colleges for athletics and 
when the challenge was issued it was with fear and trembling that Iowa 

College accepted it. This fear was in no way lessened when their brawny 
representatives appeared on the grounds last Saturday. Much heavier in 
actual weight and looking even larger than they were in their new uniforms, 
the S. U. I. team was not exactly calculated to inspire confidence in Iowa 
College's victory. It being a fine day and the first match ever played here 
a large crowd was out to witness the game, and judging from the enthusiasm 
both during the game and after the game all enjoyed the sport and will hail 
with pleasure the announcement of another. 170 

The score: "Iowa College 24; State University 0" in spite of the 
fact that the coach at the University (also professor of English) 
played with his team. This historic contest was honored fifty years 
later by the erection of a suitable monument on the athletic field, 
flanked by flagstaifs for the display of banners of the home and visit- 
ing teams at each game. 

Following the 1889 contest with the University of Iowa the foot- 
ball tradition at Grinnell grew during the last decade of the nine- 
teenth century as a more ambitious schedule was arranged. Grinnell 
defeated the University of Minnesota In their first meeting in 1893, 
6-2, and outscored Iowa State College, 38-2, during the same season. 
Other gridiron victims of the Pioneers during the days of the "flying 
wedge" and the drop-kick artist were the University of Nebraska, 
Drake University, Carleton College, and the Des Molnes Y. M. C A. 
(the latter squad fell by a score of 132-0 In 1892). Rivalries with 
Coe, Simpson, Cornell, and Penn colleges also added to the collegiate 
sports scene at Grinnell long before spectators considered a reserved 
seat or bottle of carbonated water a necessary adjunct to such 


At the end of World War I Grinnell officials moved the College 
into the Missouri Valley Conference, one of the major collegiate 
associations in the Midwest. Founded in 1907, the Missouri Valley 
already included Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas State, 
Drake, Iowa State, and Washington of St. Louis among its members. 
Grinnell teams found competition in the conference formidable. 
"Grinnell had a hard-fighting eleven," a Kansas City sportswriter 
noted in 1923, "but the material was not of sufficiently heavy caliber 
to enable Coach [A. H.] Elward to put out a team to cope success- 
fully against the heavier and more powerful Conference members." 
The Pioneers made creditable showings in 1925 and 1926, but discord 

176 Grinnell College 

in the conference soon led to a realignment of member schools. Most 
of the original members formed their own conference, limited to 
state-supported universities, and Grinnell remained in the old Mis- 
souri Valley group until 1939. Before the 1939 football season began, 
Grinnell shifted its membership into the smaller Midwest Conference, 
although occasionally nonconference contests with the University of 
Colorado, Washington University, and De Pauw were scheduled. 

Track and field sports began to engage the serious attention of the 
students in the eighties. 171 The News Letter for June, 1886, records 
the first home Field Day, consisting of a variety of running and 
jumping events and stunt races, for prizes such as "100 glasses of 
soda-water, laundry for twenty weeks, or a pair of knee pants." 
This Field Day was to continue through the years as an Annual 
Home Meet of contests between the college classes. The first State 
Meet was held in Grinnell in 1890, under the auspices of the Iowa 
Intercollegiate Athletic Association formed during the preceding 
winter. Such State Meets were held regularly until 1917, and occa- 
sionally in later years. During the track seasons of 1907, 1908, and 
1909 the Grinnell teams captured the Iowa Intercollegiate Track 
Meet cup with convincing victories in dash events, hurdles, relays, and 
the pole vault. The climax of the three-year reign came on May 29, 
1909, when Grinnell won the championship cup for the third straight 
time by amassing 63^ points*. E. W. Turner was the individual star 
for Grinnell as he won the 100-yard dash, the 220-yard dash, and the 
440-yard run to contribute personally 15 points to the scarlet-and- 
black total. William Ziegler pressed Turner for team, honors by win- 
ning the shotput and placing second in both the hammer throw and 
discus throw. "Seldom in the history of track athletics in Iowa has 
one team shown such wonderful superiority," a sportswriter wrote 
following the meet. In 1894 Ralph Lee Whitley, '95, ran the 440 
in 49 seconds, a state record which stood for over forty years. 
Grinnell track athletes participated with honor in national and 
international contests, such as the Western and Missouri Valley 
Conference, the Drake Relays (at which Grinnell was classed 
with the universities) , and the Olympic Games. In the nineties 
John Harland Rush, '97, in the 1900's Harry J. (Doc) Huff, '09, 
in the next two decades Charles B. (Chuck) Hoyt, '18, and Leonard 
T. Paulu, '22, were national champion sprinters, and later Myron 
C. (Mike) Pilbrow, *33, was a national champion two-miler. Fred- 


erick Morgan Taylor, '26, won the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympic 
Games In 1924, in the best time to that date, and almost repeated by 
taking second place in the Olympics four years later, and third place 
in 1932 at Los Angeles. He is the only American athlete known to 
have placed in track and field sports at three Olympics. 172 

Tennis began as a female sport in Grinnell, and in reporting the 
formation of a girls' tennis club in April, 1886, the News Letter 
added: "Tennis is a game particularly adapted to ladies/' Male mem- 
bers of the faculty, led by President Gates, also were addicted to this 
sport, as well as to cycling, before the college boys took it up and 
founded a Tennis Association in 1888; the next year there were 
twenty-six competing for the college championship. Intercollegiate 
matches in dual contests and state tournaments began in 1890 and 
were continued rather regularly in subsequent years. The women 
have also shown a continuing interest in this sport. 

Indoor sports had perforce to await the provision of a suitable 
building. Student agitation for a gymnasium began as early as the 
seventies. The first attempt in this direction was the installation of 
an outdoor gymnasium, the purchase of a "health lift" by the stu- 
dents, and the setting up of "vaulting and turning poles/' After the 
cyclone of 1882 the basement of the old Alumni Hall was used as a 
gymnasium, but attendance was voluntary and the catalogue stated 
rather vaguely that "it has been used by a large number of students 
under competent instruction [unspecified] and is believed to be of 
great service." The faculty evidently took no part in this "com- 
petent instruction," and the optimistic "belief" was ill founded, for 
the facilities provided were completely inadequate, and even janitor 
service left much to be desired. The student paper announced the 
occupancy of "our gymnasium" in the spring of 1884, but it brought 
no happiness. There was frequent action by the faculty in an effort 
to obtain order, quiet, and participation. Student leaders were hired, 
a bathtub was installed to attract customers, apparatus was purchased, 
members of the faculty attempted to oversee the area and even direct 
classes, dues were charged and fines imposed, but there was no- cure 
for the ills that all recognized and deplored. The women were first 
supplied with adequate quarters when the E. D, Rand Gymnasium 
was built in 1897 by Miss Carrie Rand, who had come in 1893 as 
"Instructor in Social and Physical Culture." Then the men finally 
got their gymnasium, which was opened in January, 1900. The Rand 

j: 7g Grinnell College 

Gymnasium was destroyed by fire in December, 1939. The men of 
the College occupied their new and completely adequate quarters in 
the Darby Gymnasium in 1942, and the old Men's Gym was then 
made available as a temporary home for the women's program of 
physical education. 

Basketball, like tennis, began at Grinnell as a women's sport, in- 
troduced to the campus by Emeline Barstow Bartlett (Vassar, '94) , 
who was acting preceptress in the Academy. Thus, even before the 
erection of the Rand Gymnasium, the "cottage ladies" and the "town 
ladies" in 1896 practised in a room "over the C.O.D. laundry," and 
played championship games in the "armory," a wooden structure 
downtown which has since disappeared. 173 Largely as a joke, the girls 
of the class of '98 challenged the boys of the class to a game of basket- 
ball, which the boys won by a score of 59 to 32. Four years later the 
college men were playing the game on their own account, and basket- 
ball was formally adopted as a college sport by the Athletic Union 
in January, 1901. Since that time basketball has been continuously 
on the Grinnell sports schedule. 

Bowling was at first an activity of members of the faculty, who 
financed the building of an alley in the basement of the new Rand 
Gymnasium. As other alleys were developed, the students also par- 
ticipated. The interest in bowling lapsed in the course of time, and 
it was never a medium of intercollegiate competition. Neither was 
handball, which was apparently first played in 1900, with the forma- 
tion of a club, and the installation of a court in the Men's Gymna- 
sium. Swimming had to await the building of a swimming pool in 
1926, and became an intercollegiate sport only four years later; since 
then Grinnell swimming teams have participated in Missouri Valley 
and Midwest Conference meets. Wrestling was doubtless indulged 
in sporadically and unofficially from the early days, but the first 
recognition of it as a college sport appears in the college papers late 
in 1935. For a time there was participation in intercollegiate wres- 
tling; more recently it has remained a part of the intramural program. 
Boxing was formally prohibited by action of the faculty in Decem- 
ber, 1 891, and has never developed into a recognized sport at Grinnell. 

Golf, like bowling, was first played by members of the faculty 
as early as 1899, when Professor Macy and others chased the elusive 
gutta-percha over an improvised course, first on the campus and later 
in Sanders* pasture. It became a student sport much later, after the 


present golf links were laid out by a town club. The earliest mention 
of golf in the student press occurs in 1935. Since that time golf 
teams have participated regularly in dual and conference meets. In- 
tramurals began at Grinnell as competition between the college 
classes, there being no fraternities and for many years no men's 
dormitories. The class unit remained in later years, but has been 
supplemented since the building of the Men's Dormitories in 1917 
by lively competition between the various houses, which have devel- 
oped a somewhat remarkable tradition of house loyalty. Intramurals 
have extended to the entire student body the benefits previously 
limited to the candidates for memberships on the college teams. 

In the early years the management of athletics was in student 
hands, and the faculty took little notice of activities that were evi- 
dently considered unacademic and unimportant. Early actions of 
the faculty were purely restrictive in character, to meet abuses or 
matters that were considered such. In 1883 both faculty and trustees 
took action forbidding students to engage in contests outside of Grin- 
nell in term time; and it was only "under protest," as late as 1888, 
that occasional permission was given for such absence from town. 
The passion for victory was too strong for the immature conscience, 
and Grinnell was not guiltless of the common practice of hiring 
"ringers" to bolster the strength of athletic teams. In May, 1890, 
the faculty voted that "no one be allowed to register from now on 
for the sake of entering State Field Day"; in February, 1891, it was 
hoped to "suppress betting and riotous conduct" at an intercollegiate 
field day; in March, 1892, the president was asked to correspond with 
other college executives "in regard to professionalism in athletics"; 
and in 1893 the trustees took action against extended tours by athletic 
teams and "the use of hired men on teams." In May, 1894, the stu- 
dent paper claimed that "professionalism has wholly vanished this 
Spring," but one suspects that this claim was premature. 

The first committee of the faculty on athletics, appointed in De- 
cember, 1890, recommended the encouragement and furtherance of 
physical culture throughout the College. It became a standing com- 
mittee in April, 1891. Soon a petition was granted for the establish- 
ment of an Athletic Union. Intercollegiate games were now regu- 
larly authorized, and the names of members of the teams were passed 
upon as to scholarship. Reports were made upon individual students 
whose work suffered from "over-athletic zeal." Athletic rules were 

180 Grinnell College 

adopted in 1897, and coaches were approved by the faculty. Alumni 
interest in athletics crystallized in 1900, when the faculty adopted 
a new constitution for the Athletic Union, providing for a board 
composed of three alumni, one faculty representative, and one stu- 
dent. In the long run this organization proved ineffective, and the 
faculty assumed definite responsibility for the conduct of athletics, 
including eligibility, the physical examination of contestants, restric- 
tion of the number of games on the schedule, approval of the election 
of captains and managers, and financial control. In 1909 a system of 
permanent coaches with faculty rank was adopted, and in 1910 the 
one-year residence rule was accepted. 

The custom of wearing the insignia of the College on uniform or 
sweater was apparently adopted at Grinnell in the early nineties, 
and in 1892 Ernest W. Atherton, '95, won a contest for the selection 
of an official emblem, a Maltese cross with the block letter G, which 
was first used by the track team and then extended to contestants in 
all other sports. 174 Since 1928 the Honor "G" has been awarded in 
eight sports: football, basketball, track, cross-country, swimming, 
tennis, golf, and wrestling. 

As athletics developed beyond the primitive stage of the possession 
of "a football," the problem of financing the expenses of the program 
became increasingly difficult; the student papers were full of pleas 
for more careful planning, frequent auditing of accounts, and more 
adequate facilities. For many years necessary expenses were met by 
voluntary contributions from students, alumni, and members of the 
faculty. Too frequently there were harassing deficits and inexpert 
bookkeeping. In 1907 a plan was adopted, with the consent of the 
student body, to add to the tuition charge a semester fee, first of 
$3.00, later increased to $5.00 and $7.50, payment of which entitled 
the student to attendance at all athletic contests, concerts and lectures, 
and eventually also to certain dramatic performances. The proceeds 
have been allocated to various interests by the student council, with 
the approval of the faculty, and the funds handled by the College 

The earliest playing field was on the central campus, north of the 
present location of Blair Hall, but the disturbance caused by the close 
proximity of the field to classrooms caused criticism. In 1892 the 
present athletic field was laid out and named after Herbert C. Ward 
of the class of 1890. The concrete grandstand was built in 1910. 


The one-third mile track was completed in 1903, but in order to 
conform with common custom it was reduced to a quarter-mile track 
in 1938. In 1918 an additional field was laid out for tennis and base- 
ball north of Ward Field. The ground between Ward Field and the 
dormitories, used as a practice area, was named for Paul MacEachron, 
*12, former dean of men. The women's outdoor playing field in 
Chamberlain Park, adjacent to the Women's Quadrangle, was laid 
out in tennis courts, a hockey and baseball field, and courts for volley 
ball and badminton. 

In the early years the coaching as well as the management of 
athletics and physical training was in student hands. The first pro- 
fessional football coach employed was H. O. Stickney, from Harvard, 
in 1893; he was followed in 1894 by Martin J. (Mike) Bergen, a 
Princeton man. From 1897 to 1904 John Pyper (Jack) Watson was 
track coach and trainer of the football team, and from 1899 to 1902 
Walter W. Davis (Ph.D., Yale) was director of physical training. 
Since his time, physical directors have been recognized as members 
of the teaching staff. For six years Charles Edward Fisher ('99; A.M., 
Harvard) combined this work with an assistant professorship in Latin. 
Arthur Milton Brown (A.B., Williams) was full-time director of 
physical training, 1911-1913. He was succeeded by Harry J. Huff, 
'09, who remained in charge until 1926 as director and as track coach, 
assisted by others in the coaching of other sports. Raymond W. 
Rogers was associate professor of physical training, 1920-1924. John 
Cushman Truesdale (S.M., Iowa) came as professor of physical edu- 
cation and director of athletics in 1927, and has more recently had 
charge of intramurals, which were organized by Huff and Duke in 
1925. G. Lester Duke, '25, came as instructor in physical education 
in 1925, acted as track coach from 1926, since 1933 has been assistant 
professor, and since 1940 director of intercollegiate athletics. Lester 
L. Watt, '18, was associate professor of physical education and foot- 
ball coach, 1927-1936. F. Benjamin (Ben) Douglas, '31, was assist- 
ant professor of physical education and football and basketball coach 
from 1940 until his call to military service in 1943. 

The physical education of women was introduced in 1890 by 
Siveri L. Ringheim, '89, as instructor in elocution and physical cul- 
ture ("Delsarte and Calisthenics") and continued after 1893 by Miss 
Carrie Rand as instructor in social and physical culture, with the use 
of the armory, a large wooden building off the campus. It was 

182 Grinnell College 

organized more formally with the building of the Rand Gymnasium 
in 1897, and continued until 1903 by Annie Bell Raymond, '97. She 
was followed by Grace Douglass, '02, and Frances Rebekah Gardner 
(ex- J 00; A.B., Stanford); in 1909 Clara Julia Andersen came from 
Y. W. C. A. service in Des Moines; she taught physical training for 
women at Grinnell until 1945. During these years there have been 
material changes in the program of physical culture. In the early days 
classwork consisted of Swedish gymnastics, a formalized "day's order" 
which included the use of apparatus, stall bars, ladders, parallel bars, 
etc. Games were then restricted to tennis and basketball. Costumes 
consisted of long black hose, full, heavy serge bloomers, and long- 
sleeved middy blouses, a far cry from the present abbreviated cos- 
tumes. Gradually additional sports were introduced, and with the 
erection of the Women's Quadrangle seasonal tournaments between 
the cottages were organized. These intramurals now include hockey, 
basketball, volley ball, badminton, tennis, and baseball. Swimming 
meets and a dance intramural, for which each cottage develops its 
own original theme, complete the year's events. These intramural 
tournaments are in addition to the two years of physical education 
required for graduation. 

Ever since the first World War it has been apparent that greater 
emphasis on neuro-muscular control and physical development is 
essential. This became even more evident during World War II, 
since so many women had gone into military service and were work- 
ing in factories where great endurance was required. To meet this 
need, a conditioning program for women was organized in February, 
1942; since that time every woman has had two conditioning classes 
a week, in addition to two classes in a selected sport or in swimming. 
Those who are not physically able to take this work are given special 
restricted exercise. The emphasis in physical education is now upon 
the type of physical activity which can be carried on after college 
days. Hence individual sports are popular. In the entire program 
stress is laid upon social and aesthetic values. 

For many years physical education remained an accessory to the 
academic curriculum, a requirement in addition to the 120 hours 
specified for graduation. In the twenties the women were given the 
first opportunity to register for a minor in physical education, which 
included a course in dramatics. By the thirties both majors and 
minors were offered for men as well as for women, and these courses 


were fully integrated into the requirements for the bachelor's degree. 
For students not registering for these courses there remained the gen- 
eral requirement of six semester hours in physical education, in addi- 
tion to the standard 120 academic credits, these six hours being dis- 
tributed over three years of participation in athletics or gymnasium 
work. In the forties the courses in physical education were integrated 
into the new system of concentration, within the Division of Edu- 


The Library 


THE history of the Grinnell College Library follows so closely that 
of the College itself that the two are inseparable. Its function as an 
integral part of the educational program throughout the years is 
revealed in the catalogues, librarians' reports, news letters, and other 
college publications that furnish the story of its growth and service 
from 1846 to 1946. 

The first mention of a library is found in the first catalogue of 
Iowa College at Davenport, for 1849-1850. It states that "a small 

* Margaret G. Fullerton, assistant in the library from 1938 to 1942; reference librarian 
from 1942 to 1944. 



library of some 150 volumes" had been secured for the members of 
the institution. The Rev. Erastus Ripley, professor of ancient lan- 
guages, and the first member of the teaching force, was also librarian 
until 1851. This practice, of having a member of the faculty assume 
the office of librarian, was followed until 1889, when the Rev. Joshua 
Chamberlain who was also a trustee, became the first full-time li- 
brarian, following the occupancy of Goodnow Hall. 

During the period that the College was at Davenport, the Rev. 
Henry L. Bullen, professor of mathematics and natural philosophy, 
was in charge of the library from 1851 to 1858, David S. Sheldon, 
professor of chemistry and natural science, in 1858-1859, and Quincy 
Gilmore for part of the year 1858 and again in I860. The collection 
of books grew from its original 150 volumes to 1,800, plus 500 vol- 
umes of the Chrestomathian Society. This society, as well as those 
that were organized later, maintained its own library for many years, 
and these collections were listed separately in the college catalogues 
until 1890, when they were incorporated in the main library. After 
1890, the Chrestomathians used their book fund to purchase books 
in the field of political science, while the Grinnell Institute special- 
ized in American history. These funds are a part of the book fund 

The catalogue for 1861, following the College's removal to Grin- 
nell, lists the number of books as 2,500, with the Rev. Julius A. 
Reed, acting principal of the Preparatory and English departments, 
as librarian. He served until 1863, when Carl W. Von Coelln, pro- 
fessor of chemistry, natural science, mathematics, and natural philos- 
ophy, took charge, serving until 1865, when the collection had grown 
to 3,000 volumes. 

During this period a library fund was begun; the catalogue for 
1863-1864 states that "the income of the library fund will enable 
the trustees to make valuable additions to the library annually and it 
is expected that friends of the Institution will continue to donate 
works of permanent interest/* These "friends of the Institution" 
have played a major part in the development of the library, for their 
gifts of books and money have been an indispensable and invaluable 
contribution to its enrichment since its beginnings in 1 849. 

The Rev. S. Jay Buck, principal of the Preparatory and English 
departments, was librarian from 1865 to 1870, and the collection 
increased to 4,000 volumes. For the academic year 1870-1871 George 

Grinnell College 

Henry Lewis was principal of the Preparatory and English depart- 
ments and was in charge of the library, followed by John A very, 
Carter professor of Greek language and literature, who served for a 
year. It was during this year that a reading room was established for 
the first time. The catalogue states that "the young gentlemen of 
the College, with the assistance of the Faculty and other friends, 
established in the Fall Term a Reading Room, which occupies Rooms 
No. 9 and 10, East College, and is supplied with 40 or 50 periodicals 
and newspapers. It is open to all subscribers from 1 to 7 p.m. daily, 
except Sundays." 

Richard W. Swan, Benedict professor of Latin language and litera- 
ture and associate principal of the Academy, was the next faculty 
member to serve as librarian. He continued for a ten-year period, 
which included the disastrous year of the cyclone. This calamity, 
which struck so devastatingly at the College, revealed again very force- 
fully the role that the friends of the library played in its preservation 
and growth. The catalogue for 1882-1883 claims 6,450 volumes for 
the library, "including those damaged by the cyclone," and lists the 
many gifts received in response to the crisis. It also mentions the fact 
that the society libraries were burned in the destruction of Central 
Building, but that new collections had been started. The response of 
friends is even more evident in the statement of the following year, 
when S. G. Barnes, Ames professor of English language, literature, 
and rhetoric, was in charge, for the number had by then grown to 

It is also evident that the problem of caring for and administering 
the library had become acute, in the comment that "so much time is 
required for the proper care of a library, that until the friends of the 
college endow the Librarian's chair, and thus furnish her with one 
who can give his undivided attention to it, the work must be slowly 
and imperfectly done by some member of the faculty sufficiently 
occupied already with the duties of his own chair." 

This need was not provided for immediately, however, and Henry 
K. Edson, Iowa professor of the theory and practice of teaching, held 
the office from 1885 to 1887; Professor O. F. Emerson, '82, principal 
of the Academy, in 1887-1888, with Miss Carrie M. Edson listed as 
assistant librarian from 1887 to 1889. 

It was at this time that E. A. Goodnow, of Worcester, Massachu- 
setts, made a gift of $10,000 for a library and observatory building. 


It was completed In 1886, and occupied in 1887. A description states 
that it "has a high hall with galleries for 50,000 volumes, besides a 
spacious reading room, two apartments for art, and a tower for an 
astronomical observatory.** With this provision of a library building, 
a new era was begun, and a full-time librarian placed in charge the 
Rev. Joshua M. Chamberlain, a trustee of the College. With a col- 
lection of 20,000 books, the need for provision of an adequate classi- 
fication system and card index had become imperative. 

In the librarian's report for 1892, Mr, Chamberlain stated that 

. . . the Faculty are making inquiries as to methods and expense of making 
a card catalogue of the Library at the least cost possible, by their own and 
students' voluntary labor. It seems desirable to encourage the effort to the 
extent of purchasing the material necessary and the employment of an expert 
assistant for a short time as an instructor and to inaugurate the work. It is 
inevitable that we must have a catalogue soon at a large outlay unless some 
voluntary labor can be secured. This comes to us from the right source and 
in the right way a voluntary proposal from the Faculty, each one in his 
department of study. 

The Dewey decimal classification was adopted, and the card cata- 
logue begun. During this time a special effort was also made to add 
to and fill out the periodical sets. 

Chamberlain served until 1896, and was followed by Harley H. 
Stipp, '96, who served until 1898. The separate libraries in the science 
departments were established at this time, as well as the School of 
Music Library. In 1898-1899, Miss Cora W. Hastings, a Bates grad- 
uate, was librarian. Matthew Hale Douglass, *95, an Iowa College 
graduate with additional library training, served from 1899 to 1908. 

The catalogue for 1899-1900 reveals that the library was for the 
first time "open four evenings a week, also, electric lights having 
been added during the year." At this time the library contained over 
26,000 books and 100 periodicals. This was a most significant period 
in the, expansion of the library. The present building was erected in 
1904, and a staff of assistants employed. The catalogue for 1903- 
1904 contains the following information about the new building: 

Goodnow Hall, which has been used as the library building for the past 19 
years . . . has served its purpose admirably in the past, but has now been 
outgrown. Through the beneficence of Mr. Andrew Carnegie, who has con- 
tributed $50,000 for the purpose, a substantial, modern library building will 
be erected, during the summer of 1904. The new building will provide 
large periodical and general reference reading rooms, a stack room to accom- 

188 Grinnell College 

modate 100,000 volumes, rooms for cataloguers and librarian, for art and 
other special collections; for seminar, conversation and conference purposes, 
adequate cloak and store rooms; and also, four large rooms to be used tem- 
porarily for recitations. As a condition of the gift, which the trustees have 
accepted, $5,000 a year will be expended in support of the library. 

This gift of Carnegie was at the suggestion of Dr. Albert Shaw, 79. 

The building was occupied in April, 1905, and a canvass was 
launched for the endowment fund. As was stated in the catalogue 
for 1904-1905, the library had until this time "been largely de- 
pendent upon the generosity of its friends," but now, with the new 
building and the consequent expansion of the library program, the 
need of an adequate permanent fund for its support was obvious, and 
a continuing campaign was made to build it during the following 
years. During his administration Douglass inaugurated an apprentice 
class for students interested in library work, and thus began the sys- 
tem of employing student assistants which has been intermittently 
in use ever since. 

In 1908, L. L. Dickerson, of Oklahoma State College and the New 
York State Library, took over the duties of librarian. He remained 
until 1917, when he was granted leave of absence to enter war work. 
During his administration the size of the library staff increased to 
four, and the special collection of Grinnell College and Iowa historical 
material was organized under a classification system of its own. 

The need of more funds for books was being increasingly felt, as 
an excerpt from Dickerson's report for 1912 indicates: 

The income from book funds is gradually increasing. However, this is not 
large enough to provide for the ordinary growth of the library and build 
working collections for recently organized courses. We should make ar- 
rangements as early as possible for increasing the permanent endowment for 
books. The great number of new books appearing annually, giving expression 
as they do to the most recent investigations, afford a source from which 
we should buy extensively in order to keep abreast with the times. 

The fund was increased over a period of years, and the number of 
volumes soon passed 50,000. Miss Isabelle Clark, of Western Reserve 
University, who had joined the staff in 1916, was made acting librar- 
ian during Dickerson's leave, and in 1917 was appointed librarian. 

In 1919 the building was for the first time devoted entirely to 
library use. The administration offices had been moved to Chicago 
(now Magoun) Hall in 1913, but it was- not until after the comple- 


tion of Alumni Recitation Hall in 1917 that all recitation rooms were 
removed from the library building. The first floor has since been 
converted into reading rooms and offices. The Iowa College (Grin- 
nell) Collection and the newspapers and public documents are housed 
in the basement. In 1921 the Carnegie Corporation gave $50,000 
for the endowment of the library. In 1931 the library received a 
grant of $15,000 from the Carnegie Corporation for the purchase of 
new books, in payments of $3,000 annually for five years. 

