Western College Building

An auction was held in the above building in the fall of 2013. It is said to be the only remnant of the Western College buildings that once stood in the town of Western, Iowa.

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. 

July, 2022 - This building was used as the L.J. Palda C.S.P.S. Lodge organized about 1890 in the town of Western, Iowa.  The organization moved to Swisher, Iowa in 1916.

 - B. Horak, Collections Manager, Ely Community History Society.



Unknown said...

I was curious to see if your town would be up for a metal detecting group 6-10 persons who are here in Cedar Rapids to search for artifacts possibly left behind by Western College it was quite large ,I don't know if your interested, Items could be displayed.Our group is Cedar Valley Search and Recovery .We've helped out people find lost items.Its all history and incredible fun activity. Thank u for your time,Angie R

ECHS said...

You would need to go to the town of Western and talk to someone about where exactly the college was located. Please email me at HistoricEly@yahoo.com and maybe I can give you a contact.