Egg Rioters (1929)

Courtesy of Michael O’Brien. “Lost Des Moines.” Closed Group. Facebook. 10 July 2017. Accessed: 10 July 2017.

In the spring of 1929, there were two fractions at war at the University. Those who were on Dr. Shields, President of the Bible Baptist Union (the organization that owned the school) side and those against Shields. After some tense exchanges between the trustees, the Shields fraction won their battle. As of June 4, 1929, all the faculty at Des Moines University were terminated. Anyone who wanted their job back had to petition the Bible Baptist Union Secretary, Edith Rebman, for their job. During these tense meetings, students gathered on campus. A few boys arrived with some unhatched eggs from a hatchery in town. The manager had looked the other way when the boys took them because he could no longer sell them. Those eggs ended up splattered on the administration building. Later they were thrown through the administration building windows as the students’ agitation later spilled over into violence.

The photograph above shows a policeman signing one of the eggs that might have ended up thrown on the administration building with the hopes of hitting Dr. Shields.

Related posts:
Courtroom (1929)
May 15, 1929
Faculty Dismissed (1929)
Edith King Campell (1929)
Rioters (1929)
Riot Aftermath (1929)
Four Canadians Attached as Spies (1929)

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