Our International Week file in the archives begins in 2002 (from RS 22/3/0/1). However, in the same record group (RS 22/3/0/1) we have a file for the International Student Council that has documents from International Week ’87.
…I would like to say that I have seen an uncounted number of glacial erratics, but I have never seen one that had so many interesting features as this one does. – Charles S. Gwynne (RS 13/8/12)
If you’ve been in the vicinity of Science I, you may have seen an unusual boulder. It stands approximately 6 feet high and is criss-crossed with bands of a lighter rock. It’s what is known as a glacial erratic – “Glacially transported rock whose lithology shows that it could not have been eroded from the local country rock.”1
Charles S. Gwynne was a geology professor at Iowa State from 1927-1970. He used the boulder in his teaching by taking students to the rock regularly as part of class field trips.
According to Gwynne, the boulder was originally located on what became the campus golf course. Various efforts to move the boulder were made over the years, but Gwynne always objected as he “remained strongly committed to the idea that the boulder should be left where the glacier put it.”2
Eventually it was decided that the boulder was at risk from potential vandalism and the inevitable widening of Stange Road. Gwynne gave his unofficial blessing and it was moved to its present location by the geology students.
Interested in seeing the erratic for yourself? You may want to participate in this earthcache about the boulder. See the rest of the Gwynne papers (RS 13/8/12) for more on geology in Iowa and the midwest.
1. “erratic” in Michael Allaby. A Dictionary of Geology and Earth Sciences, 4th Edition. Oxford Paperback Reference. Oxford University Press, 2013. QE5 D54 2013↩
2. “The Boulder.” Box 6, folder 6. Charles S. Gwynne Papers, RS 13/8/12. Iowa State University Special Collections and University Archives, Iowa State University. ↩
The steel pointed top of the Marston Water Tower rising above campus is one the ISU campus landmarks, and it has an interesting history. It was designed by Anson Marston, Professor and Head (1892-1917) of the Department of Civil Engineering. 1894 saw a water shortage on campus so severe that classes had to be cancelled. The following year, the college decided to build a water tower. It was the first elevated steel water tower west of the Mississippi. It stands 168 feet tall, while the tank itself is 40 feet tall and 24 feet in diameter, holding 162,000 gallons. In 1978, the university became part of the city of Ames’ water system, and Marston Water Tower was no longer used. In 1981, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1987 it was restored. In 2007, the American Water Works Association named the Marston Water Tower an “American Water Landmark.”
Watch the tower rise above campus in this series of construction photographs from 1897.
When I learned about the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918 in grade school, a little playground rhyme from the era etched itself in my mind. It goes like this: “I had a little bird, it’s name was Enza, I opened the window and in flew Enza.” Of course, this seemingly lighthearted rhyme is a rather punny (sorry…) metaphor for the spread of influenza (“in flew Enza”). As we’re in the midst of a particularly nasty and newsworthy flu season, it seems like a good time to flash back to that flu epidemic that nearly 100 years later remains in our consciousness. Like the rest of the world, Iowa State University was not immune to the disease, and life on campus was impacted greatly.
Spanish influenza began its spread in late August, 1918. Shipments of troops moving out across the world during World War I aided the transmission of the disease. By October of that year, the epidemic swept into Iowa, and the state first reported cases of influenza on October 5th. Although the first reports were submitted at that time, it seems that the disease was here a bit earlier – Camp Dodge was quarantined on September 28th. The epidemic was at its peak in Iowa the week of October 19th with a total of 21,117 cases, but the disease didn’t significantly disappear until the summer of 1919. By the time the outbreak ended in 1919, approximately 20 million people died the world over. This website on “The Great Pandemic,” as it is sometimes called, provides lots of information on the spread of the Spanish flu, including its effects in each state.
While all of this was going on, our Student Army Training Corps, or SATC, was training military men on campus for WWI. October 1918 brought disruption to the training program with many SATC men falling ill with Spanish influenza. In the Iowa State College Hospital’s record book, there are pages upon pages of influenza cases, primarily from October through December 1918. Eventually the College Hospital was overflowing with patients, and other buildings, including State Gym, were turned into additional hospital facilities. An excerpt from a letter from President Stanton to the Committee on Education and Special Training, Washington, DC, describes the situation on October 9th, 1918:
“We have some 300 cases of the Influenza, but have ample hospital facilities, physicians and attendants. The number of new cases are decreasing, those discharged from the hospital exceed those admitted, and we feel that we are facing toward normal conditions. We have a strict quarantine separating us from the rest of the world.” (RS 13/16/1, Box 2, Folder 14)
The quarantine of which he wrote involved guards posted around campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone who wished to enter or leave campus required permission and were given passes to present to the guards, like the one below.
Despite President Stanton’s optimism in the letter, the epidemic was far from over at Iowa State. In a memo to the heads of departments dated October 12, 1918, he enacted the following:
“At meeting of the Board of Deans on October 8, 1918 it was decided that, for the time being, complete segregation of men from women students be established, including segregation at class periods.” (RS 13/16/1, Box 2, Folder 9)
The logic behind this was likely that all SATC members were men; therefore separating the men from the women would reduce the spread of the disease. It was a method that seems to have worked. Out of the 53 people that died at Iowa State, only two were women. The other 51 were all SATC men. The men’s names are included on the WWI list in Gold Star Hall in the Memorial Union.
