Sponsored by the
University Archives, Iowa State University Library
The faculty begins
publishing the Progressive Farmer, an agricultural journal.
Unfortunately, it ceases publication in 1876.
The Bee Department is abolished.
Baseball continues to
be popular, as is croquet.
Physical and Chemical
Laboratories are added to the east side of Chemical Laboratory at a
cost of $16,000. The Laboratory is located near
where Pearson Hall is today.
Chemical Laboratory, n.d.
Delta Tau Delta is
the first national fraternity at Iowa State.
supper for I.A.C.'s 20 graduates is held at the Aborn House in Des
Moines, and Professor Wynn delivers a presentation. Afterward,
everyone attends the State Oratorical Contest at Moore's Opera
are raised to $1800 and instructors' to $1500.
(Chemistry), Beal (Civil Engineering), and Morrow (Agriculture) join the faculty.
establishes the first experimental kitchen opened by any college or
A printing office
is established on campus.
New Yale locks are
installed on the dormitory doors and many students are locked out
and have to crawl through their transoms to get back inside.
As noted in an 1876
Aurora, "Croquet is on the brain, we should judge; only 12
count on one ground the other evening, playing six different games.
But it is good exercise, keeping out of the ways of the balls."
Students spend time
discussing the U.S. Presidential election and the merits of the
candidates, Hayes and Tilden.
Several faculty and
students attend the Centennial in Philadelphia.
The class exercises
for the first time are held on campus in the chapel of Old Main.
In years past, the ceremony was usually held nearby (Ames, Des
Dr. David S.
Fairchild of Ames, is recognized as the College Physician. He has
informally overseen the health of students since 1873. Miss
Margaret McDonald (who later married Edgar Stanton), Mrs. Mary B.
Welch (the President's wife), the Proctor, H.D. Harlow, and the
Professor of Chemistry, E.R. Hutchins (who was also a doctor) also
oversee the care of student health during the 1870s.
The first graduate
degree of Master of Science in botany, is granted to J.C. Arthur
(Class of 1872). Arthur was a student of Charles Bessey's, and
becomes a noted authority on rust fungi.
The Board asks
the President to select a plot of 5 acres to be surveyed and set
aside for a College cemetery. The College Cemetery (1.7 acres) is
currently located on the northwest corner of campus near Pammel
Woods (named for Dr. Louis Pammel, botanist). There are more than
700 graves. Included among them are six university presidents; one
acting president; numerous administrators, faculty, staff, their
spouses and children; veterans of five wars; two students; and a
beloved night watchman and his dog. A set of criteria consisting of
length of service to the university is required to be considered for
Professor Pope (Chemistry) builds Pope Cottage south
of Lincoln Way. The architect is unknown, but the university
is able to purchase it
in 1884 for $3,000.
Pope Cottage, n.d.
The rooms in Old Main
are painted and renovated, and for the first time, room rent is
imposed. In May, lightening strikes the flag staff on Old
Main, and part of the roof falls in on sleeping students.
On May 3rd,
the students are given a holiday, and spend their time on carriage
rides and dinners. During the summer term, the students amuse
themselves with ice cream suppers, fishing parties, buggy rides, and
Pi Beta Phi
(organized as I.C. Sorosis) is the first national sorority on
Dr. Fairchild, the College begins keeping health records on its
students. As noted in his reminiscences sent to Iowa State,
"All cases of sickness were entered . . . were classified and analyzed and
a report presented to the Board of Trustees." Students suffer many
illnesses due to poor sanitation and close quarters.
Laboratory work in
zoology involves the dissection of crayfish, frogs, and clams.
"College Quarterly" is started to impart to the state what was
being taught at the College. It is edited by the department heads
and issued 4 times per year.
introduced and is very popular with both students and faculty
Agricultural College (I.A.C.) baseball team plays against the
"Actives" of Ames, and loses, 33-12.
A ball ground is
set aside for the ladies to take military drill (see Student Life).
continues to be set aside as a holiday, and the students are dispersed
to "collect specimens."
A Young Men and
Women"s Christian Association is founded.
Carrie Chapman Catt
(Class of 1880) helps organize the Ladies Military Company G
(standing for Girls). In 1891, the group is divided into two
companies, G and L (for Ladies). Both are disbanded in 1897.
According to the
Reminiscences of I.A.C., the following is reported, "A couple
were standing at the head of the stairs one noon, when the proctor
came along and remarked that "this will never do." "Why," they both
replied at once, "It is not one yet." "Yes, I know it is two yet,"
the proctor replied, "but liable to be one before long." They
Alumni Association is founded.
telephones are installed on campus.
Commencement includes extracts read from genuine graduating theses.
The "School" of
Veterinary Science is organized, the first state veterinary college
in the United States (although veterinary courses has been taught
since the beginning of the College). This is originally a
two-year course leading to a diploma.
In regards to the
Department of Botany, Professor Bessey requests of the State Board
of Education (overseeing Iowa State at the time), at least 4 rooms
for . . . a class or lecture room large enough to comfortably seat one
hundred or more students; a well-lighted laboratory . . .; room for the
herbarium and cabinet of economic botany . . .; and a professor's study
Young ladies are instructed for several weeks in washing and
ironing. They also follow a 12-week course in cookery, using Miss
Juliet Corson's "Cooking School Text-Book." The lessons
included learning how to make omelettes, chicken pie, hot slaw,
apple pie, soups, and fried oysters. (Come see a copy in Special
Collections, call#: TX663 C82 1879)
boys hold a sham battle on the morning of June 21st, and
the battle rages between the "Pirates" and the "U.S. Troops" for
nearly two hours.
A creamery is
constructed (size 16 X 24 feet) and 50 cows provided all of the milk
and butter for campus. All of the milking and butter making is done
Students are charged
the following: $2.50 for Board, per week; $.40 for Lighting
and heating; $.21 for Incidentals; $1.00-3.00 for Room rent; $.50
for Washing; and a $5.00 janitor's fee. There are no tuition
charges, but students have to bring their own bedding.
Students are also not allowed to play cards or use tobacco in any College rooms
and are expected to attend Chapel daily.
15 men and 6 ladies
graduate. The courses of study at the time included agriculture,
mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and the ladies' course in
The College expends $300 for the purchase of the Durham bull,
from H.B. Adair. Nearly 10 acres is devoted to experiments in
wheat and the varieties sown included Minnesota White Fife, Scotch
Fife, Improved Fife, Lost Nation, Golden Globe, and White Russian.
The total yield is 141 bushels valued at $137.39 at a cost of
$76.37. Nearly 1,000 trees are planted in the experimental
orchard, consisting of Gros Pomier and Duchess.
professional engineering degree is given in Civil Engineering, and
awarded to Charles F. Mount.
Welch is paid $3,100 with an allowance of $150 for conducting
Sabbath services (this is a reduction from his previous salary of
$3,500); Professors Charles Bessey (Botany) and Millikan Stalker
(Veterinary Medicine) are paid $1600; Mrs. Mary B. Welch (Domestic
Economy) is paid $1,100, and Herbert Osborne (Asst. in Zoology and
Entomology) is paid $300.
The courses of Study
at the College are designated as General and Technical. The
General course focuses on the Course in the Sciences related to the
Industries. The aim, according to the I.A.C. catalog, is to "to
give a liberal culture in the sciences and other branches of
learning, which underlie the great industries of the country,
without especially confining it to any particular pursuit or
courses of the College are: Agriculture; Mechanical Engineering;
Civil Engineering; and Veterinary Science. There are also lines of
technical study: Domestic Economy, Military Science, Literature and
Language, Mathematics and Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and
North Hall is in the
process of being constructed, and is to be for the use of
Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, as well as Botany. It is
located near where MacKay stands today. It is later attached to Margaret Hall
(the women's dormitory) and demolished in 1926.
committee arrange for a presentation by Will Carleton, the "Science
of Home." Unfortunately, he does not show up, and the students
are forced to hold an impromptu debate and oration.
Only the freshmen
have to participate in the non-instructive (and non voluntary) labor
system. While previously used as a teaching device, the
prevalence of the laboratory method eventually becomes predominant.
The course of study
for a junior in Agriculture includes the following classes in the
first term: Horticulture, Botany, Practices in Agriculture,
Vegetable Anatomy and Physiology, Physics-Heat, and English
Association meets and congregates between Professor Stanton's house
and the College, and they later join the students in the dining
hall. It is noted that the classes tend to sit together.
The Library has 6,000
volumes and is open from 2:00
p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
During the freshman year,
the Agricultural Course of Study includes Practical Agriculture
(farm and garden work 12 hours per week); Advanced Algebra;
Geometry; Book-keeping; Rhetoric, German or Latin; Drawing;
Composition; Botany; Zoology; and Dairy.
The College Herd includes
the following types of cattle: Short-horns (19); Holsteins (7);
Jerseys (1); High Grades (45) and Common (45).
If there is
room, students are also accepted as "sub-freshman" to prepare for
entering I.A.C. as freshmen. Their course work includes algebra,
English, drawing, geometry, physiology and hygiene or descriptive
In baseball, the College Nine defeats the Ames
team by a score of 17-16.
The buildings of I.A.C. (in addition to
the faculty houses) consists of the Main College Building (Old
Main), the Boarding (East) Cottage, Chemical and Physical Hall,
North Hall, the Horticultural Buildings, South Hall, Farm House, the
Creamery, and a Workshop, Laundry, and Gas-Works behind Old Main.
The College Farm consists of 860 acres with 70 set aside for the College
The College Catalog notes the following,
College occupies a pleasant and beautiful location, one and a half
miles west of the town of Ames . . .The railroad facilities for reaching
Ames from any part of the state are very good. Regular conveyances
for passengers and baggage run between the station and the College,
three times each day."
There is no charge for
tuition, but students have to pay for room and board. Manual labor
(in addition to instruction-related labor) is still required, and
the catalog states, "This institution can offer no inducements to
the idler or self-indulgent."
An entire building at the Iowa State Fair
is dedicated to the Iowa Agricultural College (I.A.C.) and deemed a
great success. There are displays by all the departments, and the
college battalion (under the direction of General Geddes) undertakes
guard duty for the fairgrounds. I.A.C. students win recognition for
their collections of stamps and insects.
Mrs. Welch gives a course of six lectures on
domestic economy to a class of 60 women in Des Moines.
Mary Beaumont Welch
Professor Budd (Horticulture) travels to Russia and collects
specimens for determining which fruit trees and shrubs could best
tolerate the Iowa winter.
The Veterinary Course of Study contains classes in zoology, botany,
anatomy of domestic animals, veterinary obstetrics, and sanitary
The "College Grounds" are expanded to 120 acres,
while the "College Domain" has 860 acres.
