Gen. Parsons
Parsons Memories
Barhydt Chapel
Parsons Hall
ParsonsStories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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While Parsons College has been closed for more than 25 years, many current Fairfield residents were once students, faculty, or members of the administration.  This section is offered as a tribute to the nearly 100 years that Parsons College was a vital part of Fairfield life.

[Parsons College emblem] [Carnegie Hall in April 2000, to be razed due to poor physical condition]

FPAC understands this deep affection for the college, and has videotaped several programs from the historical society on Parsons College memories.  The pictures in this section were taken from those sharing sessions, and from items that are part of the collection of the Jefferson County Historical Museum (third floor of the Carnegie Library building).

 

    
[portrait - Lewis B. Parsons]As a businessman and deeply religous Christian, Lewis B. Parsons acquired what was then considered a fortune at the time of his death in 1855.  His will provided for the establishment of an educational institution of learning.  The specific location was left to the executors of his will.  On December 2, 1874 a committee of Presbyterian church leaders convened in Ottumwa, Iowa to evaluate potential sites for a college under the endowment left by Parsons.  Fairfield was the site chosen.

Parsons College[embedded emblem in Parsons College courtyard] opened to 63 students on September 8, 1875 in Fairfield. The college had been incorporated on February 24th earlier that year, with thirty Trustees named to oversee the administration.  Under the original Articles of Incorporation, the President of the College and sixteen of the thirty Trustees "shall always be members of the Presbyterian Chuch."

Over the years, the college grew and developed, becoming an important part of everyday Fairfield life.  By the early 1970's, troubles beset the college and in June of 1973 the doors were closed.  There have been several reunions of Parsons College graduates since then, remembering the good times and the friends that were made.

FPAC, in conjunction with the Jefferson County Historical Museum, has  videotaped one of the programs given by Betty Schwengels and Robert 'Bob' Tree on memories of Parsons College.  Items of interest were displayed and many amusing anecdotes were shared.

Memories of Parsons College are near and dear to those who attended.  Below are some pictures from FPAC's files of Parsons College memories; see also the links on this page for more...

 

Reunions:


The Fairfield Ledger published this
Parson's College tribute one year.

[Fairfield Ledger Parsons College Reunion special edition]

[Tib Young and Betty Schwengels share Parsons memories] Parsons College memories are lovingly shared by Tib Young (since deceased) and Betty Schwengels at a historical museum program.

 

Memories:

   [Parsons College "P" printed on something or another] [Tin novelty from Parsons College] [Parsons College cap]

 

Parsons Hall:
(photos Oct. 1999)
Was located on the present MUM Campus. Demolished in 2000.

ParsonsHall.jpg (9181 bytes)  ParsonsHallsign.jpg (10403 bytes)  ParsonsHallentryway.jpg (11692 bytes)
Student Learning center being demolished, Feb. 2004. The current Learning Center on the MUM campus is now being demolished (Feb. 2004) for new student union facilities.  This building was built during the time of Parsons College and was located adjacent to Hwy 1 near the main campus entrance.

For more information about Parsons College,transcripts and credentials, reunions, or other information contact the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce at www.fairfieldiowa.com

Also, more information about Parsons College and alumni can be obtained by contacting George Jordan III, geo@parsonscollege.org