Adonijah Strong Welch was born April 12, 1821 in East Hampton, Connecticut. Hereceived the B.A. (1846) and M.A. (1852) from the University of Michigan. Dr. Welchbecame the first principal (1852-1865) of the Michigan State Normal School (EasternMichigan University). In 1865, he moved to Florida and became involved in the orangeand lumber industries. Dr. Welch was serving as United States Senator from Florida(1868-1869) when he accepted the position of President (1869-1883) of the newlyestablished Iowa State Agricultural College (Iowa State University).Dr. Welch was serving as President of Iowa State Agricultural College when he wasasked by the United States Commissioner of Agriculture to investigate and report on theorganization and management of agricultural schools in Europe. While in Europe, Dr.Welch’s opponents who were unsatisfied with the college’s development sought toremove him from office. This effort led to Welch’s resignation as president of Iowa Statein 1883. Dr. Welch returned to Europe a second time to recover his health and onreturning to Iowa State in 1884 accepted the chair of history of civilization and practicalpsychology. He continued to teach at Iowa State until his death in 1889.Dr. Welch is credited for a number of successes during his tenure as president, thoughhis most lasting legacy may be the design of Iowa State’s early campus. Dr. Welchhelped develop Iowa State’s first courses in agriculture and mechanical arts andsupported the right of women to receive a college education. Dr. Welch was oftenasked to address farmers’ gatherings, horticultural meetings, and breeders’conventions. His wife, Mary Welch, established the first courses in the domesticsciences, which would later become the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.Dr. Welch married Eunice P. Buckingham in 1859 and had three children with her beforeher death in 1867. He later married Mary Beaumont Dudley in 1868. They had twochildren. Dr. Welch died on March 13, 1889, in Pasadena, California.
The collection contains biographical information, correspondence, written addresses,and publications. Also included is an account from 1849 documenting Dr. Welch’s trip toCalifornia with a group called the Fayette Rovers looking for wealth in the gold rush.
The collection is arranged alphabetically.
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY