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(copied from the Zenith Diamond Jubilee Yearbook of 1935)Old Bluebird and Chapel

The early settlers in Indianola included some far-sighted individuals who placed a high estimate on the value of Christian education. When the town was only five years old these citizens solicited private contributions for the erection of a small building in which to hold school. This early building was erected on what is now known as East Salem Avenue, about two blocks east of the square. For some time it served as a public, and later, as a private school.
A committee representing the people of Indianola presented to the first session of the Western Iowa Conference, now the Iowa-Des Moines Conference, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was held in Indianola in August, 1860, a petition for a seminary under the control of the church. It read: Resolved that a Male and Female Seminary be located in Indianola, as soon as the people of the town shall erect a suitable building, free from all debt, and worth not less than three thousand dollars.  Provided, that the enterprise shall not be pecuniarily embarrassed, and that this conference will not be responsible in any way for funds necessary for the future prosecution of the enterprise.

On the tenth of September, 1860, articles of incorporation were adopted under the name of The Indianola Male and Female Seminary.  Mr. E. W. Gray, from Iowa Wesleyan University, was elected the first principal, and school was opened in the old building on East Salem (301 East Salem Avenue). As may well be supposed, the students were few, coming almost entirely from the local community.
That first year of school was never completed, for Principal Gray left abruptly and unceremoniously. The board records tell us that a resolution, not very complimentary, was fired after him.  Without a professor classes could not be held, but the people of Indianola were not to be deterred from their purpose. They were determined to have an institution of higher learning in Indianola.  During the year, through the efforts of Mr. George E. Griffith, a subscription amounting to $5,315.50 was secured for building and grounds.
In August, 1861, the Rev. E. H. Winans was elected Principal. The building on East Salem could not be secured, so the school went begging until the upper story of the new building was completed. An old building on the west side of the square was rented, and one session was held there. By 1862, the three upper rooms of the new building (Bluebird) were completed and the school at last moved into its new home. "It now not only had a name, but a habitation also."

This first building was a two storied brick structure 38x48 feet square. The first story had two rooms and the second three. It was painted a lead color and some wag dubbed it Bluebird Seminary.  The name stuck, and today Old Bluebird is one of Simpson's cherished traditions.
Principal Winans resigned in the spring of 1863, and O. H. Baker was elected to succeed him. Mr. Baker describes his first impression of the school in the following words: "I was taken up to look at the new building which had lately been partly completed and in use about a year. The lower rooms had not yet been completed. There had been a festival held recently in the lower room, and the temporary tables were still there; paper and the scattered remains of the feast were scattered about the floor. The festival had been for the purpose of raising funds for the purchase of a bell. The campus probably contained six acres;  there were no trees on the campus yet, but it was surrounded by a high board fence and the lot was planted in corn. There were no sidewalks in the town except a board walk around a part of the public square, so far as I can recollect. In muddy weather the pupils literally waded through water and mud, and the school was considered out of town, and it was prophesied on that account by some people who lived in the south part of the village that the school could never succeed."
The site of Old Bluebird was on a plot of ground given to the Seminary by Mr. George V. Jones and Dr. Isaac Windle.  It was what is now the southwest part of the old Simpson campus. Mr. George E. Griffith also gave six acres on the north of the original plot.  Uncle Johnny Spray,  of Winterset, agreed to furnish trees for lumber with which to put up the building. The timber was sawed at a local mill owned by L. C. Wright. Working free of charge, neighbors of the community hauled the trees from Winterset to Indianola in their wagons.
The school was still a citizen's enterprise, although in 1861, the conference had named it the Indianola Male and Female Seminary.  Principal Baker also tells us that at one time there was a contest between Indianola and Osceola as to which town should receive the patronage of the Conference, each having started a school under the auspices of the church. At the session of 1863 neither school had the preference. We do find, however, on the Conference records of 1864 a commendation of the work of the school in Indianola, though it still declined to become financially responsible for it. In the Minutes for 1865 we find the name changed to the Des Moines Conference Seminary.  Thus the battle over the location of the Conference school was ended in favor of Indianola.
When Principal Baker took charge in 1863, there were no funds with which to pay his salary. It was decided that he should have as remuneration what he could make from tuition. He tells us, "I brought a few hundred dollars with me from Illinois and spent it all on our living, and in advertising the school, as the income of the school was not sufficient to meet expenses. Complaint was made that the rates of tuition which I had fixed were exorbitant and complaint was made to the board members. I said that if they wished to regulate the fees they must pay me a fixed salary, the reasonableness of which seemed evident to them and they dropped the subject."
It was during Mr. Baker's administration that the lower floor of Bluebird  was finished, and a bell purchased. The southwest room on the first floor was used as a conservatory where a music faculty of one teacher presided. In the remaining seven rooms the students learned to master arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, Greek, Latin, and other subjects. The school began to assume the appearance of a place of higher learning.  The dream of the citizens of Indianola was partly realized at least.
The catalogue of the year 1865, listed a faculty of four teachers, and announced a four year course of study in which students were classified according to advancement. The total number of students for that year was 132. When one remembers that the years from 1860 to 1865 marked the period of the Civil War into which the entire country was drawn, one sees that it certainly was; not an easy time to found a school and solicit funds for building school buildings. With this in mind the enrollment for 1865 was a most excellent showing.

Mr. Baker managed the school as a personal venture, for what he could get out of it. It is a tribute to his administrative ability that the school prospered financially and gained more than local fame. In spite of the stress and strain of those days many little glimpses are given us of the spirit of both teachers and students. Principal Baker writes jokingly of the smoky stoves in the school. It is quite a vivid recollection to me, he writes, as frequently the rooms became uninhabitable.  It seems that the flues of the building were defective, and were too small to carry off the smoke properly. He also recalls that there were lightning rods on old Bluebird at first, but in some way they were broken off about eight feet above the ground, and left dangling for a long time. A student of those days recalls that one of those early coeds got stuck in a deep slough near the building and had to be assisted in getting out. But the campus was not
entirely mud-holes. In the spring such wild flowers as Butter and Eggs and Dog Fennel sprung up all over it, giving it a festive appearance. The old board fence still remained, and to gain entrance to the campus, one had to climb an old-fashioned stile. All pictures of those days assure us that there were no trees dotting the campus. In the words of an early student, there was not a shade tree near.
Old Bluebird was used for a number of years, until in 1871 a storm carried off a part of the roof and blew in the north end of the building so that the bricks from the building fell upon the upper floor and carried part of it to the lower. The trustees, thinking that the building could not be restored, ordered it torn down, and the bricks of which it was built sold out to people who might want them. Some of the bricks undoubtedly are in existence, put into the foundation of houses built about that time.  It is to be regretted that this first building on our campus was not restored. Today all that remains is a modest granite boulder bearing a bronze plaque which designates the spot on the campus where Bluebird stood. It is only a memory which is fast becoming a tradition.

In June, 1867, the people of Indianola again assumed the responsibility for the erection of a school building; and raised $17,500 for the construction of the present chapel.  Mr. Baker resigned in 1866, and S. M. Vernon was elected Principal with a salary of $8.00 per year. That same fall articles of incorporation were adopted under the name of Ames College, in honor of Bishop Ames. The Bishop was to preside at the Conference that fall and the board thought it fitting to honor him in that way.

The next year, 1867, the Des Moines Conference changed the name from Des Moines Conference Seminary to Simpson Centenary College in honor of Bishop Matthew Simpson, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln. They also appointed a board of trustees with authority to raise the school to a collegiate grade. This board elected Principal Vernon, president, and committees were appointed to secure additional teachers.
Meanwhile, work on the new building was slowed up repeatedly because of the failure of the contractor. The building was not finished until 1869, and at a cost of $25,000. The additional cost was due to failure of the contractors and other difficulties. When completed the chapel had two entrances, one on the west and the other on the east end of the front, with sidewalks leading to each entrance. A belfry stood on the southeast corner. The top floor of the chapel building was divided into two rooms with one on the east and the other on the west. Here the two Literary Societies held their meetings. These literary societies, the Zetalethean Society, for girls, and the Everett Society for men, were both founded in 1867, and were the center of the social life of the college. The library was at one time in the room north of the chapel room on the second floor and was supervised by various professors.  It was later moved to the Science Hall, and the conservatory occupied the room; but in later years it was used as a classroom. One of the rooms on the first floor became the first Y. W. C. A. room.  A Simpsonian tells us that in that room was a stove, several old chairs, twenty-five cent matting, an old sofa, and old rocker or two, and some cheap, but pretty curtains.
The science room was in the southeast corner room on the first floor and contained the laboratory equipment which was very limited. The room at the north end of the top floor was used by the Commercial Department. The building was heated by stoves, there being two in the chapel assembly room.  In the Simpsonian for 1870 one reads: "We understand the Everetts and Smithsonians (another literary society) are talking of putting in electric lights. We hope that they will consider before acting and decide to help in purchasing a piano for the chapel. Lamps will last a good while, but the old organ won't."
In February, 1868, President Vernon resigned and Professor W. E. Hamilton was appointed president pro-tem. Professor Alexander Burns, of Iowa Wesleyan University, was later appointed president. During the years from 1863 until 1869 the college had no other building except Old Bluebird.  Though cramped for room, for facilities, and for finances, President Burns seemed to put new life into the school.  In the catalogue for 1868-69 we read: Our new building will be completed before the opening of our next school year, and with the building at present in use (Bluebird), will afford accommodations for 300 students.  In 1868 the college had a faculty of four regular professors and a number of tutors.  Dr. Burns stayed at Simpson until 1878. The ten years of his administration were marked with intelligent foresight and leadership. The Conference, during his presidency required the pledge of an endowment of $25,000. This amount was secured largely through the efforts of G. E. Griffith and Dr. Burns.  It was during his administration also that the Law Department was established in 1875. The Law School remained in operation for several years, but never occupied a large place in Simpson's development.  It was in Dr. Burns' administration too, that the Whispering Maples were planted.

