Postcard, postmarked 1909
[Sons'] Memorial University was founded in 1901 by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Envisioned as "the greatest memorial to the men and women of the Civil War," its supporters believed that SMU was destined to become the "Harvard of the West." The campus - located on "Patriot Hill", just south of Mason City - consisted of a single academic building and a couple of dormitories. Mason City was chosen as the site of the campus due to its central location, access to rail lines, and absence of saloons. While the school offered only a handful of degrees, it did include a College of Music.
Despite the grand dreams of the Sons of the Union Veterans, Memorial University closed in 1910, having graduated only 46 students. Its academic building was used by the Mason City schools and the local community college, before it was torn down in 1979.
Source: Gary L. Gibson, "Sons' Memorial University", p. 29, in Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War by Barbara Stahura (1996)
Postcard, postmarked 1910