Old Main houses 200 students and is heated by steam and lighted with
gas. The floors are organized in the following way:
Basement: dining room, kitchen, laundry, office and armory
First floor: chapel, President's office, treasurer's office and
Second floor: recitation rooms and rooms for students
Third and Fourth floors: student rooms and the zoological/geological
A cyclone hits the campus on April 8th, causing a great deal of
damage, and injuring several people. The President's House (The
Gables), a new bridge, South Hall, Professor Budd's house, and North
Hall all sustain damage costing between $25,000-$35,000.
There are now two
proctors for the students, replacing Mr. Harlow, who has graduated
the previous fall. Proctor Harlow receives a watch in honor of his
years as proctor.
While music is not offered at the College, it is possible to arrange
for lessons. The costs for piano or organ lessons are $10 for 20
lessons. There are also choruses and harmony lessons.
Due to health
problems (and increasing external pressures for more vocational
training) President Welch takes leave to inspect the agricultural colleges of
Europe. While he is gone, the Board of Trustees cut his salary (and that
of Mrs. Welch) by $300. General Geddes is also removed from his
position in military tactics.
The Mechanical Engineering Course of Study
includes classes in algebra, geometry, composition, drawing, botany,
chemistry, differential and integral calculus, physics, French,
political economy, and geology.
Practical illustration for class purposes includes the following:
the vegetable, flower, ornamental gardens and borders, experimental
nurseries and orchards, the forestry and small-fruit plantations,
and collections of wood, insects, abnormal and diseased growths,
fruit casts, and a horticultural museum (herbarium).
Bicycle riding and baseball are popular on
The first Engineering Hall is built at a cost of
Osborn Cottage is built and named for Herbert Osborn (Class of
1879), professor of zoology. After leaving Iowa State in 1898, Dr.
Osborn was chair of the Zoology and Entomology Department at The
Ohio State University until 1916. Osborn Cottage is demolished in
2001 after hosting the Honors Program for 25 years.
Sloss House, built for Professor Bessey is named for Thomas Sloss,
superintendent of the Department of Buildings and Grounds. It now
houses the Margaret Sloss Women's Center. Sloss, the daughter of
Thomas who grew up there, was the first woman to graduate from Iowa
State with a degree in veterinary science. Sloss House now houses
the Women's Center and is Iowa State's lone remaining house.
There are two cases of scarlet fever,
and at least 40 students leave the College in order to
avoid the disease.
The term opens on February 27 (Wednesday) and ends with
commencement on November 12 (Wednesday).
President Welch resigns,
but remains on the faculty as professor of psychology and history
of civilization until his death in 1889.
Seaman A. Knapp,
a native of northern New York, former superintendent of the Iowa
School for the Blind, and professor of agriculture at Iowa
Agricultural College, succeeds him as President on December 1.
In regards to the two-year course in Domestic
Economy, "This course is based upon the assumption that a pleasant
home is the surest safeguard of morality and virtue; and one of the
essential elements of broad culture. Its aim is to prepare young
women for the highest demands of home life," according to the I.A.C.
Catalog. The classes included botany, Latin, rhetoric, domestic
economy, chemistry, and history.
The Office Building (English Office
erected for the offices of the president, secretary and treasurer at
a cost of $3,117. It is later used by the Building and Grounds Department
(1904-1933) and the Department of English and Speech (1933- ). It stood
southeast of Beardshear Hall, before it was razed in 2004.
English Office Building
are also plans developed for the Veterinary Hospital (currently
where the Memorial Union is located) and a new Hall for Mechanical
and Civil Engineering.
Electric lights are first installed in Old Main.
Candidates for entering
the freshmen class must demonstrate knowledge in English Grammar,
English Analysis, Arithmetic, Human Physiology, and Algebra.
10 students graduate with engineering degrees.
Seaman A. Knapp resigns, and Professor J.L.
Budd is acting president from December 1884 through February 1885.
Professor Budd's daughter Etta, later becomes an art teacher at
Simpson College where George Washington Carver is one of her
students. She convinces him to transfer to Iowa State to pursue a
career working with plants.
Senior students in Geology use Joseph LeConte's
Elements of Geology as a textbook (come see a copy in Special
Collections, QE28 L496e2). Their time is divided among lecturers, a
review of Iowa geology, study of typical fossils, and visits to
local quarries. The students also spend time studying the rocks,
minerals, and fossils in the College's collection.
The buildings, Veterinary Hospital
(approximately where the Pine Room (Memorial Union) is located) and
Sanitary Building, are built approximately on the site of the Memorial Union
for a cost of $10,600. The Hospital includes all of the "modern
appliances for the treatment of diseased animals, and the Sanitary
Building houses offices and classrooms," according to the I.A.C.
catalog. Both buildings are torn down in 1926-1927 to make way for
the Memorial Union.
The I.A.C. catalog notes 6 houses on the college
grounds being used by professors' families.
To be considered for
admission, prospective students had to write the President, and
request a Card of Enquiry. The Card had a number of questions to be
answered considered essential to admission, such as,
1. Are you sixteen years old?
2. Are you proficient in the studies required for admission to the
3. Will you, if admitted, remain one entire term, unless prevent by
sickness or unseen misfortune?
The College Hospital is established. It occupies
the second floor of the Sanitary Building and is supported by
taxing each student 60 cents per term.
Leigh S.J. Hunt, a public school administrator from Des Moines is
appointed President on February 1. He resigned in 1886.
Hunt led an interesting life, and married an I.A.C. graduate, as noted in this
University Archives biography:
Leigh S. J. Hunt was born in Indiana in 1855.
