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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Stephen N. Fellows

STEPHEN N. FELLOWS, theologian and educator, was born May 30, 1830, in North Sandwich, New Hampshire. His early educational advantages were meager; at the age of eighteen he entered Rock River Seminary, at Mount Morris, Illinois, but for lack of means was unable to continue his studies beyond the fourth term. In 1851 he entered Asbury, now De Pauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, where he graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1854. Previous to his graduation he was made professor of mathematics and natural science at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa. In 1856 he joined the Upper Iowa Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in 1860 resigned his professorship and entered the ministry, having charge of churches at Dyersville, Tipton, Lyons and Marshalltown. In 1867, by a unanimous vote, Dr. Fellows was elected principal of the Normal Department of the State University, holding the position for twenty years. When he began his work, the State had neither made provision for any higher normal course nor planned to do so; but Dr. Fellows recognized the need of this higher education of teachers and it was largely through his influence that the standard of the department was raised. In 1873 through the efforts of Dr. Fellows the elementary normal department was formed and became the chair of didactics and united with that of mental and moral science. For six years this was the only chair of didactics in any American college or university. Dr. Fellow was president of the State Teachers' Association in 1869 and 1872. He has had great influence in State temperance work, his open letters on the subject attracting wide attention. He was at one time president of the State Temperance Alliance. In 1871 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Cornell College. In 1891 he was a delegate to the Ecumenical Methodist Conference at Washington and in 1893 was a member of the Advisory Council of Religions at Chicago. He was a leader in organizing the Indian Rights Association of Iowa.