Western (1857-1906)/ Leander Clark (1906-1919) College

Summary Information

George T. Henry College Archives
Western Leander Clark College. Western College. Leander Clark College.
Western / Leander Clark College
Date [inclusive]
9.3 Linear feet
General Physical Description note
Contains Many Fragile Items.

Preferred Citation note

Western Leander Clark Collection, George T. Henry College Archives, Stewart Memorial Library, Coe College

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical/Historical note

Western College was established as a coeducational institution by members of the United Brethren in Christ Church in Iowa in 1856. The sight just north of Shueyville, Linn County, Iowa was selected for Western College and the small town that sprung up around it. The college was established because of the want for an institution of higher learning for the church, and was the first United Brethren School west of the Mississippi, thus came the name Western College. In 1881 the college faced major financial difficulties and was moved to Toledo, Iowa because of a pledge of $20,194 by its residence. The Board of Trustees voted for this proposition eight to one.

The early years at Toledo brought the college great hope of becoming a successful institution. Enrollment was up for the college but it still faced severe financial difficulties. Pledges given by the townspeople only covered half of the cost of building the college, while the other half was to be raised and furnished by the college itself. This financial burden continued to plague the college through its many years in Toledo while it was attempting to expand its campus for future generations.

On the morning of December 26, 1889 the $75,000 main college building caught on fire and destroyed nearly all of it. The city of Toledo reacted to this situation with giving arms and came together to rebuild the college with a collection of donations from its citizens and the United Brethren Church.

Debt still remained a major issue for the college following this event. In September, 1894 the college debt remained $81,254 and a campaign launched by the newly elected President Bookwalter was committed to increasing the educational standards of the school while stopping and paying off the growing debt of the college. From this point forward the college’s president concentrated on not letting its expenditures exceed its income, while also raising the necessary funds to liquidate its indebtedness. The goal of raising $50,000 dollars to liquidate the college’s debt, set by president Bookwalter, was met on December 31, 1901 and was an event of great celebration.

By 1902 the college’s educational sectors were thoroughly organized in every department, and enrollment was up to 223 students. But the college, relieved of the majority of its indebtedness, still had no new form of income and began a campaign for the raising of a $150,000 endowment. In order to raise this endowment the Board proposed to give to anyone who would contribute $50,000 toward the endowment fund, the privilege of naming the College. To this the Hon. Leander Clark proposed a gift of $50,000 on the condition that $100,000 could be secured by January 1, 1906 by the college. These funds were secured by 1905 when Andrew Carnegie agreed to contribute $50,000 dollars to the endowment when all other monies had been collected. Because of the Hon. Leander Clark’s gift the college was renamed Leander Clark College in 1906.

In 1919, Leander Clark College found it impossible to continue its existence in Toledo, Iowa because of failure to procure sufficient financial support for the college. Leander Clark College united with Coe College at Cedar Rapids, Iowa with the work of the two colleges being consolidated and carried out in Cedar Raids under the name of Coe College. The $200,000 dollar endowment fund of Leander Clark College was also transferred to Coe College, $150,000 of which was the Clark-Carnegie Endowment. The Alumni, faculty, and students were all accepted into Coe College as well.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

Western College was established as a coeducational institution by members of the United Brethren in Christ Church in Iowa in 1856. This collection contains many of the Board of Trustee record books, Financial Ledgers, and Articles of Incorporation of Western-Leander Clark College. Also included in the collection are newspaper articles from “the Owl,” “Western College Advocate and Miscellaneous Magazine,” and the “Western Breeze.” Ephemera from Western-Leander Clark alumni and the Cardinal year books are also contained in this collection. In regards to the Coe-Leander Clark merger, there are court documents, correspondence, and other documents relating to the terms of the merger. Lastly many of the primary documents from Henry W. Ward’s writing of “Western Leander Clark College, 1856-1911” are also contained in the collection.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

George T. Henry College Archives

Coe College
1220 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52402

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Western Leander Clark College. Western College. Leander Clark College.
  • Western Leander Clark College. Western College. Leander Clark College. -- History-Sources

Personal Name(s)

  • Ward, Henry Winfield , Dr.

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

 701.01.01 Administration 

College History 

Deeds and Notes 

Van Buren County 1857   (oversized, folder 1)

Note - Western College to Mary J. Spensley for $25000 1890   (oversized, folder 2)


Newspapers   (box 1, folder 1)

Cedar Rapids Gazette, "Western Once Had a College Rivaling the Univerty of Iowa," by Hertal, Reynold May 15, 1949   (box 1, folder 1)

Sun: Mount Vernon and Lisbon, Iowa, "Old college once by Ely almost moved to Lisbon," by Herrick, Dennis F. August 3, 1989   (box 1, folder 1)

Lithograph of Western College (copy) [incl. text about post office] (see: Knapp Family Colelction - Misc.)   (box 1, folder 2)

Short History of Western College (Leander Clark College), by Herrick, Dennis F. - paper June 8, 1989   (box 1, folder 3)

(see also: Alumni - Benson, Ernest A.) 

