Our History

Our History

Congregational minister Asa Turner settles in Iowa and writes a letter to his mission board in the East asking for missionaries to come to Iowa. “The land sales (from the Black Hawk Purchase) are over,” he says. “Settlers have got their titles to earth. Now it is time to secure a title to heaven.” Eleven men hear Turner’s call and organize what becomes...


At the annual meeting of the Association of Congregational Churches of Iowa, James J. Hill lays down a single silver dollar, asking that trustees protect and grow it, officially beginning Grinnell's endowment. Every first-year student receives a replica medal at New Student Orientation.



Iowa College opens its doors to a rigorous college preparatory program in Davenport, Iowa.  The college would soon relocate to Grinnell, Iowa.


Iowa College admits its first collegiate candidates.  Like at the best eastern colleges, tuition was $24 a year.


Brothers John and William Windsor are the first to graduate from Iowa College. William later recalls that “the free-soil fever ran high in Iowa College” in the years leading up to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. 


The East College building is completed in Grinnell. For several years it houses all of the functions of Iowa College.