Efforts Underway to Preserve Iowa Wesleyan History


RADIO IOWA – Iowa Wesleyan University announced its closure one year ago and since then campus buildings in Mt. Pleasant have been sold and the university archives have been divided. There are efforts to try and preserve some of the legacy of the school which operated for 181 years. Alan Allsup from the class of 1987 and his friends have squirreled away a collection of items that range from part of the old gym floor to framed paintings.

“Everything happened so quickly. And a lot of people didn’t know what was even being taken out or not. A lot of us are we want Iowa Wesleyan to prefer reserved somewhere”

Alan Allsup, Iowa Wesleyan Class of 1987

The Henry County Heritage Trust and board member Pat White run a museum that has a room dedicated to the school.

“That was my first thought, what is going to happen to the archives that were housed on the university campus? I think it was important that these things that happened here in little Mount Pleasant, that it stay local.” Pat White, Henry County Heritage Trust Board Member

Spencer Barton worked as an archivist at Iowa Wesleyan in what became its final year and then hung around as an independent museum consultant on the collection. Barton says the museum will give people a chance to remember the institution that is now gone.

“People who make their pilgrimage to the campus every year, every ten years, however long it takes for them, can come back and relive a little bit about experience,” Barton says. “Even if it’s completely different than a new place still close to home.” Spencer Barton, former archivist at Iowa Wesleyan

After a long bidding process, the campus has been divided and sold to groups including the Mount Pleasant Community School District. The district bought a large gymnasium track and field space, auditorium, and office space, for $1.3 million. One buyer from the Quad Cities is planning to make apartments out of some of the old dorms another would make office space out of the wrestling facility.

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