Western College was established in 1856 by the United Brethren in Christ in southern College Township, Linn County, Iowa. It was named "Western" because it was the denomination's first college west of the Mississippi River, and was, significantly, a co-educational college. Classes started in January, 1857. A small town grew up around the college and remains today as an unincorporated town called Western, just north of Shueyville, Iowa.
After Western College moved to Toledo, Iowa in 1881, the building was said to be used as a meeting place for a lodge. The exact history of the building is unknown, although the owner's son told me it was built in the 1870s, when the college still existed in Western. Later the building was a clubhouse for the Cedar Rapids Boat Club.
- B. Horak, Collections Manager, Ely Community History Society.