Simpson College Students – Indianola, Iowa

I wanted to start this blog out to say that some more photos have been reunited with family. This is the third so far that has gone home to a relative since I started this blog.

Please read here to see the message sent from the relative..

Now onto todays blog and photo.

Visited Sweet Salvage in Downtown Phoenix, Az for their Dec sale. Found 2 old photos there that I came home with.

This one is mounted on a thick piece of backing, glued all around it are various college names. The backside has names written, Im assuming graduation year are the dates next to each person.


So this made it hard as no one city/state is named in all of the little names glued all over, so I began to google the names on the back one by one, chosing those with middle initials as to narrow it down faster if possible. As a result I found the website for SIMPSON COLLEGE in Iowa.

From wikipedia ” founded in 1860 named and based on the beliefs of Methodist Minister Matthew Simpson. Simpson is best know as the minister who spoke the last words at Abraham Lincoln’s grave in Springflied, Illionois. His beliefs are passed onto the students and professors of Simpson.”

On the site is a list of students each year from 1870-1930. You have to love the internet! All of us out in the world inputing our memories, information, photos and all for others to share. So many of the names written down on the backside appear on this website and I had a perfect match.(the ones listed for the years 1908 and 1909 do not match up on the website)

I assumed this might be a Fraternity Photo, You have different year students listed. At the top of the writing on the back it does say “KOY 1904-05” .  After reading more on wikipedia I found this on the KOY Fraternity –

“Kappa Theta Psi (KOY) is the oldest local fraternity west of the Mississippi.It was founded in 1902….After the quest for a national re-charter from SAE failed, KOY existed for many years as only a local fraternity. After the chapter was nationally chartered in 1969 as an Upsilon Delta chapter and subsequently was shut down by nationals and by Simpson college, KOY returned to campus in 1979….”

The following names are listed on the back of the photo.

Bruce Bartholomew 05

Roy Worth 06

John Horsley 08

Earl M. Hale 07

Earnest A. Rea 05

Leonard McMahan 05

Duane D. Sawson 09

Worth McClure 07

Fred Melick 07

Roy L. Robbins 09

Whitford H. Shelton 05

Paul A. White 07

Harvey H. Lisle 07

Tom Rogers 08

Ray Truscott 05

Milo Latimer 08

Another note about this college.

George Washington Carver was a former student 🙂

“During 1890 to 1891, Simpson College, located in Indianola, Iowa was endowed by Matt Simpson, a friend of Abraham Lincoln and an advocate of equal rights for all men. Carver, therefore, was accepted and allowed to attend Simpson College where he completed one year. Carver was one of the first African American students to attend Simpson College.”



Filed under Loose Photos

12 responses to “Simpson College Students – Indianola, Iowa

  1. Ah! The Much Maligned Internet .but without it, such detective work would be so much difficult (impossible?) A Grand Piece Of Research .

  2. Great old photo and great post. You remind me of that feeling of joy when you get a “new” old photo – it is time for another trip to an antiques centre.

  3. A fine purchase with lots of information that should result in a reunion much like the one of the Kubalas. That was a great story!

  4. Karen S.

    Excellent story. I just love that we have this outlet, and just being connected to Sepia Saturday has been like living in history and learning so much, that I otherwise wouldn’t have known! Keep up the great work!

  5. gluepot

    An excellent piece of detective work to go with an intriguing photograph, which I’m not surprised you picked it up and took it home.

  6. Interesting find. I wonder whether there is any significance in which college names are glued to it.

  7. A great photo that looks like it was posed for a school yearbook. I’ve done similar searches for mystery photos where there are names but no place, so I know that special thrill when the names all click into place.

    And just today I too got an email from a descendant of someone in one of my recent photo stories. The internet is very amazing!

  8. School yearbooks and photos seem to be a largely American phenomenon. I have one or two class photos from my children’s junior schools but only full school photos otherwise. Nevertheless your excellent post has prompted me to return my old sports team photos and identify the people on them, in case somone finds them in the years to come.

  9. What would have otherwise been a rather dull staid portrait takes on real life with the stickers on the frame.

  10. Wonderful research! The Internet is a treasure trove for research – we are able to identify people and things that would probably otherwise stay unidentified. Every time I sit down to post an old photo I tell myself that in the interest of time I will just post the photo and be done with it but I can never just let it be. I always end up trying to find something out about the photographer or the era or the subject.

  11. Justin

    As former President of Kappa Theta Psi, I want to say what an awesome find. A great piece of our history. And just in case you’re curious and have not heard yet, KOY is still going very strong. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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