Iowa History Daily: On November 10, 1818, Underground Railroad conductor, founder of the Iowa town of Tabor, and antislavery minister John Todd was born. A leading abolitionist during the era leading up to America’s Civil War, Todd’s Tabor home served a southwestern Iowa stop on the Underground Railroad.
Born in West Hanover, Pennsylvania, Todd attended Oberlin College and Seminary before moving west to the Iowa frontier to spread a Congregationalist message and establish a college patterned after his alma mater. Serving an original founder of Tabor, as well as its Congregational Church, Todd spent over three decades ministering in southwestern Iowa.
Todd’s home in Tabor featured a concealed room in which he secreted away escaped enslaved persons on the journey toward freedom. Developing connections through his antislavery work, Todd eventually gained the friendship of noted abolitionist John Brown. Brown stayed with Todd several times, and in the run up to Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry he had 200 rifles shipped east from Todd’s residence.
A founder of Tabor College, Todd lived an exceptional life fighting for values he believed in. Today, the Todd House in Tabor finds listing on the National Register of Historic Places and is operated as a museum by the Tabor Historical Society. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar