Tabor College (Iowa)

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Tabor College, ca. 1893

Tabor College was a Christian college in Tabor, Iowa that operated from 1853 to 1927. It is now defunct.


The school's roots date to 1852 when Deacon Samuel A. Adams, George Gaston, and Rev. John Todd came to Iowa for the purpose of establishing a Christian college, and in 1853 they established the Tabor Literary Institute.[1] Many of the founders were abolitionists and affiliated with the Congregationalists, and their goal was to found an egalitarian school similar to Oberlin College in Ohio. In 1866 the institute was renamed Tabor College and received collegiate powers.[2] Henry J. Steere, a philanthropist from New England gave major donations to the school in the late nineteenth century, but after various financial struggles the school closed in 1927. After several unsuccessful attempts to attract students in the 1930s and early 1940s, such as recruiting only boys in the bottom of their high school classes, the school failed to reopen again as an educational institution.[3][2] During World War II, the U.S. Government housed German P.O.W.s in the school buildings. All of the campus' buildings were eventually demolished except for Adams Hall, which is now an apartment building.[2] The University of Iowa archives contain the student records for Tabor.[4][5]

Notable people Tabor College faculty and alumni[edit]


  1. ^ James Patrick Morgans, John Todd and the Underground Railroad: biography of an Iowa abolitionist (McFarland, 2006)
  2. ^ a b c "Tabor College * Tabor Historical Society". Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  3. ^ "College Accepts Only Boys At Bottom in High Schools; Tabor, in Iowa, Rejects All Applicants Above Lowest 25 Per Cent of Secondary Graduates" New York Times, January 18, 1942, pg. D5
  4. ^ The University of Iowa Archives has information about the history of Tabor Literary Institute in the Papers of Forest C. Ensign (RG 99.0220). The University of Iowa Office of the Registrar houses student records of Tabor
  5. ^ "Tabor and Tabor College" by Catharine Barbour Farquhar, reprinted from the Iowa Journal of History and Politics, The State Historical Society of Iowa, October 1943

External links[edit]