Athletics Pass (1910)



Des Moines University Room (2017)

After the riots, what was left of the archives of Highland Park College and Des Moines University were shipped off to Sioux Falls College which later changed its name to University of Sioux Falls.

I want to thank Chris Bechtel with sharing a photo marker at University of Sioux Falls. Chris’s dad was a leading representative of DMU’s alumni.

Thanks again, Chris.

Chris Bechtel
Photo courtesy of Chris Bechtel

Georgia or Ruby Goff (1921)

Courtesy of Joy Neil Kindey. “Des Moines Historical Society.” Closed Group. Facebook. 2016 February 27. Location. Accessed: 2016 March 2.

Georgia and Ruby Goff were enrolled in the music program at Des Moines Colllege (1) in 1920-1921. To meet their financial obligations, both girls were employed by Carl and Edith Weeks (2). Carl was an alumni of Highland Park College who made his fortune manufacturing and selling cosmetics (3).

(1) “A New Charter.” The College on the Northside. Location. 30 June 2013.
(2) Kindey, Joy Neil. Post. Des Moines Historical Society. Closed Group. Facebook. 27 February 2016. Location. Accessed: 2016 March 2.
(3) Finney, Daniel P. “Linn County Boy Helped Build D.M. Icons.” Des Moines Register Online. Des Moines, Iowa. 8 April 2016. Location. Accessed: 8 April 2016.

May Day Celebrations (1907) & (1916)

May Day
“May Day Festival on Campus.” Courtesy of The Midwestern, Vol. 1, no. 2, 1907.

The first May Day celebration at Highland Park College took place in 1900. It resembled modern day prom in many respects. Faculty was in charge of different aspects of the celebration while the student body elected a king, queen and court members. Additional activities included such things as shooting bow and arrows, tug of war, shot put, disc, running races. The students often carried the celebrations well into the night. In one instance, the students took over the streetcars and didn’t allow anyone else on them well into the night.

President Longwell said of the first event (his daughter Helen was the first May queen so it might account for his gushing praise here): “The royal procession, the crowing of the king and queen and the dancing around the May pole on the green before their royal highnesses was spectacular and beautiful in the extreme (Longwell, pg. 107).”

May Day tradition continued each year until 1918. The following year the college was sold to the Baptists who discontinued this event.

The Piper yearbook, 1916.


  • Longwell, Oliver H., A.M., Ph.D. Autobiography. Introduction by James R. Hanna, A.M., LL.D. Des Moines, Iowa: The Highland Publishing Company, 1919, pp. 106-07.
  • “May Day Festival on Campus, Highland Park College.” Miller, James Clarkson. “Great American School, Highland Park College of Des Moines, A.” The Midwestern 1, no. 2. Des Moines, Iowa: Greater Des Moines Publishing Company, 1907, pp. 85-97
  • The Piper. Des Moines, Iowa: Students of Highland Park College, 1916.
  • The Tiger. Des Moines, Iowa: Students of Des Moines College, 1920.