History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/John A. Nash
JOHN A. NASH, minister and educator, was born in Chenango County, New York, July 11, 1816. He was reared on a farm in Otsego County, and at the age of twenty entered the preparatory department of Madison University graduating from the Theological Seminary in 1844. His first pastorate was Watertown, N. Y. Coining to Iowa in 1851 he located at Des Moines which was henceforth his home. He immediately organized a Baptist church and was its pastor for eighteen years, teaching at the same time. In 1853 he opened a select school which soon grew into Forest Home Seminary. It was resolved to establish a Baptist institution at the Capital and in 1865 the University of Des Moines was the result. In August, 1872, Mr. Nash became acting president and soon after president, which position he held until 1883. Dr. Nash accomplished a great religious as well as educational work, founding two Baptist churches in Des Moines and nearly thirty others throughout central Iowa. He was an untiring worker in the temperance reform, canvassing the central portion of the State for the prohibitory liquor law. The degree of D. D. was conferred upon him by the University of Chicago in 1877. He died at his home in Des Moines in 1890.