Showing posts with label Western College. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Western College. Show all posts


Schools in 1865

 Here is how schools were back in 1865!  ...........

Cedar Valley Times, March 30, 1865
Schools of College and Putnam Townships

PUTNAM TOWNSHIP has six schools, two of which are well taught, one fair and the other three as poor as need be. They have three males and three female teachers each of whom received $25 per month and after they pay $12 per month for board they would each have $13 left as clear gain for twenty days of work.

There are two frame houses which have been once good ones but are dilapidated and much decayed. There are two log houses, one of which looks as if it had been built before the flood. Its history has almost passed out of memory of the oldest inhabitant. They are still using it; they talk of building a new one sometime. In this neighborhood they have built two very respectable churches which are an honor to the neighborhood. These have been built by a few willing hands and benevolent hearts, with less wealth among either of the church memberships than in the school district.

COLLEGE TOWNSHIP has also six school houses and six schools. They pay the same exorbitant wages. In this township there are three old log houses, one old frame and one good "unfinished" brick in Western. Two of the schools have been good ones, two fairly taught and two poor ones as any place need be afflicted with. These last two teachers were within sight of the smoke of the building in which we held our annual institute, that had been gotten up by the labor of weeks and for no other purpose than to improve our teachers and consequently our schools. One of these teachers represented to me that he was sick at the time of institute. I have evidence that he gathered corn all the week. I was at the other school and think it of no possible account. The people are losing both their school and money. I hope the time will soon come when school officials will learn wisdom and watch such cases and report them. We have nine log school houses in our county and five of them are in these two townships. 

The Western school house will be a good one when finished. It is very evident that it has been neglected in consequence of the attention that has been paid to the College. 

The people of these townships should see to it that these old houses are displaced by good ones. Good teachers look after good surroundings and good houses. These are a sure index to the feelings that sustain good schools. There is a great emigration of Bohemians to those two townships who are fast displacing the English by buying farms. There is some talk of establishing a school in College township where they can teach their own language.

WESTERN COLLEGE Western is a village situated in College township 8 miles south of Cedar Rapids and has perhaps 300 or 400 inhabitants. Eight years ago it was a broad, wild and unbroken prairie. Some of the leading men in the United Brethren church determined to locate a school house somewhere in Iowa. They advertised for donations promising that the locality which offered the mnost should have the school. A liberal man in the vicinity offered several hundred acres of land and they located a college upon it. The college grounds cover an area of near ten acres. The enclosure contains the college building and two large boarding halls. The college and one of the other buildings are finished. The other will be finished during the summer. The enclosure has a bordering of several rows of trees with rows planted in several directions from the college buildings. A part of the college grounds is occupied by a nursery. The college with its grounds show taste and culture. All that it wants is a good stream of water to make it like the old pioneer preachers description of the Good world, "a Kentucky of a place." The school has three professors with an average attendance of about 70 students. There have been only two graduates. This is probably owing to the heavy calls of men to enter the country's service. The denomination is intensely Union in its sympathies, and has furnished a large per cent of its students for the war.

... F.W. Reeder, County Superintendent

From the 1875 Iowa Atlas, page 343


The new town of Western

This is an account of the new town of "Western College", later known as the town of Western, in College Township, Linn County. It is interesting to find out that less than a half mile from the new town there was once a prairie, known as Grand Ridge Prairie.

From:  The Massachusetts Teacher and Journal of Home and School Education, Volume 9, 1856 (Google eBook)

We have received the three first numbers of the Western College Advocate and Miscellaneous Magazine, a neat little monthly, printed at Cedar Rapids, but hailing from the town of Western, Linn County, Iowa. Western, as we learn from the magazine itself, is a town four months old last August, and then containing sixteen houses and a population of one hundred souls. It has been fixed upon as the site of a College by the Conference of the " Church of United Brethren" of Iowa — a sect we never heard of, but surely they have a good name, and we rejoice to see that they are open opponents of that deadly enemy of all that is good in Christian education, chattel slavery. The situation is thus described :

Western College — Western College is situated near the south line of Linn County. From the town of Cedar Rapids it is 7 ½ miles south and 1 mile east to the town plat of the College, and from Iowa City it is 13 miles north and 5 miles west. Its exact location is 200 acres in the south-east corner of section 34, township 82, north of range 7, west of the fifth principal meridian. Less than a half mile from the town are 160 acres of fine prairie, intended for the College farm, and in the large grove on the south are 120 acres of fine timber, also belonging to the College.

This prairie is known as Grand Ridge Prairie, and it is certainly one of the most beautiful in Iowa. The soil is rich and productive; the land is gently rolling, giving a beautiful variety to the scenery, and freeing the country from those swamps and marshes, so productive of disease.

The location is such as to give a commanding view of the surrounding country. On the west can be seen Benton county, with her numerous groves of timber; on the north, far beyond Cedar Rapids, the meanderings of that beautiful crystal stream, the Red Cedar, are plainly marked in the horizon by the woodland along its margin; on the north-east and east Hoosier Grove and Fackler's Grove intervene; but in the south east, away across the beautiful farms of Johnson and Cedar counties, the meandering outlines of the river are again seen slipping against the sky. For many miles on the south and south-west, the view of the Iowa timber is uninterrupted.

The village of Western is improving rapidly. Scarcely a week passes but that one or more houses are reared up. The citizens have recently organized a fine and flourishing Sunday School. The interest which is taken to secure a library and the efforts made upon the part of the teachers to improve their minds in the art of teaching and the science of music, warrant us in believing that the school will prove a great blessing to the village and neighborhood.

Some of the citizens have also organized a club, called " he Western Literary Society," for the purpose of mutual improvement in debate, declamation, and composition.

Our religious meetings are kept up regularly twice or three times a week. They are generally well attended.
A large sum has already been subscribed, and we should judge that the prospects of the undertaking were very flattering.

What a picture of American enterprise! A town not twelve months old, in a State not yet twelve years old, and schools, churches, and colleges rising up in the midst of the forests and the prairie! One cannot doubt of the future character of a population growing up under such auspices. We bid our friends a hearty God-speed, and advise all emigrants to look on the map for Western, Linn county, Iowa.

 NOTE: The college at Western did not last, and after it closed and moved to Toledo, Iowa, in 1881, the town of Western no longer thrived, especially since the railroad, for which they had fought to come to Western, went through Ely instead.

FROM: United Brethren Historical Center - History of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ
Chapter V, Colleges and Academies, By Daniel Berger

The removal of the college from its original location to its present most desirable situation was an event of the greatest importance to the institution. The first location had long been felt to be an unfortunate one, and a desire was widely entertained to secure for it a more favorable position. But the removal of a college from one place to another is always a difficult undertaking, and is seldom attempted. The step was, however, at last fully resolved upon, and in the year 1881, a quarter of a century from the time of the founding, the transfer was made to the beautiful city of Toledo, in the same State. Preparatory to this suitable grounds were secured and the necessary buildings erected.

From Wikipedia:  Leander Clark College, originally named Western College, was a college in [Western and Toledo] Iowa, United States. It operated from 1857 to 1919, when it was absorbed into Coe College.   See more.