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The Beginning: pre-1901

Martin W Sampson
"Founding Father"
State University of Iowa Football 1889

Martin Sampson English Professor 1889

Foot Ball, the game as we know it today, began at the State University of Iowa in 1889.  Professor Martin W Sampson, an english instructor at the University of Iowa, sponsored a meeting to organize Iowa's first football team.  He was unanimously elected both captin and coach of Iowa's first varsity eleven.   Martin W Sampson went on to score Iowa's first touchdown ever as well in 1890 when he blocked a Grinnell kick, scooped up the ball and raced it 70 yards to score.  

1890 Team Photo (earliest known to exist)

Martin W Sampson close-up

Martin W Sampson Autograph

Below is an autograph of another one of the individuals who played on the 1st team of 1889.  His name is Edwin L Sabin and he was one of three committee members listed in the very first Program/Rule book in 1889.

Edwin L Sabin Autograph

1889 1st Program/Rule Book

Shows Edwin as one of 3 committee members in 1889

The State University of Iowa football team of 1900 would go down as one of the greatest Iowa teams of all time.  In Iowa's first season in the Western Conference (now know as Big Ten), Iowa went 7-0-1 and never yielded a touchdown.  Coach Dr. Alden Arthur Knipe coached this team to its first Western Conference Championship.
Below are some VERY RARE items in my collection for that 1900 team that I wanted to share.  One is a 1900 Team Photograph which shows the players in football stances.  One of the neatest photos in my entire collection.  The other is an autograph of Dr Alden Knipe and also a scrapbook that someone put together with many articles on that wonderful season.   I would love to have more items from this team to put with them.

1900 Original Team Photograph in pose

Alden Arthur Knipe Autograph - Coach 1900

1900 Football Team Season Schedule

1900 Football Team Season Schedule

1900 Football Team Scrapbook


Below is a really cool 1899 Football Team Season Schedule with the scores written on it. To find anything pre-1900 is extremely rare.

1899 Footbal Team Season Schedule

1899 Football Team Season Schedule

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