He obtained his undergraduate degree through Middlebury College in
Vermont via correspondence course. Hunt studied law independently
and passed the bar in Indiana. He then taught at public schools in
Indiana before moving to Iowa and becoming superintendent of schools
at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa (1880) and East Des Moines Independent School
District, Des Moines, Iowa (1882). Hunt became the third president
(1885) of Iowa State Agricultural College (Iowa State University).
His lack of experience and aggressive style of leadership led to
conflicts with the students and faculty and he resigned in 1886
after only one year.
Hunt moved to Seattle, Washington, and over the course of his
lifetime participated in a wide variety of successful business
ventures. He became a newspaper publisher (1886), real estate
developer, and president of a bank while in Seattle. Hunt also would
operate a gold mine in Korea (1893), grow cotton in Sudan (1904
-1910), and eventually pursue mining, agriculture, and land
development in Las Vegas, Nevada (1923 - 1933).
In 1885, Hunt married Jessie Noble (attended Iowa State, 1882) of
Des Moines and had two children: Helen and Henry. Leigh Hunt died on
October 5, 1933, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A freshman taking the general course in science,
had to take the following courses:
First Term: advanced algebra, English language and composition,
history or Latin, elocutionary drill, drawing, stockbreeding, and
Second Term: geometry, applied rhetoric or Latin, botany, zoology,
elocution, drawing, practical horticulture, and military drill.
Advanced degrees in home economics are awarded to Nellie E. Rawson
and Clara J. Hayes.
Football scores include Building v
College, 14-11; and a baseball game between the freshman and
sophomores results in a sophomore win, 10-9.
As a marketing strategy, the I.A.C. Catalog notes
that the "view of the surrounding country from the upper stories and
towers of the Main Building is one of wide extent and great beauty."
The total enrollment of
resident graduates, seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen, special
students, and sub-freshmen is 305. While there is no tuition charge
for Iowa residents, a $15.00 fee per term is applied to out
of state students.
The contract signed by every student reads as follows:
"I hereby agree, on entering the College, in 1887, that I will
respect and obey its laws, and, except in case of necessity, illness
or unforeseen misfortune, remain the entire term on which I enter."
The use of tobacco is prohibited, as are intoxicating beverages and
profane or obscene language.
William Chamberlain, secretary of the
Ohio Board of Agriculture, is named president on July 20.
His University Archives biography:
William Isaac Chamberlain was born in Sharon, Connecticut in
1837. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Ohio where he
attended Western Reserve College (Case Western Reserve University)
and upon graduation (1859) was appointed instructor in Greek. After
six years, Dr. Chamberlain returned to his family's farm and
proceeded to study and conduct agricultural experiments related to
farm fertilizers, drainage, and crop rotation. He published his
studies in agricultural journals and became widely known for his
investigations of agricultural issues. Dr. Chamberlain was elected
State Secretary of Agriculture of Ohio (1880-1886) and was
instrumental in setting up Farmers' Institutes in every county of
Dr. Chamberlain's reputation was well-known when he became the
fourth President (1886-1890) of Iowa State College of Agriculture
and Mechanic Arts. However, Dr. Chamberlain's presidency was a
turbulent one. He regularly defended the college's curriculum which
was often criticized by local citizens for not focusing enough on
agriculture. On campus, many students opposed fraternities due to
their secretive and exclusionary nature. Thus, his backing of
student fraternities would eventually cost him the support of most
of the students. He never did gain the favor of the faculty. Dr.
Chamberlain resigned in 1890 and moved back to his Ohio farm where
he continued to conduct agricultural experiments as well as write
and lecture on agricultural issues. He served on the Board of
Trustees of The Ohio State University and the Ohio Experiment
Station and became Associate Editor of the Ohio Farmer and the
National Stockman and Farmer.
William Chamberlain married Lucy Jones Marshall on July 16, 1863 and
they had six children. Dr. Chamberlain died on June 30, 1920, in
There are no textbooks to be used by the
sophomores focusing on horticulture, as there has been nothing
written about Iowa's prairie soil and climate in regards to small
fruits, orchards, lawns, flowers, and forestry.
Professor Wynn, Chair of English/Latin/History retires after 16
years of service. General Geddes, Civil War veteran and Professor of
Military Tactics, dies. He had been involved with the university
since its founding.
The Forestry and Horticulture report to the Board of Trustees
discusses experimentation efforts with orchards of apples, pears,
cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, almonds, grapes, and other small
In his report to the Board of Trustees, President
Chamberlain notes that a Ladies' Hall, faculty housing, sanitary
upgrades are the top needs for the campus, in addition to other
student housing, recitation and lecture rooms for the departments.
Students going to town had to register with the President's Office,
and make sure their trip did not interfere with any college
The Health report notes the following illnesses among the students:
measles (1); dysentery (3); sore throat (3); and fever (2).
The graduating class numbers 43; 4 of whom were women. President
Chamberlain also reports that 31 of those were focused on
agriculture, engineering, and veterinary medicine occupations.
The ordinary income of the College from
land endowments, state bonds, and mortgages totals $55,359.25 for the
The Course for Ladies requires four years and
provided a thorough study of literature, with a smattering of
courses in the natural sciences, and mathematics, resulting in the
Bachelor of Letters (B.L.) degree. The courses are varied, and
include domestic economy and laboratory practice, botany, zoology,
French or Latin, history, German, English literature, Geology or
A baseball league is organized with a pennant
race between the classes. In the final game, the seniors beat the
The Experiment Station Building is
begun, in order to fulfill the terms of the Hatch Act (1887) to
"establish a research organization to advance science to solve
problems for the food, agricultural and natural resource systems,
and links with other land-grant university research programs across
the nation in a vital research chain." An initial experimental
project is planting
an orchard with fruit tree varieties from Russia and China.