Last week, Kim had some fun arts and crafts project ideas from the archives to keep our hands busy while it snows. If I’m telling the truth, my favorite thing to do when it’s snowing is… watch the snow. Since it’s not currently snowing, I’ll content myself with some photographs, like the one above of Morrill Hall dated around 1905.
If I do have to go outside, though, good company is important. These women outside Lyon Hall in 1979 are making the most of their winter wonderland adventures – which most likely include class!
Although we are a bit early, we’re celebrating World Audiovisual Heritage Day on the blog. One of the most notable features of the Special Collections and University Archives department is the number of films to which we provide access. Many were created by Iowa State or WOI and provide visual and sometimes sound-filled evidence of the days of yore.
Here are two selections from our nearly 10,000-item films:
First, a video of landscape architecture professor Philip H. Elwood’s trip, with three students, from California to Ames in 1927. Below is the second of the two-part silent film. Even without sound, there is so much to take in. Not just the landscapes – which appear quite different than they do today – but the people, the clothes, the automobiles, other cues as to the time and place.
Another film available through our YouTube channel comes from WOI’s “Expedition” series. This episode on Christian Peterson discusses his work and includes many of the sculptures that are still on display around ISU’s campus today. All three parts are available online; below is the first part.
To browse more of our film collection – which covers agriculture, campus, social events, historical moments, and small towns around Iowa – check out our YouTube channel or our online film listings. Happy World Audiovisual Heritage Day from our corner of the University Library!
When Iowa State College (University) first opened its doors in 1869, military training was mandatory for all male students, based on the terms of the Morrill Act. Iowa was the first state in the country to accept the terms of the Morrill Act, under which the state would receive land to sell to raise funds for the establishment of a college of “agriculture and mechanic arts.” These schools included compulsory military training–but not for women.
Carrie Chapman Catt was an early ISC student, attending from 1877 to 1880, who later became a prominent women’s suffragist and political activist. She was instrumental in the movement to establish women’s military drill on campus. Women’s voluntary drill began in 1879 and continued until 1897, and the women even joined the men as part of the Iowa delegation to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
Last week, Whitney posted a picture of sheep in front of the Campanile. Today we’re taking a slightly higher perspective, and looking down from the Campanile itself.
Construction on Beardshear Hall, which can be seen through the window on the left, began in 1903, after fires burned down Old Main, which had originally occupied the spot. Construction was completely finished by 1908, although parts of the building had been occupied since 1906. The building was initially called the Central Building, but in 1938 it was renamed Beardshear Hall after President Beardshear, who presided over the proposal of its construction. The building initially provided space for multiple departments, including Mathematics, English, Botany, History, Modern Languages, Elocution, and offices for the President, Secretary and Treasurer, and Board of Trustees.
More information on these and other campus buildings may be found in the Iowa State University Facilities Planning and Management Buildings and Grounds Records, RS 4/8/4. More photos of Beardshear Hall can be found on Flickr.
When you look for photos of iconic campus buildings, what do you expect to see? The building in question, a lovely green lawn, maybe a sprinkling of trees, and… sheep? Probably not, unless you’re researching Iowa State’s sheep barns. The sheep grazing in the foreground of this photo with their shepherd and sheepdog add an interesting dimension to this image of the often photographed campanile – although, of course, all photos of the campanile are interesting. The campanile was built in 1899 in honor of prominent ISU alum Edgar Stanton’s beloved wife, Margaret MacDonald Stanton, who was Iowa State’s first dean of women and passed away in 1895. After Edgar Stanton’s death in 1920, 26 bells were added to the original 10 in his name. These became the instrument known today as the Edgar W. and Margaret MacDonald Stanton Memorial Carillon. As for the sheep, well, why exactly they’re on this part of campus is not known for certain. It’s possible that they’re out grazing to act as a sort of substitute lawn mower, but again, that’s speculation. Personally, I rather like that thought.
More information on the campanile can be found in RS 4/8/4, this website devoted to the building’s 100th anniversary, the admissions website, and on the Sesquicentennial Celebration website. The photo above and others can be found on our Flickr site and in the digital collections. If you’re interested in sheep at Iowa State, you can find additional information on the old sheep barns in both RS 4/8/4 and the Sesquicentennial Celebration website as well.
For those of you who have spent much time on campus in the last century, you probably wouldn’t recognize the subject of this photo without the caption, above. This is the Iowa State Campus looking from Old Main to the southwest corner of campus. Before it burned down, Old Main was situated where Beardshear Hall now sits. On today’s campus, this view would be like standing on top of Beardshear looking toward Campustown. Instead of a few buildings and lots of farmland, the view today consists of, well, lots of buildings. To see more photos of campus in the early days, check out our Flickr page or the Digital Collections website under “University Photographs”. Want to learn more about Old Main? We have a post all about it. For information about the history of our campus, we have a post about that too. Of course, if you want to see even more photos and learn all about central campus, stop by and see us!