The Bells of Iowa State were donated to the university by Edgar W. Stanton, who graduated with the first class in 1872. Including his years as a student, Stanton spent half a century on campus, becoming a faculty member, head of the Department of Mathematics, secretary of the board of trustees, dean of the junior college, vice president and, on four different occasions, acting president.
Stanton's first wife was Margaret MacDonald Stanton, the university's first dean of women, who was a part of Iowa State for almost 25 years. When she died in 1895, her husband decided to establish a monument -- a free-standing tower with a chime of 10 bells. With the help of University President William M. Beardshear, Stanton chose a site for the tower on central campus, and the state legislature appropriated $7,500 for the construction of the tower and its clock.
|1897||The Campanile was built, a design of George E. Hallett, an architect from Des Moines. The project was completed in 1898.|
|1899||The first ten bells were installed in memory of Margaret Price MacDonald Stanton. They were the first scientifically tuned bells to be exported by the John Taylor & Company of Loughborough, England.|
|1929||Twenty-six bells and a playing console were added in memory of Edgar Williams Stanton. The instrument became known as the Edgar W. and Margaret MacDonald Stanton Memorial Carillon.|
|1930s||The clock pendulum and weights were replaced by an electric motor. The lighted, translucent clock faces were installed by the class of 1933.|
|1954||Stanton Memorial Carillon Foundation was established to further the advancement of the carillon at the University.|
|1956||Thirteen additional treble bells and a new playing console were purchased by the Stanton Memorial Carillon Foundation, bringing the total number of bells to 49.|
|1967||The fiftieth bell was added.|
|1970s||The first floor of the Campanile was paneled, and the playing cabin was insulated, heated, and air-conditioned. Also, the exterior of the Campanile was sand-blasted and coated with acrylic waterproofing.|
|1992||The Partnership for Prominence Campaign was conducted, establishing an endowment to renovate the Campanile and the Stanton Memorial Carillon.|
|1994||Renovation of the Campanile and the Stanton Memorial Carillon was completed.|
Schroeder, Ira. "A New and Expanded History of the Edgar W. and Margaret MacDonald Stanton Memorial Carillon, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa." Bulletin of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, Vol. XXXVII, 1988, pp. 15-37.
Schroeder, Ira. "A History of the Edgar W. and Margaret MacDonald Stanton Memorial Carillon." Bulletin of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, Vol. X:1 June 1957, pp. 1-10.
Margaret MacDonald Stanton (1845-1895): virtual exhibits at ISU Parks Library, Special Collections Department.