This is a scene from our last fire. Two large dormitories burned to the ground on July 13, 1911. I expect it to be in Iola some time this fall, but am too financially embarressed to get away for at present.
This is a revision to this post. I had previously listed the athletic field in the incorrect location. Thanks to Tom Longden for pointing out this error.
The athletic field was located at East Douglas and Cambridge NOT East Douglas and Cornell.
The athletic field was expanded in 1923, much to the grumbling of neighbors. DMU acquired an extra 25 feet to expand the field at a cost of $10,000. A concrete bleacher/grandstand with capacity of seating 5,000 people would be built before the first football game in September. Many residents felt the expansion would narrow Cambridge Street too much and make travel down the road during games difficult. DMU went ahead with their expansion anyway.
“The City’s Business.” Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa: 25 August 1923, p. 12. Newspapers.com. Accessed: 06 December 2016.
“Concrete Bleachers Des U. Plan.” The Decatur Herald. Decatur, Illinois: 19 August 1923, p. 22. Newspapers.com. Accessed: 06 December 2016.
“Council Visits Stadium Site.” Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa: 23 August 1923, p. 2. Newspapers.com. Accessed: 06 December 2016.
“Iowa News.” Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa: 23 August 1923, p. 6. Newspapers.com. Accessed: 06 December 2016.
The Tiger. Des Moines: Iowa: Students of Des Moines University, 1927.
President Longwell did not believe in college sports. He thought it took too much time away from a student when they should be focused on their academics. Longwell did believe in what he called ‘physical culture’. This amounted to all students participating in calisthenics before chapel exercises.
By 1901, Longwell had little say in the building of the athletic field, shown above. He’d been ousted during a change of management. By 1902, he returned to take control of the school once more.
Highland Park College, and later, Des University, would keep their football, basketball, baseball and track even through all the owner changes.
In 1927, the gymnasium was built a few blocks west of the athletic field. The gym survived. The athletic field did not. The land at East Douglas & Cornell was razed in 1955 to make way for home development.
Livingston, T. M. “Highland Park College.” Highland Park News and Advertiser, Vol. XXX, No. 10, March 8, 1955, p. 2.
Longwell, O.H. Autobiography., p. 104
The Piper. Annual. 1911.
The Tiger. Annual. 1920.
To: Mrs. J. P. Headstrom, Rockwell City, Iowa:
Mrs. Headstrom: – This is a picture of the college building where I am at. It is very hot down here. How are you all? We are very well.
Des Moines, Iowa