(see also: Alumni - Collier, Alfred D.) 

(see also: Faculty - Ward, Henry W.) 

(see also: Faculty - Kephart, C.J.) 

Merging of Leander Clark College and Coe College   (oversized, folder 3)

Court Records - William E. Schell, etx. [Church of the United Bretheren in Christ] vs. Leander Clark College, et al.   (oversized, folder 3)

Trustee Minutes 

"To the board of trustees of Leander Clark College: Toledo, Iowa." by the Committee to fomulate a plan for the consolidation of Coe College and Leander Clark College.   (oversized, folder 3)

 June 10, 1919   (oversized, folder 3)

 May 12, 1926   (oversized, folder 3)

"Union of Leander Clark College and Coe College" - Articles of Agreement   (oversized, folder 3)

(see also: Alumni - Benson, Ernst A.) 

(see also: Alumni - correspondence, Dean Stookey) 


Clark Leander - obituary   (box 1, folder 5)

Lichtenwalter, E.B. - notes   (box 1, folder 5)

Board of Trustees 

Minutes   (box 2)

 1855-1919    [3 books] (box 2)

 1855-1858, 1862-1896   [1 book] (box 2)

(see also: College History - Merging of Leander Clark College and Coe College) 


"Western College Advocate and Miscellaneous Magazine"   (box 3)

 1857-1858   [1 book] (box 3)

 1856-1857   [1 book, 2 copies] (box 3)

"Western College Advocate" July 1859   (box 3, folder 1)

Reports to Board   (oversized, folder 4)

Endowment Secretary of Leander Clark College 1926   (oversized, folder 4)

Presidents Report 1912   (oversized, folder 4)

Executive Committee - Minutes   (box 4)

 1860-1881   [1 book] (box 4)

 1881-1883 [including By Laws & Articles of incorporation]   [1 book] (box 4)

 1894-1912   [1 book] (box 4)

 1912-1919,1922,1926   [1 book] (box 4)

Presidents - Papers 

Brooke, Franklin E.   (box 5, folder 1)

Article - The Religious Telescope, "Educational: Leander Clark College" [college debt paid off] February 10, 1910   (box 5, folder 1)

(see also: Board of Trustees - Reports to Board) 

Drury, M.R. - speech, obituary 1920, 1939   (box 5, folder 2)

Weaver, Solomon - Correspondence 1862   (box 5, folder 2)

Student Affairs - Student Absences 1898   (box 6, folder 1)

Registrar - Annual Catalog   (housed on shelf)

Western College   (housed on shelf)

 1876-1877   [1 unbound book] (housed on shelf)

 1880-1889   [1 bound book] (housed on shelf)

 1894-1898   [4 unbound books] (housed on shelf)

 1898-1901   [3 bound serials] (housed on shelf)

 1895-1905   [1 bound serial] (housed on shelf)

Leander Clark College   (housed on shelf)

 1905-1908   [1 bound serial] (housed on shelf)

 1908-1910   [1 bound serial, 2 copies] (housed on shelf)

 1910-1913   [1 bound serial, 2 copies] (housed on shelf)

 1912-1916   [1 bound serial] (housed on shelf)

 1914-1917   [3 unbounds books] (housed on shelf)

Business Office - Account Book 1908-1919   [1 bound serial] (housed on shelf)


$250,000 Endowment Campaign - scrapbook 1917   (box 7)

Miscellaneous - correspondence and pamphlet 1912,1917   (box 7, folder 1)

(see also: Board of Trustees - Report to Board) 

Alumni Association 

Alumni lists [incl. notse on merged alumni lists after merger]   (box 8, folder 1)

Coe Alumni Dinner (incl. Leander Clark Graduates 1916) - program, photographs 1966   (box 8, folder 2)

Historical Secretary Record Book 1856,1964-1975   [1 book] (box 8)


"Western College Annual" 1980   [1 booklet] (box 8)

"Annual of the Alumni Association" 1891   [1 booklet] (box 8)

"Official Directory: alumni and faculty of Coe College, including Leander Clark and Western Colleges"   (box 8)

 1926   [1 book] (box 8)

 1930   [1 book] (box 8)

Institution-sponsored Publications 

"Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws" 1907   (box 8, folder 3)

"Coe College Courier: Eighth Annual Founders Day" [Western/Leander Clark College was honored] December 1920   (box 8, folder 4)

"Leander Clark Cook Book"   (box 8)

"Leander Clark College Bulletin"   (box 8, folder 5)

 January 1907   (box 8, folder 5)

