On The Road To Statehood – Celebrating 175 Years – 1845.

After a decade of complaints, the contentious Presbyterian group (which dissolved in 1865) decided to sell its little bell to the State University of Iowa, which was now preparing to hold its first classes (March 1855) in Mechanics Academy, renting this struggling private school located just two blocks from Capitol Square.

Forged in New York City in 1844, this little bronze bell was most likely the first one to ring out regularly on the streets of Iowa City. It came here in 1845 via some disgruntled Presbyterians who started a second “First Presbyterian Church,” after splitting from the larger denomination in the early 1840’s. The 125-pound bell is dated (1844) and its first home was the First Constitutional Presbyterian Church of Iowa City (Old Stone Church) located on the south side of Burlington Street, a half-block west of Clinton Street.


Click here to visit our 175th Statehood Anniversary page…

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