Dr. William Christie Smith, a graduate of Simpson in the class of 1871, and Simpson's oldest living alumnus, tells the story. Shade trees were hard to get in those days, but George E. Griffith, one of the trustees, announced one day to the school that he had planted on the west side of town a lot of soft maple seeds, and, that the seedlings were then about the size of broom handles. The students might have them if they wished. Hence the president gave the school a holiday, asking each boy to transplant one or two trees on the campus. The result: two rows of trees were planted around the campus and some within. This then is the origin of the Whispering Maples.  Those were the days following the Civil War when feelings were beginning to cool a bit, but were still intense.  It seems that the professors gave Sunday afternoon addresses. One of them, Professor Lynch, in his lecture showed sympathy for the Confederacy. The students resented this, and determined to show their disapproval.  Monday morning the Professor in question was seen hanging in effigy from a rail in the belfry over the chapel. In large letters across his breast were the words, "Sic Semper Copperheadis" (with apologies to Booth). The learned professor was at first very indignant, but, realizing the position in which it placed him, he laughed at it with the boys. Thus the rebuke became a joke and no harm resulted.

As has been stated above, the literary societies were the center of college life. However, in 1868, the first fraternity made its appearance in the form of the exclusive "X. Y. Z," composed of eight boys. It was an English letter society without any real significance attached to the letters. There were never any more than these original eight members. Their pass-word was peanuts, and their function, as well as amusement, was eating peanuts. Of course, the unlucky students who were not members of the secret X. Y. Z. society all tried to guess the meaning and significance of the letters of the name, but were unsuccessful.
The girls decided that the boys must not outdo them, so they organized what they called the L. F. V. sorority. The boys, in order to best the girls, nicknamed it the Lightfooted Virgins society, much to the chagrin of the girls. Try as they would the name stuck until the L. F. V. became a chapter of Delta Delta Delta in 1889. A little later the I. I. I. fraternity made its appearance, and from time to time other fraternities and sororities have been founded: the Pi Beta Phi in 1874; the Alpha Tau Omega in 1885; the Delta Delta Delta in 1889; the Kappa Theta Psi in 1902; the Alpha Chi Omega in 1907; the American Commons Club in 1923; the Theta Kappa Nu in 1924; the Theta Upsilon in 1924; the Omicron in 1926; and the Beta -Sigma Omicron in 1928.

There was no attempt at organized athletics in those days. The boys exercised by jumping, wrestling, and walking rope and other stunts. Once a week they played baseball. One of the students of those days tells a story of a certain John Cozad, who was one of the fastest runners in the world. The story goes that the champ racer of Nebraska, hearing of the boy wonder of Simpson, came over and challenged him to a race. Cozad, it seems, was able to run circles around the champ,  with the result that the latter advised Cozad to train and thus take advantage of his tremendous speed.  His speed soon became so well known that he was unable to get anyone to race him. So, dressed like a tramp he went about securing a few scattered races.  He followed this method of wandering about in search of races for a few years.  When the races were hard to find, he would turn to gambling, and finally was killed in a brawl at a card table. The old grad, who tells the story vouches for this story of Cozard as one of Simpson's athletic traditions.
Another interesting story of those days arises out of the attempt of some boys to learn to walk the rope. A group of them boarded in a house near the campus, and they stretched a rope in such a fashion that they could step on the rope from the porch and walk on it across the yard for 40 or 50 feet, then jump down and continue to school. This became a daily habit. Two of the boys, Brenton Badley and Christie Smith, learned to walk it quite well. The latter learned to walk it easily with his boots on and without the aid of a balance pole. He even accomplished the feat of standing on his toes and whirling around on the rope, thus walking back and forth from end to end on either a tight or slack rope. The remarkable thing about it is that this skill has not been lost. At eighty Mr. Smith was still able to walk the rope unaided. A graduate of 1871, Christie Smith gave sixty-five years to the ministry as pastor of twenty-nine Methodist churches in Iowa. In recognition of this splendid work, his Alma Mater conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. In 1869 the trustees were able to report to the Conference that the building and grounds were worth $40,000 and that the president's chair was endowed for $25,000. Thus the Conference demands were fully met in a little over one year. Simpson was prospering. The enrollment that year was 169.