Registrar of the Graduates of the college of Liberal Arts January 1908   [alumni directory] (box 8, folder 5)

"Leander Clark college and Toledo Semi-Centennial Souvenir" 1906   [2 copies] (box 8)

Return to Table of Contents »

 701.01.03 Faculty/Staff 

Faculty Minutes 1874-1918   [4 books] (box 4)

Faculty Papers 

Adams, Romazo, Professor of Economics and Sociology 1898-1900 - "The Peoples of Hawaii" by Adams 1933   (box 5, folder 4)

Kephart, C.J. - correspondence, history 1910   (box 5, folder 5)

Ward, Henry W.   (box 5, folder 6)

"Leander Clark College" - draft of short history   (box 5, folder 5)

"History of Western-Leander-Clark college 1856-1911" by Henry W. Ward   book [2 copies] (box 5, folder 5)

Alumni correspondence and other papers   [original box] (box 9)

Alumni correspondence - prior to publication of alumni registrar for Leander Clark College's Quadrennial   [original box] (box 10)

Publications, correspondence, etc. - bulk related to publication of WLC History   [original box] (box 9)

(see also: Tindall, Robert Currie - "Henry Winfield Ward Beloved Teacher") 

(see also: alumni [much of the correspondence is to Ward]) 

Return to Table of Contents »

 701.01.04 Student Life 

Class Records and Notes 

Junior Class Record 1911   (box 6)

Senior Class Will and Testament 1912   (Box 6, Folder 2)

Ephemeral - handbooks, invitations, awards, etc.   (box 12)

Miscellaneous- Notes and Correspondence   (Box 6, Folder 3)

Organizations   (Box 6, Folder 4)

Calliopian Society - Newspaper Clipping On Reunion Of   (Box 6, Folder 4)

Philophronean Literary Society - Constitution and By-laws with a brief history and alumni registrar 1910   (Box 6, Folder 4)

Young Ladies Athenaeum 

(see: alumni - Steele, Ruth) 

(see: Young Men's Institute - newspaper clipping) 

Young Men's Institute - By-laws, newspaper clipping   (Box 6, Folder 4)



"Leander Clark Era" [student newspaper] (2 Books) 1906-1908   (Box 13)

"Leander Clark Record" 1916   (Oversized, Folder 5)

"The Owl" [literary newspaper] (1 Book) 1907   (Box 13)

Single Issue Humorous Papers   (Box 6, Folder 5)

"1914 Harold" June 8, 1914   (Box 6, Folder 5)

"The Hook" June 13, 1916   (Box 6, Folder 5)

Student Theses [2 Books] classes 1911-1913   (housed on shelf)


"The Cardinal" [yearbook] 1910-1917   (Boxes 14-15)

"Western Breeze" [yearbook] [1 volume] 1903   (Box 14)

"Yells and Songs" 1912-1913   (Box 6, Folder 6)

Return to Table of Contents »

 701.01.05 Sports 

Athletic Committee Minutes [1 book] 1908-1915   (box 6)

Return to Table of Contents »

 701.01.06 Alumni 

Correspondence   (Box 16)

Responses to Dean Stookey's announcement that all WLC alumni were considered graduates of Coe and inviting them to the 1920 commencement to pick up their certificate of alumni membership [original box]   (box 16)


Benson, Ernest A. - "Leander Clark College Merges With Coe College" and "Western College 1855 to 1881" - correspondence, Leander Clark College history   (Box 5, Folder 7)

Bookwalter, Lewis - correspondence, history 1909   (Box 5, Folder 8)

Collier, Alfred D. - correspondence, history   (Box 5, Folder 9)

Collier, Mrs. Virginia H. - correspondence, history 1909   (Box 5, Folder 10)

Drury, A.W., class of 1872 - articles by Drury 1922, 1927   (box 5, folder 11)

Fulcomer, Daniel - students correspondence 1880   (Box 5, Folder 12)

Green, Charlotte - obituary 1939   (Box 5, Folder 13)

Harrigan, James C. - Colville Examiner, Colville, WA - recollections 1967   (Box 5, Folder 14)

Richardson, William A. - student correspondence 1861   (Box 5, Folder 15)

Steele, Ruth - Young Ladies Athenaeum - recollections   (Box 5, Folder 16)

Tindall, Robert Currie - "Henry WInfield Ward Beloved Teacher" - recollections 1968   (Box 5, Folder 17)

Ward, Robert F. - Photo Album 1913   (Box 17)

Return to Table of Contents »

 701.01.08 Photographs   (Box 18)

Return to Table of Contents »

 701.01.10 Artifacts 

Pennants and Banners   (Box 19)

Block from Isaac Long Barn [United Brethren Church Artifact from Western College Archives]   (Box 1)

Return to Table of Contents »