Bevier House, the first
Experiment Station Building
Students suffer from
both measles and German measles with 41 students afflicted.
The Welch Eclectic Society, a 5th literary group, is organized for
gentlemen members only and is named in honor of former President,
Professor Welch. The group present a number of "eclectic topics,"
including why flooding the lower part of the Sahara would be good
for the world, and Robert Ingersoll v. Ward Beecher, who was the
May 25, 1888: Animosity between the students who are involved in
fraternities (or secret societies) and those who are not finally
boils over. As reported by the Aurora, the anti secret society men
of the college meet to break up a joint meeting of 3 secret
societies. President Chamberlain had given his permission for a
dinner to be held in the Chemical and Physical Hall. A group of
nearly a hundred students met outside the hall and they supposedly
threw stones through windows, shut off the water, and released cyanogen gas into the lower halls in order to drive the participants
When it appears that President Chamberlain is siding with the
secret society students, the non fraternity students become
increasingly agitated. F.E. Davidson was expelled, although later
simply suspended, and eventually, he returns to Iowa State and
founds the I.A.C. Student (the forerunner of the ISU Daily).
President Chamberlain eventually resigns over his lack of control
over the students in 1890.
The Agricultural Experiment Station is
established on March 1. Robert Speer, former member of the Board of
Trustees, is named the first director.
Commencement is held on November 14 with the graduating students'
topics ranging from "Science and Poetry," "Women in the Medical
Profession," "Street Pavement," and "Blight of Fruit Trees."
There are 424 volumes added to the
Library, and the Dewey Decimal system is implemented.
Professor Pammel, botanist, joined the faculty. From his University
Louis H. Pammel (L.H.) was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 1862.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, being the first
student to receive a Bachelor of Agriculture degree (1885) from that
institution. He graduated with honors for his research of parasitic
fungi, including downey mildew of millet. Pammel also received his
M. S. (1889) in agriculture from the University of Wisconsin and his
Ph. D. (1898) from Washington University. He obtained training under
such distinguished professors as Dr. William Trelease, Professor in
the Shaw School of Botany at Washington University; Dr. E. A. Birge,
Professor of Zoology and a President of the University of Wisconsin;
Dr. C. R. Van Hise, Professor of Chemistry and Minerology, also a
University of Wisconsin President (1903-1918).
In February 1889, Pammel came to Iowa State College (University) as
Professor of Botany (1889-1929), a position made vacant by the
resignation of Dr. Byron Halsted (1884-1888). In addition to
teaching botany, he taught courses in Landscape Architecture
(1889-1890). Pammel was also the Iowa State College Experiment
Station Botanist (1889-1922). During Pammel's tenure, Iowa State
became the first school in the United States to offer bacteriology
courses to general students.
Pammel was also a well liked and respected by his students, many of
which considered him a great influence in their lives. Among these
students was George Washington Carver. In 1891, Carver became the
first African American to enroll at Iowa State College of
Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (Iowa State University). Pammel
encouraged him to stay at Iowa State as a graduate student after he
completed his bachelor's degree (1894). Over the next two years, as
assistant botanist for the College Experiment Station, Carver
quickly developed scientific skills in plant pathology and mycology,
the branch of botany that deals with fungi. He published several
articles on his work and gained national respect. Carver completed
his master's degree (1896) and was invited by Booker T. Washington
to join the faculty of Alabama's Tuskegee Institute. Pammel and
Carver remained in close contact after Carver moved to Alabama.
Pammel conducted research in plant pathology and in weeds, which
resulted in numerous publications, including A Manual of Poisonous
Plants (1910), Weeds of the Farm and Garden (1911), and The Weed
Flora of Iowa (1913, 1926). Other research activities included the
anatomy of seeds and plants of the legume family.
Pammel was a member of numerous professional and honor societies,
including the Botanical Society of America, the Ecological Society
of America, the American Society of Bacteriology, the St. Louis
Academy of Science, the Biological Society of Washington and the
Sierra Club. He was twice elected President of the Iowa Academy of
Science; was vice president of Section G. Botany, of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and fellow of the
AAAS. He was active in the creation of Iowa's state park law and
served as the first president of the Iowa State Board of
Pammel married Augusta Emmel of Chicago, Illinois in 1887 and they
had six children, five daughters and one son. He died in 1931 on a
transcontinental train traveling through Nevada.
The I.A.C. Baseball Club wins games over the
Marshalltown Y.M.C.A. and Boone.
In football, the cottage residents ("cottagers") plays against the
boys in the "building" (Old Main). The building boys win.
The students continue to enjoy croquet and lawn tennis, and a Lawn
Tennis Association is formed.
The Iowa Agricultural College Athletic Association is formed. The
object is the promotion of healthful sports of all kind. There is a
large membership and regular meetings are held every 2 weeks. All
sorts of field sports are practiced, including running races and tug
of war, and prizes are given.
A fruit house is constructed for $600 and a well
is drilled near the horticultural barn for $230.25. A road is also constructed leading from the cemetery to the campus, and Herbert
Knapp builds his house on campus. The location is on Knoll Road. The
house becmes Coburn House in 1928, and is later moved across campus
north of Pammel Road. It was razed in 1975.