These students were quite the same in many respects as the students of today. They were adventurous and visionary to quite the same extent. Their spirit of adventure led them to found a bi-weekly newspaper  The Simpsonian in 1870 with William Christie Smith the editor. It was a lively little news sheet with wide interests as the following comments will show.  In the October 1, 1870, issue the editor comments, The present cat population of Indianola exceeds that of last year by 40%. What puzzles us is where the editor got his information. Or again there is the stimulating remark that the railroad depot will be located adjacent to the campus for the convenience of the students. In the issue of Nov. 1, he enthusiastically notes that, there will soon be a new sidewalk from the city to the college.  Nor was the editorial staff without a sense of humor. In the January issue we find in the whimsical comment concerning the faculty and chapel, that no little merriment was caused the other morning by the faculty being late to chapel. The students had a good laugh when one of them appeared.  Or this little item listed among the things for sale, College furnace for sale,  warranted to freeze 100 students stiff in five hours.  Many hearty laughs bespeak the student attitude toward the stoves and the furnace. We read in the Simpsonian for February 12, 1872, concerning a fatal tragedy, as Professor Kennedy's geometry class was reciting last Tuesday, the stove pipe fell down and caused the almost instantaneous departure of a good recitation. Fortunately, however, no lives, but several good demonstrations were lost.
The students of those days were justly proud of their journalistic attempts. At that time there were five college publications in Iowa. All of them were monthly papers except the Simpsonian which was published every two weeks.
Another sign of the venturesome spirit of some of these early students is seen in the desire for a book of college songs. The desire led to prompt action, and in 1871 the first book of Simpson College Songs was published selling for twenty-five cents per copy. That leads to the revealing comment in a later issue of the Situp that serenades are popular on the campus just now.
The students resembled those of today in that they were proud of their campus. With its wild flowers, and small trees, and ripe strawberries, which the students picked on the way to classes, they had a right to be proud of it. This student pride mani fests itself in the following fiery editorial for April 12, 1871: Every student should take pride in having the campus appear neat and attractive to all visitors. There are a few pieces of brick and stone lying near which will be put to a good use if a certain cow doesn't take the hint and seek pasture elsewhere.  Their longing for more social enjoyment marks another likeness between the students of the good old days and now. The editor laments the sad lack of sociables among the students.  He wrote a stirring editorial plea for more of them. But all was not fun or passing pleasures; there was a plenty to do. In those days comprehensives were unheard of, but the senior was expected to write a Senior oration and give it before the student body in chapel. It seems that they averaged eight minutes in length. In reading the old Situps one finds the editor frequently sighing as he comments on the fact that "more senior orations will be given in chapel."

Simpson Centenary College had its first commencement in June of 1870, with six graduates, B. H. Badley, father of Bishop Badley, the valedictorian. At its second commencement in June, 1871, it graduated three, S. C. Foster, W. C. Smith, and Ella Ford. There were thirteen in the class of 1872, and five in that of 1873. Seven graduated in 1874 and five in 1875. This stream of graduates has continued in an ever increasing number.  At the close of the year 1871, A. F. Nightingale was secured as professor of Ancient Languages and Literature. With the coming of Professor Nightingale there was a marked increase in the art of elocution, as it was then called. Greater interest was aroused in the literary societies, and public exhibitions were given. The Courthouse was used for these entertainments, seats being arranged for an audience of about 200. These public exhibitions continued with good success for some time, supported by students and townspeople alike. Heretofore there had been only the two societies, one for men and one for women. Now, for the first time in the history of the college an attempt was made to establish mixed literary societies, which soon failed. Several subsequent attempts also failed. It was generally believed that mixed societies could not flourish on Simpson Centenary campus. The faith of a few never wavered, however, and finally there emerged the Literary Union, a society with two divisions undergraduate and preparatory. It was successful and engaged in wholesome rivalry with the old and popular societies. It lasted for a number of years, but succumbed sooner than either of its competitors.
In 1872 a committee reported, With regard to the finances, it need only be said that, receipts from endowment notes and tuition more than equal the expenses of the college; but in 1874 the Committee of Education reported to the Conference the accumulation of a debt of several thousands of dollars. Certain financial difficulties encountered during the latter part of President Burns' administration were responsible for this.
In 1878 Dr. Burns resigned in order to accept a position as head of a girls' school in Canada, and the Rev. T. S. Berry was elected to succeed him as president of the college. He continued the fine leadership of Dr. Burns and endeared himself to this entire section of the state as an educator and a Christian gentleman. The Conference minutes record it as a dark day for Simpson Centenary College when Mr. Berry died on February 10, 1880. Shortly after his decease the Berry Memorial Association was founded with the purpose of Promoting the cause of Christian education by building up and endowing Simpson College at Indianola, Iowa. The organization continued for a number of years and contributed quite a sum to the college endowment. Mr. Berry's successor was the Rev. Edward Lamay Parks of Chicago, a graduate of Northwestern University.