In 1929 Miss Clark was given a year's leave of absence to organize 
the library of the Institute of Pacific Relations in Hawaii. During 
this year Gretta M. Smith, '11, was in charge, and established the 
Mabel M. Smith memorial rental collection of books in current fiction 
and nonfiction. In the fall of 1938 individual study desks were in- 
stalled in the south end of the first floor. Many books of current 
interest, such as novels, poetry, plays, and biography, had been moved 
to open shelves on this floor to make them more accessible. 

One of the interesting events in the recent history of the library 
was the accessioning of the 100,000th volume at the commencement 
in 1935. A well-bound volume of Merezhkovsky's The Forerunner ', 
on the life and times of Leonardo da Vinci, bearing the accession 
number 100,000, was adorned with the signatures of distinguished 
guests, including the Chinese Minister, Dr. Sao-ke Alfred Sze, who 
was the commencement speaker, and who had just received an hon- 
orary degree, as had Chester C. Davis, '11, Harry L. Hopkins, '12, 
and Ervine P. Inglis, '16. 

At present the library has about 110,000 volumes. More than 450 
American and foreign periodicals are received, and there is an exten- 
sive collection of government documents, of which the library is an 
official depository. There is also a collection of several thousand 
photographs and slides that are used as teaching aids in the various 

Under normal conditions, before the war cut down student enroll- 
ment, the library circulated about 60,000 volumes a year, or an aver- 
age of more than eighty books per student. In 1943-1944, while the 
men in the Army Specialized Training Program were on the campus, 
extensive use was made of the library. Several hundred army books 
were placed on special reserve, and the library's own resources were 
used for study, reference, and research. 


Student Publications 


GRINNELL College's first venture into student journalism came in 
1871, just twenty-five years after the founding of the College itself, 
when, on August 23, the Grinnell Herald carried the first Iowa Col- 
lege News Letter. Occupying two columns of the newspaper, this first 
publication, conducted by members of Iowa College, was written by 
President Magoun, members of the faculty, and students. Termed 
ee a very interesting department of the local paper," the News Letter 
discussed theology, science, and philosophy. 

* Charmayne Wilke, *52, assistant to the director of public relations. 



In 1873 faculty permission to publish the Iowa College News 
Letter as a separate paper was granted, and in the first issue in July, 
1873, the front page carried the message: "The News Letter is pub- 
lished the first of each month during the College year, under the 
authority of the Trustees of Iowa College, to give reliable informa- 
tion regarding college matters to members of the Alumni Association 
and the friends of the institution who otherwise would have no 
regular source of supply." The four-page paper, with three columns 
on a page, carried faculty and alumni notes and a "News of the 
College" section. One item in the December 1, 1903, issue, for ex- 
ample, was a list of the estimated expenses for the college student: 
Tuition $55; laboratory fees $7 to $14; room rent, average 
$45; board, average $100; textbooks, average $17; laundry 
$15. Early issues carried no ads, but did use pictures occasionally. 
Full reports of commencement activities, including texts of all 
speeches, were given in the early years. For seven years the News Let- 
ter was issued monthly during the college year. In September, 1882, 
the paper increased its number of pages and in 1882-1883 was pub- 
lished every third Saturday. It became a monthly again in the fall 
of 1883, and remained so until January, 1889, when it was again 
published every three weeks. Becoming a bi-weekly in September, 
1889, it was published every other week until its merger in Septem- 
ber, 1890, with the Pulse. 

February 2, 1889, marked the first appearance of the Pulse, which 
"pulsated fortnightly during the college year." The first issue of 
ten pages carried this announcement for students, faculty, trustees, 
alumni, and friends of Iowa College: 

Greetings: Behold the PULSE! It has come; and, the Fates consenting, it 
has come to stay. 

We extend our greetings to the students first because we are of the stu- 
dents and for the students; to the faculty because the interests of the students 
are also the interests of the faculty; to the trustees, alumni, and other 
friends because we believe that the strength of the college to-day is due 
largely to their devotion and loyalty. 

We propose to be absolutely independent of all clique, society, or class 
influences. Nonpartisanship shall be our watchword. Whatever we do, we 
shall do conscientiously. We are not anxious to sneer at the preps or to stamp 
on the faculty, but, as persons who are deeply interested, we claim the right 
to criticize anything or everything pertaining to college methods. . . . 

The Pulse invites contributions, especially from the students. The day 

192 Grinnell College 

for filling up with "heavy" articles, essays, and prize orations has passed. 
This is to be a college newspaper. Correspondence, short stories, articles upon 
subjects in which you are interested, will always find a place. . . . 

One point we wish to emphasize particularly. This paper is to be entirely 
independent. No factional spirit will ever be allowed to predominate. All 
interested are seeking to make a paper worthy of the front rank in college 
journalism a true exponent of Iowa College. We mean to make it live, 
interesting and "up to the times." 

The two-column paper was published every other Saturday, but 
the first issue was three days late in reaching the newsstands. Editors 
had this explanation: "The second issue will appear Feb. lth. Our 
Chicago photo-engravers missed connections, thus delaying this issue 
three days. Henceforth, the paper will come out regularly every 
other Saturday of the collegiate year. Eleven numbers will be issued 
this year, including an elaborate one for Commencement." Under 
topical headings that remained unchanged from week to week (there 
were no headlines as they are known today), the Pulse contained 
standard columns. Typical were "The College World," sports, and 
personals, A section devoted to "Pulsations" contained miscellaneous 
information on clubs and societies, satirical comment on the electric 
doorbell recently installed in the cottage, and questions for a debate 
on campus social events. Under the "Our Exchanges" column, the 
first Pulse had little to offer, but the editors added that they expected 
"to have a regular column for other college journals." Later an 
"Alumni Notes" column was also added. Local advertising 1 sold for 
ten cents a line; among early advertisers were Joe Morris, The Tailor; 
Dr. J. T. Everett, Physician and Surgeon; and White Elephant 
Restaurant and Lunch Counter. A special edition dated May 3, 1889, 
at 4:30 a.m. carried the results of the Inter-State Oratorical Contest 
and the Pulse's first headline: "THE INTER-STATE Ohio First! 
Wisconsin. Second! Indiana Third!" 

During 1889-1890 when the Pulse and the News Letter were being 
published on alternate Saturdays, Iowa College had, in effect, a week- 
ly paper. Unable to continue separately for financial reasons, the two 
papers merged in September, 1890, to form the Unit, whose name 
signified the union. Published bi-weekly, the Unit's first issue ap- 
peared on September 10, 1890, in an extra edition. It was a two- 
column paper, and, like its predecessors, the Unit carried no head- 
lines. Editorials were usually found on the first page. "De Alumnis," 


"Other Colleges/' "Sports," "Personals," "Units," and "Exchanges" 
were weekly columns which were supplemented with poems, essays, 
and other student literary efforts. 

In its first regular issue on September 20, 1890, the Unit's editors 

Two things we wish to emphasize. The Unit is one paper. It is not a 
combination of two papers with conflicting interests and divided leadership. 
The old papers are gone, not buried but transformed, unified; another takes 
their place, a Unit, undivided, indivisible. Let it be understood once for all 
that the Unit is neither News Letter nor Pulse nor a piece of each. 

The Unit is not a new paper, though it has a new name. It is a continua- 
tion of existence in a higher form. The spirit of past journalism lives on, 
in and through it. It has behind it all the years of steady, persevering, even 
brilliant, work of the News Letter. It is inspired by the fiery energy and 
burning enthusiasm of the Pulse. The objects of the old papers were in no 
point incompatible, nor will the Unit fail in aught to fulfill them. We 
therefore come before Iowa College, its alumni and friends, declaring that 
the Unit is no new departure. It is an outgrowth of the past moulded by the 
circumstances of the present, combining all the traditions and inspired by all 
the spirit of past college papers, with all the bad, as we hope, eliminated. 

Like all college newspapers, the Unit was at times somewhat cen- 
sorious of student behavior. On March 5, 1892, an editorial read: 

Attention ought to be called by some means to the fact that the noise in 
the corridors of Chicago Hall is growing steadily worse. At times it would 
seem that there is no recognition of the fact that it is a recitation building. 
Attention has already been called to the confusion in the building from one 
o'clock until two. But, besides this, usually during the last five minutes of 
a recitation it is almost impossible to hear a word that is being said in a 
recitation room. A few years ago professors would not attempt to hear reci- 
tations in such a racket, but somehow the problem of quiet in Chicago Hall 
seems to have been given up in despair. 

In the fall of 1892 the Unit, which from 1890 to 1894 was the only 
student newspaper, became a weekly. Announcing the change in the 
September 17 issue, the editors said: 

The Unit has assumed new responsibilities this year in promising to appear 
weekly. This will incur more labor, and necessitate more hastily written 
articles with less time for thought; and these two unavoidable features of a 
weekly will give more just cause for just criticism. The policy of the manage- 
ment for this year will be very similar to that pursued by the Unit as a semi- 
monthly conservative; but yet it reserves the right of free expression and 
criticism, and whatever the sentiments expressed or criticisms given they will 

194 Gr'mnell College 

be honest, frank, impartial and unprejudiced from a student's standpoint. 
Mistakes will be made; sometimes through carelessness, sometimes through 
ignorance. We cannot ask you to overlook or forgive these errors, since 
carelessness is unpardonable and ignorance ought to be enlightened before 
making a display, but we do ask you to allow us the privilege of correcting 
any mistake; and of making reparation to anyone for unjust criticism. The 
Unit's ambition is to be truthful and instructive; and to shed a newsy luster 
of pleasure over the lonely hours that sometimes come to students and alumni 
away from home. 

Another change, announced the next week in the September 24 issue, 
Indicated that the last issue of each month would be a literary number 
with "the best literary and poetry contributions collected during the 
month being published in that issue." 

The idea of a semi-weekly paper had for some time interested a 
group of Iowa College students. On September 12, 1894, two years 
after the Unit became a weekly, the first semi-weekly, Scarlet and 
Black, appeared. For a year the Unit and the Scarlet and Black were 
both published. However, financial difficulties again called for a 
change, and in September, 1895, the Unit became a literary journal 
and continued as such until 1907. The editors of the Scarlet and 
Black announced their program in the first issue: 

The main effort of this publication is fully to represent the growing in- 
terests of the College among many lines. Prominent among these are its 
athletic and society interests which reach out to include nearly the entire 
number of students. A few years ago a bi-weekly paper was sufficient, then 
a weekly periodical supplied the need, now a semi-weekly is not only neces- 
sary but is demanded. What better proves and represents the growth of the 
institution whose colors form our name than the mere fact. We wish to 
make Scarlet: and Black truly a students' paper. 

Published every Wednesday and Saturday, the Scarlet and Black still 
carried only label headlines, although the size was increased to four 
columns. The paper, usually four pages, carried notices of meetings, 
alumni notes, editorials, and other campus news, but few pictures. 

The Scarlet and Black in its first years, as is the policy of the paper 
at the present time, carried mainly local news. In 1897 there was 
some criticism of this policy, and the editors replied: 

Scarlet and Black has been quite severely criticized by some of our ex- 
changes and also by some Grinnell graduates, for publishing only matters of 
local interest to the exclusion of more general affairs. ... To us it has 
seemed that the proper sphere of college journalism is the college first alma 


mater and then other colleges. We have not tried to compete with metro- 
politan dailies; we have not printed telegraphic news nor written editorials 
on New York politics, nor discussed the Hawaiian question. . . . We have 
considered that if anyone wanted such news, the daily newspaper was the 
place to get it and not in a college publication. 

The first banner headline In the Scarlet and Black was printed on 
Saturday, May 11, 1901. It read "May Festival Monday, Tuesday" 
but did not lead into a story. "WE BEAT CORNELL" led, strange as 
It may seem, Into an ad, which went on: "This is one more thankful 
victory. Why? Because our boys worked, fought and earned every 
inch. This is the victory we have won in Honest Jewelry, College 
Emblems, stationery, etc., etc. H. P. PROCTOR, OLD RELIABLE 

In 1910 the Scarlet and Black began to take on the semblance of a 
modern newspaper. The return of James Norman Hall of the class 
of 1910 to the campus in 1919 was heralded by the Wednesday, 
March 19 issue of the Scarlet and Black with these headlines: "Capt. 
James Norman Hall Returns to Grinnell Famous Airman Tells 
Experiences in German Prison Camps During Closing Days of Great 
World War Speaks to Largest Audience of Year in Chapel Tues- 
day Morning Says Germans Treated Aviation Officers with Ut- 
most Courtesy Anxious to Get Back Into 'Civvies.' " 

On April 9, 1943, the Scarlet and Black became a weekly paper, 
and it has continued to be published weekly since that time. Presently 
it is of tabloid size, five columns wide, varies from four to twelve 
pages, and carries campus news, several pictures, editorials, and occa- 
sional cartoons. 

Indication that campus problems were similar in 1890 and in the 
present day is found in the comparison of two editorials. In 1890 
the Scarlet and Black reported, "Some time ago there was a mass 
meeting held in the interest of systematic yelling. If there was any 
fruit borne by the enthusiasm there manifested, it has not been very 
apparent." On October 20, 1950, a Scarlet and Black editorial said, 
"What happens to the community noisemakers when they get to a 
football game? . . . Perhaps they seem loud only in the isolated quiet 
of a place where silence is the rule. Whatever the case may be, the 
lusty- voiced are conspicuous by their absence at football games." 

After the demise of the literary journal, the t/72/7, in 1907, there 
was a hiatus until June, 1916, when the first issue of the forty-page 

Grinnell College 

Grinnell Magazine appeared. Issued five times a year, the magazine 
was published until the spring of 1918. A typical table of contents 
is that found in the November, 1917, issue: "From Shanghai to 
Grinnell," "The Haunted Isle," "When Adam Delved and Eve Span 
Who Was Then the Gentleman?" "The Vesper Hour," "The King's 
Throne," "A Father to His Son in College," "The Oil of Lebanon," 
"Bits of Humor." 

Verse and Fiction, "a monthly record of creative writing," took 
over the literary spot in October, 1921, and continued for three years 
until June, 1924. Published by the department of English, it con- 
tained poems, short stories, plays, and essays, and usually ran about 
eight pages. Similar in content and form were Junto, four issues of 
which appeared during 1924 and 1925, and the Tanager, a quarterly 
literary review, published from 1925 to 1948. 

Arena, the "magazine of ideas," made its first appearance in the 
fall of 1950. A quarterly magazine, it is literary in nature, but con- 
tains some humorous articles and occasional cartoons, with student, 
faculty, and guest contributors. Among guest writers for the maga- 
zine was the late James Norman Hall. In the Commencement, 1951, 
issue an article by Janet Reinke, '52, "Colleges in War," dealing with 
the problem of the draft and its effect on America's colleges and 
national culture, won for Arena the first-place award in nonfiction 
writing of the division of the 1951 student magazine contest pre- 
sented by Sigma Delta Chi, professional journalistic fraternity. 

Humor magazines on the Grinnell campus have been relatively 
short-lived. The most successful was the first, Malteaser, published by 
Sigma Delta Chi, which made its appearance in 1919 and lasted until 
1936. Issued six times a year, the magazine called itself the "Judge 
of Mid-Western Wit" and the "Old Cat," and printed the daring 
jokes of the Roaring Twenties: "Flapping Flora says: It's not how 
much you love 'em, but how often." "It was announced in one 
of our leading magazines that 'Knee-length skirts had reduced street- 
car accidents 50 per cent.* Wouldn't it be nice if accidents could be 
prevented entirely?" The April, 1933, issue satirized the Scarlet and 
Black, labeling it the "Garnet and Sable." 

Malteaser was followed in 1947 by Zephyr. Although primarily 
a humor magazine, Zephyr in October, 1948, also took over the lit- 
erary functions of Tanager. The Commencement, 1949, issue fol- 
lowed Life magazine's example and .contained a section on High, 


Upper Middle, Middle, Low, and No-Brows, all with campus con- 
notations. The Zephyr changed to a smaller size in the fall of 1949, 
but the ill-fated magazine changed editorial hands twice that year and 
was abandoned with the February, 1950, issue. Since then Grinnell 
has had no humor magazine. 

The first yearbook, the Cyclone, was published at the College in 
May, 1889, with the following greeting from the editors: 

Friends, greeting. The first annual ever issued by Iowa College students 
is before you, to meet either your approbation, censure, or indifference. The 
first would please us, the second meet our expectation, but the third we 
have done our best to prevent. We have not tried to be wise or funny or 
even original, but simply to present a picture of college Hfe from a student's 
standpoint. No doubt the picture is not an exact portrait, no doubt our 
camera was often out of focus, yet we tried to be just. And if the Cyclone 
shall blow some bright remembrance of college life to any dark corner or 
shall cause a single smile where only frowns are wont to be seen, then our 
weeks of labor will be well repaid. 

Perhaps you think that the Cyclone is misnamed. For its object is not to 
destroy but to build. But remember, kind friends, that once before a cyclone 
struck you, and in a moment all was destruction and sorrow, but out of 
those ruins of seven years ago our college rose to a new life of usefulness 
and honor, until to-day we feel that it is stronger for having passed through 
the storm. So may it not be that any idols of yours which are shaken by our 
rude blasts may be dispensed with and newer and better ones take their 

Cyclones have varied considerably since the first one in 1889. 
Noticeable changes occur in the use of pictures. In the early years 
of the Cyclone its contents were largely written material, but the 
Cyclone has since come to be a pictorial review of the college year. 
Of primary interest to those whose years in college it represents, it 
recalls events which will be remembered, perhaps with nostalgia, 
years after college graduation. Exceptions in the long line of Cyclones 
include "The Professor's Discovery," a play written and presented 
by the class of 1897 and published as the 1896 annual; "On a 
Western Campus," stories and sketches of undergraduate life pub- 
lished by the class of 1898; the "Blue Book" in 1899; the "Imp" in 
1900; and an annual published under the "Zephyr" title in 1937. 

The campus publications of 1953 include Scarlet and Black, the 
weekly newspaper; Arena, the quarterly literary magazine; Cyclone, 
the yearbook; and Alumni Scarlet and Black. Except for the latter, 

198 Grinnell College 

which is published by the College, these periodicals are issued by the 
Board of Publications, which elects all editors and business managers 
from applicants for the positions. The Board consists of student 
editors and business managers, two faculty-appointed representatives, 
and the director of public relations. There is, however, no censor- 
ship of any student publication. GrinnelPs various publications over 
the years total fifteen. Changes in style, number, and purpose have 
occurred throughout the eighty-two years of Grinnell College's jour- 
nalistic history and will undoubtedly continue to follow this pattern 
as future generations of Grinnellians take over the reins. 


The Theatre 


FROM its beginnings, Grinnell College has always recognized that 
public performance should go hand in hand with academic preparation 
and procedure. The earliest records show that elocution was required 
of all students, along with the classical and scientific studies. Too, the 
literary values of the literature of the theatre have been stressed from 
the first. Iowa College's first catalogue, issued in 1850-1851, stated 
that elocution would be taught to beginners from CaldwelPs Manual 

* Kent Andrews Is associate professor of speech and director of the Theatre. 


200 Gnnnell College 

of Elocution, and the study of Greek tragedies would be undertaken in 
the third year of the course of study for each student. 

It was not until 1862, after Iowa College had merged with Grin- 
nell University, that "declamations and extemporaneous discussions'* 
were required weekly. This declamatory practice continued until 
after the turn of the century. In 1865-1866, Kidd's Elocution was 
added to the course of study in the English and normal departments, 
and in 1867, Kidd's Elocution was made mandatory for all other 
courses of study. 

Several prizes were offered for excellence in declamation some 
dramatic, some humorous, some oratorical. The most important of 
these was the Hyde Prize, first offered in 1866. This prize was 
awarded each year until 193 S, except for the cyclone year. A Cooper 
Prize for reading was offered in 1868. In 1874 and 1875 the Rev. 
S. L. Herrick announced a prize for "distinctness and naturalness of 
delivery in reading. " In 1880 there was a special elocution prize 
offered at commencement as a part of the regular exercises. Another 
similar prize was offered in 1889. 

The study of aesthetics was added to the curriculum in 1872, and 
in 1873 a regular instructor in elocution joined the staff. Studies in 
Shakespeare were also added to the curricuhim in that year. By 1880 
the regular elocution instructor was transferred to the ladies' course, 
but "Exercises in Declamation and Essays are required of all students, 
once in three weeks in the Academy and English Departments, some- 
what of tener in the higher departments, where private rehearsals pre- 
cede the Declamation. Occasional exercises are devoted to elocu- 
tionary drill. Once a term, public exercises are held, for which origi- 
nal productions, prepared with special care, are required." 

A second instructor for elocutionary drill and declamation was 
engaged in 1884. By 1887 lectures on Shakespearian tragedies were 
delivered to the entire student body. The first record of presentation 
of scenes from plays is found in a college publication of 1889. These 
scenes were from Greek plays in translation and were given by stu- 
dents of Iowa College to "secure funds to aid in the excavation of 
Delphi/ 9 

The popularity of elocutionary studies made greater demands on 
the instructors at Iowa College. In addition to the regular instructors 
in elocution, staff members in other departments were called upon 
to aid in the study. In 1890 a formal department of elocution and 


expression was established using a New Delsarte System of training. 

The Electro, of Sophocles, the first completely staged Greek play on 
the prairies, was presented on June 10, 1892. It was produced by the 
members of two literary societies, one composed of young men, the 
other of young women, and it was directed by Miss Siveri Ringheim, 
"Instructor in Elocution and Physical Culture." It is interesting to 
find that the late Frederick Darby, who has contributed so much to 
the growth of Grinnell College, was a member of the cast of this first 
big production of a Greek play west of the Mississippi. 

The student publication, the Unit (predecessor of the Scarlet and 
Black) of May 23, 1891, reports that "A week ago last "Wednesday 
about a score of students met at the cottage and organized a dramatic 
club. It intends to give several plays soon and will no doubt become 
an interesting factor in our college life." But the public and the 
administration of Iowa College in the "gay '90*s" regarded "play- 
acting" with a skeptical eye. The dramatic club ceased to exist with- 
out producing a play. This attitude prevailed for most of the decade, 
though theatre-minded students continued to give occasional per- 
formances. An editorial in the Scarlet and Black of May 23, 1896, 
comments that "When the Merchant of Venice was presented by the 
Class of '96 a year ago, there were some loyal supporters of Iowa 
College in Grinnell and out, who would not sanction a theatrical per- 
formance given under her auspices. Many would not attend because 
'they never went to the theatre!' " But, the same editorial adds, "As 
to the moral influence of the stage, it is noticeable that the Junior 
plays of '96 and '97 were both managed by successive presidents of 
the Y.M.C.A.; that many of the leading roles were taken by the 
most active workers of the Y.M. and Y.W.C.A.; and that for years 
the moral tone of the college has not been so high nor the spiritual 
life of the Christian organization so intense as is true today." 

The persuasion of the Scarlet and Black must have been successful 
because in 1899 there was formed the Iowa College Dramatic Club, 
dedicated to "the serious study and occasional production of contem- 
porary drama." The Club's first production, Sweet Lavender, by 
Arthur "W. Pinero, was given on Saturday, January 13, 1900, in the 
old chapel, and was reportedly "attended by a well-pleased audience 
of 175 invited guests including members of the faculty and those 
interested in the study of the drama." A. L. Frisbie, later editor of 
the Grinnell Herald-Register, was one of the fifteen charter members. 

202 Grinnell College 

Miss Glenna Smith, "Instructor in Oratory and assistant in Eng- 
lish," was praised highly in the Scarlet and Black for her "coaching" 
of the senior play, As You Like It, and the 1901 class play, The Rivals. 
Miss Smith was in charge of the orations and addresses in connection 
with the required English course, the oratorical contests, the inter- 
collegiate debates, and the contestants for the Hyde Prizes. 

The college catalogue for 1903-1904 lists three elective courses in 
public speaking and debate, taught by J. P. Ryan, who became the 
official director for campus plays. Meanwhile, the Dramatic Club 
was losing some of the fervor with which it had started; it met 
occasionally as a study group, but produced no plays. The Scarlet and 
Black of September 29, 1906, announces the "Reorganization of the 
Dramatic Club/' and mentions as leaders of the movement Professor 
Ryan and Harry L. Beyer, '08, who later became a trustee of the 

The new club limited its membership to twenty students, ten men 
and ten women. It held try-outs each year to fill the vacancies. They 
presented at least one play a year and on occasion brought famous act- 
ing companies to Grinnell. The Club was dedicated to the progressive 
study and production of all types of plays and to the creation of an 
interest in the drama as an art. 

While still a member of the English department, and later as chair- 
man of the public speaking department, Professor Ryan offered col- 
lege credit courses in dramatic art. Later, when the growing pop- 
ularity of the speech classes demanded all of Professor Ryan's time, 
a course in "Dramatic Writing and Production" supplemented those 
in dramatic literature in the English department. Trie catalogue of 
1921 describes the purpose of the course: "to prepare students for 
work in community drama [including the coaching of high school 
plays] ; offering a laboratory study in playwriting and the art of the 

Mrs. Hallie Flanagan Davis, professor of drama and director of the 
Smith College Theatre, is a former student-member of the Dramatic 
Club. Over a period of several years she organized the dramatic 
program, which remained substantially the same until 1942. Her 
work as an instructor at Grinnell, from 1922 to 1929, included 
developing courses in creative drama and organizing the students 
in playwriting and production courses into "The Experimental 


Mrs. Davis felt that the limited membership of the Dramatic Club 
and its "social significance" excluded too many students who -wished 
to participate in dramatic activities. In the mid-twenties, the Dra- 
matic Council was created by President Main "to formulate a policy 
for student dramatics." The members of the Council included the 
instructor in drama, the deans of men and women, two members 
from the Dramatic Club, and two members from the Experimental 
Theatre. The Dramatic Council organized dramatic activities so that 
the Dramatic Club produced the fall and commencement plays, while 
the Experimental Theatre gave various programs including the try- 
outs of original plays written in the play writing classes. 

In 1928, when Mrs. Sara Sherman Pryor came to Grinnell College 
from the Baker "47 "Workshop" at Yale University, courses in ele- 
mentary and advanced production, drama survey, and playwriting 
were a well-established part of the elective courses in English com- 
position and literature. By 1930 courses in acting and advanced play- 
writing were offered, and a "minor" in theatre was approved by the 
faculty. In 1931, at the request of President Main, art and dramatic 
art were given major department status in the college curriculum with 
requirements stated in the catalogue. During Mrs. Pryor's tenure at 
Grinnell College the department attained national recognition be- 
cause of the theatrical work done on the campus. 

The Grinnell Players, the dramatic organization of today, was 
formed in 1932, after the disbanding of the old Dramatic Club. The 
1935 Cyclone describes the aims, at that time, of both the Players 
and the department of dramatic art: 

To give for entertainment such plays as O'NeilFs Emperor Jones, Shake- 
speare's The Merchant of Venice, groups of the medieval Mysteries, Erskine's 
The First Mrs. Fraser, Milne's The Perfect Alibi, Gilbert and Sullivan's The 
Mikado, or even Ten Nights in a "Barroom, as a worthy but secondary pur- 
pose. . . . Its immediate purpose is educational to prepare students for 
teaching, for other types of community work in the theatre arts, or for later 
professional training and experience. Its ultimate aim is to make Grinnell 
College an important center for creative drama. 

After Dr. Stevens was named president of the College, the depart- 
ments of dramatic art and speech were merged for two reasons: first, 
unifying the two would lend strength and vigor to the program; and 
second, the unification would lend itself more readily to the divisional 
structure of the curriculum. 

