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Archival description
Grinnell College Libraries Special Collections Grinnell College -- Presidents
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Grant O. Gale Personal Papers 1850-1995

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.115
  • Collection

The personal correspondence, notes and photographs of former Grinnell professor of physics Grant O. Gale. Gale was educated at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and got his masters in physics at the University of Michigan in 1933. He taught at Grinnell from 1929 to 1972. The college's observatory is named for Gale, and he was active in several Grinnell community organizations before his passing in 1998.
Gale is remembered for his dedication to his students and to his role as a mentor on the Grinnell campus.

Grinnell – Chapin Genealogical Material

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.05
  • Collection

The collection consists of genealogical charts 1480 0 1919.  Correspondence ca. 1898-1908, 32 portraits, some unidentified, copies of cemetery inscriptions, Family Association publications for the Chapin (4 books, 1862, 1908, 1908, 1927) and Alden (1 book, 1916) families, sixty Chapin family deeds and documents from Massachusetts 1674-1851, and a 114-page handwritten notebook by E. F. G. of Stockbridge, 1848, family history of Chapin ancestors Dudley, Woodbridge, Jones, and Eliot.

The papers have detailed information about a few branches of the family, little or no information on other branches.  The researcher might consult U.S. Library of Congress, Genealogies in the Library of Congress to identify more complete sources.

Genealogical charts in this collection trace part of the Grinnell family from Pierre Grenelle, born about 1480 in France. A descendant, Matthew, born 1602, became a Protestant and moved to Newport, R.I., in 1630, beginning the American line of the family. Matthew’s son married a granddaughter of John and Priscilla Alden. Other charts trace various branches of the Chapin family from about 1576 to Mary Grinnell’s birth about 1857.

Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell

William Oelke Papers 1953-1974

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.13
  • Collection

Consists of manuscripts of talks, articles, correspondence, photographs, and slides.  Most relate to chemistry and chemists at Grinnell College in the early and mid-twentieth century.

Oelke, William C.

RG-T: Treasurer's Office Records 1847-1980

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-T
  • Collection

Items in the Treasurer's Office record group span the years 1847-1980.  Records from the 19th Century (Series 1 and 4) consist chiefly of ledgers, journals, and donor lists.

Prior to 1887 the college had no office force, and a Trustee served as Treasurer (without salary). Several local bankers serves as treasurers and auditors during the Gates' administration, The first salaried Treasurer was H. H. Robbins.

H. H. Robbins, 1869, was Secretary and Treasurer of Iowa College 1887-1906, and was a Trustee 1890-1906. Prior to 1887 he was a Congregational minister and a railroad engineer. He was the son of Iowa Band Member A. B. Robbins, who was the first president of the Board.

H. W. Somers, 1882, became Business Manager and Secretary in 1907. His duties were to direct the financial and accounting system of the college and to direct fund raising. In 1916 his title changed to Secretary and Treasurer, and Louis Pyelps became Business Manager. Somers served until 1919.
Louis Phelps came as Business Manager in 1916, was college Treasurer 1919-1949. He was Secretary of the Grinnell College Foundation 1917-ca. 1954. Prior to coming to Grinnell he was a construction engineer, and was involved in construction of the women’s quadrangle 1914-1916.

Rupert Hawk, Treasurer, 1949-1956
Charles Kaufman served as Accountant 1942-1956 and as Treasurer 1956-1966
Donald Lambie, Treasurer, 1966-1972
Robert Anderson, Treasurer, 1972-1988
Waldo Walker, Treasurer, 1988-1990
David Clay, Treasurer, 1990-

From about 1913 to 1940 the college expanded its facilities dramatically.  Louis Phelps, College Treasurer 1919-1949, and Grinnell College Foundation Secretary 1917-ca.1954, preserved most of the papers which expedited the financing and construction of the dormitories and a few other buildings during this period.  Series 3-5 are from his files.

Providing on-campus dormitores for students was a new phenomenon in the early part of the twentieth century, and financing their construction called for considerable ingenuity.  Grinnell was a pioneer in this, and other colleges and universities studied the example.  One officer of the General Education Board, a Rockefeller philanthropy which contributed significantly to the College, praised President Main for pioneering in the social and educational experiment; another officer feared that war or pestilence might create serious problems in dormitories (RG-T, Ser. 3.4, folder 2, Phelps to Arnett, 6/22/30),.  The College Trustees created Grinnell College Foundation to raise the funds.  Details of their activities are in Series 6 and Series 3.4 of this record group.  Dormitory construction records are in Series 4.

