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Selden Lincoln Whitcomb (Class of 1887)

  • Personne

Seldon Whitcomb was born in Grinnell, Iowa, graduated from Grinnell College in 1887, and was professor of English at the college from 1895-1905. Additionally he was a poet and a writer.

Reed, Julius A.

  • Personne
  • (1809-1890)

Julius Reed was one of the first Congregational ministers to venture into Iowa and was instrumental in establishing Congregational Churches in the state, and for five years, serving as treasurer and principal of Iowa College. Reed was born in 1809 in East Windsor Hill, Connecticut. He attended Yale College, graduating in 1829, and after teaching for a few years, returned to Yale Divinity School where he received his degree in 1835. That same year he married Caroline Blood and was commissioned by the American Home Missionary Society to go west. Reed settled first in Illinois, where he was ordained in 1836, and served churches in Montebello, Nauvoo, Carthage, and Warsaw. He made several trips into Iowa and helped organize the Denmark Church in May of 1838. In 1840, Reed received a call to Fairfield, Iowa, where he settled for the next five years. During that time, he assisted with the organization of the State Association of Congregationalists on Nov. 5-6, 1840. In 1845, Reed became the agent of the American Home Missionary Society and moved to Davenport. He resigned that position in 1858 to become treasurer of Iowa College. When the college moved to Grinnell in 1860, he moved with it and served as Principal of the Preparatory Department, and Acting Professor of Mathematics and well as Treasurer. In 1862, he resigned from the college and returned to Davenport to serve again as agent of the American Home Missionary Society. Ill health caused him to resign in 1869. He lived for the next decade in Columbus, Nebraska but returned with his wife to Davenport in 1880 to live with his daughter until his death on August 27, 1890.

Blair, Tony

  • Personne
  • (1953 - )

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

  • Personne
  • 1860-1904

Chekhov was a Russian dramatist and short story writer, born in 1860. He received his medical degree in 1884 and worked in and around Moscow, supporting his parents and sister, Mariya, much of his life. In 1901 he married the actress, Olga Knipper, who had appeared in his plays when they were produced by the Moscow Art Theatre. He had contracted tuberculosis in 1883 , became a semi-invalid in 1898, and died in 1904. He and Olga had no children.

Matlack, Henry W.

  • Personne

Henry William Matlack was a professor of music at Grinnell College beginning in 1901. Merta Rebecca Johnson was his student and they married in 1903. In 1922 Henry was named alumni secretary of the college; he died in 1936. Merta was active in many community activities including the League of Women Voters and Entre Nous, was a determined gardener and expert weaver. In 1936 she was a local supervisor for the Consumer Purchases Study, a WPA project and continued working with area families on nutrition and housekeeping into the 1940s. She lived until 1968 in the family home at 1510 East Street in Grinnell.
They had six children, all of whom attended Grinnell College: David Johnson, Mary Westgate, Margaret Westgate, Jane Fairbanks, Laura Wolcott, Helen Constance. David remained a Grinnell resident his entire life; the daughters all moved away, married, and led active lives; eventually they all returned to Grinnell. Laura moved into the family home and lived there until her death in 1997. (See attachment: Matlack Family Tree for additional information about the children, their spouses, and offspring.)

Entre Nous

  • 1908 -

A group of women who had belonged to literary societies at Grinnell College organized Entre Nous in 1908. Originally, papers presented at meetings focused on a central theme, such as Italian cities, Iowa history, or modern sociological problems. Since about 1926 members have presented book reviews at the meetings. Membership is loosely balanced between town- and college-related women.

Wolcott, Henry A.

  • Personne
  • 1821-1887

Horace A. Wolcott, b. 1821 in Orwell, OH, d. 1887 in Boulder, married Louisa Pason Bixby 1856. Louisa Bixby was the daughter of Sumner and Lucy Bixby of Norridgewock ME., and a cousin of Amos Bixby.

Children of Horace and Louisa: Edward, b. 1862, Grinnell (fell from a wagon on the way to Colorado and suffered a severe leg injury) Charles, b. 1870 in Ward, CO Frank, b. 1876, Gold Hill, CO Son of Charles: Roland, b. 1917, Boulder

Horace and Louisa homesteaded a ranch near Boulder, he developed many mines in the mountains west of Boulder. Their son Charles was involved in real estate to the extent of purchasing and reselling abandoned mines at tax sales. Charles's son Roland lives on some of this old mine property and is well steeped in the lore of mining in the early twentieth century. Roland owns the papers left by his grandfather, Horace. Wolcotts were one of a number of families from Grinnell who moved to Colorado in the 1850s and 60s.

Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell

  • Personne
  • 1872-1952

1821 Born in New Hampshire

1847-ca.1853 Congregational pastor

1852 Married Julia Chapin

1854 Founded Grinnell, Iowa

1856 Active in organizing Republican Party in Iowa

1856-60 State Senator. Worked to establish public schools in Iowa

1858 Admitted to the Iowa bar

1860 Delegate to Republican convention which nominated Lincoln

1863-67 Representative (Republican) to U. S. House of Representatives

1854-84 Trustee of Iowa (Grinnell) College

1891 Death

Interests included religion, education, politics, railroading, stock breeding, and sheep raising.

More details in Dictionary of American Biography, National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Who Was Who in America, Charles Payne’s Josiah Bushnell Grinnell.

Grinnell, Iowa was founded in March 1854 by Josiah Bushnell Grinnell (1821-1891) who chose a site which surveys indicated would be the junction of two railroads. Grinnell was a minister, trustee and benefactor of Iowa College (later renamed Grinnell College), helped organize the Republican party in Iowa, was a Representative to the Iowa legislature and later to the U.S. House (1863), was active in agricultural development and railroad building. He and his wife, Julia Chapin, were both descended from old New England families; their daughter, Mary Grinnell Mears, may have assembled some of these papers.

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