204 Grinnell College 

Since 1943 the dramatic activities have continued in the tradition 
established over the years. The College has produced a wide variety 
of plays, ranging from the classic Greek to current Broadway releases. 
Attempts have been made to include as many students as possible in 
dramatic activities. As much stress is laid on the extracurricular as 
on the curricular program. Although the prime aim of the depart- 
ment is not to train for the professional stage, some Grinnell grad- 
uates have been successful on Broadway. A recent example is Jennie 
Egan (Ann Jacobsen, *48) , who was appearing in Arthur Miller's The 
Crucible during the spring of 1953. 

In 1951 a summer theatre for the training of outstanding students 
was established in the Iowa Great Lakes region at Okoboji. This 
theatre placed students in a professional situation, which gave them 
invaluable experience. In addition, the theatre proved an asset to the 
community, as well as extending the influence of Grinnell College. 

Prompted by the desire of President Stevens, the departments of 
music and speech have inaugurated an "Opera "Workshop." The re- 
sults have been such as to make this program an integral part of the 
college activities of the future. 

The renaissance in theatre that occurred in the United States in 
the twenties was paralleled by the theatrical growth and development 
at Grinnell College. The College is confident that its theatrical pro- 
gram will continue to serve the dual purpose of widening the experi- 
ence of the individual and training future leaders and educators. 


Grinnell's Plan for College Living 


Our dormitories are an expression in brick, and 'mortar 
of the Grinnell ideal. They are a perpetual challenge to 
incarnate these ideals. 

Chapel Address, April 11, 1928 

THE development of Grinnell's internationally known pattern of 
student housing has been one of the College's chief concerns during 
the second fifty years of its history. During the early years at 
Davenport and the first years at Grinnell the housing of students 
presented no real problems. The small enrollment of trie College in 
early days could be comfortably accommodated in the homes of the 
hospitable citizens of Davenport and of GrinnelL However, in their 

* Evelyn Gardner is dean of women and associate professor of English. 


206 Grinnell College 

definition of aims and plans founders of the College dreamed of 
developing on the campus a democratic student community. 

Testimony to this dream is expressed in the last public address 
given by Dr. George Frederic Magoun, the first president of Iowa 
College. Dr. Magoun died in January, 1896. At the preceding com- 
mencement in June, 1895, he addressed the Alumni Association of 
the College at their annual meeting held in the Stone Church at 
GrinnelL Reviewing his early recollections of the organization of the 
College from the year 1844, Dr. Magoun summarized the achieve- 
ments of its trustees over a period of fifty years. He quoted a state- 
ment made in January, 1855, by the founders of Grinnell College. 
Their aim was "to promote the educational, social, moral and religious 
interests of this place known as Grinnell, Poweshiek County, Iowa . . . 
by the creation of an institution to include a college, a female sem- 
inary, and a teacher and preparatory department/* He described 
the cautious enrollment of the first women students. Particularly 
significant is his conclusion that the lady students had never been 
housed so that adequate dormitory life could be developed. 

I found the College cramped, burdened, struggling; but its faculty of six 
were proceeding loyally, steadily, and hopefully on the lines laid down at 
Davenport. The slight change of sky had brought no change of mind. In 
no respect had the standard been lowered. In one an advance initiated m the 
last two Davenport years had been completed. When certain worthy parents 
petitioned that their daughters might attend our Freshman and Sophomore 
recitations with the young men with whom they had graduated from the 
City High School, to be no otherwise under Faculty government than in the 
class room, we granted it; the Faculty approving, though the size of classes 
would be increased and their pleasantness; all the students, young men, 
opposing one included who has since won high rank at the head of mixed 
schools and but two Trustees advocating it (Dr. Robbins and myself) , 
with one other who was the father of one of the young ladies in question. We 
acted practically, without any theory, and never inquired if our friends here 
had one when they surrendered all their educational assets and plans to us 
on condition that the new Ladies' Department "in its domestic arrangements 
and literary character be modelled after the Mt. Holyoke institution at South 
Hadley, Mass." The "domestic" part of this compact has never been com- 
plied with because the lady students have never been so housed that it could 
be. 175 

During the years from 1870 to 1888 about twenty of the women 
students were accommodated in the Ladies Boarding Hall under the 
supervision of the lady principal This hall was a large frame house, 


one block south of the campus. It was operated as a dormitory at 
least until 1888. During the 1870's a few of the men students were 
accommodated in rooms on the third floor of West Hall, where each 
paid $5.00 rent every term. "West Hall was destroyed in the cyclone 
of 1882. 

In 1888 the College received a valuable gift from the Rev. Joshua 
M. Chamberlain an extensive property to the east of the M. & St. L. 
railroad tracks. Through the gift of $5,000 by E. A. Goodnow of 
Worcester, Massachusetts, a substantial brick dormitory was built in 
Chamberlain Park. Mr. Goodnow asked that this building should 
bear the name of Mary Grinnell Mears, daughter of the founder of 
the town and wife of the Rev. D. O. Mears of Worcester, Massachu- 
setts. This building became GrinnelPs first real dormitory for women, 
housing in 1888 twenty-eight girls; later it was enlarged to accom- 
modate fifty students in dormitory rooms and one hundred in the 
coeducational dining room, which was included in the new north 
wing added a few years later. The advantages of dormitory life be- 
came apparent so quickly that the years from 1906 until 1916 were 
devoted to consistent efforts, under the leadership of President John 
H. T. Main, for the development of a thoroughly adequate scheme 
of housing both for men and for women students. This campaign 
culminated from 1915 to 1917 in the opening of the Men's Dormi- 
tories and the Women's Quadrangle. 

Many persons contributed to the definition of the social philosophy 
that inspired this building program. Early in the 1890's a realistic 
social and recreational program had been organized even with the 
limited facilities available. Significant encouragement had been given 
by the building of the Rand Gymnasium for women in 1897 and 
the new "old" men's gymnasium, which was completed in 1899. A 
comprehensive description of college life in the late 1890's was written 
by two women members of the faculty, Helen B. Morris and Emeline 
B. Bartlett, for the May, 1898, issue of The Midland Monthly, pub- 
lished in Des Moines. This article was accompanied by now invaluable 
photographs of Mears Cottage, the central campus, including Good- 
now Hall, the Administration Building (then called Chicago Hall) , 
Blair Hall, and the Music Building, as well as the new, deservedly 
admired, Rand Gymnasium. The social philosophy expressed in this 
article is remarkably close to the statements of social purpose given 
prominence in the 1952 edition of the college catalogue. Mid-twen- 

208 Grinnell College 

tieth century students may find the language of this description 
quaint, but its philosophy still permeates GrinnelPs dormitory and 
social programs. 

It is only an institution alive to what the truest meaning of education is, 
that opens legitimate avenues for its students to gain from mutual inter- 
course the benefits which can never be reaped from book lore alone. This 
is a fact which Iowa College has had in mind from the commencement of its 
existence, the ever present influence which is exerted over its students that the 
broadest life is the life lived for and with their fellow-beings. . . . 

But coeducation is not the only side to a girl's life in Grinnell. Living in 
little groups of six or seven around the town, there is opportunity for many 
a spread or fudge party, for which no chaperon, or permission of the faculty 
is necessary. From these houses the girls assemble for their meals in clubs 
of twenty or thirty which serve as a bureau of exchange for bits of news, 
where each one finds out "who is going with which," to the next party or 
lecture, who has been the recipient of the last box of flowers, etc. But this 
way of living in one place and boarding in another has its disadvantages. 
Even a tempting supper loses its attraction when the price to be paid for it 
is a walk of three or four blocks in a blinding storm, and, going to eight 
o'clock recitations, one frequently meets a pitcher and a mysterious bundle 
being carried to some room-mate who prefers an extra half hour sleep to 
exercise at that early hour. 

But this difficulty has been partially done away with by the one college 
dormitory, "the Mary Grinnell Mears Cottage." This pretty brick cottage 
which is on the part of the college property given by the late Rev. Joshua M. 
Chamberlain, for so many years a trustee of the institution, offers a home 
for twenty-eight girls. 176 

Between 1895 and 1915 the enrollment of the College grew from 
475 to 800, Except for the fifty students housed in Mears Cottage, 
all others were living in Grinnell homes, in friendly groups ranging 
from six to twenty. The many large homes still standing on Park, 
Broad, and Main streets, west of the campus, as well as in the blocks 
immediately south of Highway 6, give testimony to the cooperation 
of Grinnell citizens in the problem of housing students in these 
years of rapid expansion. By November, 1915, the College was ready 
to invite distinguished educators from all parts of the country to 
join in its proud dedication of the Women's Quadrangle. The next 
two years, 1916-1917, saw the opening of the first six men's halls in 
their quadrangle on the north campus. 

This ambitious building program represented the investment of at 
least a million dollars. Most of it was contributed through the 


generosity of alumni and friends of the College in a prolonged finan- 
cial campaign under the leadership of President Main. The cost of 
the Women's Quadrangle has been estimated at $339,500. Its replace- 
ment value in the 1950's would be at least a million dollars. The 
Men's Dormitories cost $368,800. They, too, could not be replaced 
for less than a million dollars. The per capita cost of the investment 
for each student was at least one thousand dollars at the time of build- 
ing. The architects were Proudfoot, Bird, and Rawson, of Des Moines, 
Iowa. The contractors were the Bailey-Marsh Construction Company 
of Minneapolis. 

The educational significance of this double plan for college housing 
was recognized at the dedication of the Women's Quadrangle in 
November, 1915, when the Association of Colleges of the Interior 
(the forerunner of the present Midwest College Conference) met at 
Grinnell to compliment President Main's achievement. The Des Moines 
Register and Leader in its Sunday edition, November 21, 1915, gave 
appropriate attention to this significant dedication. The week-end 
ceremonies began with the conference sessions of the college presi- 
dents, further distinguished by a special lecture and a reading of his 
poems by the English poet, Alfred Noyes. Dr. William F. Slocurn, 
president of Colorado College, presented the key address in Herrick 
Chapel on the subject of "Women in Coeducational Colleges." "The 
coeducational college makes for the purest democracy," he said, "for 
we do not get the best democracy in college without the stimulus of 
men upon women and the stimulus of women upon men." 

The Des Moines Register gave an interesting account of the dedica- 
tory ceremony: 

The impressive ceremony of the kindling of the fires in each of the six 
cottages, symbolic of the ancient mythology which typified the home by the 
hearth, came at the close of a day of formal exercises held in conjunction 
with the annual conference of the Association of Colleges of the Interior. 

The new dormitories, which have been opened before to the girl students 
who are required by a new ruling of the college to make them a communistic 
home center, are said by prominent educators to be unsurpassed anywhere in 
the United States in point of completeness, comfort, safety, and elegance 
of equipment, and the exercises last night were a tribute to the sentiment 
with which the new home is already regarded by the college and the tradi- 
tions which have already begun to grow up about it. 177 

Further encouraging testimony to the success of Grinnell's housing 
program was given In 1934 by the American Association of Univer- 

210 Grinnell College 

sity "Women in a national survey under the title, "Housing College 
Students." The Grinnell plan was among those especially recom- 
mended. In a written statement, President Main summarized this 

The objectives of the Grinnell College housing plan are: to provide a dis- 
tinct and fruitful educational element in college life, epitomizing practically 
the life that all must live as citizens in the larger world; to create a house 
fellowship which is projected naturally into community fellowship; to foster 
a spirit of loyalty and democracy; to develop the consciousness of community 

In the houses the meaning is learned of cooperation for the common good; 
an appreciation is gained of the ordinary courtesies that have value in the 
social world; an understanding is acquired of the principles of democracy. 
Therefore the student should find the step from college into world life not a 
difficult readjustment, but a natural developing process. 

As an integral part of its educational program Grinnell College began in 
1914 the construction of two groups of residence houses one group for 
women on the east campus and another group for men on the north campus. 
Each group is composed of relatively small houses, each accommodating a 
maximum of fifty students. The houses are connected by a cloister leading 
to a central house or community center. 

The community center for women was finished in 1915 and has fitted into 
the educational plan admirably. It is beautiful architecturally, and ample in 
its proportions. It includes a dining room for four hundred, drawing room 
and parlors, offices, a suite for the Dean of "Women, a little theatre; in addi- 
tion it has dormitory facilities for the regular quota of students. 

The building plan as originally conceived was based on the belief that the 
living accommodations for women should be complete in themselves and 
should afford, so far as independence and leadership in social and community 
life are concerned, every facility that is provided in the best colleges for 
women. The six units in use since 1915, built as a composite structure by 
the use of the connecting cloister, have illustrated the idea in every detail 
and have demonstrated its unique educational value. 

Precisely the same plan has been followed in building the six units now 
in use by men. The results have been equally satisfactory. 

From 1917 until 1941 the two dormitory systems continued to 
demonstrate their adequacy and their significant influence on the 
patterns of student government and social life. The Women's Quad- 
rangle, however, had one marked advantage over the men's dormitory 
plan. Its central building, named Main Flail in honor of President 
Main, included facilities for meetings of all students from the six 
individual dormitories in the quadrangle system. The beautiful draw- 
ing room, the inspiring Gothic dining room, and the Little Theatre 


have encouraged a closely unified program of student government and 
of group recreation throughout the years since the Quadrangle was 
designed. The original plans for the Men's Dormitories provided for 
a similar central building. However, the construction of this build- 
ing was delayed until the generosity of the Cowles Foundation made 
it possible in 1941. It now provides a capacious central lounge availa- 
ble to all men students and their guests. The large modern men's 
dining room, which can be readily converted into a ballroom, accom- 
modates as many as 600 persons. Ironically, this building was first 
occupied by a unit of the Officer's Candidate School which was as- 
signed to the College in 1942; Cowles Hall was not available for 
civilian use until 1945, when the military units were withdrawn and 
veterans returned to continue their interrupted educational careers. 
A further addition to the Men's Dormitories was built in 1950-1951 
through the generosity of the Younker Endowment. This hall in- 
cludes another large reception area, recreational equipment serving 
the whole College, and an infirmary for men students facilities 
which increase in valuable ways the services which the College tries 
to provide for its students. 

The only addition to the Women's Quadrangle since 1915 has been 
the seventh of its dormitories, built in 1947-1948, the modern hall at 
the end of the Quadrangle, named for Dr. David N. and Francelia 
Spitzer Loose. Built during the administration of President Samuel 
Nowell Stevens, Cowles Hall, Younker Hall, and Loose Hall have 
added residence space for 250 students, so that the College is now 
equipped to accommodate comfortably 900 students (450 women 
and 450 men) in well appointed and handsome dormitories. 

The achievement of this building program has been called "The 
Triumph of the Dormitories" by a Marshalltown alumnus, D. W. 
Norris '96: 

GrinnelPs dormitories are at once the pride and crowning triumph of its 
architectural scheme. None can enter them and see the beautiful, simple, 
cultural effect of a college home environment without acknowledging his 
admiration for the management that had the vision to conceive or the courage 
to achieve such an accomplishment. 

The back attic rooms of my day with their unkempt and unmade cots 
and the unregulated habits of their young men are gone. The olden boarding 
club and its tragic struggle with the economic problem of something for 
nothing has been replaced with the modern community dining hall. Grinnell 
has made place for democracy in its dormitories. Its students need not be 

212 Grinnell College 

"Rushed" for fraternity memberships in order that the fraternity may live. 
The tendency toward exclusiveness, social cliques, student aristocracy of 
wealth or an accentuation of group pride is missing from the one great 
family of all students at Grinnell. 

The undoubted influence of architectural patterns on group living, 
anticipated by President Main, has been demonstrated clearly in the 
evolution of student government and social life at Grinnell College. 
Each dormitory has developed self-government through a house coun- 
cil, "which in turn has become part of a unifying central governing 
council, for men under the leadership of the Council of House Presi- 
dents, and for women under the leadership of the "Women's League 
Board, This combination of efficiency in organization and adequate 
individualizing of student problems seems to have been achieved by 
the distribution of Grinnell students in house groups of approximately 
fifty, all to be unified under the leadership of the senior executive 
officers "who have united to form the Central Committee of the Stu- 
dent Council. In a chapel address in 1928, Dr. Main summarized the 
strength of the Grinnell pattern by saying, "The whole question of 
college government is solved when the house governments are satis- 
factory. The government must be a system of sympathetic personal 

Democracy in Grinnell's dormitories has consistently been pro- 
tected by the insistence on the ban against fraternities, as well as by 
the continuing policy of a single charge for all types of dormitory 
rooms without differentiation because of size or location. Through 
their unity and appropriateness of design, the residence halls are the 
realization of the social ideals envisioned by GrinnelPs leaders fifty 
years ago. 

Part Five 






THE YEARS immediately following the war were for the colleges of 
the nation a period of adjustment, when old problems, temporarily 
pushed into the background, had once again to be faced and to be 
solved along with many perplexing new ones which had arisen. For 
Grinnell College these problems were of three kinds: rebuilding and 
expanding the campus; adapting to a large veteran population with- 
out losing its character as a small college or diminishing the quality of 
education offered; rebuilding the faculty, a project started at the 
beginning of the war and temporarily shelved. 

Plans for rebuilding and expanding the campus were re-examined 


Grinnell College 

by the trustees in 1946, at which time it was decided that an attempt 
should be made to complete as rapidly as possible those dormitory- 
units which would enable the College to house 550 men and 450 
women on the campus. A final unit for the Women's Quadrangle was 
needed. Dr. David Loose of Maquoketa, Iowa, a pioneer physician in 
the state, contributed funds in memory of his wife. While not meet- 
ing the entire costs of the structure, his contribution made the con- 
struction financially feasible. Loose Hall was built. It was, and still 
is, a nearly ideal dormitory for women, setting a new standard of 
functional excellence that has been studied and copied by dormitory 
planners in many other institutions of higher learning. 

One of the conditions of the Younker Trust, mentioned already by 
Dr. Nollen, was that a fund should be accumulated with which to 
erect a men's double dormitory unit. In 1949 sufficient funds were 
on hand to begin construction, and by the second semester of the 
school year 1950-1951 the unit was occupied. Through the gen- 
erosity of Dr. Loose and the Younker family, the College was able to 
complete its housing program quickly. We were then prepared to 
undertake other construction designed either to replace or to supple- 
ment existing educational facilities on the campus. 

Grinnell College has always cherished the fact that it has placed 
spiritual and moral values at the center of its life. For many years 
there had been a strong desire to make the Chapel the most beautiful 
place on the campus, to improve its facilities so that there would be 
a physical representation of the spiritual aspirations of the faculty 
and students. With the assistance of money given by many alumni 
and friends the Chapel was extensively remodelled and beautified. 
A new Aeolian Skinner organ, complete with chimes and harp, was 
especially designed to meet the particular requirements, for this type 
of music in the college community. The organ is recognized by com- 
petent organists as one of the finest instruments of its kind in the 
Middle West. The hopes of many years were richly fulfilled when in 
the spring of 1949 Herrick Chapel was rededicated. In 1952, Pro- 
fesor Arthur J, Jones and his son, both graduates of the College, gave 
the College a set of carillonic chimes in memory of Ethel L. Jones. 
This added facility for the creation of beauty through music placed 
the crowning touch on the Chapel reconstruction. 

Grinnell has its roots in the deep spiritual commitment of the Iowa 
Band. Through the changing life of more than a century, with all 


of the social pressure for secularism in our society, the College has 
continued to hold undeviatingly to these basic commitments which 
are Christian in purpose and intention. With the Chapel, a proud 
symbol of our faith, as the point of reference for all our values, we 
remain true to the tradition that made our life possible. 

A science building had long been dreamed of and hoped for. In 
spite of physical limitations, the College had maintained a distin- 
guished record for giving basic scientific instruction to men and 
women who later attained great distinction as scientists. In recent 
studies Grinnell ranked among the first fifty colleges and universities 
in the United States as a center of scientific education. The trustees 
were convinced that such notable achievement under difficult cir- 
cumstances should at last be rewarded. After a period of most inten- 
sive study and investigation a basic plan for the education of scientists 
was established and a physical structure was designed. The new Hall 
of Science at Grinnell College, representing a financial investment of 
nearly a million dollars, is now in use. Every trustee made a financial 
contribution. John Frederick Darby, a life trustee of the College, 
contributed nearly 40 per cent of the final cost. This building was 
occupied in the first semester of the school year 1952-1953 and on 
March 13 and 14, 1953, was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. 
Scientists from universities, colleges, and industries from many parts 
of the country honored the College by their presence on this occasion. 
A bright, expanding future in science lies ahead for Grinnell. The 
challenge of better and more adequate facilities will be met with 
courage and enthusiasm by a competent staff of young, devoted men, 
who have committed themselves to a professional life that combines 
both teaching and research. 

The essence of the plan for science education is to be found in the 
program of undergraduate research, which all majors will undertake 
under the supervision of the faculty and research staff. To know 
the discipline of science and to have the opportunity to do significant 
research within the range of student competence will accelerate the 
professional growth of men and women. We may well expect that 
these graduates will be in great demand by graduate schools, profes- 
sional institutions, government, business, and industry. The existence 
of this program as it has become generally known has attracted sup- 
port in the form of grants for research and for scholarships from 
both government and industry. 

218 Grinnell College 

While it would be a serious mistake for our work in science to 
overshadow all other educational activities of the College and thus 
to divert us from the major purpose of humane learning, it is safe 
to say that the presence of an expanding staff and more than adequate 
facilities in science will become a challenge to all other divisions of 
the College to raise their sights and to engage in parallel professional 
activities. The strengthening of our work in science will raise the 
whole College to a more vigorous intellectual life and to new heights 
of educational performance. 

Several large projects must yet be undertaken and completed before 
the campus will be thoroughly modern and adequate. The library 
must either be replaced or enlarged. Facilities for fine arts work, for 
which the College has been recognized for many years, must be im- 
proved. A student center is needed, and the administrative depart- 
ments require modern housing. Finally, if the women of our campus 
are not to be neglected, there will have to be a new women's gym- 
nasium to replace the old and inadequate women's physical education 

To the completion of these physical plans for an ideal college en- 
vironment the trustees and the administration are now addressing 
themselves. Studies are being made, plans are being tentatively 
formed, and it is expected that the necessary capital will be found. 
To make any predictions as to when this program will finally be 
completed would be unwise. Suffice it to say that we view the future 
with optimism and are reasonably certain that the rest of these 
dreams will become realities before many years have been added to 
our College history.* 

Enrollments in institutions of higher learning have doubled each 
decade since 1900. Most of the increase has been channeled into 
state-supported colleges and universities and into junior colleges. 
Privately endowed colleges and universities, during the first four 
decades of the twentieth century, experienced a much slower incre- 
ment of student registration. In spite of this fact, more than half 
of all the men and women enrolled in institutions of higher learning 
in 1940 were to be found in colleges like Grinnell and in privately 

* Wliile this book was in press, Grinnell College became the recipient of $5,000,000, 
a major portion of the estate of John Frederick Darby, life trustee of the College and fre- 
quent benefactor, who died February 28, 1953. 


endowed universities. When in 1946 the flood tide of veterans re- 
turned from World War II, the total national enrollment again 
doubled that of 1940. The question which Grinnell had to face was 
whether to accept a double load, thereby radically changing both the 
nature of campus life and the quality of instruction, or whether to 
take a more conservative position. This involved much more than 
our institutional convenience. Implicit in it was the basic problem 
all privately endowed education had to face. As institutions respon- 
sible for the public welfare, we had to re-evaluate our historic posi- 
tion. The privately endowed college or university had always main- 
tained discriminating standards for admission. It had emphasized the 
conception of education as one of the environmental factors in the 
intellectual, social, and spiritual growth of young people. It had 
taken the position that the student's supreme loyalty was to the col- 
lege as a whole and not to any smaller social or academic segment of 
it. It had placed emphasis on the individual, and all of the educa- 
tional processes had been judged by the effectiveness with which they 
had contributed to the growth of each student. Classes and labora- 
tories were only instruments contributing to the totality of the educa- 
tional experience. Courses were means, not ends. The conditions for 
graduation were more than the sum total of course credit. 

The administrations of small colleges throughout the country were 
clearly aware that the demands of veterans for higher education had 
to be met. Some compromise with size, with administrative proce- 
dures, and with admissions standards had to be made. This decision 
commonly accepted by all administrators and boards of trustees was 
made operationally effective in many different ways. Grinnell College 
chose the following compromise. Standards for admission were rigid- 
ly held. The faculty was expanded. About 30 per cent more students 
than had ever enrolled in prewar years were accepted. At the peak 
of veterans* enrollment nearly 1,200 students were in attendance. 
Because the men and women attending the College in those years had 
been carefully selected and because the veterans themselves were more 
mature and were highly motivated, the experience was uniformly 
satisfactory. Attrition rates were normal. The level of educational 
attainment as measured by Graduate Record examinations was raised. 
Social problems were no more serious than those encountered in nor- 
mal, peacetime years. At the end of these years the College adminis- 
tration was convinced that the national investment in the education 

220 Grmnell College 

of veterans was one of the wisest uses of federal money that had ever 
been made. 

Any thoughtful student of population satistics is aware of the fact 
that during the middle of the depression there was a significant de- 
cline in the birth rate. A natural deduction from this body of facts 
is that from 1949 to 1955 there would be a smaller number of young 
men and women graduating from the high schools and entering our 
colleges and universities. Just as it was inevitable that the flood tide 
of veterans would pass, leaving a serious vacuum behind it, so also it 
was equally obvious that the succeeding generation of fewer young 
men and women would not fill it. The failure of educators generally 
to recognize these facts and administratively to anticipate them is 
difficult to understand. However, even if they had foreseen these 
particular circumstances there would have been no way for responsi- 
ble college officials to have evaluated realistically the impact of post- 
war inflation on educational costs. Furthermore, educational institu- 
tions are somewhat lacking in adaptability. Commitments sometimes 
have to be made for extended periods of years. Administrative over- 
head is not subject to wide fluctuations, and the maintenance of 
physical properties is a trust that cannot be ignored even though 
there may be a declining student enrollment. 

By 1950 the conditions previously described were affecting the life 
of all privately endowed educational institutions and were creating 
severe problems for Grinnell. Newspapers and magazines carried 
articles about "The Fate of the Liberal Arts College." Large deficits 
which were not subject to assimilation by current gifts appeared on 
the balance sheets. Although tuition charges and the costs for board 
and room had been steadily increasing during the previous five years, 
gains in income from these sources were not sufficient to offset the 
effects of inflation; furthermore, the increased charges began to 
jeopardize enrollments. The fear of pricing ourselves out of the edu- 
cational market in competition with the publicly supported institu- 
tions, which could depend upon special tax appropriations to meet 
unusual expenses, was a real one. It still is a source of grave concern 
to those who believe in the validity of a double system of higher 
education in the United States. New and more productive sources 
of income had to be found. Grmnell College, along with many other 
institutions, began to seek out industry and business as sources of 
charitable gifts for educational purposes. Thoughtful industrial and 


business leaders, such as Frank Abrarns of the Standard Oil Company 
of New Jersey and Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company, sought 
to influence their associates in the industrial and business world to 
consider seriously the need of the colleges. Many colleges combined 
into state and regional foundations in order more effectively to estab- 
lish a new pattern of giving by American industry. Grinnell College 
took the leadership in helping to organize the Iowa College Founda- 
tion, and, with seventeen other privately endowed four-year colleges 
in the state, made its first approach to Iowa industrial institutions in 
the fall of 1952. 