Part of the financing involved owning, managing, and selling farms and other real estate.  Correspondence between Mr. Phelps and the farmers and farm managers (in series 5) records on a day-to-day basis the myriad problems farmers faced during the 1920s and 30s in the midwest.  Text books describe the agricultural situation, but this correspondence brings home what it was like to live and cope with falling market prices, crop diseases, pernicious weather patterns, and personal tragedies.  The correspondence includes such details as building and equipment repairs; livestock sales; plant and animal diseases; when to castrate the pigs; planting windbreaks; inability to get crops to market because of muddy roads; government farm assistance programs; trial planiting of the new hybrid corn seed.  Phelps was involved in all of these details.

George D. Herron papers 1891-1973 1891-1903

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.47
  • Collection

The collection includes writings of Herron from the 1890s, correspondence from and to college officials regarding Herron and his work at the college, published articles and unpublished papers about Herron, and extensive set of clippings regarding Herron, his philosophy and teaching, and his relationship with Carrie Rand.

Herron, George D.

RG-R: College Relations

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-R
  • Collection

The Summer Programs Office was organized in 1982 by James C. Work. The office coordinated special academic and athletic summer programs and outside groups using campus facilities for conferences. In 1989-1990 the name of the office was changed to Special Services and Summer Activities as additional responsibilities were added. During the college's sesquicentannial celebration, the office coordinated many on-campus and off-campus events. In July, 2001, the office merged with the Office of Public Relations to become the Office of Communications and Events.

Jesse Macy Papers 1876-1919

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.70
  • Collection

The collection contains correspondence between Macy and several people from the 1870s to 1919, including a letter from Woodrow Wilson thanking Macy for a gift and for his congratulations on the 1910 New Jersey gubernatorial election. There are a number of miscellaneous family documents, Macy’s diary from 1864-65 in Savannah, Georgia, and sixty letters of tribute at the time of Macy’s death.

Macy, Jesse

Joseph F. "Joe" Wall Papers 1950-1988

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.08
  • Collection

Consists of holograph, typescript, and proofs of Joseph Wall's biography, Andrew Carnegie (1970), holograph and typescript of Henry Watterson: Reconstructed Rebel (1956), and of the page proof of Interpreting Twentieth-Century America (1973).  A small part of the collection includes some correspondence connected with Andrew Carnegie. Also included is a typescript of the Grinnell College Faculty Handbook (1969) and talks and memos concerning the Abler-Woodworth controversy of 1974.

Wall, Joseph Frazier

RG-EV:  Evaluation and Planning 1971-1989

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-EV
  • Collection

The bulk of the collection is from the 1980s and consists of reports, memos, and statistical studies conducted by the Office of Evaluation & Planning (title varies, also called Office of Research & Evaluation in the late 1980s), primarily for the Admissions Office. Edward Barboni was director of the office 1981-87, Ruth Wheeler 1987-89. Katharine Guroff served part time some years during the early and middle 1970s as Institutional Researcher in the Office of the Dean, and a few of her studies are included

George Drake Family Papers 1861-2000

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.30
  • Collection

President George Drake and his brother, Professor Richard Drake of Berea College, donated family papers to Grinnell College Archives January 1991.  The bulk of the material is from their father, George Bryant Drake. It consists of correspondence, notes for sermons, family financial and business records, clippings, photographs, ca. 1920s-80s.  One box contains writings of Richard Drake, one box correspondence and writings of George Drake and family, one box papers of Alberta Drake, a box of Nell Drake's writings and publications.

George Bryant Drake (1895-1979) was a Congregational Minister and President of Doane College in Nebraska. He and his wife, Alberta Stimson Drake, had three children: George Albert Drake (1934-), professor and President of Grinnell College; Richard Bryant Drake (1925-), professor at Berea College; and Alberta Jane Drake (1928-). George Bryant was called Bryant; his parents were Nellie Jennie Rice Drake and George Burton Drake.

Early College History 1846-1918

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-A1
  • Collection

Consists of the early records of the founding of Iowa College, including correspondence by members of the Iowa Band, including Julius Reed;  financial records; articles of incorporation; annual reports; land deeds; and committee reports to the Board of Trustees.

Iowa College

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