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Historic Iowa Postcards

Grinnell College Libraries' Historic Iowa Postcard Collection. A collection of postcards from 1900 through the middle of the 20th century, covering all parts of Iowa.

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Normal College was originally founded as a private school called the Hazel Dell Academy by Professor Darius Thomas in 1856. In 1893, the school was sold to Professor G.W. Wormley who moved it to a new location and named it the Newton Normal College. Business and teaching classes were taught there until its closing in 1906.

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The first skyscraper in Iowa stood was on Locust Street reported at a height of 197 feet and heralded as "the tallest office building between Chicago and San Francisco" when it opened in 1896. It included a distinctive five-story observation tower and provided electricity and gas lighting to all tenants. The building was eventually demolished in1937, and this location is now occupied by Capital Square Mall. 1905 postmark. Number 105.

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Raphael Tuck & Sons' Post Card Series (Clinton, Iowa)
Scenic view of the Mississippi River. Clinton is on the western shore of the Mississippi River and is the easternmost city in Iowa. The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge pass through Clinton along the river. Series 2155.

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School children & school staff standing in front of a two-story wooden school house with bell tower. 1905 postmark.

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Looking at the entrance to a three-story brick and stone building built in 1882. Number 71.

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Two story brick building with a tower. Sacred Heart Academy was a private Catholic school which opened in 1877, staffed by two Presentation sisters and two laywomen.

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A peaceful day on the Skunk River near Colfax, Iowa. The Skunk River in Iowa is about 265 miles long and flows parallel to the Iowa River and the Des Moines River. Number 9477.

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Looking northwest at Main Street, Cherokee, Iowa. On the left is a building with Elmo Archer, Lumber, Grain, Hard & Soft Coal. In the background on the hill is the Cherokee County Courthouse which was built in 1892 and torn down in 1965.

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Looking southwest on Main Street showing the post office. The Cumberland Post Office was established on January 19, 1885, and is still operating today and located at 123 Main Street, Cumberland, Cass County, Iowa.

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A. Yerkes
Drawing of man falling down. Number 767. Copyright 1905 by A. Yerkes.

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Looking east at shoreline with sailboat and boathouse. Arbor Lake, named for Arbor Day, when hundreds of trees were planted there, was created in 1902 as a storage reservoir to provide soft water for manufacturing firms. 1906 postmark. Number 132.

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Looking northwest at several housing units for army officers who attended the Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Training School established in 1901 on 640 acres, several miles south of downtown Des Moines. In 1917 the first officer candidate class of African Americans in US military history, trained at Fort Des Moines, and received commissions. Also in 1917 a training camp for black medical personnel began, and in 1918 the fort was used for the treatment of World War I casualties. In 1933-34 it was used as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. With the entry of the United States into World War II, the fort was used as a training center for women, for service in the Army's Women's Army Corps. After the war, the fort housed veteran soldiers for a time, and was turned over to the city in the early 1950s. Much of the original 640-acre base was sold off for development as the city grew. A number of the fort's buildings still stand, mainly on the southern and eastern edges of the parade ground. These buildings, including barracks, quarters, and stables, are now used for a variety of civic and commercial purposes. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 1906 postmark. Number 1749.

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Looking north at a housing unit for army officers who attended the Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Training School established in 1901 on 640 acres, several miles south of downtown Des Moines. In 1917 the first officer candidate class of African Americans in US military history, trained at Fort Des Moines, and received commissions. Also in 1917 a training camp for black medical personnel began, and in 1918 the fort was used for the treatment of World War I casualties. In 1933-34 it was used as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. With the entry of the United States into World War II, the fort was used as a training center for women, for service in the Army's Women's Army Corps. After the war, the fort housed veteran soldiers for a time, and was turned over to the city in the early 1950s. Much of the original 640-acre base was sold off for development as the city grew. A number of the fort's buildings still stand, mainly on the southern and eastern edges of the parade ground. These buildings, including barracks, quarters, and stables, are now used for a variety of civic and commercial purposes. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 1906 postmark. Number 24.

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Looking north. Blair Hall was constructed in 1882-1886, razed in 1961. Cost was $37,200 excluding grading and landscaping. 1906 postmark.

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Looking northwest. Carnegie Library was constructed in 1904, costing $50,000 excluding stacks and moveable furnishings. Funded by a $50,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie. Title supplied by cataloger.

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Looking north from Third Avenue at park and church. 1906 postmark.

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Embossed card with purple iris flower. 1906 postmark.

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Looking northwest at Blair Hall. Constructed in 1882-1886 at a cost of $37,200 Blair Hall housed college chapel, departments of chemistry, natural science, mathematics, and physics. It was razed in 1961. 1906 postmark.

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Looking northeast. Mears Cottage was constructed in 1888, costing $14,719. Originally served as a ladies dormitory. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 1906 postmark.

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Looking southeast from Park Street. Constructed in 1907 at a cost of approx. $20,000, Herrick Chapel was designed to house the college's religious services and to serve as a general purpose large auditorium which seats 700. Notice the large stained glass window is not yet in place. The Christian Associations Building (Steiner Hall) is in the background. 1906 postmark.

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