Saturday, May 28, 2016

Commemorating a Tragic Fire at Penn College

Wilcox Library of William Penn University in Oskaloosa, IA posted several fascinating sets of photos yesterday on Fb commemorating a fire May 27, 1916 that destroyed the Old Main of what was then Penn College. The library's posts include images of telegrams of support from around the country, newspaper articles with reports of the fire and the cleanup. College business manager Robert Williams and student Harry Oakley lost their lives when walls collapsed.
The posts note that Old Main was constructed in three phases with the first west wing section funded by the Iowa Union College Association of Friends and completed in 1873. The central wing was completed in 1877 and funded by the Quakers. The third and final east wing was completed in 1890 and funded by the citizens of Oskaloosa, Iowa.