In June, 1885, the Centenary was dropped from the official name of the college which thus became Simpson College. President Parks tendered his resignation on May 5, 1886, announcing that it was his intention to accept a position in the theology department of Gammon School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. In commenting on the resignation of President Parks the Simpsonian says, "The only commendation necessary as to his ability is to state that the man who takes his place and fills it must combine to a high degree the qualities of the preacher, the scholar, and the man of business."  The Rev. William F. Hamilton was elected to the presidency and served from 1886 to 1889. It was during his administration that Science Hall was erected at a cost of $20,000. We read in the Simpsonian: "The carpenters are yet at work on the inside finishing, but will have everything completed by commencement time.   The Musical Department will occupy two large well ventilated rooms: one in the front left hand corner and the other in the rear. The boiler for heating the building will occupy a room in the rear left hand corner. A large well lighted room occupying the entire right side of this floor is designed for a museum.  The skylight was built in the Science Hall because Simpson at that time had an Art Department, and used the rooms beneath the skylight for a studio. The northwest room in the basement was at one time used for a printing office.

Science Hall was officially opened at the beginning of the fall term of school. At this time Dr. Edmund M. Holmes assumed the duties of president of the college. It was during his administration that Ladies Hall was built at a cost of about $30,000, a large part of which was donated by the people of Indianola. Each individual who paid toward the construction of Ladies Hall could have his name printed on the transom of one of the rooms in the Hall. Some of these names are still visible. The furnishings to a large extent were secured a little at a time as money was given for that purpose. Owing to a financial crisis facing the college, the town had lost confidence in the ability of the college to pay its debts. Because of this they had to depend on gifts for furnishings of the Hall. The townspeople gave liberally.  During the winter and spring terms after the Ladies Hall was opened, the Rev. Fletcher Brown, the vice president, and his family lived there. There was no matron in charge at that time, Mrs. Brown serving in that capacity. After the removal of the Browns, a Dean of Women was appointed. In those first days the two rooms on the west of the stairs on the first floor served as a parlor, but were unfurnished. Some alumnae who felt the need of furnishings bought chairs, curtains, table, and rugs and made it neat and attractive. This room was later changed in order to make a larger reception room. In 1912 the Women's Club of Indianola had a, fireplace built and gave some new furnishings for the parlor. The college at the same time bought some new furniture for it. In 1913-14, during the time that Mrs. Martin was Dean of Women, new hardwood floors were put in, and single beds were secured to replace the double beds which had been in use heretofore. Until the Conservatory was built, the Music Department used certain rooms in the Hall for practice rooms.
In 1910 the Ladies Hall was given the name of Mary Berry Hall in honor of the daughter of former President Berry. During all the years it has served as a domitory for girls with the exception of the period from 1917 to 1918 when it was used as a barracks for the Student Army Training Corps. These corps were organized in the colleges of our country during the war days, and were the means of keeping many students in school who would otherwise have enlisted in the regular army. The students in these corps were given daily drill under the leadership of regularly appointed lieutenants of the United States Army. Our corps began training in 1917 and was demobilized on December 4, 1918. It was during this period that Mary Berry Hall was used and abused by these (would be) soldiers. Contrary to college rules, cigarettes were sold in the little canteen which was established beneath the stairs on the first floor. A thorough renovating and housecleaning had to follow this war experience, even down to laying new floors. Thus Mary Berry Hall regained her self-respect, and has since been the home of the 10 o'clock rule and the abode of the modest maidens.

