In December 2016, I gave a presentation at the Des Moines Public Library (northside). It was hosted by the Des Moines Historical Society of which I am a member. If you were unable to attend this event, you may view it below.
Alfred Lawson purchased the Des Moines University property in 1943 through his Humanity Benefactor Foundation. He dreamed of establishing a university that delved deeper into the mysterious of physics and his teachings of Lawsonomy. In December of that year, articles of incorporation were filed in Des Moines for the establishment of Des Moines University of Lawsonomy.
Through Lawson’s writing, he promised he would return Des Moines University to its former glory. But it wasn’t long before the area surrounding the college realized that all Lawson offered were promises.
Lawson was away a great deal and put a group of trustees in charge of the college. They erected a five foot fence around the property. Neighbors were awakened at 6:00 a.m. every morning to a bugle call. Young children worked on the grounds from morning until dusk, making some residents wonder how he bypassed child labor laws. Merchants became upset because Des Moines University of Lawsonomy would not do business with local business unless they advertised in the Benefactor, shown below.
Alfred Lawson purchased the grounds of Des Moines University for his his school “Lawsonomy” in the 1940s. He put a high fence around the school and tried to keep people from sticking their nose in his business. The image below was taken at a hearing in Washington D.C. before the Senate Small Business Committee in March of 1952. War Machine supplies were sold to his school on the grounds they would be for educational purposes only. Some how the machines ended up getting resold for a $120,000 profit. When confronted by it, 82 year old Lawson stated his mind was too full of “great philosophical thought” to be bothered by their questioning.