When a casual visitor strolls today across the sprawling campuses of the universities of Iowa State and Cornell, they may find it hard to believe that 150 years ago Iowa State consisted of a small handful of buildings and Cornell did not exist at all. That two such remarkable and well-known schools of higher learning even exist at all represents a story both stirring and complex that developed over the course of the early nineteenth century cumulating in the passage of the 1862 Morrill Land Grant Act. This essay will explore the 1862 Morrill Act, its background, and the actions of four key individuals—Ezra Cornell, Andrew White at Cornell, and Benjamin Gue and Adonijah Welch at Iowa State—who were instrumental in implementing the educational ideals of the Land-Grant Act at the inception of each institution.
Edward A. Goedeken
Goedeken, Edward A., "Four Men with a Vision: The Founding Fathers of the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm and Cornell University" (2013). Collections and Technical Services Publications and Papers. 67.