Morningside College Souvenir Spoon
Date: c. 1910
Description: This tarnished sterling silver spoon is a souvenir of Sioux City’s oldest collegiate institution, Morningside College. Originally, the college was founded by members of the Methodist-Episcopal Church (United Methodist today) in addition to land owners and developers in Morningside like Edwin Peters and James A. Jackson. After several bids and raising of funds the University of the Northwest opened in 1890 on Peters’s own land. The first building was the College of Technology building, which is the smaller of the two buildings shown on this spoon. Classes began that September, right near the time that the foundation for Main Hall, the larger building on this spoon, was laid. The University of the Northwest quickly ran into financial trouble, however. The Panic of 1893 bankrupted many of the college’s key investors, and the college was forced to shut down. Peters and other Morningside investors, however, were not keen on giving up on the idea for a college in the area, as they felt it would spur residential growth. Lay investors and Methodist officials came together again and reopened the college in 1894 with a new name, Morningside College, after the suburb it occupied. Main Hall was completed in 1900 and renamed Lewis Hall after the second president of the new college, William Seely Lewis. Both halls suffered extensive fire damage, Lewis Hall in 1912 and the College of Technology in 1914. The College of Technology only had the top floor burn and this floor was largely removed with the rest of the building intact. After this removal the building was renamed Charles City Hall after the Methodist College in Charles City, Iowa was absorbed into Morningside College. Lewis Hall was completely rebuilt after the damages, largely following the original design.
William Beuttler and Ralph Arnold designed two new buildings on the property as the college grew, what is now the Library in 1914 and Dimmitt Hall in 1922. Financial struggles during the late 1920s and 1930s halted development for a time, but Beuttler returned after World War II and built almost all of the buildings on campus today between 1947 and 1963. Today Morningside College remains a private, four-year co-educational institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The modern campus covers 68 acres, much of which is in the Morningside Historic District. It remains the oldest college in the city, though not the only one. Briar Cliff University opened in 1931 as a Franciscan Catholic college, and Western Iowa Tech Community College opened in the 1960s. Morningside College greatly increased the development of Morningside, and new residents meant new schools, such as Longfellow, Joy Elementary, Washington Elementary, and the East Junior and East High schools. Today Morningside Elementary has largely replaced the other elementary schools in the area, but both East Middle and East High remain a strong part of the Sioux City Community School District.
Donor: Steve Van Tuyl