In 1891 President Holmes resigned his position in order to return to active pastoral work. But Dr. Holmes' connection with the College was not permanently severed. In 1919 he accepted a position as Professor of Philosophy and Bible. He remained in this position until his health broke in 1932, and he was compelled to give up the task he so loved, that of teaching young people. On December 28, 1933, he died. Many tributes of respect were showered upon his family, but the following tribute seems to say what the students of Simpson College would like to say, "Of course he couldn't stay much longer. His resignation from the work he loved had made that clear.  His failing health confirmed the fear. But neither of these a prepared us for the stark fact of his going. The sense of loss is too great and too personal, especially for those who had known his life of quiet, kindly, unremitting service for the college and those who through the years have made up its student body. Words cannot convey, nor figures measure what he meant to Simpson through the years. From the days of his student life, as pastor, as president, and as teacher, his life has been a continuous influence for good among those who have passed through the halls of Simpson College .  Tributes we offer but they fail to sum it up. We only stand in silence and hope that we have not failed somehow, while he lived, to let him know we appreciated what he did for us."
The Rev. Fletcher Brown, formerly vice president, was secured as president to succeed Dr. Holmes, and the years from 1892 to 1898 marked a period of building and improvement for Simpson College. Through President Brown's leadership the Engineering building was finished at a cost of, $2,000. It was a frame building situated just north of the maple trees south of the Conservatory. It was used as a gymnasium for boys after the electrical engineering department was discontinued, but it made a very poor sort of a gym, as the row of posts down the center made most gymnasium games impossible. It was used, however, in spite of this handicap until the Hopper Gymnasium was completed after which the old gym was torn down.

Another interesting feature of President Brown's administration was the publication of the Educator.  It was printed in a little shop which he set up in Science Hall. It was his own venture, and doesn't seem to have been popular with the Simpsonian staff, for we read such articles as the following which appeared in a Situp of February, 1892: President Brown announces from the chapel rostrum that the Educator is OUR college paper, that the subscription price is 25 cents per annum and that as a special inducement to students only, a magnificent bonus of fifty sheets of letter paper such as we sell for five cents will be given for the next thirty days or until the supply is exhausted, but to think of the head of a mighty institution, the publisher of the Educator; the giant of finance, this cerebus of capacity, offering the mangnificens (sic) bonificens (sic) of 50 sheets of writing paper.  The Educator may not have been popular among the students, but throughout his administration, President Brown was. He seems to have been especially popular with the athletes, as the following article, published just at the close of his administration, shows: None will miss President Brown more than the athletes of Simpson. He recognized the importance of physical training and did everything in his power to encourage the boys in their training to win laurels for the Red and Gold.
It was while Fletcher Brown was president that the Home Economics building was erected at a cost of $1,000. It was built for a gymnasium, and was used for that purpose until the Engineering building was made into a gym, and thereafter as a women's gymnasium until the completion of the Hopper Gym in 1912. It was used as a storage building until 1915 and later was remodeled into the Home Economics building of today.  The Rev. James Benton Harris followed Mr. Brown as president of the college, but held the position only one year. In reading through the catalogue for that year (1898-99) we find that the college offered courses in the classics, in philosophy, in science, in normal training; academic, music, business, short-hand and typing courses; oratory and physical culture departments were also maintained. It is interesting to note that tuition in the college of Liberal Arts was $1.00 per week, in the Academy and Normal School eighty cents per week, and in the School of Business $1.05 per week. The cost in the music department was fifty to sixty cents a lesson, and short-hand and typing cost $1.65 per week. At that time board averaged $2.50 per week.

In 1899 Charles Eldred Shelton, superintendent of schools at Burlington, was called to the presidency. During the years of his administration four new buildings were added to the equipment of Simpson College. The old Administration building was erected in 1900 at a cost of $30,000. It stood between the chapel and the library. This building contained the college offices, the president's office and recitation room and two or three conservatory studios. The library was later moved over from the Science Hall, and placed in the basement of the building until the erection of the Carnegie library. The basement rooms were then used by the Y. M. and Y. W. In 1901 the heating plant was added at a cost of approximately $12,000.  In 1902 the present Conservatory was erected at an expense of about $12,000 and was especially designed for use as a conservatory of music. Professor Barrows, who came to Simpson in 1891, was the first dean of the Conservatory and did an exceptional piece of work in making it a credit to Simpson College. He was followed by the present dean, Mr. Herbert A. Harvey, who is continuing the fine standards established by Mr. Barrows. A few years ago following Mr. Barrows' death, the Conservatory was named Barrows Hall in honor of the first dean.