This history of the general economic dilemma facing higher educa- 
tion is recounted here because in a very real sense it is also the history 
of Grinnell College. The success of this effort to secure additional 
sources of financial support will determine whether or not privately 
endowed education will continue to serve the needs of a free demo- 
cratic society, or whether it will become an instrument of economic 
privilege and be available only to those young men and women whose 
parents possess great wealth. No more important problem faces our 
American economy today, for leadership is more likely to emerge 
from small units than from large ones. The need for critical and 
enlightened direction can be met best if the hundreds of small col- 
leges and privately endowed universities in our country find satis- 
factory ways of keeping their heritage alive and serving the oncom- 
ing generations with the same spirit and intention which made them 
the carriers of the most precious aspects of political, intellectual, and 
social freedom in the past. 

The greatness of Grinnell in the past hundred years has been due 
to one fact more than any other. The college has challenged many 
great men to commit themselves to its way of life. Great teachers 
make a great college. Without them buildings, riches, and prosperity 
are futile and sterile. With great teachers, students grow in vision, 
insight, and power, in spite of poor buildings, limited equipment, 
and small endowments. Men build men. Money does not. Land can- 
not. Buildings have no power to add to the spiritual and intellectual 
stature of a human being. 

The discovery of potentially great men, willing to make teaching 
a way of life, is the major task of every college president today. It is 
not an easy one. Several factors are at work to reduce the effectiveness 

222 Grinnell College 

of our educational institutions. In the first place, as knowledge be- 
comes more specialized, men's minds, as they seek to master it, become 
narrower in range and perspective. Therefore the law of diminishing 
returns constantly operates in the academic world. When men know 
more and more about less and less, we can expect that admiration for* 
and commitment to broad humane learning will correspondingly 

In the second place, our society seems to require at most opera- 
tional levels an ever higher degree of technical proficiency. This 
places a premium upon vocational education as a preparation for life 
work and depreciates education as a general experience in preparation 
for living. 

In the third place, since there are not enough potentially great 
men to go around, colleges and universities are in economic competi- 
tion with the government, with industry and business for the best 
men and the best minds. In such a competition the educational 
institutions are bound to be the losers. In the long run, even those 
institutions which temporarily benefit from the ability to give larger 
economic rewards to gifted men also lose, even when it appears they 
have won. The reason for this is obvious. Unless colleges and univer- 
sities can keep the ablest men with the best learning and the wisest 
perspective in the classroom and laboratory, the quality of the educa- 
tional product will consistently decline. Business and industrial 
institutions will find themselves impoverished because they have de- 
voured those human resources which over the years could have pro- 
duced the best for them. When a great chemist leaves the classroom 
laboratory and goes into the industrial laboratory, he may make great 
contributions to our contemporary problems, but he ceases to dupli- 
cate himself year after year in other promising young men who, as a 
result of his wise guidance, may have the potential ability to be even 
greater than he is. The history of the faculty of Grinnell College 
since 1946 reflects the struggle to retain for teaching men who have 
economic worth to other institutions. However, young men of great 
promise have gradually been added to the faculty. In spite of allur- 
ing offers they have continued to teach. While salaries have increased 
nearly 100 per cent since 1940, they are not comparable to the 
financial rewards to be found in government and in industry. 

Grinnell College is committed to a firm policy in regard to its 
faculty. We believe that there must be a full-time teaching faculty 


of fully prepared men and women large enough to maintain a stu- 
dent-faculty ratio of ten or eleven to one. "We believe that teaching 
loads should be small enough to encourage members of the faculty 
to devote large blocks of time to the interests and needs of individual 
students. "We believe that the research interests of the faculty should 
be nourished by releasing teaching time for research purposes. We 
believe that the evaluation of professional achievement, on the basis 
of which advancement in rank and salary depends, should include 
teaching performance, scholarly productivity, and capacity to con- 
tribute significantly to the enrichment of our corporate life. We be- 
lieve that character in the teacher is as important as technical knowl- 
edge of subject matter, but should not be thought of as a substitute 
for the latter. We believe that the faculty should be paid the largest 
possible salaries consistent with our economic capacity to make com- 
mitments and keep them. This policy, which has been systematically 
followed during the last six years, already is justifying itself. More 
than a dozen first-class books and several score of research articles 
and critical essays have been written. Each year during this period 
at least one member of the faculty has enjoyed a sabbatical leave or 
has been released from duties to accept some outstanding fellowship 
award. Every member of the faculty who has not yet completed his 
doctorate has made significant progress toward this goal. Students 
have been encouraged to carry on research and to write for publica- 
tion, and many of them have as undergraduates enjoyed the satisfy- 
ing experience of reading papers before the Academy of Science and 
other professional groups, as well as seeing their names in print in 
respected publications in their chosen fields. 

Someone has said that "our past flames at us from afar, and what 
we have been makes us what we are/* The future of Grinnell is 
dependent on three things: the validity of our educational mission; 
the success with which we are able to influence young men in teach- 
ing at Grinnell as a way of life; the success which the president and 
the Board of Trustees may experience in undergirding our purposes 
and our people with adequate financial support. 

Thoughtful men and women everywhere, in government, in busi- 
ness, and in our general society are rediscovering the critical necessity 
for humane learning. We are all discovering that knowledge is not 
enough. There must also be wisdom, deep social concern, and bright 

224 Grinnell College 

ideals. Leadership for our great social and political institutions -will 
not be derived from men whose narrow technical training has caused 
them to lose the common touch, or the capacity to make sweeping 
generalizations that are intuitively correct. We have also learned the 
bitter lesson that there is a realm of the spirit which men can neglect 
only at the peril of their lives, their honor, and their fortune. So it 
would seem that there is a new and imperative validity to the mis- 
sion of the liberal arts college and Grinnell. To meet the demands 
of our second objective requires an act of faith, as well as a better 
than average capacity to take young men up onto high mountains 
and to show them some of the glories of the life of Academe. 

The third factor which looms so large in the minds of many is, in 
my opinion, the one most easily solved. What we have been able to 
achieve in this period of time has been equalled or surpassed by many 
other institutions. Our own future is bright because of an ever 
increasing number of men and women who see the College as an 
instrument which they may creatively use for the protection of their 
own treasure and for the projection of their lives through their money 
into the lives of generations still unborn. 

Grinnell faces the future, humbled by her past, proud of her pres- 
ent achievement, committed to a continuance of all those things 
which are beautiful, true, just, and of good report. 



Appendix A 

Members of the Iowa Band 

EPHRAIM ADAMS, born February 15, 1818, at New Ipswich, New 
Hampshire, studied at Appleton Academy and Phillips Andover, and 
was one o over forty students who withdrew because they were for- 
bidden to form an antislavery society, abolitionism being then highly 
unpopular in both the Academy and the Seminary. Graduated from 
Dartmouth in 1839, he taught a year at Petersburg Classical Institute 
in Virginia before entering Andover. He was pastor at Mount Pleas- 
ant one year, at Davenport eleven years, at Decorah fourteen, at 


228 Grinnell College 

Eldora six, meanwhile acting as field agent for the College for two 
years and as superintendent of home missions for ten years. He died 
at Waterloo in 1907, aged eighty-nine. "So passed from our sight," 
wrote his successor as superintendent. Dr. T. O. Douglass, "one of our 
very best men, 'an Israelite indeed/ a man almost without a blemish. 
He was a brother to us all He showed us how to be ministers and how 
to be men. He rebuked our fever and our unchristian ambition. He 
was a forceful man in the counsels of our church life. For years, 
though he was the personification of modesty, he was the real leader 
of the Congregational hosts of Iowa. Iowa has never had a more 
useful citizen/' 

HARVEY ADAMS, born at Alstead, New Hampshire, January 16, 
1809, came late to Montpelier Academy, was graduated from the 
University of Vermont in 1839, spent one year at Andover, taught a 
year at Medway, Massachusetts, then returned to Andover to com- 
plete his theological course. He was ordained at Franklin, Massachu- 
setts, September 27, 1843. He preached at Farmington, 1843 to 1860, 
and again 1863 to 1866. He pioneered for some years in far western 
Iowa, and spent his last years at New Hampton, where he died in 

EBENEZER ALDEN, JR., was born at Randolph, Massachusetts, Au- 
gust 10, 1819, a descendant of John and Priscilla Alden (as was also 
Daniel Lane) , and came from Randolph Academy to Amherst Col- 
lege, where he was graduated in 1839. After preaching for five years 
at Solon and Tipton he returned East to be the pastor of Daniel 
Webster's church at Marshfield, Massachusetts, and died there in 1889. 

JAMES JEREMIAH HILL was born May 29, 1815, at Phippsburg, 
Maine, son of Judge Mark Langdon Hill, who served a brief term as 
United States Senator from Maine. Educated at Bath and North 
Bridgton academies, he was graduated from Bowdoin in 1838 and 
spent a year in teaching and in tract society work before entering 
Andover. He was ordained at Phippsburg, April 30, 1844. His 
preaching service covered a wide area of northernmost Iowa, Illinois, 
and Minnesota. In his later years he supplied churches near Grinnell, 
where he died in 1870, a year before the graduation of his two sons, 
who became prominent as trustees and benefactors of the College. 

HORACE HUTCHINSON, born at Sutton, Massachusetts, August 1 0, 
1817, was Alden's classmate at Amherst, and was a tutor at Hopkins 
Academy in Hadley before entering Andover. His pastorate at Bur- 


lington lasted but three years; he died of consumption at age twenty- 
eight in 1 846. He was succeeded by William Salter. 

DANIEL LANE, born at Leeds, Maine, March 10, 1813, was Hill's 
classmate at Bridgton Academy and Bowdoin, and taught English and 
modern languages at North Yarmouth Academy before coming to 
Andover. After ten years of preaching and teaching at Keosauqua, 
he was the second member of the Iowa College faculty, 1853 to 1858. 
After the removal of the College to Grinnell, he continued teaching 
at Davenport for four years, preached at Eddyville and Belle Plaine 
ten years, then acted as field agent for the College for six years. The 
last seven years of his retirement he lived at Freeport, Maine, where 
he died in 1890. 

ERASTUS RIPLEY was born March 15, 1815, at South Coventry, 
Connecticut, graduated from Union College in 1840, and came to 
Andover after a year at Union Seminary, New York. He remained 
at Andover for a year after graduation as "Abbott Resident" and 
was ordained at Bentonsport, Iowa, April 3, 1845. He preached four 
years at Bentonsport, was the first professor of the new Iowa College, 
1848 to 1858, and taught later in the East. He died in 1870. 

ALDEN BURRILL ROBBINS was born February 18, 1817, at Salem, 
Massachusetts, and was a classmate of Alden and Hutchinson at Am- 
herst. Like Hutchinson he taught at Hopkins Academy, then was 
principal of Pawtucket Academy, and like Ripley studied a year at 
Union Seminary before transferring to Andover. He was ordained 
at Salem, September 20, 1843. He had but one charge at Bloomington 
(later Muscatine), from 1843 to 1891, and remained there as emeri- 
tus until his death in 1896. He was president of the Iowa College 
trustees from 1847 to 1864. 

WILLIAM SALTER was born November 17, 1821, in Brooklyn, New 
York. He studied Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic at private 
schools, was graduated from New York University in 1840, and 
studied two years at Union Seminary and one year at Andover, After 
three years' pastorate at Maquoketa and Andrew, he came to Burling- 
ton just before Hutchinson died in 1 846. His pastorate of sixty-four 
years exceeded in length that of any other missionary in the Vest. 
He was the last of the Band to die, August 15, 1910, in his eighty- 
ninth year. He was poet and historian as well as preacher and pastor, 
author of Life of James W. Grimes, of Life of Joseph Pickett, of 
Iowa: The First free State in the Louisiana Purchase, and of a book of 
essays, Sixty Years. It was a fitting tribute to this Christian patriarch 

230 Grinnell College 

when the mayor of Burlington and the president of the Commercial 
Exchange joined in requesting that all places of business in the city 
remain closed during the funeral of William Salter. 

BENJAMIN ADAMS SPAULDING was born January 20, 1815, at 
Billerica, Massachusetts. From Phillips Academy he entered Yale for 
the year 1836-1837, and was graduated from Harvard in 1840, After 
eighteen years' service at Ottumwa and thirty other places, some of 
them one hundred miles apart, ill health sent him to Wisconsin, where 
he died in 1867. 

EDWIN BELA TURNER was born October 2, 1812, in Great Bar- 
rington, Massachusetts, and lived later at Kinderhook, New York, 
and Godfrey, Illinois. He was graduated from Illinois College in 
1840. After eleven years* service at Cascade and Colesburg, failing 
health took him back to Illinois. He was Home Missionary Super- 
intendent for Missouri for twelve years, then went East, and died 
in 1895. 

Appendix B 

So Many Yesterdays 


Family Background 

IT HAS been said that one needs to be specially careful in the selection 
of one's grandparents. In this case a my grandfathers dictated at least 
a modicum of intellectual and spiritual interest, for one was a teacher, 
the other a preacher. Yet they transmitted also a certain bent toward 
the practical, for one was the son of a village innkeeper, the other of 
a small manufacturer in a large city. Since they both journeyed from 
ancestral homes to a far country, they may have bequeathed a love 
of travel and mundane as well as spiritual adventure. As for my 


232 Grinnell College 

grandmothers, one was visibly wedded to the finer things of life, the 
other a tireless worker whose fingers made useful but also beautiful 
things. It seems to me I could not have chosen better. 

Salvador Dali was probably spoofing when he claimed to have dis- 
tinct prenatal memories. I am skeptical even when others pretend to 
remember things that happened to them in very early infancy. I 
believe they actually recall only what parents have told them in later 
years. My earliest "memories/* though quite definite, are of this 
derivative type. This only do I know, that my older brother Henry, 
who later became my best and most generous friend, did not greet my 
first appearance with fraternal joy. "When I was born, January 15, 
1869, he was somewhat over two years old, and as the first-born had 
enjoyed a pleasant monopoly of parental attention. Now he sat in 
his high chair with flaming cheeks and kept muttering Stoute Mama, 
stonte Mama (stoitte is Dutch for "naughty") . Twice he attempted 
a more vigorous protest, coming to the bed where I lay by Mother, 
first with a tin cup full of water, then with a stick of firewood, in- 
tending to dispose summarily of the rival for her affection and care. 
Later, however, he became reconciled, and assumed brotherly func- 
tions by trundling my perambulator. When a kind lady stopped to 
look at baby and said "What a pretty little girl," Henry corrected 
her: "Yes, but this little girl is a little boy." In part because the little 
photograph still exists, I do remember my first picture-taking, when 
I was about three; I can recall my disappointment when the blue 
binding on the gray flannel suit, which Mother had made for me, came 
out white instead of blue in the photograph. After that, when I was 
five, I remember Henry's taking me by the hand and leaving me in 
the kindly care of Miss Pratt at my first school, after I had already 
learned to read at home. Why I was then transferred to the care of 
a Mr. Lubberden, in a little detached school building near home, I 
cannot say. It was there that I had my one and only school fight, but 
it left no scars: the name of the small boy who was my opponent, 
the reason for the contention, and its outcome have alike vanished 
into the vague. Of childhood playmates, aside from young relatives, 
I have no recollection whatever. School equipment and techniques 
were still quite primitive, typified by the unhygienic use of slates 
and slate pencils for our written exercises. One pioneer custom I 
found especially agreeable the spelling-down, when the school was 
divided into halves, lined up along opposite walls, and hotly contested 
competitive spelling followed. I happened to display considerable skill 
in this exhilaratory exercise; my heredity had given me language- 


Our childhood home is quite clear in my mind; it still exists, but 
no more recent visit is needed to make all its details a vivid memory. 
My parents made it their home on the day of their marriage in 1 8 64, 
and there they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, shortly 
before my father's death. The house had been built by my Uncle 
Gerard as an artist's studio with a bedroom attached. The studio 
became and remained our living room, and as the family grew, my 
father had successive additions built at the rear, so that the house had 
the structure of a tapeworm. It had no proper basement, and no 
attic; a small cellar with dirt floors served only for storage. The house 
was heated by stoves, first wood, then coal (the "boys' room, 35 where 
Henry and I slept, had no stove) , and lighted by kerosene lamps; in 
very cold weather, "pigs' 5 with hot water took the chill off our beds; 
no bathroom, no plumbing, a cistern behind the house for "soft 
water, 55 a well in front, remote from contamination, for drinking and 
cooking water, carried in by the bucketful with problems of de- 
frosting in winter. The day of processed and packaged foods and 
refrigeration was not yet, and all the culinary processes were carried 
on in the house: green coffee roasted in the oven and ground in a 
hand mill; bread and cake baked and ice cream prepared and frozen 
and tea blended at home; great crocks of vegetables in brine put up 
for the winter. There were pitchers and washbowls, with occasional 
baths in wooden washtubs hauled in for the purpose. A "privy, 5 ' 
defined as "a place of retirement for defecation, 55 of course unheated, 
in the back yard. In short, it was the simple life under ordinary 
pioneer conditions, without even a thought of the conveniences and 
gadgets that complicate and clutter modern living. Much later, even 
before the town acquired a water and sewer system, our old house too 
was supplied with plumbing when Father had a bathroom and pump- 
ing system installed. 

I have quite definite impressions of my two grandfathers, whom 
I never saw, but whose portraits and careers are familiar. My paternal 
grandfather, Hendrik Nollen, probably of French Huguenot descent, 
was born in 1798, the son of a farmer-innkeeper, in the Netherlands. 
When he was a child, he burned his right hand by falling into a fire 
made to heat a cartwheel tire, so that he could not do manual labor, 
and hence was deflected to a sedentary and more or less intellectual 
career. He became schoolmaster and sexton in the village of Didam, 
in the province of Gelderland, near Arnhem, and played the organ 
in the village church. The economic depression in Holland a century 
ago, and the desire for wider opportunities for his seven children, led 

234 Grinndl College 

him to emigrate to the United States in 1854. It was natural that he 
should seek settlement in a Dutch colony then recently established at 
Pella, Iowa, where even his limited supply of guilders would buy an 
acreage that seemed lordly to European eyes. Grandfather was think- 
ing, naturally enough, of the fine estates of Holland, on which 
baronial proprietors lived in aristocratic ease on lands tilled by peasant 
retainers, and he seems to have dreamed of such a life of lucrative 
leisure on his American domain. Unfortunately, he found on arrival 
in his Eldorado that there were no peasant retainers in Iowa, that every 
land proprietor had to till his own soil and literally earn his bread in 
the sweat of his face. The result was that his youngest son Herman 
became an American farmer, his one surviving daughter Zwaantje 
married a farmer, and the other three sons gradually established them- 
selves in the growing town of Pella: my father eventually became a 
bank cashier. Uncle Henry a notary and clerk in a law office, while 
Uncle Gerard tried to exercise his skill as an artist, painting landscapes 
and portraits, and giving lessons. 

The town of Pella had been founded in 1847 by my maternal 
grandfather, the Reverend Hendrik Peter Scholte, who was a Hol- 
lander of the more versatile and enterprising type. He was born in 
1805, the older son of a box manufacturer in Amsterdam, of Han- 
overian descent; his mother was the daughter of a broker; his parents 
were Lutherans. His father's death, when he was sixteen, left him in 
charge of the family affairs, but when his mother and only brother 
died a few years later, he disposed of the business to continue his 
interrupted education at Amsterdam and the University of Leyden. 
He was one of the student volunteers who took part in the "ten days' 
campaign" against Belgium, when that country won its independence 
from the Netherlands in 1830. For this participation in a bloodless 
defeat, each of the embattled students received a huge gold medal as 
a souvenir from a patriotic old lady. A missionary from the United 
States persuaded young Scholte to prepare for the Christian ministry. 
Having completed the theological course at Leyden, he began his 
ministry at the age of twenty-six, serving two villages in North 
Brabant. With him went his bride, Sara Maria Brandt, daughter of 
a sugar refiner in Amsterdam for whom his father had manufactured 
shipping cases. He soon became one of the leaders in a conservative 
revolt against the excessive liberalism and secularism of the established 
church. As nonconformists, he and his people were harried and per- 
secuted; Scholte was suspended and excommunicated by the State 
Church and even imprisoned for preaching in defiance of state au- 


thority. Like new Pilgrims, in search of a land where they might 
worship according to the dictates of conscience, he and his followers 
disposed of their property and sailed for the promised land, uncertain 
of their exact destination, though aiming in general at settlement in 
Illinois or the new state of Iowa. At this time he was serving a "free" 
church in the city of Utrecht. His own spirit of independence and 
his unwillingness to accept any but Biblical authority had led to his 
suspension by the synod of the nonconformist association of churches 
which had broken away from the State Church. To this action, as to 
the earlier action of the established church, neither he nor his con- 
gregation in Utrecht paid the least attention. They were secure in 
their loyalty to a higher law. 

In the spring of 1 847 some eight hundred men, women, and chil- 
dren sailed from Rotterdam in four sailing vessels, for Baltimore, and 
arrived there after eight weeks on the Atlantic. In order to prepare 
the way in the new land, Dominie Scholte and his family proceeded 
more rapidly by steamer from Liverpool to Boston, going thence to 
Albany, New York, and Washington, finding everywhere the most 
generous reception and full information about the availability of 
government lands, open for settlement at $1.25 an acre. Conditions 
of travel to the Midwest were still somewhat complicated. When the 
colony arrived in Baltimore, the travelers went by rail to Columbia, 
Pennsylvania, by canal to Hollidaysburg, by switchback railway over 
the mountains to Johnstown, again by canal to Pittsburgh, finally by 
river boat on the Ohio and Mississippi to St. Louis, where they joined 
the few members of the company who had come some months earlier 
to gather information. This distance, now covered by air in three 
hours, then required several weeks of travel. From St. Louis the 
Dominie and a small group of his parishioners traveled to Iowa to 
spy out the land, and guided by a Baptist circuit-rider, they selected 
a location in Marion County, on the divide between the Des Moines 
and Skunk rivers. Here they established the town of Pella, named 
after the city across the Jordan, where, according to Eusebius (as 
the Dominie alone knew) the early Christians had sought refuge from 
the anarchy preceding the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. 
So Pella was founded with the motto In Deo Spes Nostra et Refu- 
gmm\ t In God is our hope and our refuge." The streets on its original 
plat bore the names of stages in the Christian pilgrimage: Entrance, 
Inquiring, Perseverance, Reformation, Gratitude, Experience, Pa- 
tience, Confidence, Expectation, Accomplishment, and finally End 
Avenue, leading to a plot marked "Grave Yard." The names of these 

236 Grmnell College 

early Dutch pioneers must have seemed to older settlers as outlandish 
as their old garb and wooden shoes. There were such jawbreakers as 
Michmershuizen, Vanderroovaart, Muelenbrugge, Vanspanckeren, and 
odd monickers like Bos, Kraai, Monster, Dikker, Slob, Kars, Kegel, 
*t Lam, van Os, Pas, Popesyn, Zwank, Stubenrauch, and Niemand- 
sverdriet ("Nobody's grief). 

Though possessing only moderate wealth, Dominie Scholte was the 
richest man in the colony. He gave the new town a public park, land 
for its schools, a campus for the local college, later a town lot for 
each citizen enlisting in the Civil War. He also set apart a lot, facing 
the park, for the church of which he remained the minister. This led 
to the first of a number of schisms in the religious life of the colony. 
A commercial traveler who visited the new community and was 
shown the town plat, told the Dominie that it was a mistake to build 
a church facing the town square, which was certain to be surrounded 
by business houses. When Mr. Scholte therefore took back the lot in 
question and substituted a lot for the church in the prospective resi- 
dential section, his Consistory made violent objection, alleging that he 
had laid profane hands on the Lord's property. As a result of stub- 
born disagreement, the Consistory excommunicated the Dominie, and 
the controversy split the church in two: half of the faithful supported 
the Consistory, the other half followed their pastor, who then built 
them a church in which he continued to minister to them. 

Another problem in ecclesiastical ethics was settled more amicably. 
One day the Dominie was surprised by a week-day visit from his 
elders and deacons. After an embarrassed silence, an elder explained: 
"Dominie, the Consistory has considered this matter carefully and 
prayerfully, and we have come to the conclusion that it is not proper 
for a minister of the Gospel to have such a beautiful wife as yours. 
According to the flesh, I might like to have her myself, but one must 
not be subject to the flesh, and this is especially true for a minister." 
The Dominie pondered a moment, looked over his glasses at the visi- 
tors, and replied: "Brethren, will you advise me further in this im- 
portant matter? What shall I do with her, shall I drown her, or poison 
her?'* The brethren evidently had not thought that far, and so the 
interview ended with a solemn leave-taking. 

Though never wealthy, according to American standards, Grand- 
father Scholte managed to live in some style. His house was quite the 
largest in town, his library by far the richest, his garden a private 
park. He kept a carriage and pair, with a coachman who was retainer 
rather than servant. When the family were driving along the river, 


there was admiring comment on the beauty of a wooded farmstead 
up on the bluffs overlooking the stream. Hearing the conversation, 
the coachman turned to Mr. Scholte and said: "/#, Dominee, bet is 
weleen moot koetje, maar het gee ft geen melk" "Yes, Dominie, it 
is a nice little cow, but it gives no milk." 

Dominie Scholte's was never a one-track mind. He was a scholarly 
theologian and a preacher of such power that he could hold a con- 
gregation for two solid hours of pulpit oratory. But he had the ver- 
satility of the true pioneer, and his restless spirit reached out in all 
directions. He was gentleman farmer; builder of sawmills, brick 
kilns, and lime kilns; land agent, notary, broker, banker, contractor, 
dealer in farm implements, attorney, editor and publisher of a weekly 
newspaper, school inspector, justice of the peace, and college board 
president. In all this manifold activity he lacked the acquisitive urge 
of many of his parishioners, and he contrived not to amass the great 
wealth that a rich new country might have poured into his coffers. 
He remained a conservative in theology, but in all other matters he 
was forward-looking. He insisted that the local school must be con- 
ducted in English, not in Dutch, and his newspaper was printed in 
English. His political interest led to his appointment as a delegate at 
large from Iowa to the Chicago convention that nominated Lincoln 
for the Presidency; moreover, he was one of the vice presidents of the 
Convention, as representing the new citizens of foreign birth whom 
Lincoln's managers had the foresight to cultivate. 

The "beautiful wife," object of the Consistory's solicitude, was 
Dominie Scholte's second. His first wife, my grandmother, had died 
in Holland shortly after the birth of my mother, who was her third 
daughter. Judging by a miniature painting of her, my grandmother 
must have been a girl of rare beauty; in fact, she was said to have been 
the belle of Amsterdam, The second wife, whom we children all 
called "Grandma," was a woman of great charm and fine culture; my 
father used to say that she was about the only person in town with 
whom one could carry on an intelligent conversation. She was musical 
and artistic, she had studied in Paris and spoke French as well as 
Dutch and English, and she loved beautiful things; the walls of the 
big house are still covered with her amateur paintings. In her day, 
in the fashion of the time, the house was crammed with bric-a-brac, 
amid which we children had to thread our way circumspectly. In 
the raw new West she was somewhat like an orchid in a weed patch; 
she missed the sort of social life to which she had been accustomed in 
Europe, and she had a temper! Occasionally passers-by would remark 

238 Grinnell College 

"The Queen of Pella rages." But to us of the third generation she was 
always grandmotherly kind, though also unmistakably grande dame. 