Members of the
literary societies number 191 students. Students are entertained by
musical selections from Iowa Agricultural College Glee Club (men)
and the Philomela Club (women). There are 47 students in the
For the Fourth of July, the campus celebrates by having a grand
procession, dinners, fireworks, baseball, and boat and sack races.
Duff's Restaurant advertises ice cream, fresh oysters, nuts and
candies for sale.
Former President and Professor Welch dies
on March 14 and funeral services are held in the chapel. A funeral
procession leads to his final resting place in the Iowa State
Cemetery. The Board of Trustees states that the College "has lost
one of its oldest, ablest and most efficient supporters, friends,
President Chamberlain, in his biennial report, feels it necessary to
respond point by point to a Harper's Monthly article written by
former Iowan, Justice Miller, a member of the Supreme Court where he
criticizes the accomplishments of the agricultural college.
Chamberlain especially focuses on the title of "agricultural
college" as an "inadequate and misleading name."
As he states, "Not simple processes in agriculture, horticulture,
and the mechanic arts are learned better and more cheaply in shop or
on farm; not these do we teach largely, but related science,
underlying principles, and processes too intricate or difficult for
the unskilled, uneducated laborer. Thus alone can we fulfill our
J.E. Cobbey (Class of 1876) presents his
The Law of Replevin, to the college library as "evidence that
I have not been idle since graduation."
The Aurora identified the following
"interesting books," in the library's collection:
Ward: Timber and Some of its Diseases
Aitken: Animal Akaloids in Pathology
Rose: Modern Machine-Shop Practice
Bret Harte: Poetical Works
Walt Whitman: Poetical Works
Jonathan Edwards: Life and Ministry
President and Mrs. Chamberlain host
students at their home, The Gables, and the afternoon is spent playing lawn
The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletics Association is formed, with 16
Iowa colleges as members. A state field day is held at Grinnell,
and the athletes participate in the 50 yard dash, the high jump,
tug of war, and the 3-legged race. An I.A.C. representative wins the
is constructed to fill the need for
a library, chapel, museum, as well as recitation rooms. Named to
honor the Senator who had sponsored the Morrill Act, which had
established the land-grant college system, Morrill Hall is built at
a cost of less than $30,000. It is re-dedicated after
renovation in 2007.
In addition to the 5
literary societies, the Directory of the Aurora (the student
newspaper founded by those societies) includes the Christian
Association, the Veterinary Medical Society, and the Athletic
The senior class motto is "We take no steps backward."
The Iowa Agricultural College Student
begins publication. From 1897 through 1947, it is known as the Iowa State
College Student, and as of 1947, becomes the Iowa State Daily.
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and Young Women's
Christian Association (YWCA) are organized at Iowa State, taking
the place of the previously founded Christian Association.
An electrical engineering class is added
to the curriculum; Agriculture and Horticulture are removed from the
General Course in Science and placed in the Agricultural course.
Instruction in library work is offered, and English is now
considered a full department with Miss Doolittle as chair.
A general report from the Agriculture Department notes the
construction of a dairy which would provide butter, cheese, and cold
storage, yet also serve as a laboratory. A new hog barn is also
built, and new sheep, cattle and horses are purchased for the
College. The Experiment Station is conducting a study of the sugar
beet industry, and winter course, scheduled to begin December 1,
lasts for 10 weeks and instruction are given in dairying, ag
chemistry, horticulture, livestock, veterinary medicine, stock
breeding, shop work, and mathematics.
The Library possesses 8,000 volumes and nearly 400 pamphlets.
"Tama Jim" Wilson joins the faculty as the Chair of Agriculture. He
later went on to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
A Field Day is held in Iowa City on June
5, and the events included tennis singles and doubles; baseball
throw; track events; middle-weight boxing, and there are exhibitions
in boxing, fencing, tumbling, the horizontal bards, and pyramid
building. Due to bad weather, certain events are postponed
for a week and were completed in Marshalltown.
The College baseball nine plays Webster City and loses, "They could
not find the Webster City curves and so they struck out," according
to the Aurora.
Morrill Hall is completed and the library and museum are moved to
their new locations. The new chapel seats show up late, so the
carpenters work overnight to install them in time for the
At the Morrill Hall dedication in June, Professor Bessey speaks of
his first coming to Iowa State in 1870 - there were no trees and only
Farm House, Old Main and two professor's homes, "Those were not days
of comfort. There were no graceful gravel drives. There were no
comfortable walks. There were no gardens. There were no shrubs to
give beauty to the landscape. Those were the days of beginnings.
They were days of small beginnings . . . It is a noble thing to
build Colleges. It is a noble thing to richly endow them with
buildings, books, apparatus, and all the material for apparatus, and
the material for the study of nature, and man and man's history and
The Ames and College Railway is installed, to connect the campus
with the town of Ames. Later known as "The Dinkey" the line is
built by the A&C Railway as an alternative to the mud road
previously used. The Dinkey delivers mail to the post office
located inside the Hub, carries building materials used in
constructing Marston Engineering Hall, the Campanile, and other
campus buildings, and brings loads of boxes and scrap wood for the
victory bonfires held after sporting events. And, it offers
students the opportunity to go to town!
The fare is five cents each way and ran about every two hours
beginning around 6 a.m. and ending about 9 p.m. The track begins at
the east end of downtown Ames, continues across Squaw Creek through
the wooded lowland, and up the hill to campus. The first stop is behind the Farm House, and the last stop
is where the
track ended in front of the Hub. The Dinkey runs until 1907 when it
is replaced by an electric streetcar. The Dinkey is later
dismantled and used for parts during World War II.