In 1902, Mrs. Suet  Silliman of Nevada, Iowa, gave $1000 for a library. The students were so enthusiastic on reception of this news that they rang the chapel bell.  In 1903 Miss Theodosia Hamilton, daughter of Dr. W. E. Hamilton, became the first real librarian and held that position for ten years. Before this time one of the professors had always been appointed to take charge of the library. In the College Bulletin of those days we read that the library occupied three well-lighted and ventilated rooms and because of Mrs. Silliman's gift now had a complete reference library where before there had been very few reference books.  It was about this time also that the library was catalogued. In its new home in the Ad building it began to take on the appearance of a real library. What with a reference room, a stack room, and a librarian's office, it was actually a full-fledged college library. We read that Professor Martha Stahl, Fred Keith and Ruth Erwin loaned several attractive pictures to beautify its walls. A new filing cabinet was obtained also. This library was called Silliman Library in honor of the donor. It was formally opened with a reception for those who purchased tickets to the library benefit. Professor Barrows provided the music for the reception, and President Shelton addressed the group on The Library: Its Needs and Hopes.
In 1905 a Carnegie Library was made possible through the gift of $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The new library building was planned by Proudfoot & Bird, and consisted of a basement and one story. The basement was divided into three rooms:  small stack room, an English room, and Oratory Hall. The English room was used for recitations. Oratory Hall was also used for a class room as well as a place for programs. Its balcony was separated from the auditorium by glass windows which could be raised when programs were presented.  On the main floor the reading room was provided with tables for study, a filing cabinet and other equipment. The new library was dedicated on June 8, 1907. Harvey Ingham, editor of the Des Moines Register and Leader, gave the inspiring dedicatory address. During the summer of 1907 the books were transferred from the Ad building to the new Carnegie Library, where they have been kept ever since.
Many methods were used to secure books for the Library. By 1912 there were approximately 7,500 volumes. This number of books allowed the library to be rated as standard by the Board of Educational Examiners. Not yet satisfied, faculty members and students continued to work for improvements in the library. The class of 1913 donated a set of books, and many private gifts were made. It was about this time that the librarian began the collection of bound magazines. This steady work on the part of faculty and students led to the accumulation of more books than was at first dreamed of. At the dedication, Dr. Shelton had said, "The time will never come when we will need the whole building." By 1920, however, the library was crowded. The Senior class of that year equipped the lower hall with study tables and bookshelves, and the science books were moved down there to help relieve the congested condition upstairs.
Recently Oratory Hall has been turned into a stack room, and is filled with bound magazines and documentary material, It has continued to grow through the years until now there are approximately 26,000 volumes catalogued. Again it is over-crowded and in need of more stack room. The Library now occupies a place in the life of the college greater than ever before. It is open sixty hours a week, and Miss Inis Smith, librarian, has six student assistants. In all probability they library will grow to far greater proportions.

Another feature of Dr. Shelton's administration was the annual Revival Meeting.  Many of the students were converted at these yearly revivals. In the Simpsonian of January 30, 1909, we find this interesting comment, Surrounded as all are by the high standard of morals set for the school there is a tendency to lapse just a little and think that it is not necessary at all times to keep the strict watch on self. That the services of the past week have had the desired effect, would only be speaking the sentiment of the many who have either just found Christ or those who have sounded deeper his love.
In the fall of 1910 Dr. Francis L. Strickland came to Simpson as its new president and for five years continued in that office. It was during his days at Simpson that the Hopper Gymnasium was built. It was the gift of an alumnus of 1893, Mr. H. E. Hopper, and cost more than $100,000. It was splendidly equipped, and Mr. Hopper also paid the insurance, and janitor's salary for one year.  Needless to say that the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and student body, were, and are, profoundly grateful to Mr. Hopper for his liberality.  In the spring of 1915 Dr. Strickland resigned his position, and as it was not possible at that time for the board to find a man whom they considered permanently suitable for the presidency, they called on Dr. W. E. Hamilton again to fill this vacancy. The students respected President Hamilton highly. As evidence of this one has only to read in the Simpsonian for May 29, 1916, the article portraying his strong character, and expressing keen appreciation of him as a gentleman.

In 1915 Mrs. F. C. Sigler became convinced that since no Home Economics was offered many girls who otherwise would come to Simpson planned to attend Iowa State College in Ames. She decided that something must be done. Going to Dr. Strickland, she asked him if it could be arranged to offer Home Economics in the curriculum of the college. He replied that it could not be offered as there was no place in which to teach the subjects necessary, and no money to support such a proposition. Nevertheless, if they had a building, a teacher might be secured, he said.  Mrs. Sigler and some friends toured the campus, exploring every possible nook from the attic of Mary Berry to the basement of Science Hall, and found nothing suitable. The project seemed hopeless, until the possibility of remodeling the girls' gym occurred to them. This solved the problem in a splendid way. The building was remodeled both on the interior and exterior, making it the attractive little building we see today. The women of Indianola gave a total of $2,000 toward remodeling and equipment. The college, and especially the Home Economics Department owe a great debt to these fine women of Indianola who made the teaching of Home Economics possible at Simpson. The Board secured as the first teacher, Miss Norstrum, a graduate of Iowa State College. At first only a part of the building was used, but within three years the whole building was needed. Thus from a modest beginning has developed what is now one of the strong departments at Simpson. Up to the present time more than 100 students have graduated from this department, an average of seven a year since its foundation.