My grandmother Nollen, on the other hand, was unmistakably 
bourgeois. She was a good Dutch hwsvrouw, completely unpreten- 
tious, never idle, limited to her native language (after forty years in 
this country her entire English vocabulary was "You well?"), her 
knitting needles flying whenever she was free from other tasks. She 
was an artist at knitting, for she not only kept her four sons provided 
with woolen and cotton socks and leggings, but also contrived the 
most astonishing fabrics, such as bedspreads, with original designs. 
She always sat with a straight back on a straight chair, up to the age 
of ninety, when she succumbed to pneumonia resulting from a cold 
caught by getting up to make a fire on a bitterly cold day when the 
maid was late. We called her Moetjes, which might be interpreted as 
"Little Mother.' 9 

I never knew either grandfather personally, both having died be- 
fore I was born; but the two grandmothers were fixed stars in our 
firmament. One of them gave us children a new "Grandpa." "When 
"Grandma" Scholte was in her late forties she was still a charming 
woman, and a handsome and debonair young Detroiter named Robert 
R. Beard, half her age, fell in love with the rich Dutch widow and 
married her. He had blue-black hair and moustache, a fair singing 
voice, dressed well, used discreet perfume, and played the guitar 
divinely. We children, who called him "Grandpa," though he was 
younger than my mother, used to tease him to play "Sevastopol/' a 
composition inspired by the Crimean War, in which, while the strings 
vibrated to martial music, Mr. Beard pounded the guitar case with his 
palm to simulate the boom of cannon. It was thrilling! Mr. Beard 
was interested in sports, especially baseball, billiards, and tennis; he 
had a billiard room installed in the big house and a tennis court laid 
out in the garden. He could always beat us youngsters at billiards, 
but we could match him at tennis, and after a hot match he would 
bring out all the luscious chilled melon we could stow away. When 
we were flying kites, he appeared, his pockets bulging with twine, and 
supplied us with all the string our kites could carry. He gave us our 
first real bows and arrows, which were vastly more exciting that our 
homemade game of "cladders," which consisted of flipping wads of 
clay off the end of willow switches. 

In later life Mr. Beard became interested in astronomy and had an 
observatory built for his own very amateur study of the stars and 
planets. Also in later life he was converted to the pietistic religion of 


the Plymouth Brethren and even devoted himself to lay preaching, 
always in a curiously strained, unnatural tone of voice, which no 
doubt seemed to him more fitting for the high argument than natural 
tones would be. He used to talk rather vaguely as if he repented 
things he had done as a gay blade in his youth, but without ever giv- 
ing us any of the pertinent details, which might have added verisimili- 
tude to a "bald and unconvincing narrative," as KoKo would say. 
When "Grandma" died, he remained a widower for some years, then 
married our cousin Kate Keables, and we used to crack that Kate had 
become her own grandmother, with the further complication that she 
now became the stepmother-in-law of her cousin Leonora Keables, 
who had married our half-uncle Henry Scholte, thus becoming Kate's 
half-aunt. Meanwhile our "Grandpa" Beard had been suddenly meta- 
morphosed into "Cousin Bob," a title more to his liking. Unfor- 
tunately for future delvers into the records of the past, Mr. Beard had 
no feeling for the value of historical documents, and he burned up a 
mass of Grandfather Scholte's correspondence and other precious ma- 
terial referring to Grandfather's contacts with Abraham Lincoln and 
other prominent men of the time. 

In my boyhood the disposition of the family was as follows: Grand- 
mother Nollen was keeping house for two sons in an apartment over 
the Pella National Bank; Uncle Henry (Oom Hein) , bachelor, who 
worked in Uncle Peter's law office and was volunteer organist at the 
Second Reformed Church, and Uncle Gerard (who hated being called 
Gerrit) , artist and widower, whose wife had died in childbirth, leav- 
ing him solitary and a mildly eccentric spirit. My father was cashier 
of the bank; he and Mother and we five children (two others had 
died in infancy) lived in a simple cottage near by. Tante *Lwaant]e 
("Swanette"), Father's only sister, lived on a farm near town with 
her husband, Cornelius Welle, and four children. Uncle Herman, the 
youngest Nollen brother, lived on the original family farm, three 
miles from town, with Tante Dtrkje and four children. My mother's 
oldest sister Sara had married Dr. B. F. Keables, Civil "War veteran 
and leading physician in town; they had five children. Her other 
sister Maria had married attorney Pierre Henri Bousquet (Uncle Peter, 
or Oom Viet Hein) ; she died when their two daughters were small 
children; he later married Emma Thompson, his "American wife," 
and they had one daughter. "Grandma" Scholte and her second hus- 
band R. R. Beard lived in the big house to which her older son Henry 
P. Scholte had added an apartment for himself and Aunt Nora to 
whom three children were born. Her younger son David Scholte and 

240 Grinnell College 

Aunt Marie lived in a cottage near ours; no children. It was an 
interesting and varied family connection, all living within easy reach, 
and when my mother invited all the tribe and its tributaries to our 
house for my father's birthday, we assembled about sixty souls. 

My uncles were definitely individual types, and their always amica- 
ble relations were no doubt due to their respect for each other's 
idiosyncrasies. Of Father's brothers, we saw comparatively little of 
the youngest, Herman, the farmer; a quiet, modest, kindly man, his 
intellectual and aesthetic interests were kept in abeyance by hard man- 
ual labor. We saw more of the other brothers, Henry and Gerard. 
Oom Hem, as we called this Uncle Henry, was an old bachelor and 
worked in the law office adjacent to the bank. He was always on 
hand to play the organ at the Second Reformed Church, and it was 
his unfailing custom to pay us a call after the service, before going 
home to Sunday dinner* One day he came as usual, but confessed that 
he had not attended the Union Thanksgiving Service at the Baptist 
Church, for which he produced the alibi: "You've got to draw the 
line somewhere, and I draw it at a church with a tank in it." This 
was probably a distant echo of the old Dutch Calvinist hostility to 
the Anabaptist movement and the vagaries connected with it. Oom 
Hem was always most explicit in his opinions. "When the classic 
beauty of the famous Lily Langtry (patronized by the Prince of 
Wales) was being celebrated, he snorted, "Greek profile! As Greek 
as an old shoe!" His favorite expression for anything he disliked was 
"Allemaal popcock," which shows how the American vernacular was 
infiltrating into Dutch. My father, on the other hand, kept his many 
languages distinct. He was averse to the use of slang, and the Dutch 
that he wrote in numberless articles for De Volksvriend, published at 
Orange City, was pure Dutch. And though he was indulgent to the 
liberties taken by literary humorists, I never heard him tell a story 
or make a remark that was in the least oflf-color. 

Father's artist brother Gerard (commonly called De Scbilder, "The 
Painter") never won the success to which his talent might have en- 
titled him. His experiment as a photographer in Keokuk proved only 
his lack of practical business sense, and even though he was a minor 
Ruysdael as a landscapist, and better than most of his contemporaries 
at portraiture, there was naturally little market for his work or for 
his skill as a teacher of painting in rural Pella. He was quite lacking 
in the enterprise that could have gained him fame in a city in com- 
petition with other artists. Like my father, whose light also was 
hidden under the Pella bushel, Uncle Gerard preferred to "let well- 


enough alone." It must have been the Scholte blood that urged my 
generation to seek wider fields and more adventurous living. Father 
was quite disturbed at my abandoning a nice safe teaching job in a 
state university for a relatively precarious college presidency. 

There were two family tales about Uncle Gerard when he was a 
small boy. His oldest brother (my father) was a frugal lad who kept 
a penny bank in which he deposited the coppers that came his way. 
Once, when there had been a Kermes (fair) at Didam, he happened 
to look at his bank, and to his disgust found it empty. Suspecting his 
small brother, he exacted a confession of the theft, and little Gerard 
said tearfully: Ik heb bet allemad op de paardjes verrejen ("I rode it 
all up on the little horses/' i.e., the merry-go-round). On another 
occasion, his mother had been baking, and sent him with a basket of 
poffertjes (fritters) as a present to a friend Frankoom (Uncle Frank) 
at the farther end of the village. As he went, little Gerrit lifted the 
doily to look at the tempting contents, and yielded to temptation. 
Finally he arrived at his destination and made his little speech. When 
Frankoom removed the doily, there was just one little poffertje left 
in the bottom of the basket. So he said to his small visitor, Wei) 
mannetje, zit je nn -maar op dat stoeletje en eet je dat poffertje ook op 
("Well, my little man, just sit down on this stool and eat this pof- 
fertje too") , and so little Gerrit obediently disposed of the last fritter. 

Mother's half-brothers, too, were quite distinct personalities. Uncle 
Henry Scholte always came to our house for morning coffee, and 
brought with him the dramatic spice for the occasion. We young- 
sters hung on his words, for he was a capital raconteur of the small 
events of the village. We thought he might have been a great actor; 
he looked very much like Joe Jefferson and had much of Jefferson's 
homely talent for characterization. But when he set pen to paper his 
style was dry and wooden. It was only the special technique of the 
spoken word that he handled with the mastery of a virtuoso. Uncle 
Henry was a good Christian of the fundamentalist type, in later years 
one of the leaders among the Plymouth Brethren, but his piety was 
relieved by more than a mere touch of the old Adam, inherent in the 
Scholte blood. My father, who was not too squeamish, was rather 
shocked at the collection of pin-up pictures of pretty actresses, some- 
what in dishabille, over Uncle Henry's assistant cashier's desk at the 
bank, and Henry used to joke, with a sly grin, about looking out 
the window whenever feminine beauty was passing, especially when 
there were muddy crossings and lifted skirts; or about patronizing 
shops with "lady barbers" when he went to the city. Of course we 

242 Grlnnell College 

knew that he liked to draw the long bow for the sake of conversa- 
tional effect. He had played the flute and acquired a bit of skill in 
tap-dancing in his youth, and even in later years would occasionally 
throw a clog-step. He could make a wry joke even o the occasional 
lumbago that tormented him. He was a most engaging personality, 
and my mother's favorite among the uncles. Of course he warmly 
reciprocated her sisterly affection. 

Mother's other half-brother, Uncle David Scholte, was a very hand- 
some man and had a fine tenor voice, which he exercised with a 
strong vibrato on the popular ditties of the day, such as "When the 
corn is waving, Annie dear." He was his mother's favorite son, and 
she had spoiled him by assuring him that he would always be cared 
for; so he had acquired some harmlessly expensive tastes, but no 
earning capacity. Not successful in his sporadic attempts at business, 
he supplied an alibi for idleness by a quasi-invalid life. He might be 
said to have enjoyed ill health; he would say plaintively, "And then 
they expect a man to work!" When the family income ran low, after 
the division of the paternal estate, he and Aunt Marie moved to the 
Far West, where she kept the pot boiling by taking in boarders. She 
was a good soldier and continued, without audible complaint, to sup- 
ply David with the little personal luxuries to which he had always 
been accustomed. 

Of our uncles-by-marriage, we saw least of Uncle Neal (Cornelius 
Welle) , who had married Father's only sister Zwaantje she a hard- 
working farmer's wife, absorbed in housework and family. He was 
a short, balding, heavy-set Hollander, laconic, industrious, limited in 
his interests, of ordinary bourgeois type. However, our visits to his 
farm, or to Uncle Herman's, were red-letter days for us youngsters. 
Uncle Frank Keables, the doctor, who had married my mother's 
oldest sister Sara, was an "American" who had been a surgeon in the 
Civil War, and he and his brother (Aunt Nora's father) had settled 
in Pella to carry on their medical professions. He was a bluff and 
hearty man, a good practitioner, not overly intellectual. His frankly 
expressed theory that "boys should be allowed to sow their wild 
oats" which he himself had probably not done was not too good 
advice for his own sons. The money he earned in his practice melted 
away in the attempt to multiply it by investing in gold-mining stock; 
he was one of the numberless suckers whom clever and unscrupulous 
operators, among them a later Senator from Colorado, succeeded in 
fleecing by dishonest manipulation. 

Uncle Peter (Pierre Henri Bousquet) was a notable figure, whose 


eccentricities his mother had attributed to her marrying her own 
cousin but this cousin himself, named Abraham Everardus Dudok 
Bousquet, had been queer in his own right. Uncle Peter (Oom Piet 
Hein) was a large man with fat jowls and light blue eyes, the backs 
of his hands like pincushions, his feet like wedges set down flat in 
walking, toeing out at a wide angle. His thick lips were always in 
motion, though he was chewing nothing but the cud of reflection. 
He attended all funerals and weddings within reach. This same piety 
led him to invite the young suitor for a daughter's hand to prayer on 
the subject. Needless to say, the young man promptly joined. Like 
Uncle Frank, Uncle Peter, too, had financial ambitions beyond the 
scope of his local law business, and he lost heavily by investing in 
far-distant enterprises. His younger brother, whom we children 
called "Uncle Herman," shared the family eccentricity. He owned 
a cluttered and untidy hardware store, and used to say, "The time 
when a man becomes really eloquent is when he has to sell a stove/ 3 
To him bicycling (in which he did not indulge) was "the poetry of 
motion/ 5 Quite often his aesthetic sense was tempered by practicality, 
as in his remark that, "I can't enjoy a landscape when I know that 
the man who owns the farm owes me fifty dollars." Also his idea of 
"sublimity" was a water tank on stilts. 

Anent the "American wife," the early Dutch residents of Pella and 
vicinity looked with scant favor upon marriage outside the Holland 
community, and their expression Amerikaanscbe vrouw was less than 
complimentary. They expressed their estimate of such outlanders in 
the dictum, De Amerikaansche vrowwen zitten den beelen dag in een 
jutterstoel te fatter en "American wives sit all day rocking in a 
rocking-chair." This type of furniture seems to have been an Ameri- 
can invention, unknown in Europe. Uncle David's American wife, 
Aunt Marie, was no rocking-chair addict; she had the reputation of 
being a meticulous housekeeper and also a rather severe critic of 
others' shortcomings, which she would judge with acid comment, al- 
ways adding, "I say it in love, dear." When Aunt Nora, at a very 
early age, married Uncle Henry Scholte, she was naturally a bit on 
edge when Aunt Marie made her a sisterly visit, without unpleasant 
incident until Marie flipped her handkerchief over the top of the 
door and found dust there. Aunt Nora, Uncle Henry Scholte's wife, 
had been a great beauty in her early years she too was an "Ameri- 
can wife" but no doubt she enjoyed her old age even more than 
her youth. After both her husband and her mother died, she re- 
marked that she was now free for the first time since her marriage at 

244 Grinnell College 

eighteen. She was indeed free to travel, to drive her car, to paint 
landscapes (she had taken lessons from Uncle Gerard), to write about 
her mother-in-law, to enjoy the homage of younger people to her as 
a dowager still impressive in her silk and real lace a species of 
midwestern grande dame. She enjoyed exhibiting the Scholte relics 
in the big house when strangers came to the annual tulip festival in 
Pella. She was the first collector of antiques in Pella, and her display 
of old Dutch oddities and relics of pioneer days, from candle molds 
to duelling pistols (left by a German aunt who had come to the colony 
in the early days), became the nucleus of the Historical Museum 
later established in the town. 


During my boyhood Pella was a village of 2,000 to 2,500 souls, 
located on the watershed between the Des Moines and Skunk rivers, 
in the midst of a thriving farm population, largely Dutch. The 
stream of immigration from Holland had continued through the 
years, and not only the town but the countryside for many miles 
about was inhabited by Hollanders whose frugal industry had created 
a high degree of well-being. Life was simple and leisurely. None of 
the expensive and often cumbersome gadgets that now clutter our 
existence had yet been invented or developed. We had no telephone, 
no gas or electric light or power, no typewriters, no water system, no 
furnace heat, no movies. Nor had we even dreamed of such miracles 
as the automobile, the airplane, the phonograph, radio, "canned 
music," radar, atomic fission (to us "atom" still meant "indivisible"), 
psychoanalysis, television, or a host of commonplaces of today. There 
were no electric sweepers or other electric appliances, no dry-cleaning 
establishments, no beauty parlors. Our houses were heated by stoves, 
the fuel wood, later coal, and lighted by kerosene lamps, which needed 
to be cleaned and refilled daily. In the spring the unpaved town 
streets as well as the country roads were deep in mud. Even though 
we had wooden sidewalks, we sometimes lost our rubbers on the 
muddy crossings. The safety bicycle was new and not in common 
use. Farmers had horses for work, of course, not for pleasure; the 
saddle horse and the "buggy" were still rare. In town only physicians 
and a few of the richer citizens kept horses. In the absence of running 
water we had no bathroom, and one does not remember with pleasure 
the sanitary inconvenience in the backyard, too hot in summer and 
cruelly cold in winter, There was nothing hectic about business life; 
merchant or banker could knock off from work in office or store 
for morning coffee or afternoon tea at home. There was a one-track 


railway connecting Pella with Keokuk southeastward and with Des 
Moines northwestward, the "K. & D. M." or Des Moines Valley Rail- 
road, later merged into the Rock Island system. 

Like the Athenians in Paul's day, the people in and about Pella 
were "from every point of view extremely religious," worshipping at 
many altars. There were thirteen churches in town, most of them 
struggling affairs. Some of them, such as Baptist, Methodist, and 
Presbyterian, came in with the moderate influx of "American" resi- 
dents attracted by the College; the small Catholic chapel owed its 
origin to the Irish railway builders who were in town when Pella had 
been the temporary terminus of the K. & D. M. Schisms, caused by 
the dour stubbornness of the opinionated Dutch mind, had multiplied 
since the first division in Dominie Scholte's day. Thus we had the 
First, the Second, the Third, the Fourth Reformed Church. There 
were also splinter groups like the Plymouth Brethren and an odd con- 
venticle of "Soul Sleepers" or Psychopannachists. The classic expres- 
sion of the sectarian spirit came from an elder of a small group that 
modestly called itself "The True Reformed Church" and held its 
services in a member's house. As the driblet of the "True Reformed" 
was approaching the multitude issuing from the First Church, this 
elder was heard to say to a crony: "Yes, it is always so: the kingdom 
of Satan is more numerous than the kingdom of God." Whatever 
their particular denomination or number, these Dutch church-goers 
could absorb plenty of punishment: a two-hour sermon in the morn- 
ing, another in the afternoon, with coffee served in the interim. Until 
the American influence brought the singing of hymns, as well as 
sermons in English, only psalms were used in the Dutch service; the 
musical setting, all in full and half notes, was strangely impressive 
when sung with lingering emphasis by a large and fervently devout 
congregation. These good people were enormously impressed by the 
erudition of their preacher, and when he spoke with eloquence on 
"The Equilibrium and Equipoise of the Soul," as the learned Dr. 
"Winter did, there were admiring comments by pious hearers who had 
not the foggiest notion what it was all about. 

Our English-speaking Second Reformed Church was served, in my 
boyhood, by a succession of ministers, most of whom were less than 
inspiring, and it was always possible for us to pursue our own reflec- 
tions while the minister was prosing. During any interregnum our 
leading elder (Dutch, of course) would read us sermons from a 
printed collection, but he composed his own long prayer, which al- 
ways began, "Lord, we deign to come unto Thee," which seemed to 

246 Grinnell College 

us literate members a fine piece of condescension on his part. This 
elder also conducted what he called the "cathekethical class" for the 
instruction of the young. One of my most painful recollections is a 
series of twelve sermons on baptism, fortified by a dozen texts from 
both Testaments, by which our little preacher proved to his own satis- 
faction that sprinkling was really more orthodox than immersion; 
our minister was inspired to this effort by fear lest some of his young 
people succumb to the lure of the local Baptist church. At another 
time an eager homily on Sin by a very young preacher of candid 
countenance prompted my sister-in-law to say, "I don't believe the 
dear boy would recognize Sin if he met it in the street." 

The educational needs of the community were supplied by "Cen- 
tral University," founded by the Baptists of Iowa in 1853, and by 
a system of public schools from primary through high school. The 
"University" (later called "College") had been brought to Pella 
largely through the interest of Dominie Scholte, who gave generously, 
as did other Hollanders, to secure this institution for the new town. 
For many years, however, relatively few of the students came from 
the immediate community, while the higher education offered under 
Baptist auspices brought some American families to the town. The 
"University" never received much financial support from the de- 
nomination which founded it. In my day it was still struggling for 
survival, and it was not until many years later, when it was taken over 
by the Dutch Reformed people, that it began to grow and prosper. 
The public schools at that time were neither better nor worse than 
those in other midwestern villages, which means that they were dis- 
tinctly inferior to European schools. School teaching then was not 
so much a career as a stop-gap for young women on the way to 

Social life and entertainment were primitively simple. There was 
no dancing or card playing in our circle, and convivial drinking was 
unknown; our beverages were tea, coffee, and chocolate, or pink lemon- 
ade when the circus came to town. Here, however, I must enter a 
caveat. At New Year's, and occasionally for a birthday celebration, 
there would be a festal advocate borreltje, "lawyer's dram" or egg- 
nog, and until the prohibition law came along Mother had a small 
supply of homemade wine, used occasionally, in diminutive glasses, as 
a nightcap, with a small cookie. Young people had parties, at which 
most of the games were spiced with innocent osculation. "We had 
coasting, ice-skating on a mill pond, occasionally roller-skating, pic- 
nics, or days in the country at farm houses, stowing away mountains 


of food. Swimming, in Thunder Creek or the Des Moines or Skunk 
River, was less common; the rivers were treacherous and sometimes 
claimed incautious victims. Buggy rides and sleigh rides depended on 
the resources of the local livery stables, for few families kept horses. 
There was an "Opera House" in town, a rather shabby hall where 
occasional lectures, concerts, and even dramatic performances were 
available, either by local talent or by companies that played one-night 
stands in the sticks: "Uncle Tom's Cabin/' "Ten Nights in a Bar 
Room," "East Lynne," and such. Lyceum lectures, later known as 
"Chautauquas," were an established custom; the most popular per- 
formers were the purveyors of travelogues, especially the explorer, 
Paul DuChaillu. In addition to infrequent recitals by visiting artists, 
such as Blind Tom, the Negro pianist, we had concerts by Cox's Light 
Infantry Band, which owed its excellence and a rather wide reputa- 
tion to the patronage of Murray Cox, the local station agent. The 
dress uniforms worn by these musicians were most impressive: brown 
velvet coats with gilt and blue trimming, white corduroy breeches, 
leather puttees, black hats with long white plumes. Young people, 
and some of their elders, used to parade around the square while 
listening to the music; a favorite number was a medley of tunes listed 
as "Potpourri by the Band," the pronunciation of which no French- 
man would have recognized. Murray Cox was not above punning 
about the program, announcing the next number as a "seem funny." 

The Pella National Bank, one of the many institutions originated 
by Dominie Scholte, was really a family institution. My father was 
cashier for fifty years, my half -uncle Henry Scholte was assistant 
cashier (later cashier when Father retired), "Grandpa" Beard was 
president, Uncle Peter Bousquet was a director. Its monopoly was 
broken when rival interests started another bank, which they brashly 
named "First National," but this venture came to a tragic end when 
its president committed suicide after consuming the assets and much 
of the deposits in bucket-shop speculations. In later years the old 
Pella National saw still other rivals rise and fall. 

Manufacturing enterprises were few and modest. Farm wagons, 
brick and tile, furniture, flour, bakery goods, bologna, and wooden 
shoes were the principal products. It was not until much later that 
more important industries were established, such as the manufactur- 
ing on a large scale of threshing units, window screens, and Venetian 
blinds. The Dutch were hearty eaters, and some of their favorite 
comestibles gained wide popularity: Pella bologna and beschnit 
(rusks), cummin cheese, and a variety of bakery wares, with names 

248 Grinnell College 

puzzling to outsiders sinternildaas, tnllebant, kletskopjes, krakelin- 
gen, krentebroodjes, vetbollen, soesen> flensjes, wafelen, with cinnamon 
a common condiment. The sinternikiaas was the most characteristic 
specialty, a sort of hard ginger cookie moulded in animal or human 
form, particularly appropriate to St. Nicholas' Day, December 6 (in 
Holland not confused with Christmas) , when the generous Saint ap- 
pears with his servants to bring presents for good children, switches 
for bad ones, if any. 

In my day the local gardeners still peddled their vegetables on 
wheelbarrows from house to house, huckster fashion. In general, busi- 
ness had become fairly specialized: there were groceries, clothing 
establishments, shoe shops, drugstores (which still sold drugs) , jewel- 
ers, hardware and furniture stores, bakeries, photographic studios, 
blacksmith shops, lumber yards. It was still the custom of farmers to 
barter butter and eggs for store goods, but we had a creamery, and 
could look back with amusement at the first advertisement of the 
store opened in 1853, which listed, among other items for sale: "Tar, 
Ink, Washboards, Buckets, Liquor and Wines, Window Glass, Sugar 
and Molasses, Whiskey by the Barrell, Coffee, Rice, Candles, Chewing 
and Smoking Tobacco, Nails, Spices, Powder and Shot, Mackerel, 
Nutmegs, Soap, Umbrellas, Tubs, Cigars, Lampblack, White Lead, 
Sugar (loaf, crusted and brown), Candy, Ginger, Salt, Chocolate, 
Blacking, Flasks, Stove Pipe, Clay Pipes, Cordage, Liniment." In that 
early day, all the items of such a stock had to be carried 120 miles by 
wagon over dirt roads or across a trackless prairie. 

In my boyhood the dollar was still full-bodied, in contrast with 
the emaciated unit of this day. A dollar then commanded an interest 
rate of 10 per cent. One dollar bought a man's labor for a ten-hour 
day, or a woman's for two or three days, ten pounds of meat, twenty 
loaves of bread, four chickens, or four haircuts; a good pair of shoes 
cost three dollars; a man's suit, twenty; a good house, two thousand. 
Salaries were in proportion: a college professorship drew a stipend of 
about one thousand dollars. 

Partisan politics were still marked by a somewhat primitive viru- 
lence. Memories of the Civil War were still vivid, and patriots did not 
hesitate to wave the bloody shirt; veterans were exhorted to "vote as 
they shot," which meant the Republican ticket. However, the majority 
of the Dutch, unlike Dominie Scholte, were Democrats, due to the 
early identification of the Republicans with the former Know-Noth- 
ing movement, directed against foreigners. The attitude of many voters 
was expressed by a Dutch carpenter with whom my father, naturally 


a sound money man, was arguing the necessity of opposing the free 
silver heresy. Said the carpenter: "Mr. Nollen, I don't bother much 
about politics. I put a Democratic ticket in the box and leave the 
rest to God." My father, though a pious man, thought that was a 
severe test of divine omnipotence. 

Presidential campaigns were more picturesque then than in this 
more sophisticated day. We had torchlight parades, and for us small 
boys there was excitement in marching, clad in cheap soldier caps and 
oilcloth capes, carrying flaming torches, and yelling for our party. 
The great political orator of that day was Jonathan P. Dolliver, later 
a leading member of the United States Senate. He was the son of a 
Methodist circuit-rider in West Virginia; he had gone through grind- 
ing poverty after coming to Iowa as a young lawyer, and had leaped 
into national fame by a political speech, much as young William 
Jennings Bryan later electrified his party with his Cross of Gold 
oration. The only thing I can remember of Dolliver's speech at Pella 
is his Shakespearian quotation, ridiculing the opposition as those who 
"crook the pregnant hinges of the knee, where thrift may follow 
fawning." Hamlet making votes for the G. O. P.! That was some- 
thing new in American stump-speaking. 

The Family at Home 

On the material side, life in our tape-worm cottage was reduced to 
simple terms, and since Father's salary as cashier never went beyond 
eighteen hundred dollars (which, however, were still dollars and not 
the attenuated units of this day), expenses for a family of seven 
souls needed to be kept down to a minimum consistent with decent 
living. Labor being cheap, we did have the occasional help of a kitchen 
mechanic, always an untrained farm girl. One of these temporary 
helpers well expressed the insensitiveness of the breed; she had just 
taken out a tray loaded with my mother's best china when we heard 
a great crash, and Clientje poked her head in at the door and said 
cheerily "I broke the whole durn pan" (Dutch pan is equivalent to 
"caboodle"). For masculine jobs we could count on the assistance of 
Hendrik Blom, an old man-of-all-work who also pumped the bel- 
lows for the organ at the First Church, priding himself on his skill 
in "pumping by note," by following the psalm-book. Blom was a 
character, an odd mixture of the deference shown to higher-ups by 
the typical old-fashioned servant and the self-regard of a respectable 
citizen. When he worked for us, he was always invited to join the 
family at morning coffee, where he was quite at home. When his 

250 Grinnell College 

young grandson was working at the "American" house next door, 
where there was no coffee-time, Blom called him over the fence to 
join us at our table, and when the boy was hesitant about reaching 
for the cakes, the old man said: "Help dezelve, Wo^lter > 'tis vri] 
Amerika" ("Help yourself, Walter, this is free America"). It was 
indeed a land of boundless opportunity for the immigrant, and many 
a man who had come from penury in Holland to plenty in Iowa could 
speak with feeling of his family's escape from the zwarte brood, the 
"black bread" of the Old Country. 

My father, John Nollen, was definitely the head of the house, 
European style, but he felt the responsibility more than he enjoyed 
the privilege of this unquestioned authority. Nor did he need to 
assert it. He never laid his hand on a child in punishment: his word 
was law and did not require even a frown to support it. In this my 
mother fully seconded him, and the household revolved always about 
his desires, which, to be sure, were modest enough. His only personal 
extravagance was his polyglot library, which became by far the best 
private collection in town. When he was a small child, he had been 
taught to smoke by relatives with a distorted sense of humor. In 
middle life he discontinued this habit as expensive and unnecessary; 
he had no other indulgences. 

Father was tall (six feet plus) and uncommonly thin. Though his 
health was never robust, by a careful regimen he lived to be eighty- 
six with a mind quite unaffected by the infirmities of age. His firm 
mouth and heavy eyebrows and piercing far-sighted eyes, looking 
through old-style spectacles, gave him a somewhat forbidding aspect, 
while long hair and a scraggy Horace Greeley fringe of beard made 
him look provincial. His flat voice lacked the resonance needed to be 
an effective public speaker, though in conversation he was eminent. 
His physical aspect gave little hint of his intellectual powers. Essen- 
tially self-taught, having had only a common-school education in 
Holland, he had succeeded by his own efforts in acquiring an extra- 
ordinary fund of knowledge and cultivating an intelligence as clear 
and far-reaching as any I have encountered among the great scholars 
of two continents. Thus he had mastered all the mathematics known 
in his day, later teaching this subject at a gymnasium (secondary 
school) in Holland. His natural capacity for mathematics may ap- 
pear from the fact that when in his boyhood a book on geometry fell 
into his hands, he read it through as if it were a novel, fascinated by 
its logical consistency. Without instruction or laboratory experience, 
he familiarized himself with modern science, especially chemistry, 


physics, and astronomy. He entertained himself by calculating 
eclipses for the longitude of Pella, using the successive volumes of the 
American Ephemeris, one of his bookish extravagances. His native 
tongue was Dutch, but he became proficient in English, French, and 
German and read Latin and Greek more fluently than the professors 
who taught the classics at the local college. It was a nine-days' won- 
der to the customers of the bank to find the cashier engrossed in 
Homer or Plato when business was slack. He taught himself to play 
the piano, and I remember falling asleep at night, when I was a child, 
to an accompaniment of Beethoven or Chopin. Not only did he have 
a wide historical background, but a solid practical grounding in 
economics. The one discipline that was foreign to his interest was 
metaphysics, which he called "a science of sprained minds"; but he 
found Plato's dialogues fascinating. His omnivorous curiosity led 
him to purchase the scholia of the Greek authors, so that he might 
know what the Alexandrian critics had to say when the "dead lan- 
guages" were still alive. So, too, he followed up source material on 
the early development of the Christian Church. He had never at- 
tended a university, but he was a university. Since he had been a 
teacher in Holland, and was really a born educator, it would have 
been natural for him to use this talent when he came with his family 
to Iowa. Unfortunately there was no outlet for his pedagogical gift 
in this new country; so he occupied himself by working on Mr. 
Scholte's fella Gazette, in Mr. Scholte's express office, then in Mr. 
Scholte's bank, and playing the organ in Mr. Scholte's church. He 
also became Mr. Scholte's son-in-law. He was mayor of Pella, 1859- 
1864, for some years justice of the peace, president of the school 
board, and a member of the board of trustees of "Central University/' 
Father's powerful and active mind was not matched by physical 
strength or skill. He gave no evidence of mechanical ability. I never 
saw him handle a tool or an implement, whether hammer, hatchet, 
screwdriver, rake, or sickle; and games, such as tennis, baseball, or 
billiards, or even the prevalent croquet, had no part in his life. Ex- 
cept when wet weather made roads and woods impassable, he took 
his regular exercise in long walks in the country, accompanied by his 
unbeautiful mongrel dog, Trust, who also preferred the wider out- 
doors. When they left the house, the dog walked with his master up 
to a certain corner. If Father continued in the same direction, that 
meant a country walk, and Trust went on with him; a turn to the 
right meant staying on town sidewalks, and then the dog turned tail 
and came back home with an expression of boredom on his homely 

252 Grinnell College 

countenance. This reminds me of Uncle Peter's amusement at Moth- 
er's remark that children were not naughty but merely bored; he 
used to call us de familie die zich vervelt: "the family that suffers 
from ennui." On one of our walks in town we found at the railway 
station a box-car that the Rock Island was sending along its lines to 
"make rain" during a dry summer. There was a thin wisp of vapor 
issuing from a pipe through the roof, and when Father, always curious, 
asked the man in charge what he was cooking, he looked mysterious 
and whispered, c 'Electricity!" To some of the pious farmers in the 
vicinity this affair was no joke. They turned their rainwater barrels 
upside down to avoid catching any of the "devil's water." 

Father took no pride at all in his personal appearance. He used to 
say that a man who amounted to anything put fine clothes on his 
coachman, not on his own back. Of course that was just a manner of 
speaking, for there was neither coachman nor coach in our life. Pre- 
ferring comfort to display, he wore 'his old clothes until finally 
Mother took him by the ear and made him get a new hand-me-down 
suit. For years he wore an old gray shawl, a la Lincoln, instead of an 
overcoat, and to combat the cold of the bank floor, he always wore 
wooden shoes while working as cashier; when he put on leather shoes 
to go out, he left the klompen on the back of the stove to keep them 
warm. Wooden shoes and Greek classics seemed an odd combination 
to some of his friends, but no one ever ventured to indulge in flip- 
pant comment on the subject. However, though severity seemed to 
be his hall-mark, he had a most affectionate and compassionate heart 
and a ready response to the humor of great masters such as Aristo- 
phanes, Moliere, Heine, and Fielding; he only smiled when Mother 
condemned Tom Jones as "nasty." Care about his diet and daily out- 
door exercise had much to do with Father's longevity: add to these 
his determination to leave business cares behind him when he came 
home from the bank. It was a principle with him that business should 
never be discussed at home. So he turned his mind resolutely to in- 
terests remote from the daily grind. He was an unwearied and omniv- 
orous reader, and for many years wrote weekly articles for a Dutch 
paper on any subject that happened to engage his attention, all the 
way from Genesis to relativity. He also tried his hand at verse, and 
had a long poem privately printed: its title was The Specter of the 
Brocken, no doubt suggested to him by Heine's Harzreise. His literary 
tastes were catholic, but also quite personal. English poetry never ap- 
pealed to him, and even Shakespeare he deprecated as "stilted" in 
style, which reminds one of Tolstoy's hatred of Shakespeare. For a 


similar reason, Vergil seemed to him far inferior to Homer, in whom 
he found new beauties at every rereading. 

Mother, fourteen years his junior, was a helpmeet for her husband. 
She too was self-taught, but not in universal knowledge: her schooling 
was limited to the most elementary classes of a pioneer village school, 
but she learned by contact with people and by assiduous study of the 
Bible, much of which she knew by heart. She remembered, from her 
school days, the occasion when she was chosen to go to the basement 
of the little village school to declaim Watts's hymn "Hark from the 
tomb a doleful sound," while another pupil above recited something 
about heaven and the angels. This procedure was varied when a small 
boy was in the basement declaiming, "How dismal is the tomb/' 
while little Mary Scholte above responded with "How lovely is the 
tomb." One might gather from this that the taste of the time ran to 
"mournful numbers." Like her learned father, Dominie Scholte, 
Mother was a consistent conservative in her theology, while Father, 
scientifically minded, was liberal, but this difference in attitude never 
caused the slightest rift in their half -century of wedded harmony. 
Father, too, was a pious Christian and his devout heart lived at ease 
with his liberal mind. We always had prayer and Bible reading at 
every meal, and on Sunday the entire family occupied a front pew at 
church. Father's humane kindliness was in evidence here: he must 
have found it irksome to suffer under the intellectually mediocre, not 
to say stupid, ministrations of our callow pulpiteers, but I never 
heard him indulge in criticism of their jejune offerings. 

People in town had great respect for Father, but there was some- 
thing formal or remote about his bearing that discouraged anything 
like familiarity. He was distantly polite, especially to women, and 
Mother told with amusement that, after she was engaged to marry 
him, she heard another young woman remark that it was said "Mr. 
Nollen was a woman-hater." Nobody who knew Mother could help 
loving her. She was "Auntie Jo" to the whole town, especially to the 
children, and it was understood that anyone could drop in to her 
afternoon tea. Morning coffee was rather more a family function, 
with Uncle Henry Scholte as an unfailing guest. Born fourteen years 
later than Father, she outlived him exactly fourteen years, and so she 
too lived to be eighty-six, as if in a last assertion of family solidarity. 

Mother and her five children all visited Pella at. the time of the 
seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the town. She was a bit 
miffed at the slight recognition given in the proceedings to the real 
pioneers and founders, and at her father's now neglected park being 

254 Grinnell College 

called "Beard's Grove." But she did not lose her sense of humor. As 
we stood in front of the big house, watching the midget motors dash 
around the square with young couples who had probably never heard 
of the pioneers, an old gentleman, who had come all the way from 
California to attend the festival, approached Mother and said: "I 
wonder whether you remember me. My name is Curtis." She replied, 
"Of course I couldn't forget you. You took me to my first party. 
When we came to the door you wanted to kiss me. When I held back, 
you said '"Why not? All the American girls do.* And I said 'Not 
much, I'm Dutch!' " 

Boyhood and Schooling 

My boyhood in Pella was singularly uneventful. Travel by slow 
train on our branch railway was uninviting, and trips were rare, even 
for the less than fifty miles to Des Moines. When my father attended 
the bankers' convention at Saratoga Springs, it was an event of the 
greatest moment to the family. In all our circle only one uncle at- 
tended the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. Once Henry and 
I went with Father on a business trip to Chicago, memorable for two 
facts: Father, having an almost morbid fear of fire, took a room on 
the first floor of the old Sherman House, at the vertiginous cost of 
five dollars for the three of us; and we attended a concert by the 
Symphony Orchestra, conducted by its creator, Theodore Thomas, in 
the old Exhibition Hall on the lake front in the midst of the Illinois 
Central tracks, so that the music was often interrupted by the blast 
of engine whistles and the rumble of switching freight trains. The 
hall was arranged in German beergarden style with small tables ur- 
gently suggesting the ordering of drinks, which was not for us. Chi- 
cago was still in the pioneer stage of its lusty development. Mich- 
igan Avenue, now lined with the most expensive shopping oppor- 
tunities of the city, then offered a succession of odoriferous wooden 
livery stables, over whose sloping approaches a pedestrian climbed 
with precarious agility. There were other streets also where the level 
of the sidewalks changed frequently and abruptly from low to high, 
answering the exigencies of horse-borne freight service. The tracks of 
the Illinois Central barred access to the lake, and the days of the outer 
drive were still in the distant future. 

In general, we stayed at home, getting an education with a modicum 
of entertainment. The latter was primitive in its simplicity. We had 
occasional parties in our small group of friends with games like post 
office, or clap-in-clap-out, or drop-the-handkerchief, and always wel- 
come refreshments. There were infrequent performances at the Opera 


House or the College, mostly recitals or lectures. There were buggy 
rides and sleigh rides in farm sleighs cushioned with straw or, in later 
adolescence, tucked under a buffalo robe with one's best girl in a 
"cutter" from the livery stable. There was skating on the millpond, 
now and then roller skating. Swimming was frowned upon in our 
family, so this use of Thunder Creek swimming hole was infrequent. 
Picnics on the river bank did permit company wading. When the 
bicycle came in, that was an exhilarating form of locomotion, de- 
pendent on the state of the roads, impassably muddy in wet weather. 
We had hazel nutting and walnut gathering, and long walks with 
Father through the woods near town, spiced with the discovery of 
ripe wild plums. There was kite flying, later billiards and tennis with 
"Grandpa" Beard. Quite early there were surreptitious adventures, 
such as four or five of us small boys meeting at an uncle's barn to 
consume canned peaches or "cove" oysters; once we raided our fathers' 
cigar boxes and lit up to smoke, but that experience was so lacking 
in the expected thrill that I have been off tobacco ever since. Of 
course corn silk was different; it did not induce nausea. One of the 
frequent excitements of my early youth was the insistent call of the 
fire bell in the middle of the night, when the small fry jumped into 
their clothes and rushed out in search of the thrilling sight. There 
must have been thirty such occasions during my boyhood. As it 
turned out the cause was not accidental, for the fire-bug was finally 
discovered to be a mentally unbalanced building contractor who set 
fires in order to make more work for himself. After he was sent to 
an insane asylum, the conflagrations ceased. 

Henry and I cooperated in the chores that grew out of the simple 
life. We sawed and split wood for the stoves that warmed our rooms 
and cooked our food; we planted and weeded our flower garden we 
were not tempted to compete with the local professionals in the rais- 
ing of vegetables. We raked the yard, carried water from well and 
cistern, shovelled snow, repaired the fence, filled kerosene lamps and 
trimmed wicks, worked the ice cream freezer, looked after the 
younger children, picked apples from our orchard. We won a fret 
saw and silver plated napkin rings by selling subscriptions for the 
'Youth's Companion. 

The high points in our program of recreation came when we were 
invited to spend a day at Uncle Neal's or Uncle Herman's in the 
country. The spring wagon called for us after our breakfast at home, 
and as soon as we arrived at the farm house the day's festivities began 
with morning coffee, served with piles of waffles, deliciously inter- 

256 Grinnell College 

larded with sugar and cinnamon, turban cake, and other delectables. 
Tante Zwaantje or Tante Dirkje had worked like slaves in preparation 
for the event, with such help as was available, cooking and baking 
and boiling and stewing and roasting, for the whole day was one long 
feast of good things, dispensed with lavish hospitality. After a 
leisurely walk over the farm yard, at noon we found the long dining- 
room table groaning with turkey and chicken and ham and potatoes 
with gravy and bollen (Dutch rolls) and sundry vegetables and pies 
and cake and jellies and coffee with real country cream. During the 
early afternoon a walk through the woods, returning to the house for 
three o'clock tea with trimmings such as "letters" with almond paste 
filling and other marvelous Dutch confections with untranslatable 
names. Then a rest in the shade, or a game of horse-shoes, and by 
that time supper was ready, another feast as bountiful as the noon 
meal. Finally, as a nightcap before driving home in the moonlight, a 
tiny glass of homemade wine and a cookie. For us youngsters with 
india-rubber stomachs, those days were dreams of pure delight, 
"linked sweetness long drawn out." My father, whose habits were 
most abstemious, did not indulge very freely in such superabundance. 
He used to wonder why reasoning people could not get together for 
pleasant converse without filling their stomachs with more food and 
drink than was good for them. 

But schooling, that was right down Father's alley. He was a born 
pedagogue, and he had such a fund of learning to impart as only the 
great masters of knowledge could muster. When I was ten and Henry 
a bit over twelve, he took us out of school, which seemed to his 
European judgment inefficient and intolerably slow, and undertook 
our education himself. He gave us all his time outside of banking 
hours, assigning us plenty of studying to keep us busy while he was 
at the office. We had no vacations. He thought a summer without 
classes was a criminal waste of time; as for himself, he revelled in the 
torrid heat of an Iowa summer, which he found more stimulating 
than debilitating. As a teacher in the European tradition, Father was 
a somewhat stern taskmaster. He took great pains in imparting to us, 
not only the facts, but also the reasons why they were so. That was 
in harmony with his mathematician's habit of demonstrating, prov- 
ing, and counter-checking to eliminate all chance of error. But when 
he had thus most patiently taught us something, he expected us to 
know and to remember. When our adolescent minds wandered, he 
would impatiently snatch off his skull cap and ejaculate: "Ezels, 
hebben gi] dat we'er vergetenl" ("Asses, have you forgotten that 


again!") He was, indeed, quite conscious of his own superior men- 
tality and thinking of the hard and solitary way he had come to his 
education, he would say: "If I had the chance you boys have, I might 
have been a Humboldt!" referring to the last man who had been 
able to master the whole range of human knowledge of his day. And 
that, we felt sure, was no idle boast. He considered American text- 
books inferior to their European counterparts; so we studied mathe- 
matics from Dutch and English texts, the natural sciences from Ger- 
man monographs, history from French books. Thus, while acquiring 
a command of foreign languages, we used them in the mastering of 
other disciplines. Henry, having a mathematical bent, did not study 
ancient languages, but as I showed more linguistic interest, Father 
taught me Latin and Greek, as well as French and German; Dutch 
we had acquired in family conversation. English was our common 
medium of communication, and in English literature he allowed us to 
find our own way. In spite of our limited means he insisted on ade- 
quate educational equipment. So he bought a theodolite for survey- 
ing lessons and work in triangulation, a sextant with artificial horizon 
for astronomic measurements; also he invested in the American 
Epbemeris, so that we might learn to calculate eclipses and do other 
astronomical stunts. In the same way he encouraged us in physical 
culture by providing us with parallel bars and a horizontal bar, which 
we called our "acting pole" and on which we attempted to repeat the 
feats that we saw performed by circus acrobats. Father's educational 
interest was not confined to his two oldest. For the young children he 
prepared a series of primers, based on an original system of reading 
by syllables, rather than the conventional spelling method, thus 
anticipating later reform in school procedure; these primers Uncle 
Gerard printed for him in handsome bold- face calligraphy. The re- 
sult of our intensive training was that Henry and I saved four or five 
years in the process of our schooling, and with a few additional 
courses at the local college (including required study of Mark Hop- 
kins' Evidences of Christianity and Noah Porter's portentous Human 
Intellect} I was able to get my bachelor's degree at the age of sixteen. 
At that tender age I was also entrusted with secondary classes in 
physics and chemistry at the College, where I added some sporadic 
teaching in history, mathematics, and Greek. 

After two years of this desultory pedagogy, I spent 1887-1888 at 
the State University of Iowa, where I had my first laboratory work 
in physics and chemistry (then my principal interests) and my first 
courses in philosophy and English literature, also my first experience 

25 g Grinnell College 

of military drill. My Sundays that year were hardly days of rest as, 
between church and college connections, I met six appointments 
regularly; two Sunday schools (one as student, one as teacher), 
two church services, Y. M. G A., and Y. P. S. G E. Religious dis- 
sipation! The University at that time was a very small college 
my graduating class numbered thirty-six with small law, medical, 
and dental schools loosely attached thereto; there was no graduate 
school. The primitiveness of professional requirements in that day 
may appear from the fact that the medical school had no entrance 
requirements, and its course consisted of two sessions of six months 
each; with this elementary equipment the young sawbones were let 
loose on the community. College life was practically featureless. 
There was no football, no baseball, no basketball, no orchestra or glee 
club; the band had purely military functions. As I was a "barb" 
(my family frowned upon "secret societies") I had no fraternity 
social life. Literary societies were quite alive, and they furnished the 
only practice in public speaking; I was active in the Zetagathian 
Society, "seeking the good," so to speak. The academic authorities 
assumed no responsibility for such cultural influences as music or 
drama, or even for a lecture course. My contact with the theater was 
limited to three memorable experiences: a performance of Meg Mer- 
rilies by the aging Janaushek (reduced from stardom to one-night 
stands) , the appearance in Caprice of Minnie Maddern, then quite 
young, only much later famous as Mrs. Fiske, and Julius Caesar done 
by Booth and Barrett, this last at Cedar Rapids. When Forepaugh's 
circus came to Iowa City, many classes at the University were ex- 
cused for a quarter-hour to watch the parade, but we had to go on 
our own time to look at Diamond Dick and his band of Kickapoo 
Indians selling their wonder-working "Sagwa." More serious events 
were a lecture on the race problem by the famous Negro orator, 
Blanche K. Bruce, and a political speech by our senior Senator, Wil- 
liam B. Allison, of whom it was said that he would not commit him- 
self in conversation as to whether shorn sheep seen from the train 
were shorn on both sides. I was privileged to attend the meetings of 
the Baconian Club at which professors read learned papers on scien- 
tific subjects. The laboratory sciences were at that time taught in the 
strongest departments of the University, with such really eminent 
specialists as Samuel Calvin in geology, Thomas H. Macbride in 
botany, and "Tuflfy" Andrews in chemistry. I owe a special debt to 
Melville B. Anderson, then newly arrived as professor of English 
literature, later professor at Stanford and translator of Dante. 


Conditions of living at the University were simple. Since there 
were no dormitories, I shared a room in a private house with a class- 
mate, a room heated by a small stove in which we built a fire each 
morning in winter with wood purchased from a farmer. There was 
no running water, so our ablutions were limited to the ministrations 
of the aboriginal pitcher and bowl. Incidentally, we found the same 
archaic domestic arrangement at the home of a professor at Cedar 
Rapids, where we attended a Y.M.C.A. convention. The furnace was 
out of order there, and that night the thermometer registered 3 6 de- 
grees below zero, the coldest weather I have ever known in Iowa. In 
the morning the water in the pitcher was frozen. We had a fair alibi 
that day for joining the great company of the unwashed. In that 
early day the dollar of our fathers was still worth about a dollar, and 
expenses were correspondingly moderate, compared with present 
standards. Tuition was covered by a scholarship; meals at a student 
boarding house cost $2.75 a week; our room cost each of us $4.00 a 
month; a cord of wood was priced at $3.50. 

It was toward the end of this year, 1887-1888, at Iowa City that 
a chance contact changed the course of my life. Professor Currier 
(Latin, later Dean) , who had been my father's friend since his early 
pre-war college training at Pella, brought a young man to the labora- 
tory to suggest my taking his place as tutor in an American-Swiss 
family in Cham, Switzerland, a post he himself had relinquished be- 
cause of failing health. The opportunity for foreign study and travel 
seemed most alluring, and since I had no other prospects, I accepted 
the offer, thus transmitted, of Mr. David S. Page, assistant manager 
of the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, to take charge of the 
education of his four children, whom he wished brought up as Ameri- 
can citizens. Their mother was Swiss, but she spoke English, and the 
family had already spent some time in this country. Traveling ex- 
penses were to be paid; my salary would be $500 to $600 a year "and 
found," as I was to live with the family. (I found later that teachers' 
salaries in Switzerland at that time ran from $240 to a top of $600 
annually. Half a century earlier, a brilliant teacher like Elizabeth 
Peabody was content with a salary of $400, without board and room 
in Boston. The Swiss income tax on my salary was thirty francs 
or six dollars, poll tax $1.20.) So, July of 1888 saw me crossing the 
ocean for the first time, a foretaste of many other crossings, in the 
best Cunarder of the day, the old Umbria, which then held the time 
record for the trans- Atlantic passage; we took seven days from New 
York to Liverpool; a first-class cabin cost $60, which may be com- 

260 Grinnell College 

pared again with the cost of comparable accommodations in this in- 
flationary period. Arrived in London, I was pleasantly entertained by 
the head of the Anglo-Swiss office there, and enjoyed three further 
dramatic treats: Sarah Bernhardt in Camllle^ Ada Rehan and John 
Drew in The Taming of the Shrew, and the Mikado done by the 
D'Oyly Carte Company. On the channel boat crossing to the con- 
tinent, I met an English gentleman who proved to be a manufacturer 
of oriental specialties. He said his product, made in London, was 
shipped to the Far East, and sent back from there in Chinese or 
Japanese shipping-cases for the British and American market. I had 
heard much at home about the danger to American infant industries 
of competition by cheap oriental labor. This was my first experience 
of the reverse.* 

* This autobiography was left unfinished at the time o Dr. Nollen's death on March 
13, 1952. 

Footnotes and Index 



1 Albert E. Dunning, Congregationalists in America (Boston, n.d.), 124tf, 143, 182ff, 
202, 232. Per contra, the dominant Quakers of Pennsylvania resented the influx of poverty- 
stricken Scotch-Irish in the early 18th century. Harold W. Dodds, John Witherspoon 
(Newcomen Society, 1944), ISff. Arminians preferred freedom of will to predestination, 
and stressed the grace of God rather than His sovereignty. 

2 Dunning, Congregationalists, 259, 263. 
*Ibid. y 268. 

*!&, 283ff. 

5 Henry K. Rowe, History of Andover Theological Seminary (Newton, Mass., 1933); 
Dunning, Congregationalisms, 286fl:. 

6 Rowe, And over > 8, 49. 

7 C M. Fuess, An Old New England School: A History of Phillips Academy, Andover 
(Boston, 1917), 149; Rowe, Andover, 14, 18ff, 20flf. 

8 Rowe, Andover, 167. 


264 Grinnell College 

9 Poem, "The Poetaster,'* in Passion Flou>ers (Boston, 1854). 

10 H. S. Commager, Theodore Parker (Boston, 1936), 50, 270 tf; Frank H. Foster, A 
Gene fie History of the New England Theology (Chicago, 1907), 197. 

11 Rowe, Andover, 2, 29, 33; Leon Howard, The Connecticut Wits (Chicago, 1943), 18. 
12 Dunning, Congregationalists, 335f; Rowe, Andover> 104. 

C. H. Rammelkamp, Illinois College: A Centennial History, 1829-1929 (New Haven, 
1928), 18fF; Dunning, Congregationalisms, 33536F. 

14 Life and Labors of Rev. Reuben Gaylord (Omaha, 1889), 82-4, 91. 

15 Truman O. Douglass, The "Pilgrims of Iowa (Boston, 1911), 21, 26-7, 40f, 134. Pro- 
fessor L. F. Parker states that Mr. Reed came to Iowa at the personal invitation of Asa 
Turner. '99 Junior Annual, 11. 

16 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 134. 

17 George F. Magoun, The Past of Our College, 3 Iff. 

18 "William Salter, Iowa: The First Free State in the Louisiana Purchase (Chicago, 1905), 

19 Cyrenus Cole, A History of the People of Iowa (Cedar Rapids, 1921), 42, 46. 

20 William J. Petersen, Iowa: The Rivers of Her Valleys (Iowa City, 1941), 35. With 
one-fiftieth of the area of the United States, Iowa is said to have one-fourth of the grade A 
arable land in the country. (Report of National Resources Board* 19350 

21 Salter, Iowa, 127. 

22 Irving B. Richman, loway to Iowa (Iowa City, 1931), 35, 80-81, 92, 149-50. 
!/., 58ff. 

24 Cyrenus Cole, Iowa Through the Years (Iowa City, 1940), 111-12; Jesse Macy, 
Institutional Beginnings in a Western State (Baltimore, 1884, Johns Hopkins Studies in His- 
tory and Political Science, second series, Vol. VII), 7. 

25 Albert M. Lea, Notes on the Wisconsin Territory; Particularly with Reference to the 
Iowa District, or Black Hawk Purchase (Philadelphia, 1836), reprinted as The Book That 
Gave Iowa Its Name (Iowa City, 1935). 

26 Salter, Iowa, 237; Frederick Jackson Turner, The United States, 1830-1850 (New 
York, 1935), 255ff; B. F. Shambaugh, The Constitutions of Iowa (Iowa City, 1934), 118, 
189, 218. 

27 The Book That Gave Iowa Its Name> 14; Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 23. 

28 Richman, loway to Iowa, 150-51; John C. Holbrook, Recollections of a Nonagenarian 
. , (Boston, 1897), 63; Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 67. 

29 George F. Magoun, Asa Turner t A Ho-me Missionary Patriarch and His Times (Boston, 
1889), passim. 

30 Dunning, Congregationalists> 32 Iff. 

31 Magoun, Asa Turner > 169. Pioneers have left records of the profusion of nature in 


this new country. They tell of prairies and woods bright with sweet william, violets, but- 
tercups, cowslips, bluebells, lady's slippers, columbine, and honeysuckle; rich with wild 
fruits such as cherries, plums, crabapples, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, May 
apples, and various nuts and succulent plants. Grinnell Herald, October 15, 1929; Iowa: A 
Guide to the Hawkeye State (New York, 1938), 13-19. Frederick Jackson Turner, The 
United States, 1830-1S50, 256: "In season the wild flowers gave to the prairie an intense 
beauty clothed and dashed with gold and azure, vermilion and orange, white and violet." 

82 Magoun, Asa Turner, 191. 

33 Ibid., IB 6. Malaria haunted the prairies, and no one then suspected Anopheles, A 
home missionary in Ohio wrote: "When the vegetation begins to decay and the north wind 
to blow, it rolls up the very quintessence of swamp miasma. In a village of 1,000 people 
I have counted rising of 500 sick at once. I have had 80 die within the bounds of my 
parish in one year." Rowe, Andover, 106. 

84 Julius A. Reed, Reminiscences of Early Congregationalism in Iowa (Grinnell, 1885), 6. 

85 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 32; Ephraim Adams, The Iowa Band (rev. ed., Boston 
[1902]), 56. 

86 Magoun, Asa Turner, 218-19. 

87 Reed, Reminiscences, 10-11; Douglass, "Pilgrims of Iowa, 295ff. 

38 Reed, Reminiscences, 13. 

39 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 32-3. 

40 Life and Labors of Rev. Reuben Gaylord, 98-9. 

41 Ibid., 109. 

42 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 44-7; L. F. Parker, '99 Junior Annual, 12. 
48 Magoun, Asa Turner, 221. 

44 Ibid., 226. 

45 Ibid., 269-70; H. K. Edson, Historical Sketch of Denmark Academy. 

46 Magoun, Asa Turner, 243-4. 

47 Ibid., 269-70. The pioneers were fond of long Greek names, such as the "Catholep- 
istemiad" for the University of Michigan. Turner, The United States, 1830-1850, 342. 

48 Magoun, Asa Turner, 225. For the Iowa Band, see Magoun, Asa Turner, 232flf; 
Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 51; "William Salter, The Old People's Psalm (Burlington, 1895), 
9f; General Catalogue of And over Theological Seminary, 1843. For brief biographies, see 
Appendix A. 

49 Adams, The Iowa Band, 3-5, 15. 
5 <> Ibid., 7-8. 

^Ibid., 13; Magoun, Asa Turner, 226. 

52 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 55-6. 

68 Adams, The Iowa Band, 34-5. However, in 1842, there were only 42 ministers of all 

266 Grinnell College 

denominations in the entire territory, and 2,133 professing Christians, or fewer than 4 per 
cent of the population. Ibid., 54. The boisterous crudity of many pioneer preachers was 
offensive to delicate ears. Father Mazzuchelli, an Italian missionary in Dubuque, wrote of 
such preachers that they used "loud cries, prayers, exclamations, sobs, frenzies, trembling, 
sweats, contortions," that congregations "often broke out into violent weeping, cries and 
ejaculations, so as to drown the preacher's voice," and many became hysterical. Cole, Iowa 
Through the Years, 167. 

54 Adams, The Iowa- Band, 33-4. 
15, 22, 24-6; Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 56. 

57 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 56ff; Adams, The Iowa Band, 27ff; Souvenir Booklet Com- 
memorating the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Edwards Congregational Church, 
Davenport, 22ff. 

58 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 58. 

* Ibid., 60, 69. 

62 Cole, Iowa Through the "Years, 169. 

63 Adams, The Iowa Band, 225, 229-30. 
64 Magoun, Asa Turner, 334-5. 

65 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 71; Adams, The Iowa Band, 103. 

66 Minutes of the General Association of Congregational Churches and Ministers of Iowa 
(1843), 17; Adams, The Iowa Band, 103-104. 

67 Life and Labors of Rev. Reuben Gaylord, 130; Adams, The Iowa Band, 105. 

68 Life and Labors of Rev. Reuben Gaylord, 130. The "Wapsipinicon was then considered 
a navigable stream, which was an added attraction. Petersen, Iowa: The Rivers of Her 
Valleys, 111. 

69 Adams, The Iowa Band, 232-3. Copy of the report adopted by the Eastern group in 
Record of Grinnell University, 55ff. With regard to "peculiar privileges," no doubt the 
Eastern brethren had in mind the serious handicaps suffered by some colleges which offered 
"perpetual scholarships" to early donors, at prices absurdly insufficient to produce the 
necessary income. The Catalogue of Iowa College for 1868-1869, 23, proves that the trustees 
of "Iowa College" had not taken this advice to heart: "Some years since, when the College 
was located at Davenport, the Trustees authorized the sale of Scholarships for four, six, ten, 
and fifty years. They now authorize the sale of Scholarships for five, and twenty years." 
There were then extant one perpetual scholarship and twenty-six running from four to 
fifty years. 

70 Adams, The Iowa Band, 108. 

71 Magoun, As* Turner, 250; Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 84; James L. Hill, The Gift of 
the Bottom Dollar (pamphlet). 


Grinnell College 'Bulletin, May, 1894, p. 5. 

73 Adams, The Iowa Band, 109. 

74 Addresses and Discourse at the Inauguration of the Rev. George F. Magoun (Chicago, 
1865), 57-8. With the Harvard motto Christo et Ecclesice compare the Grinnell motto 
Christo Duce, adopted in 1854. 

75 Adams, The Iowa Band, 168; Harold U. Faulkner and Tyler Kepner, America, Its 
History and People (New York, 1934), 574. 

76 Adams, The Iowa Band, 109-111. 

77 Magoun, The 'Bast of Our College, 14, 31. William Windsor called Professor Ripley 
"a born linguist, a fluent reader of Hebrew, Syriac, German, Greek and Latin." H. H. 
Belfield remembered him as an eloquent and inspiring preacher of commanding presence but 
winning manners. '99 Junior Annual, 35, 40. 

78 Magoun, Past of Our College, 14; '99 Junior Annual, 40; Leonard F. Parker, "Teachers 
in Iowa Before 1858" in Historical Lectures Upon Early Leaders m the Professions . . . 
(Iowa City, 1894), 34. 

79 There has been some question as to priority in the field of higher education beyond 
the Mississippi. Iowa Wesleyan College grew out of the Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute, 
a preparatory school founded in 1843, incorporated in 1844, its building completed in 1846; 
it was closed 1850 to 1852. When James Harlan (later Senator from Iowa and Secretary 
of the Interior in Lincoln's second Cabinet) became president of the Institute in 1853, 
the standards were raised, a charter for "Iowa Wesleyan University" was secured in 1855, 
and the first baccalaureate degree was conferred upon one graduate in 1856. This was two 
years after the Windsor brothers were graduated from Iowa College, which was thus the 
first in this territory to give a completed college course. History and Alumni Record of 
Iowa Wesleyan College (Mount Pleasant, 1942), 16, 18-19, 21. 

80 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 90; Magoun, Asa Turner, 216. 

81 Information from Mr. H. H. Windsor, grandson of William. Souvenir Booklet Com- 
memorating the Hundredth Anniversary of the Edwards Congregational Church, Davenport, 
3 Iff. 

82 N. Howe Parker, Iowa As It Is in 1855 . . . (Chicago, 1855), 250-51. 

83 Adams, The Iowa Band, 111; Magoun, Addresses and Discourse, 57, 58. 

84 It was purchased by Bishop H. W. Lee of the Episcopal Diocese and others for Gris- 
- wold College. Magoun, Addresses and Discourse, 58. 

85 Adams, The Iowa Band, 111-12. 

86 Josiah Bushnell Grinnell, Hen and Events of Forty "Years . . . (Boston, 1891). The 
inaccuracies of this autobiography are corrected by Charles E. Payne, Josiah Bushnell Grin- 
nell (Iowa City, 1938). See also Dictionary of American Biography, 8:4-5. 

87 New England Magazine, June, 1898. An oekist was a founder of a city. Edward 
Augustus Freeman was Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, author of History 
of the Norman Conquest, 15 vols., and History of Sicily. 

88 Grinnell, Men and Events, 28, 29. John Trumbull, while a tutor at Yale in 1772, 

268 Grmnell College 

wrote his verse satire The Progress of Dulness. Joseph Dennie, before 1800, found Harvard 
a "sink of vice," a "temple of dulness," and a "roost of owls." Van Wyck Brooks, The 
World of Washington Irving (New York, 1944), 60. 

89 Auburn Theological Seminary, General Biographical Catalogue 1818-1918, 100; Grin- 
nell, Men and Events, 47, 48. 

90 Grinnell, Men and Events, 51. 
d., 55, 85. 

91; Payne, Josiah Bushnell Grinnell, 29. 
94 Grinnell, Men and Events, 87, 89. 

Q5 Ibid., 92; Early History of Grmnell, Iowa, 1854-1874 (Grmnell, 1916), 4. 
fl6 Grmnell, Men and Events, 94, 96; Payne, Josiah Bushnell Grinnell, 41. 

97 Early History of Grinnell, 46, 48. 

98 Ibid., 34; Grinnell, Men and Events, 286. 
90 Payne, Josiah Eushnell Grinnell, 65, 69-70. 

100 Early History of Grinnell, 48-9. 

101 Grinnell, Men and Events, 328; Magoun, Addresses and Discourse, 15. The removal of 
Iowa College from Davenport to Grinnell took place in 1859, but the formal merger of 
Iowa College and "Grinnell University" did not take place until 1865 at the inauguration 
ceremonies of the institution's first president, George E. Magoun. 

102 Early History of Grinnell, 19. A circular dated January 1, 1856, advertising Grinnell 
University, Preparatory Department to open in April, names the faculty as follows: Rev. 
J. B. Grinnell, A.M., President, Professor of History, Rhetoric and Elocution; Rev. S. L. 
Herrick, A.B., Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy; Thomas Holyoke, M.D., 
Professor of Chemistry, Physiology and Agricultural Chemistry; Rev. Samuel Loomis, A.M., 
Professor of Ancient Languages, Mental and Moral Philosophy; Rev. Edward Cleveland, 
Principal of Teachers' and Preparatory Department. For the "Female Department": Prin- 
cipal, Mrs. A. J, Hamlin, Instructor in French, Painting and Drawing; Mrs. C, S. Wyatt, 
Instructor in Instrumental Music; Miss J. E. Loomis, Instructor in Rhetoric, English Com- 
position, Botany and Geology; Miss L. Bixby, Instructor in English Branches; William 
Beaton, Instructor in Vocal Music. 

108 Early History of Grinnell, 19. 

104 Jacob A. Swisher, Leonard Fletcher Parker (Iowa City, 1927) ; J. Irving Manatt, in 
L. F. Parker, History of Powesbiek County, Iowa ... (2 vols., Chicago, 1911), 2:9-12; 
Grinnell Herald, March 15, 1898; Grinnell Review, January, February, 1912. 

105 Swisher, Leonard Fletcher Parker, 46. 

106 Grinnell Herald, March 15, 1898. 

107 Swisher, Leonard Fletcher Parker, 65. 


108 L. F. Parker, Sarah Candace (Pearse) Parker: A Memorial (Grinnell, 1900); Doug- 
lass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 285. 

109 Early History of Grinnell, 52, 53. Great preparations were made at Grinnell for the 
reception of the visiting committee. Payne, Josiah Bushnell Grinnell , 52-3. 

110 Magoun, The Past of Our College, 18, 20. The dishonest treasurer's name is marked 
remotus in the Latin triennial catalogue of officers, etc., 1869. 

111 Adams, The Iowa Band, 116-17; Grinnell Review, January, 1907, 47. 

112 Quinquennial Register of Iowa College, 1897, 9-13. 

113 D. L, Leonard, The Story of Oberlin . . . (Boston, 1898), 165. 

114 Magoun, The Past of Our College, 2 3 iff; L. F. Parker, Higher Educate in Iowa 
("Washington, 1893), 179f. The charter of Iowa College contemplated only "young men'* 
as students. 

115 Early History of Grinnell, 55. Biographies of Drs. Palmer, Blanchard, and Bushnell 
in Dictionary of American Biography, 

116 Holbrook, Recollections of a Nonagenarian, 167-72. 
117 Magoun, The Past of Our College, 21. 

118 General Catalogue of the Theological Seminary, Andover, Mass. 1808 -1908; Auburn 
Theological Seminary, General Biographical Catalogue, 1818-1918, pp. 97JGE. See Grinnell, 
Men and Events, 308-309, 387, for examples of H. W. Parker's poetry. 

119 This is an evident exaggeration. Most Iowa farms at that time were quarter-sections 
(160 acres). See George F. Parker, Iowa Pioneer Foundations (2 vols., Iowa City, 1940), 

120 Dictionary of American Biography, 12:202-203; Faculty Minutes, February 7, 1896; 
Reminiscences of F. I. Herriott (Ms.) ; Souvenir Booklet Commemorating the Hundredth 
Anniversary of the Edwards Congregational Church, Davenport, 29; New England Maga>- 
zine, June, 1898. There is a bust of Dr. Magoun in the College Library. 

121 Gri nn ell and You, May, 1934. 

122 In his address, The Past of Our College, 32, Dr. Magoun did a bit of amende honor a- 
blei "Prof. Charles W. Clapp, seven years in the chair of Rhetoric, was a scholar in English 
Literature of the last generation rather than this, possessed of a clear, correct and agreeable 
diction, and a style of address that mated it well, a laborious and strong-purposed man, who 
hardly agreed with the college on the joint education of men and women." No doubt the 
word "strong-purposed" is the key to the presidential action so resented by Mr. Clapp's son. 

123 Minutes of the General Association of Congregational Churches and Ministers of the 
State of Iowa, 1888, pp. 3 iff. 

124 Magoun could be adroit on occasion. Professor H. "W. Norris remembers his story 
of a young woman, in the days of dress reform, who served notice that she would wear 
bloomers when she read her essay at commencement. Dr. Magoun quietly arranged to have 
the rostrum lined with shrubs and plants so that none of the audience would be aware of 
the daring costume worn by the young radical. 

270 Grinnell College 

125 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 271. 

126 Grinnell Herald, March 15, 1898. L. F. Parker stated that Von Coelln came from the 
universities of Bonn and Berlin. D. "W. Norris, '72, remembered him as a big, phlegmatic 
German whom Dr. Magoun did not like. '99 Junior Annual, 18, 55. 

127 Parker, History of Powesbiek County, 2:176-82. 
^Catalogue of Iowa College for 1883-1884, 30. 

129 Magoun, The Past of Our College, 32ff. Memorial for Professor Crow, Unit, October 
4, 1890. 

130 Grinnell and You, February, 1931. Reminiscences of F. I. Harriott (Ms.). 

131 Magoun, Asa Turner, 27 Q. 

122 Grinnell, Men and Events, 351-2; S. H. Herrick, "The Grinnell Cyclone of June 17, 
1882," Annals of Iowa (third series), 3:81-95 (July, 1897). 

* 33 Magoun, The Past of Our College, 37. 

* Catalogue of Iowa College for 1884-1885, 49-56. 

135 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 269-70. 

136 Dictionary of American Biography, 7:183-4; General Catalogue of the Theological 
Seminary, Andover, Mass.; Reminiscences of F. I. Herriott (Ms.); Scarlet and Black, 
November 3, 1900; Grmnell and You, October, 1934; Isabel S. Gates, The Life of George 
Augustus Gates (Boston, 1915); Frank P. Brackett, "President George A. Gates. A Tribute," 
Pomona- College Quarterly Magazine, January, 1913. 

137 Rowe, Andover, 

138 Reminiscences of F. I. Herriott (Ms.) 

139 Grmnell and You, November, 1938. 

140 Dictionary of American Biography, 20:83-4; Quinquennial Register of Iowa College, 
1897, 84. 

141 Grmnell and You, June- July, 1925. The Hendrixson Memorial Fund was established 
for the promotion of research in pure science. 

142 For Professor Almy, see Grinnell and Yo^t, April, June, 1932. 

143 Grmnell and You, November, 1938. 

144 Dictionary of American Biography, 12:176-7; Katharine Macy Noyes (ed.), Jesse 
Macy: An Autobiography (Springfield, 111., 1933); Jesse Macy: Memorial Addresses and 
Tributes (privately printed). 

145 Macy, Autobiography, 141. 
^ Q Ibid., 89. 

147 Dictionary of American Biography, 10:79-81. 

148 Ibid., 8:594-5; Souvenir Booklet Commemorating the Hundredth Anniversary of the 


First Congregational Church of Burlington, Iowa, 1938; Mitchell Pine Briggs, George D. 
Herron and the European Settlement (Stanford University, 1532). 

149 Grmnell and Yoit, November, 1927; May, June, 1933. 

150 Grmnell and You, October, 1937; Scarlet and Black, March 26, 1941. 

151 Who's Who in America; Scarlet and Black, March 26, 1941. 

152 Dictionary of American Biography, 21:537-8; E. R. Harlan, A Narrative History of 
the People of Iowa (5 vols., Chicago, 1931), 4:409; New York Times, April 23, 1931; 
Grinnell and Yon, April, June, 1931; Baccalaureate Addresses (Cedar Rapids, 1931). 

153 president's Report (1892), 13; Grmnell and You, April, 1933. 
154 Magoun pamphlet, Iowa College (1873), 14; Gates's Report (1898). 

155 Grinnell and You, March, 1922; February, 1930; March, 1937. 

156 !&</., March, 1915; March, 1922; February, 1930; March, 1937. 
Wlbid., April, 1931. 

168 President's Report (1898), 3ff; '99 Junior Annual, 217; Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 

159 Harlan, History of the People of Iowa, 2:25ff. 

160 Douglass, Pilgrims of lowa y 214. 

161 Harlan, History of the People of Iowa, 5:412. 

162 Annals of Iowa (third series), 6:76-7 (April, 1903). 

169 Grinnell and You, February, 1937; Parker, History of Poweshiek County, 2:5. 

164 Cole, Iowa Through the Years, 422. 

165 Douglass, Pilgrims of Iowa, 247. 
i^Pulse, 1:141. 

i* 7 Scarlet and Black, IX, No. 43. 
168 Ibid., XVI, No. 64. 

s Letter, October 12, 1889. 

170 '99 Junior Annual, 83ff; Grinnell and YOTI, October, 1923; November, 1939. Foot- 
ball scores 1889 to 1928 in Grmnell and You, October, 1929. 

171 Grmnell and You, March, 1935. 

172 Ibid., June-July, 1924. 

173 Scarlet and Black, November 11, 1896. 

174 Grmnell and You, November, 1936. 

272 Grinnell College 

175 p rom an address by George Frederic Magoun to the Alumni Association of Iowa 
College, June 11, 1895. 

116 Helen B. Morris and Emeline B. Bartlett, "The Social Life of a Girl in Iowa College," 
The Midland Monthly, 9:449, 450 (May, 1898). 

177 Des Moines Register and Leader, Nov. 21, 1915. 



Abbott, Lyman, 85, 101. 

Abbott, Samuel, 6. 

Academy (of Grinnell College), co- 
education, 134; curriculum, 134, 
135; enrollment, 133-4; history of , 
133-6; as Preparatory Department, 
(50-61, 75, 78; principals of, 94, 
134-5, 185, 186. 

Adams, Ephraim (member of Iowa 
Band), 19, 30-31, 32, 33-4, 35-7, 
38, 39, 41, 43-4, 46-7, 51, 151; 
picture of, facing 68; sketch of, 

Adams, Harvey (member of Iowa 
Band), 31, 33, 37, 39, 43-4, 151; 
picture of, facing 68; sketch of, 

Adams, Robert B., 152, 154. 

Adams, Samuel, 5. 

Administration Building, picture of 

tower, facing 100. 
Alden, Ebenezer, Jr. (member of 

Iowa Band), 33, 37, 43-4; picture 

of, facing 68; sketch of, 228. 
Alden, Henry, 128. 
Almy, Frank R, 90, 115. 
Alumni, of Grinnell, 123, 147, 155- 


Alumni Association, 151, 156. 
Alumni Recitation Hall, 148, 189. 
Alumni Scarlet and Black, 157, 197. 
American Association of University 

Women, and Grinnell housing 

plan, 209-210. 
American Board df Commissioners 

for Foreign Missions, 9. 



American Home Missionary Society, 

9, 11-12, 19, 23, 24, 34, 38, 168, 
Anatolia College, 114. 
Andersen, Clara Julia, 182. 
Andover Theological Seminary, 

founding of, 6-7; Iowa Band at, 

10, 11, 29-34, 41, 227-30; living 
conditions at, 8-9; religious con- 
troversy, 84. 

Andrews, Kent, 199. 

Ap thorp, William P., Iowa Band and, 

11, 22, 37. 

Arena, 196, 197. 

Arnold-Forster, W., 124. 

Association of Colleges of the In- 
terior, 209. See Midwest College 

Atherton, Ernest W., 180. 
Athletic Union, 178-9. 
Athletics, 172-83. 
Atkinson, Charles, 44, 151. 
Austin, Michael, 173. 
Avery, John, 76, 186. 

Bacon, Leonard, 34, 54. 
Badger, Milton, 34, 47. 
Ball, Francis Adams, 47. 
Barbour, Erwin Hinckly, 90, 166. 
Barnes, Stephen G., 76-7, 186. 
Bartlett, Emeline Barstow, 135, 178, 

207. See also Nollen, Emeline 

Baseball, 173-4. 
Basketball, 178. 
Beaman, Gamaliel C., 44. 
Beaton, William, 168. 
Beatty, Shelton L., 117, 128. 
Bechtel, George M., 152. 
Belfield, Henry Holmes, 45, 48, 173. 
Bergen, Martin J., 181. 
Beyer, C. W. H., 142. 
Beyer, Harry L., 202. 
Birkhoff, George D., 113. 
Bixby, Louisa, 55, 56. See also Wol- 

cott, Mrs. H. A. 

Grinnell College 

Black, Hugh, 113. 

Blair, John L, 153. 

Blanchard, Jonathan, 62. 

Boal, J. M., 43. 

Board of Trustees (Grinnell). See 

Trustees, Board of. 
Boodin, John Elof, 106. 
Bowling, 178. 
Boxing, 178. 
Boyd, Evelyn, 128. 
Bradley, Dan Freeman, 111, 116, 

153-4; background of, 104; 

conservatism, 1 04-10 5 ; faculty 

changes, 105-106, 137; picture of, 

facing 69; presidency of, 103-107. 
Bradley Oaks, 104, 154. 
Brenton, Woodward Harold, 152, 


Brewer, Fisk P., 76. 
Bridgham, John Merrill, 167. 
Brown, Arthur Milton, 181. 
Brown, John, 56. 
Bryce, James, Grinnell (town) and, 

62; Grinnell College and, 52; Jesse 

Macy and, 98. 
Buck, Samuel Jay, 61, 74-5, 82-3, 

87, 134, 185. 
Bullen, Henry L., 47, 185. 
Burnet, Percy B., 105. 
Burnham, Charles, 24, 37. 
Burroughs, Susan, 166. 
Bushnell, Horace, 62. 
Buttrick, George A., 113. 
Buttrick, Wallace, 112. 

Calvinists, 6-8. 
Carmichael, Henry, 77. 
Carter, Preserve Wood, 47. 
Carver, Thomas Nixon, 113. 
Cattell, Archibald, 152. 
Chamberlain, Joshua M., 152, 153, 

185, 187, 207, 208. 
Chamberlain, Mary, 153. 
Chamberlain Park, 153, 181, 207. 
Charlton, Joseph W., 128. 


Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 171. 

Childs, Mrs. Marquis, 65. 

Choral groups, 171. 

Chrysler, Louis Gage, 128, 154. 

Churchill, Alfred V., 166. 

Civil War, Grinnell College and, 61- 

2, 158-9; Jesse Macy and, 93-4. 
Clapp, Charles W., 61, 70, 76, 168. 
Clapp, John M., 120. 
Clark, Donald H., 154. 
Clark, Edith M. (Mrs. F. A. Mc- 

Cornack), 153. 
Clark, Isabelle, 188. 
Clark, Theodore F., 153. 
Cleveland, Martha, 153. 
Colbert, Herschel M., 128. 
Cole, Rossetter Gleason, 169, 170. 
Compton, Carl, 114. 
Conard, Henry $., 122, 128. 
Conard, Letitia Moon (Mrs. Henry 

S.), 128. 
Congregational Association of Iowa, 

24, 38-9, 40, 41-2, 43, 71, 80-81. 
Congregationalism, in Iowa, 11-12, 

19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 37, 38-9, 42, 

45-6, 60, 71; in New England, 4- 

9; in the West, 19-20. 
Cowles, Gardner, 129, 153. 
Cowles Dormitory, 129, 150, 153, 


Cowles Foundation, 211. 
Crabb, George Melville, 154. 
Crestomathian Society, 185. 
Cross, Edward W., 152. 
Crow, John M., 76, 77, 87, 88. 
Crow, Martha Foote (Mrs. John M. ) , 

87, 135. 

Cummins, Albert B., 152. 
Cyclone, 197, 203. 
Cyclone of 1882, Grinnell and, 70, 

78-80, 138, 186, 207. 

Darby, John Frederick, 129, 153, 

154, 201, 217, 218n. 
Darby Gymnasium, 128, 150, 153, 

178; picture of, facing 116. 


Darling, Jay N., 150, 152. 
Davenport, Iowa College at, 43, 45, 


Davis, Chester Charles, 154, 189. 
Davis, Mrs. Hallie Flanagan, 202- 


Davis, Walter W., 181. 
Davis, William M., 113. 
Denmark (Iowa), 17, 22-3, 24, 31, 

35, 36, 37, 42. 
Denmark Academy, founding of, 27; 

principals of, 27-8, 78. 
Depression, effect on Grinnell, 121-2. 
Dibble, Le Roy, 153. 
Dibble, Martha (Mrs. Le Roy), 153. 

See also Cleveland, Martha. 
Dickerson, L. L., 188. 
Douglas, F. Benjamin, 128, 181. 
Douglass, Grace, 182. 
Douglass, Matthew Hale, 187, 188. 
Douglass, T. O., 152, 228. 
Drake, George W. } 27. 
Dramatic Club, 201. 
Dramatic Council, 203. 
Dramatics, 200, 201. 
Dubuque, lead miners at, 14, 16. 
Duke, G. L., 128, 181. 
Dutch, in Iowa, 1 19 ; at Pella, 234-57. 
Dutton, S. W. S., 62. 
D wight, Timothy, 6, 9. 

Early History of Grinnell, Iowa, 

1854-1874, 56. 
Edson, Carrie M., 186. 
Edson, Henry Kingman, 27-8, 78, 

91, 186. 

Edwards, Jonathan, 5. 
Ellis, Mary, 135. 
Elward, A. H., 175. 
Emerson, Oliver, Jr., 24-5, 37, 43, 

134, 151. 

Emerson, Oliver Farrar, 134, 186. 
Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, "adopts" 

Grinnell, 123. 
Evans, William D., 152, 154. 


Everton, John Scott, 128. 
Experimental Theatre, 202-203. 

Farnam, Henry, 54. 
Farrar, Samuel, 34. 
Fessenden, Debra C., 168. 
Fiebiger, Judson E., 154. 
Findlay, James Franklin, 117. 
Fink, Bruce, 105. 
Fisher, Charles Edward, 181. 
Fisher, Fanny Orythia, 135. 
Football, 173, 174-6. 
Fosdick, Harry Emerson, 113. 
Frisbie, Alvah Lillie, 152, 201. 
Fullerton, Margaret G., 184. 

Gannaway, John W., 128. 

Gardner, Evelyn, 122, 205. 

Gardner, Frances Rebekah, 182. 

Gates, Fanny Cook, 116. 

Gates, George Augustus, 89, 109, 
111, 122, 177; faculty strength- 
ened by, 86-7, 137; last years of, 
104; Magoun contrasted, 83-4, 85, 
86; personality of, 84-6; picture 
of, facing 69; presidency of, 82- 
91; radicalism of, 84-5, 103; 
sketch of, 84; Social Gospel and, 

Gates, Hubbard, 84. 

Gates, Isabel Smith (Mrs. George 
A.), 85. 

Gates Memorial Lectures, 110, 113- 

Gayer, H. K., 128. 

Gaylord, Reuben, 151; Iowa College 
and, 42-4; missionary activities of, 
24, 36-7; Yale Band and, 10-11. 

General Education Board, Grinnell 
and, 112, 118-19, 147, 148-50. 

Gerrick, S. H., 153. 

Giddings, Franklin H., 113. 

Gilkey, Charles W., 113. 

Gilmore, Quincy, 185. 

Glee Clubs, 169, 170-71. 

Golf, 178-9. 

Grinnell College 

Goodnow, E. A., 147, 153, 186, 207. 

Granger, Charles, 37. 

"Great Awakening," 5, 6. 

Greeley, Horace, 53, 70. 

Green, Beriah, 52. 

Grinnell (town), John Brown in, 56; 
James Bryce and, 52, 66; cyclone 
of 1882, pp. 78-80; description of, 
55, 57-8; Early History of, 56; 
founding of, 54-5; J. B. Grinnell 
and, 54-5; social customs, 65-6. 

Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell, 42, 50, 51, 
70-71, 93, 151; antislavery activ- 
ities, 53, 56; John Brown and, 56; 
childhood and youth, 52; educa- 
tion, 52-3; Grinnell (town) 
founded by, 54-5; Grinnell "Uni- 
versity" and, 54-5, 56, 60; in- 
terest in West, 53-4; picture of, 
facing 69; political activities, 55; 
Julius A. Reed and, 54; State 
University regent, 55. 

Grinnell, Julia Chapin (Mrs. J. B.), 

Grinnell and You, 157. 

Grinnell College, Academy (Prepara- 
tory Department), 60-61, 75, 78, 
94, 133-6; alumni, 123, 147, 155- 
7; Anatolia College, 114; chair of 
Applied Christianity, 99, 102, 106- 
107; art, 129, 165-8; athletics, 
172-83; buildings, 55, 70, 78, 
110, 111, 129, 147, 148, 150, 189, 
206-207, 216, 217; centennial, 
129-30, 154; classics, 74, 75-6, 87- 
8, 94, 128; clergymen on faculty, 
63, 88-9; coeducation at, 62, 71-2, 
75, 206-207; first commencement, 
62; curriculum, 64, 74, 87-91, 
110, 115, 116, 122, 129, 139, 141, 
182-3, 200-201, 202, 203, 204; 
cyclone of 1882, pp. 70, 78-80, 
138, 186, 207; early years of, 59- 
66; effect of depression on, 121-2; 
dormitory system, 205-212; elocu- 
tion and declamation, 200-201; 


endowment campaigns, 112-13, 
118-19, 129, 148; endowment 
funds, 146-7, 150-51; English lan- 
guage and literature, 76-7 9 88-9, 
106, 129; enrollment, 57, 60-61, 
78, 83, 112, 114, 115, 119, 121, 

128, 159, 162, 208, 219; and Epis- 
copal Diocese, 123; faculty and 
staff, 137-43, 222-3; faculty of 
the "University," 56-7; faculty 
salary scale, 148; financial diffi- 
culties, 122, 149-50; fine arts, 

129, 165-8; Foundation, 147-8; 
Gates Memorial Lectures, 110, 
113-14; gifts to, 129, 151, 152, 
186-8, 189, 217; Grinnell-in- 
China, 113, 117; founded as Grin- 
nell "University," 54-6; Harvard 
Exchange program, 110, 113, 140; 
Hyde Prize, 200, 202; inauguration 
of first president, 62; Iowa Band 
cane, 39; merged with Iowa Col- 
lege, 59-60; Ladies' Course, 75, 78; 
library, 184-9; Literary Fund for, 
54-5, 60; literary societies, 185-6, 
201; ministerial tradition ends, 
107; modern languages, 75, 88, 
105, 115; music, 78, 112, 115, 
168-71, 204; name changes, 113, 
148; naming grounds and build- 
ings, 153-4; New England roots, 
3-4; objectives of, 129-30; Phi 
Beta Kappa at, 113, 140; physical 
education, 129, 181-3; pictures of, 
facing 84, 85, 100, 101, 116, 117; 
postwar objectives, 215-24; Pre- 
paratory Department, 60-61, 75, 
78; presidents of, 69-130; publica- 
tions, 157, 174, 190-98, 201, 202, 
203; religious atmosphere, 72, 111- 
12, 216-17; requirements for de- 
grees, 116; Rhodes Scholarships, 
113; Rosenfield Lectureship, 124; 
scholarships at, 129, 151; sciences, 
75, 77, 89-91, 105, 129, 217-18; 
Social Gospel at, 100-102, 113-14; 


social program, 212; social rules, 
71-2, 86, 138-40, 145; social sci- 
ences, 91, 92-102, 106, 115, 129; 
student government, 212; teacher 
training, 75, 78, 115, 129; Thea- 
tre, 199-204; trustees, 110, 111, 
122-3, 124-5, 142, 144-54, 217; 
tuition at, 122, 149, 191; effect 
of wars, 61-2, 114-15, 117, 126- 
30, 141, 150, 158-62. 

Grinnell College Foundation, 147-8. 

Grinnell-m-China, 113, 117. 

Grinnell Institute, 185. 

Grinnell Magazine, 195-6. 

Grinnell Players, 203. 

Grinnell Review, 157. 

Grinnell University. See Grinnell Col- 

Haines, El wood Lindsay, 154. 

Haines, Mary, 135. See Herriott, 
Mary Haines. 

Haines, Robert M., 61, 135, 153. 

Haines, Mrs. Robert M., 153. 

Hall, James Norman, 195. 

Hall, Newton M., 89. 

Hamilton, Henry M., 54. 

Hamlin, A. J. (Mrs. Homer), 56, 

HamHn, George H., 142. 

Hamlin, Homer, 54, 56. 

Hardy, Albert Sherburne, 77, 159. 

Hart, Albert Bushnell, 98, 113. 

Harvard Exchange program, at Grin- 
nell, 110, 113, 140. 

Harvard University, 5, 6. 

Hastings, Cora W., 187. 

Hawk, Rupert A., 154. 

Head, Walter W., 152. 

Heath, John R., 154. 

Heidel, William Arthur, 88, 106. 

Henderson, Grace Moreland, 135. 

Henderson, Lawrence Joseph, 113. 

Hendrixson, Walter Scott, 89-90. 

Hensley, Mrs. Elizabeth M., 167. 

Herrick, Stephen L., 56, 60, 151, 


Herrick, William. H., 77. 

Herrick Chapel, at Grinnell, 111, 
112, 171, 205, 216-17; picture of , 
facing 85. 

Herring, Clyde L., 152. 

Herriott, Frank I, 86. 

Herriott, Mary Haines (Mrs. Frank 
L), 135. 

Herriott, Maxwell H., 154. 

Herron, George Davis, background 
and education, 99; controversy 
over, 100-102, 103; impression 
made by, 100; Macy contrasted, 
100-101; Rand family and, 99- 
102; resignation of, 102; Social 
Gospel and, 99; World War I 
work, 102. 

Herron, Mrs. George D. See Rand, 

Hill, James J. (member of Iowa 
Band), 30, 33, 35, 43; picture of, 
facing 68; sketch of, 228. 

Hitchcock, Allen B., 37. 

Hixon, Mrs. Frank P., 153, 154. 

Hocking, William Ernest, 113. 

Holbrook, John C., 25, 37, 43-4, 48, 
63, 151. 

Holyoke, Thomas, 54, 56, 60, 151. 

Home Missionary Magazine, 17. 

Home Missionary Society for Iowa, 
12, 23. 

Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 154, 189. 

Hopkins, Samuel, 7, 8. 

Hopkinsians, 7. 

Horn, Charles Henry, 135. 

Houston, Elizabeth, 22. 

Houston, Ira, 31. 

Howe, Mrs. Elizabeth, 121. 

Hoyt, Charles B., 176. 

Hutf, Harry J., 176, 181. 

Hurtz, Mrs. Leonard, 154. 

Hyde Prize, 200, 202. 

Hutchinson, Horace, 30, 31, 33, 35, 
37; picture of grave of, facing 68; 
sketch of, 228-9. 

Grinnell College 

Illinois College, founding of, 9-10, 
17; Asa Turner and, 17, 19. 

Indians, in Iowa, 14-15. 

Inglis, Ervine P., 189. 

Intramurals, 182. 

Iowa, churches in, 22, 24, 25, 37-9, 
70; early descriptions of, 11, 12, 
14, 15, 20, 34, 35-6; early settlers 
in, 14, 15-17, 19, 21-2; home mis- 
sion ground, 9, 12, 23, 25-7, 33-4, 
48; Indians in, 14-15; naming of, 
15; religious controversy in, 23, 
38-9; State University of, 55, 58, 
73, 74, 75-6, 90, 98, 113, 119, 
173, 174, 257-9; Territory of, 15. 

Iowa, University of, 55, 58, 73, 74, 
75-6, 90, 98, 113, 119, 173, 174, 

Iowa Band, 29-40, 142, 151, 216-17; 
founded at Andover, 10, 11, 29- 
33; Iowa College and, 43-4; heir- 
loom cane, 39; leader of, 11; mem- 
bers of, 29, 32-3, 227-30; pictures 
of, facing 68; pioneering service 
of, 17-20, 39. 

Iowa College (Davenport) , Academy 
of, 133-6; charter, 44; coeducation 
at, 206; curriculum, 47; descrip- 
tion, 45, 49; early years, 46-7, 
229; founding, 43; Grinnell mer- 
ger, 50, 59-60; library, 184-5; pic- 
ture of, facing 85; trustees, 12, 24, 
25, 43, 47-8, 60, 62, 70. 

Iowa College (Grinnell) . See Grinnell 

Iowa College Association, 42. 
Iowa Congregational Association. See 
Congregational Association of 

Iowa Educational Association (at 
Yale), 10,24. 

James, Mrs. Mary B., 153. 
Jennison, Henry Q., 44, 151. 
Johnson, Allen, 98-9, 106. 
Jones, Arthur J., 216. 


Jones, Darius E., 168. 
Jones, Ethel L., 216. 
Jones, Rufus M., 113. 
Junto, 196. 

Keokuk, early description, 12. 
Kimball, Willard, 78, 168. 
Kinsey, Robert, 154. 
Kirby, "William B., 20. 
Kirkpatrick, Stewart Ray, 154. 
Kohn, Hans, 124. 
Kotschnig, Walter, 124. 
Kruidenier, Mrs. David S., 153, 154. 

Lane, Daniel (member of Iowa 
Band), 31, 32, 33, 35, 37, 39, 43- 
4, 47, 48, 151; picture of, facing 
68; sketch of, 229. 

Lane, Stoddard, 152. 

Langan, W. H., 153. 

Lattimore, Owen, 124. 

Lavell, Cecil F., 128. 

Lea, Lt. Albert M., and naming of 
Iowa, lOn, 15. 

Leavitt, Roger, 152. 

Lewis, Faye Cashatt, 155-6. 

Lewis, George Henry, 185-6. 

Library, 111, 147, 153, 184-9. 

Literary societies, 185-6, 201. 

Little, Fred Albert, 154. 

Longley, Harry S., 152. 

Loomis, Miss J. E., 56. 

Loomis, Samuel, 56. 

Loose, David N., 211, 216. 

Loose, Francelia Spitzer (Mrs. David 
N.), 211. 

Loose Hall, 216. 

Lowden, Eleanor, 128. 

Luccock, Halford E., 113. 

McCandless, Bethana, 142. 
McClenon, Raymond Benedict, 105, 

115, 128. 

McConnell, Francis J., 113. 
McCornack, Edith (Mrs. F. A.), 153. 

See also Clark, Edith. 


McDonald, Angus C., 154. 

MacEachron, Paul Norton, 117, 153, 

McManus, James, 44, 151. 

MacNider, Hanford, 152. 

Macy, Jesse, 58, 77, 78, 87, 106, 134, 
173, 174, 178; Autobiography of, 
94, 96, 159; James Bryce and, 98; 
education of, 93-4; foreign travel, 
98; Herron contrasted, 100-101; 
intellectual development, 94-5; 
Quaker background, 92-3; social 
sciences and, 92-102; teaching 
methods, 96; in Union Army, 61, 
93-4; writings of, 96-7. 

Magoun, Abby Hyde (Mrs. George 
F.), 63,70. 

Magoun, Elizabeth Earle (Mrs. 
George F.), 72-3, 135. 

Magoun, George Frederic, 12, 50, 
138, 151, 190; address to Alumni 
Association, 1895, p. 206; conser- 
vatism of, 70-72; elected Grin- 
nell's first president, 62-3; Grin- 
nell's growth under, 78, 137; In- 
augural Discourse, 63, 75; picture 
of, facing 69; presidency of, 69- 
81; sketch of, 69-70; teaching of, 
71, 77-8, 80, 91; tribute to, 80-81. 

Main, Emma Myers (Mrs. John H. 
T.), 109. 

Main, John Hanson Thomas, 87, 104, 
106, 107, 147, 160, 203, 207, 208, 
210, 212; as education leader, 109; 
GrinnelPs growth under, 110, 111, 
117, 137-8; personality of, 109- 
111; picture of, facing 69; presi- 
dency of, 108-17; quoted, 205; 
sketch of, 108-109; and student 
housing plan, 210; tribute to, 117. 

Mallory, Herbert S., 106. 

Malteaser, 196-7. 

Manatt, J. Irving, 52, 58, 64, 73-4. 

Mann, Horace, 55. 

Masselink, Bruce H., 154. 

Ma thews, Shailer, 113. 


Matlack, Henry W., 169, 170. 
Maytag, F. L., 152. 
Maytag, Frederick Louis II, 152, 154. 
Mears, David O., 78-9, 83, 153. 
Mears, Mary Grinnell (Mrs. David 

O.), 83, 153,207. 
Men's Dormitories, 111, 128, 147, 

150, 151, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211; 

picture of, facing 85. 
Merrill, Jeremiah H., 152. 
Merrill, Samuel, 152. 
Merrill, Samuel A., 152. 
Meyer, John, 151-2. 
Midland Monthly, 207. 
Midwest College Conference, 209. 

See Association of Colleges of the 


Midwest Conference, 176, 178. 
Miller, F. Wendell, 154. 
Millerd, Clara E., 88, 135, 167. 
Mills, Harlow S., 168, 
Missouri Valley Conference, 175-6, 


Moore, Clifford Herschel, 113. 
Moore, Edward Caldwell, 113. 
Morris, Helen B., 207. 
Morse, Jedidiah, 6. 
Music festivals, 171. 

News Letter, 157, 174, 176, 177, 
190, 191, 192, 193. 

Niebuhr, Reinhold, 113. 

Noble, Charles, 85, 89. 

Nollen, Emeline Bar tie tt (Mrs. John 
S.), 119, 135. 

Nollen, Gerard Scholte, 154. 

Nollen, John Scholte, 88, 116, 125, 
128; activities, 124; boyhood and 
schooling, 254-9; family of, 231- 
57; Main contrasted, 120; Main's 
characterization of, 120-21; pic- 
ture of, frontispiece; presidency of, 
118-25; Reminiscences of, 231- 
60; sketch of, 119-20; at State 
University, 257-9; tribute to, 125; 

Grmnell College 

as tutor, 259-60; war service, 119- 

Nollen, Louise Bartlett (Mrs. John 

S.), 119, 125. 

Nollen family, members of, 231-57. 
Norris, D. W., 211. 
Norris, Harry Waldo, 90, 115, 117, 

128, 142. 

Norris, John W., 154. 
Noyes, Alfred, 209. 

Oberlin College, 57, 62, 72, 104. 
Okoboji, summer theatre at, 204. 
Olds, William B., 169. 
Olmsted, James G., 152. 
Olympic Games, 176, 177. 
Opera Workshop, 204. 
Orchestras, Amphion, 169, 170; Col- 
lege Symphony, 170. 

Palmer, George Herbert, 113. 

Palmer, Ray, 62. 

Park, Edwards A., 8, 79, 84. 

Parker, George Howard, 113. 

Parker, Helen Fitch (Mrs. H. W.), 
166; letters of, 65-6; sketch of, 

Parker, Henry Webster, 61, 63-4, 77, 
90, 166. 

Parker, Leonard Fletcher, 25, 56, 60- 
61, 93; county school superinten- 
dent, 58, 93; at Grinnell, 98; 
sketch of, 57, 58, 73-4; at State 
University, 58, 73-4, 75-6. 

Parker, N. Howe, 49. 

Parker, Samuel, 63. 

Parker, Sarah Candace Pearse (Mrs. 
L. F.), 57, 58, 61, 135. 

Paulu, Leonard T., 176. 

Payne, Charles E., 124. 

Pearson, Eliphalet, 6. 

Peck, David E., 170. 

Peck, Paul Frederick, 106. 

Pella, 119; early days of, 244-9; 
founding, 234, 235-6; politics, 


248-9; religion in, 245-6; schools, 

246; social life, 246-8. 
Perring, Roy Henderson, 105, 115. 
Phelps, Louis V., 142. 
Phi Beta Kappa, at Grinnell, 113, 


Phillips Academy, 6. 
Physical education, 129, 177, 181-3. 
Pierce, George L., 128, 165n, 169, 


Pilbrow, Myron C, 176. 
Pioneer conditions, in Illinois, 18, 35; 

in Iowa, 22-4, 32, 35-6, 65-6. 
Pooley, John W., 128. 
Pooley, Samuel J., 142, 154. 
Potter, Pitman B., 124. 
Presbyterianism, in Iowa, 19, 23, 38- 

9, 42; in New England, 4-8; in the 

West, 17, 19-20. 
Pryor, Mrs. Sara Sherman, 203. 
Publications, 157, 174, 190-98, 201, 

202, 203. 
Pulse, 174-5, 191-2. 

Quakers, Jesse Macy and, 93-4. 

Rand, Carrie (Mrs. G. D. Herron), 
99, 101, 102, 153, 177, 181. 

Rand, E. D., 153. 

Rand, Mrs. E. D., 99, 101, 102. 

Rand Gymnasium, 150, 177-8, 182, 

Rauschenbusch, Walter, 113. 

Rawson, Charles A., 153. 

Raymond, Annie Bell, 182. 

Read, Luella Jane, 116-17, 122, 153, 

Reed, Julius A., 151, 185; J. B. Grin- 
nell and, 54; Iowa Band and, 11, 
22, 3 7; Iowa College and, 41-4, 60; 
Reminiscences of, 23; sketch of, 

Reinke, Janet, 196. 

Religious controversy, in Iowa, 23, 
38-9; in New England, 4-8. 


Rhodes Scholarship Trust, Grinnell 

and, 113. 

Ringheim, Siveri L., 181, 201. 
Ripley, Erastus (antislavery preacher 

in Connecticut), 52. 
Ripley, Erastus (member of Iowa 

Band), 33, 35, 45, 47, 48, 185; 

picture of, facing 68; sketch of, 

Robbins, Alden Burrill (member of 

Iowa Band), 33, 35, 39, 43-4, 62, 

142, 151; picture of, facing 68; 

sketch of, 229. 

Robbins, Horace H., 142, 206. 
Robbins, Mrs. Horace H., 166. 
Roberts, Fred M., 154. 
Roberts, George E., 152. 
Rockefeller Foundation, Grinnell 

grants of, 112. 
Rogers, Raymond W., 181. 
Ropes, James Hardy, 113. 
Rosenfield, Joseph Frankel, 154. 
Rosenfield Lectureship, 124. 
Ross, Edward A., 113. 
Rugby football, 174-5. 
Rush, John Harland, 176. 
Rusk, William James, 105, 115, 128. 
Ryan, John P., 105, 115, 202. 

Salter, William (member of Iowa 
Band), 33, 36, 37, 38, 39, 43, 99, 
151; picture of, facing 68; sketch 
of, 229-30. 

Sanders, Frank Knight, 104. 

Sao-ke Alfred Sze, 189. 

Scarlet and Black, 194-5, 197, 201, 

Scheve, Edward Benjamin, 169, 170. 

Schnerr, Walter J., 128. 

Scholte, Dominie Hendrik (or Hen- 
ry) P., 119; Pella founded by, 

Science, Hall of, 217; picture of, 
facing 84. 

Science Laboratory, picture of an 
early, facing 84. 


Sears, R. E., 58. 

Shaw, Albert, 111, 147, 151, 154, 

Sheldon, Caroline, 167. 

Sheldon, David S., 47-8, 185. 

Shifflett, James Glenn, 154. 

Sicard, Ernest, 88. 

Simmons, James, Jr., 91, 106. 

Simmons, Mary E., 142. 

Simons, Hans, 124. 

Slaughter, Moses Stephen, 88, 134. 

Slocum, William F., 209. 

Smiley, Charles Newton, 106, 167. 

Smith, Dudley Lytton, 169, 170. 

Smith, Elbert M., 128. 

Smith, Fred Crego, 123, 152. 

Smith, Glenna, 202. 

Smith, Gordon, 154. 

Smith, Gretta M., 189. 

Smith, J. Fred, 134, 135-6. 

Smith, James A., 152, 153. 

Smith, Mabel M., memorial collec- 
tion, 189. 

Soccer, 173, 174. 

Somers, Herbert W., 142. 

Spanish-American War, 159-60. 

Spaulding, Benjamin Adams (mem- 
ber of Iowa Band), 33, 37, 38, 39; 
picture of, facing 68; sketch of, 

Spaulding, Henry W., 152. 

Spencer, E. B. T., 128, 167. 

Spencer, H. C, 142. 

Sperry, Willard L., 113. 

Starr, William H., 43, 44. 

Steiner, Edward Alfred, European 
background of, 106; at Grinnell, 
106-107, 115, 128; as lecturer and 
author, 106-107. 

Stephens, R. D., 153. 

Sternfeld, Edith A., 165n, 167. 

Stevens, Anna Albert (Mrs. Samuel 

N.), 127. 

Stevens, Philip T., 127. 
Stevens, Samuel Nowell, 154, 203, 
204, 211; characterization of, 126- 

Grmnell College 

7; elected Grinnell president, 125; 

"Epilogue" by, 215-24; picture of, 

facing 69; presidency of, 126-30; 

sketch of, 127. 
Stickney, H. O., 181. 
Stipp, Harley H., 187. 
Stock, Frederick, 171. 
Stoops, John Dashiell, 106, 115, 128. 
String Quartette, 170. 
Strong, Earl D., 128. 
Sturges, Albert Anderson, 27. 
Swan, Richard W., 76, 186. 
Swimming, 178. 

Tade, E. O., 173. 

Tanager, 196. 

Taylor, Frederick Morgan, 176-7. 

Tennis, 177. 

Terrill Memorial Organ, 112. 

Theatre, 199-204. 

Thomas, Darius, 56. 

Thompson, Burt J., 152, 154. 

Thompson, J. K. P., 152. 

Thompson, William A., 37. 

Thwing, Charles F., 83. 

Torrey, Joseph, Jr., 89. 

Towle, James A., 87. 

Track and field sports, 176-7. 

Truesdale, John C., 128, 172n, 181. 

Tucker, William Jewett, 84. 

Trustees, Board of (Grinnell), 110, 
111, 122-3, 124-5, 142, 144-54, 

Turner, Asa, 151; Iowa Band and, 
11; Iowa College and, 41-4; last 
years of, 40; as missionary in 
Iowa, 17-20, 22, 23-4, 25-7, 36-7; 
sketch of, 17-18; tribute to, 40. 

Turner, E. W., 176. 

Turner, Edwin Bela (member of 
Iowa Band), 29-30, 33, 36, 37, 
38; picture of, facing 68; sketch 
of, 230. 

Unto, 192-4, 201. 
Unitarianism, 6. 


Verse and Fiction, 196. 

Vesper choir, 171. 

Von Coelln, Carl W., 61, 74, 185. 

Ward, Harry F., 113. 
Ward, Herbert Clark, 153, 180. 
Ward Field, 180-81. 
Warren, Arietta, 135. 
Watson, John Pyper, 181. 
Watt, Lester L., 181. 
Weitz, Rudolph Wilson, 154. 
Welch, Murray De Witt, 154. 
Wennersten, D wight L., 128. 
Whicher, George Meason, 134. 
Whitcomb, Selden Lincoln, 89, 10 
White, George D., 114. 
White, George E., 114. 
Whitefield, George, 5. 
Whitley, Ralph Lee, 176. 
Wightman, John R., 88. 
Wilke, Charmayne, 190. 
Willett, Mahlon, 173. 
Williston, Samuel, 63. 
Wilson, George Graf ton, 113. 
Windsor, John H., 48-9, 172-3. 
Windsor, John Wesley, 48. 


Windsor, William, 48-9. 

Wittier, Milton, 128. 

Wolcott, Mrs. H. A., 56. See also 

Bixby, Louisa. 
Women's Quadrangle, 111, 148, 153, 

182, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 216; 

picture of, facing 101. 
Wood, Paul Spencer, 128. 
Woods, William W., 43, 44. 
World War I, Grinnell and, 114-15, 

160, 161. 
World War II, Grinnell and, 117, 

126-30, 141, 150, 161-2. 
Wrestling, 178. 

Wyatt, C. S. (Mrs. Frank), 56. 
Wyckoflf, Garret Polhemus, 106, 128. 

Yale Band, 9, 10, 20, 29. 
Yale University, 5, 9, 10, 29. 
Younker, Benjamin A., 129, 
Younker Endowment, 150-51, 211, 

Younker Hall, 211. 

Zephyr, 196-7. 
Ziegler, William, 176. 

C 2 

A ** 

34 748