Decade team:  Andrew Killinger, Morgan Ginther, Leann Mears, Sam Robinson, Melanie Snow, Marisa Stadlman, Lucas Grundmeier

The first 10 years of the 20th Century brought great change to Iowa State College, and these changes were presented to the student body by the school newspaper, The Iowa State Student. From fires to deaths of presidents, ISC met great change and sorrow, inevitably strengthening the structure on which the institution was founded.

In 1902, a front-page headline of the first edition of The Iowa StateStudent was “Services in Honor of Our Departed President Dr. W. M. Beardshear.” William Beardshear was the president of Iowa State College for 11 years before he passed away Aug. 5, 1902.  During his memorial service, he was remembered for his ability to lead the college to academic achievement in agriculture, engineering and veterinary medicine. The Central Building, built in 1908, was renamed Beardshear Hall in 1938.

On this spot originally rested the Old Main building. In December 1900 the campus landscape was changed when two-thirds of the building burnt down, leaving many students briefly homeless. On Dec. 10, 1900, The Student reported on this event as being a loss of $100,000, having called the horse-drawn fire fighters from Boone. The building was permanently destroyed in 1902 from another fire while it was under repair.

During this time, the United States felt a great loss as well. On Sept. 6, 1901, the assassination of President William McKinley brought the entire nation to its knees. Following the event there was a short paragraph in the Saturday issue of The Student explaining what happened. There were three more articles on President McKinley, one reporting his death, another borrowing a eulogy from a Des Moines newspaper and the third giving a tribute to McKinley along with his memorial service itinerary.

There were high times as well. Sports became an important story in the newspaper. Football and baseball were at the cornerstone of the ISC sports community for many years, but there was soon a new comer to the sports frenzy. The Student reported on the new big phenomenon sweeping campuses around the nation – basketball. Although the game had been organized on campuses nationwide, Iowa State College was slow to jump onto the bandwagon. With the help of the paper publishing stories with headlines like “Basket Ball All The Rage,” students discovered the sport and headed out to the armory building to learn how to play. Most games were class competitions between the freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. However, a varsity team was organized and played two games.


About this Project Iowa State Daily Greenlee School Iowa State University Centennial Site