Dr. J. W. Campbell assumed the duties of president in 1916, and served until 1919. These three years were years of further expansion. On February 13, 1918, however, the old Ad building burned, a tragic loss for Simpson. In the fire many of the records were destroyed, as well as much equipment. Stunned by the loss, but not despondent, the Board of Trustees at once began plans for the erection of a new administration building. The building, brought to completion in 1921, cost approximately $150,000. The new building provides ample space for offices, class-rooms, and Y. M. and Y. W. rooms.

Dr. John L. Hillman became Simpson's president in 1919, and has served with signal success until this present time. There are many evidences of his ability as an administrator and leader. The most prominent among them was the successful completion of the $1,000,000 endowment fund which was consummated in 1930. This is the outstanding achievement in the history of Simpson College.  In 1923 the Rockefeller Foundation pledged $200,000 to Simpson if she could raise double that amount by the close of 1930. Dr. Hillman was largely responsible for the success of the endowment campaign which raised the necessary amount by December 31, 1930. In order to make possible the raising of the total amount, some of Simpson's friends took over some college real estate and pledges. Again the people of Indianola worked with the administration to save the college.  The campus extention is another of the projects successfully completed in the past few years. Through the help of a holding company of citizens, a number of lots were bought and held until the college was able to buy them. This has made possible the extension of our campus both to the south and to the west. By moving several houses away, and securing the removal of the railroad tracks which ran across the new property, the lots were transformed into an attractive campus.
In 1923, the college bought Lorraine Hall, which was built for an apartment house, at a cost of $50,000, and fitted it for use as a girls' dormitory. Some changes have been made recently in order to provide accomodations for groups of girls who do their own light housekeeping, and thus make the expense of board and room lighter.
The remodeling of the Chapel, the historic building on our campus, marks another achievement of the present administration.

In recent years as the excellent high schools throughout our state lessened the necessity for privately administered secondary schools. Dr. Hillman discontinued Simpson Academy. This academy had been an essential part of the college from its beginning in Old Bluebird. It provided a very necessary opportunity for preparatory work prior to entering college. For years it was a vital factor in the growth of the college. In 1906, it reached what was perhaps its widest field of influence, but in 1917 it was still drawing quite a number of students. It had fulfilled its usefulness, however, some years ago, and it was thought wise to discontinue it.  In recent years also, the School of Business, of which Professor Miller was principal for so many years, has been consolidated with the Department of Economics and Business Administration, which has been endowed by William Buxton Jr. for $50,000. Clytie Huggins, another benefactor of Simpson, endowed the Department of Home Economics also.

In 1913, when the North-Central Association of Colleges was formed, Simpson College was one of the first members. In 1924 the college was placed on the approved list of the Association of American Universities. In 1926 it was also placed on the approved list of the American Association of University Women. These are additional achievements of the present administration, as was the reorganization of the Alumni Association in April, 1921, and the appointment of Loren C. Talbot as Alumni Secretary. He served eight years, when he resigned and was succeeded by John L. Horsley.
During all these seventy-five years Simpson College has steadily marched forward. Constantly adding new equipment and constantly reaching new standards of achievement, her educational advance equals her material. These have been seventy-five years of efficient work in professional training and character building.
Today the buildings and grounds of Simpson are valued at $466,941, a far cry from that first little building worth only $3,000. Today its equipment is valued at $73,688, making a total valuation of $540,000 to the College. Its endowment is $1,000,000. Its present indebtedness is only $75,000, part of which is on the campus extension.  On the present faculty there are thirty-four professors and instructors. The Conservatory has eleven on its faculty. There are at present sixteen departments in which major work may be taken. These courses of study have been outlined with the purpose of preparing young men and women to take an active part in the various affairs of life.  Along with this practical aim, Simpson College purposes to maintain throughout all departments a religious atmosphere and Christian ideals.  Simpson seeks to surround its students with helpful Christian influences and to do its work in a wholesome Christian atmosphere.  The past has been noble; the present offers great hope for the future. These whispers of seventy-five years are but the beginning. Other years of splendid leadership stretch away into the future.