By Catherine Grace Barbour Farquhar
As has already been noted, Tabor college
was started as an Academy (high school level studies)
in 1855. By 1866 it had moved into college level courses
including classical, scientific and literary levels.
During the Civil War many of the young men who would
have been students were drafted into battle--the college
attendance declined, then came back following the
war. During World War l the same thing happened, and
the academy part of the school was closed in 1922.
Various attempts were made to keep the college alive
but money became the big issue and in 1927 at the
graduating ceremony the announcement was made that
the college would not open in the fall.
In 1935 the Rev. Clark Howard, a Methodist minister
who had been the pastor in the Methodist church in
Sidney, Iowa, moved to Tabor and tried to revive the
college. Howard had been injured severely in the first
World War and while he was recovering he vowed to
find some way to repay the gift of life he had received.
Getting the college up and running to help poverty
stricken and under privileged students was the place
he wanted to achieve that goal. Buildings at the school
had fallen into disrepair so that was the first task.
It was the depth of the depression and Howard's purpose
was to provide a school where students could come
and work on the farm owned by the college to earn
money for their school expenses. A recently purchased
land provided the place where the students milked
cows, raised livestock and crops in return for their
tuition, room and board.
Howard solicited money from Legion groups. The Sidney
Legion gave the first contribution of $600, and others
followed suit. It was a noble experiment.
But gradually the problems of the school became greater
than the Rev. Howard could overcome. Contributions
to keep the school open lessened and it eventually
closed its doors forever.
Today, Woods Hall, built in 1869, has been torn down.
Gaston Hall, the beautiful building with a tower,
built in 1887 was taken down about 1950. Adams Hall,
built in 1898, that housed German prisoners of war
for a while in 1945 during World War II, served as
the Tabor Grade School in the 1960s after the original
grade building was destroyed by fire. It has for many
years been an apartment house and is occupied as such
at this time. A chapel built in 1861 and also a gymnasium
are now gone and new homes have been built on the
The Music Hall, built in 1878, was purchased by the
Tabor Historical Society in 2001 to expand their museum
space. On display in the Music Hall are Tabor College
documents and memorabilia, a college band tuba and
uniform and copies of the Tabor College yearbook,
The Cardinal. Here the spirit and the history of the
school remain. It will not be forgotten.
This Attic information was taken with permission,
from the book "Tabor and Tabor College"
written by Catherine Grace Barbour Farquhar. It is
currently available for purchase from the Todd House,
The Todd House is located in Tabor, Iowa on Park Street.
It is open to the public by appointment. Call (712)629-2675
for more information. (Material on current status
of buildings from Pat Claiborne)