Ames and the College from 1890-1900: A Transformative Decade

In 1890 the city of Ames had 1,276 citizens, no municipal electrical, water or sewage service and a part time town marshal. Iowa Agricultural College lay two miles west and was an isolated world unto itself. By 1900, Ames had 2,422 citizens, a publicly owned electric plant, a state-of-the-art water and sewer system and a new Chicago & North Western railroad depot. This growth was the fruit of many people's labors, but fueled largely by the vision of one man, President William Beardshear of IAC, with one local business, the Ames & College Railway, serving as the backbone for these enhancements. This presentation talks about the struggles and the triumphs of this transformative decade and the people who made this possible.

By Douglas Biggs. Lecture Series, 2014. 81 minutes.