Sioux City, Iowa
As a Missourian teaching in North Dakota, I have passed through and over-nighted in Sioux City numerous times. But since I-29 passes to the south and west of the city, I had seen only those parts. Trinity Heights, former home of Trinity College, is to the east, just off the boulevard bearing the name of Sergeant Charles Floyd, who died here—the only casualty of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Today Trinity Heights is home to Queen of Peace, a serene expanse of gardens and religious shrines, with a museum and visitors’ center manned by helpful volunteers and staff. After a walk, photographing the gardens and shrines, I visited the St. Joseph Center, where I was invited to look at the collection of Trinity College yearbooks. When I found photos I wanted to copy from a 1921 yearbook, I was told, “Just take it across to the Gift Shop, and they’ll do photocopies for you. You can bring it back when you get through.” The cost of photocopying? “Say a prayer for us.” At the Queen of Peace Office, the Executive Director Don Stevens gave me a copy of the book “The Miracle of Trinity Heights,” a book that sold for $15 down the road. Needless to say, I have kind thoughts of Trinity Heights.
Trinity College was a Roman Catholic boarding school founded by the Fathers of the Third Regular of St. Francis. Located on 80 acres overlooking the Floyd River, the school originally had four departments—preparatory, commercial, academic and collegiate. The 1921 yearbook shows a student body of 100 collegiate/academic students, 18 preparatory students and 39 commercial students. In addition to athletics, Trinity College sponsored an orchestra, a Joyce Kilmer Literary Society and a booster club.
According to Father Bernard Tickerhoof’s history of the Third Order Regular, the order closed Trinity College in 1932 in order to divert personnel and resources to St. Francis College at Loretto, PA. However, the Sioux City school remained open—likely as a high school—until 1947, operated by the Society of Mary.
Bricks and Mortar
The aerial view of Trinity Heights from the 1930’s shows that Trinity College had three main buildings: a large administration/classroom building, a gymnasium with basketball court and swimming pool, and Garrigan Hall, which housed faculty members and students.
When the college closed, the campus served as a motherhouse for the Benedictine Sisters, who had looked after the students. From 1958 until 1967 the campus was used as a high school by the Salvatorians. Then until 1973 it housed the administrative offices of Western Iowa Community College. In 1987 the campus became the property of Queen of Peace, Inc. The buildings were razed in 1988 to make way for the new center. Trinity Gardens, former site of the administration building, looks toward the Dale Lamphere statue of The Immaculate Heart of Mary the Queen of Peace.
Team name: Crusaders
Colors: Blue and White
The College Football Data Warehouse shows Trinity playing football from 1914 through 1930. Except for the 1926-27 seasons when the team won 11 of 12 games, Trinity played a limited schedule and enjoyed little success. In some seasons, the team played only three or four games. Their most common opponent was Buena Vista College from nearby Storm Lake. Other frequent opponents included Yankton (SD) College, Columbus (SD) College, Still College, the University of Omaha, and Dakota Wesleyan College. In the last two seasons, more two-year schools began to appear on the schedule.
Newspaper accounts show that Trinity College also played basketball before 1920.
(Above) The 1920 team played four games—all losses—to Western Union College, Omaha, Dakota Wesleyan and Columbus, scoring only one touchdown in the four games. (Pioneer, Courtesy of Queen of Peace)
Trinity College campus in the 1930's. ("The Miracle of Trinity Heights," Courtesy of Queen of Peace)