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In 1870 the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased 3,330 acres of land in Decatur County, Iowa. At the end of that decade, in 1879, they platted the town of Lamoni, located on the main route of the Chicago and Burlington Railroad. 8From 1881 through 1906 Lamoni was the home of Joseph Smith III, president of the Reorganized Church. In 1895 the church established Graceland College, which was expanded in the twentieth century to a four-year college. The 70-acre campus is beautifully laid out on gently rolling wooded hills. What we see today in the design of the college grounds is largely the work of the landscape architect Kenneth F. Jones which was carried out in the late 1920s and early 1930s. His essential goal was to create a feeling that the landscape was not something introduced to the place, but was natural to it.


Charles W. Roberts, “Liberty Hall, Showcase for Church's Heritage,” 42.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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