The senior girls
give a reception and a number of the senior boys attend, dressed in
white pants, dark coats, no vests, green satin ties, straw hats,
canes and spectacles.
President Beardshear submits a column titled "The Student and the
Man," to the Aurora, where he states, "This does not mean that one
must possess an extraordinary talent but that in school he awaken
the energy and push that will carry him over difficulties. It means
that he has learned thoroughly: "Luck is a fool! Pluck is a hero!"
Energy is the genius of life."
The class poem for the Class of 1891, included stanza 12:
Let us go to long remember
I.A.C. and strive our best
To make our Alma Mater
Banner College of the West:
While the changing years shall run,
To our Nation, State and College,
And our class of '91.
The Aurora is in debt, and its graduating editors somewhat concerned
that the bills should be paid the next year by the literary
societies, so the volunteer staff would not need to worry.
Beardshear, a minister who had been a college president and
superintendent of schools in West Des Moines, is appointed president
on February 1.
From his University Archives biography:
Born in Ohio in 1850, William Miller Beardshear joined the Union
Army at the age of 14 and served throughout the Civil War. He
studied for the ministry at Otterbein College and Yale Divinity
School. He filled several pastorates before coming to Iowa in 1881
as the President of Western College in Toledo. In 1889, he was
appointed Superintendent of Schools in West Des Moines.
In 1891, Beardshear was appointed President of Iowa State, and
during his tenure, IAC truly came of age. Beardshear developed new
agricultural programs and was instrumental in hiring premier faculty
members such Anson Marston, Louis B. Spinney, J.B. Weems, Perry G.
Holden, and Maria Roberts. He also expanded the university
administration, and the following buildings were added to the
campus: Morrill Hall (1891); the Campanile (1899); Old Botany (now
Catt Hall) (1892); and Margaret Hall (1895).
He died in 1902 of complications following a heart attack. In his
honor, Iowa State named its central administrative building (Central
Building) after Beardshear in 1925.
College colors are chosen: silver for students in engineering;
yellow for students in agriculture; and black for students in
veterinary medicine. As the I.A.C. (Iowa Agricultural College)
Student newspaper notes:
May 15, 1891: "The college colors are thought by all to be a wise
choice and the committee deserve our praise...The first, a Silver
denoting the mechanical department on which is engraved the violet
colors the letters, "I.A.C." Next Yellow signifying the golden
harvest which is claimed by the generals. Last, Black, denoting
death, assigned to the Vet Department who kill but never cure."
Professor Marston joins the faculty in
engineering, and later goes on to serve as Iowa State's first dean
of engineering from 1904 through 1932.
A winter course is started in dairying, and 28 students
enroll. They practice making butter and cheese, and listen to
lectures from Professors Wilson, Budd, Pammel and Stalker. The
Experiment Station also publishes bulletins on the effects of
various feeds on sheep and hogs, and experiments with cheeses.
Elmina Wilson is the first woman to
receive a Civil Engineering degree from Iowa State, and goes on to
receive her M.S. in 1894. She teaches at Iowa State, serving
as an Assistant of Civil Engineering (1892-1897); Instructor of
Civil Engineering (1898-1902); and as an Assistant Professor of
Civil Engineering (1902-1904). Her sister, Alda, also earns a
B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1894.
The Iowa Intercollegiate Baseball League is
formed, with representatives from Drake, Grinnell (then known as
Iowa College), Iowa State, and the University of Iowa. Iowa State
won the first game of the season over the University of Iowa - the
trophy prize selected was a silver bat. This bat is now part of the
Artifact Collection in the Special Collections Department at Iowa
The football team plays State Center (a 6-6 tie) and the Des Moines
Y.M.C.A. (8-0, a win). The coach is Dr. Ira C. Brownlie.
An elevator is installed in Old Main, but the students comment in
the Aurora that they would rather take the trunks up the back
Appropriations are provided by the state legislature for the
construction of a hall for the Agricultural, Horticultural and
Veterinary Departments. Originally named Agriculture Hall, it later
became known as Old Botany. Renovated in the early 1990s, it is now
known as Carrie Chapman Catt Hall.
The Hub, originally a turnaround station for the Dinkey, is built
for approximately $1500. It also houses the Post Office and Book
"The more things
change. . . (Ed.) "students began creating cow paths between the college
buildings, much to the dismay of the landscape gardener. The Aurora
notes that "this state of affairs has continued until now the campus
is covered with all sorts of radiating and intersecting lines of mud
connecting cottages with barns, "Prof's" houses with laboratories
and the main building with almost everything else on the grounds."
The class poem included the lines. . .
"And after the heart throbs of parting,
When of college days you dream,
Remember in life 'tis a royal thing
"To be and not to seem.""(which was also the class motto, Esse quam
57 diplomas are given to students in agriculture (4), veterinary
medicine (10), mechanical engineering (3), civil engineering (10),
electrical engineering (3), sciences (16), and the course for ladies
Orations are made obligatory by the Board of Trustees, for all
junior and senior courses.
The four years course in agriculture
includes classes in algebra, live stock, horticulture, chemistry,
elocution, principles of heredity, dairying, and entomology.
The Botanical Department contributes a microscope, culture plates,
and respiration apparatus for the World's Fair exhibit of
agricultural colleges and experiment stations.
The Library obtains a subscription to the "Western Athletic
Magazine," which focused on sports, physical culture, and athletics.
The general collection now consisted of 10,200 volumes and open
hours were 8-12; 1-5:15; and 7-9:30.
The moss herbarium of Dr. S.O. Lindberg is acquired and contains
5,046 species represented by 47,858 specimens. In addition,
Professors Pammel and Hitchcock also donate their personal
collections to the College.
Baseball scores are now being reported
in the Aurora, including detailed descriptions of the league games
with the University of Iowa, Drake, Grinnell, and Cornell.
The Field Day is hosted in Ames, and included tennis, the pole
vault, hurdles, bicycling, and shot put.
The Board of Trustees sets aside 13 acres west of Morrill Hall for
an athletic field (currently where the Library, Durham Hall, and
Marston Hall exists).
$12,500 is appropriated for general purposes, and is used to provide
for the book department, post office, motor railway, as well as the
improvement of the physical and chemical laboratories. In addition,
the walls in Morrill Hall are frescoed.
The Class of 1894 publishes the university's
first yearbook, "The Bomb."
In his biennial report to
the Board of Trustees, President Beardshear stresses the need for
expanding the water supply system, a ladies' dormitory and an
armory. He also quotes the poet, Robert Burns in his report.
Faculty salaries include $3,850 for President Beardshear, $1,700 for
Professor Henry C. Wallace, and $300 for Miss Elmina Wilson. Wilson
is the first woman to receive a Civil Engineering degree at I.A.C.
She earned a B.S. (1892) degree in Civil Engineering and an M.S.
(1894). Elmina taught at Iowa State from 1892 to 1904, when she
moved to New York City to work as a structural engineer.
The Board of Trustees direct the Department of Civil Engineering to
prepare detailed maps of the campus, including the locations of
buildings, driveways, sewers, drains, water pipes, as well as
building wiring and piping systems.
The herbarium and library of C.C. Parry is
purchased for the College.
Construction is begun on the ladies' dormitory, later named Margaret
Hall, after Margaret Stanton.
Washington Carver is the first African American to graduate from
Iowa State College, from "The Course in Agriculture." He also wrote
the class poem for the class of 1894 (who were known as "The
Gourds," ever climbing).
The football team earns the name "Cyclones"
following a victory over Northwestern University. An article in the
Chicago Tribune newspaper, headlined "Struck by a Cyclone: It Comes from
Iowa and Devastates Evanston Town," reads: "Northwestern might as
well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the
Iowa team it met yesterday. At the end of 50 minutes' play, the big
husky farmers from Iowa's Agricultural College had rolled up 36
points, while the 15 yard line was the nearest Northwestern got to
Glen "Pop" Warner, a well known football coach who developed the
double wing back, coaches the football team for a few weeks each
year from 1895 through 1899.
For a biography:
A new organ is installed in Morrill Hall.
Margaret Hall, the first dormitory for women students and named for
Margaret Stanton, opens.
8 members of the
"Class of 1894" remain as
assistants at the College, including George W. Carver.
The college closes two weeks early due to drought drying up the
water supply of local springs.
Two engineering lectures are given at
the College, on "The Prevention of Electrolysis in Underground Water
Pipes, and "The Mississippi River and the Engineering Problems
Baseball continues to be popular, and in
the state field day, I.A.C. wins the silver cup.
The Marston Water Tower, designed by head of civil engineering
(later dean of the college) Anson Marston, is built – the first
elevated steel tank water tower west of the Mississippi.
students housed in Margaret Hall (the women's dormitory) host a
weekly reception for the gentleman students.
George Washington Carver receives his master's degree and is
appointed to the ISC faculty as assistant botanist for the
Millikan Stalker, Class of 1873, is
appointed the first Dean of Veterinary Medicine.
The first Excursion Day is held on Aug. 17 to introduce the work
being done at the college to the people of the state of Iowa. The
railroads provide special excursion trains for the trip to Ames, and
the first celebration draws 6,000 people.
Miss Coburn, head of the Domestic Science Dept., initiates a
four-year Ladies' Course, leading to a Bachelor of Letters. The goal
is to correlate the other sciences with housekeeping, and laboratory
fees were introduced per term: $2 for cooking and $1 for sewing.
The term "Division" is used for the first time by President Beardshear, in regards to Agriculture, Engineering, Science and
Philosophy (later Industrial Science), and Veterinary Medicine.
of Trustees adopts the official seal with the inscription, "The Iowa
State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts—Science with
A carillon of ten bells is installed in the
Campanile (erected in 1898), manufactured by John Taylor and Company
of Loughborough, England. Professor Edgar Stanton (class of 1872)
donates the bells in honor of his first wife, Margaret MacDonald
college colors are changed from silver, yellow, and black to
cardinal and gold, in order to make it easier to dye sweaters. From
the student newspaper. . .:
October 3, 1899: "The matter of colors has proven a stumbling block
and this is not to be wondered at. As we have stated before, the
silver, gold, and black are approaching their last days. They are
pretty, but absolutely impossible to use in any way that would
uniform our athletes...so the colors adopted for a college athletic
team determine what shall be the colors of the college. It follows
then, that we should be very careful in this matter...We should be
conservative and careful in this matter. What the Council does now
will probably hold for all time and they must not blunder this
October 10, 1899: "At Thursday's Council meeting the special
committee appointed to investigate and report on suitable colors for
the sweaters, reported in favor of a cardinal sweater with a gold
letter...This is a commendable improvement and makes a distinctive
and striking set of colors. From the prominence of cardinal and gold
at the Nebraska game, it is evident that common consent will very
soon adopt these as the college colors."