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Edward Pickering Barrows

Ed Barrows was a native of Storm Lake, Iowa. He graduated from Idea Grove HS in 1924, and then taught for one year in a one-room rural school, doing chores for room and board.  He saved $700 so he could attend Coe where he met Irene, who was studying music at Coe. Irene Charipar Barrows was related to Anton Dvorak, a Czech composer, and came from a pioneer Cedar Rapids family.  They were married in 1930 in the Little Brown Church in Nashua. 

While at Coe, Coach Moray Eby described Barrows as "the best athlete I ever coached."  He was all-conference in football three times and all-state honorable mention twice.  He set records on the mile relay team as well as in the 440 (49 seconds); in the 220 (21.8 seconds), and in the long jump (21.8). Ed Barrows also received a position on Coach Eby's all-time Coe Team, created with the Eby's favorite players from his 29 years of coaching.

Ed Barrows remembered his two favorite memories of his athletic experiences at Coe.

The most thrill I have gotten out of football was Homecoming 1929 when with fine assistance from Frisbee - Hines - DeWitt - Hunter - Allen and the game I returned the opening kickoff 95 yd. for a touchdown - That was on the old field and I ran directly towards Voorhees Hall for the score. 

The other that I’ll never forget took place one day on the practice field.  After practice, Coach Eby said to me, 'President Gage wants to speak to you for a minute,' and pointed to the bleachers across the field where one person was sitting.  As I got closer, I could see it was President Gage.  The two of us went along, and as I sat down he said, 'Ed, as you know, your name is a household word everywhere, and I just want you to know that carried with that is a responsibility.'  At that, Gage stood up and parted with these words: 'If there is anything I can ever do for you, keep me in mind.'  And you know, Gage's words that day are just as clear to me today as though it were yesterday.

Ed Barrows was supposed to be in the class of 1929, but he stayed in school an extra semester to play football and graduated with class of 1930. After graduation Ed Barrows was commissioned through Coe ROTC in 1929 and spent 27 of 40 years on active duty in various positions.  Also during those years, he coached in Iowa (Fort Dodge) and Minnesota high schools and was in education for 10 years.  He had a twin brother; both coached in the same conference for three years, competing against each other in football, basketball & track. Ed Barrows studied law in the evenings and passed the Iowa Bar in 1938 to enter law practice just before he was called to active duty in '41.  During war he was commandant of a military school of 900 cadets in St. Paul, Minn.  Ed Barrows returned to law practice in 1946, and then went back into military when Korean War broke out in 1950.  He worked as a judge advocate and in selective service until retirement in 1968.  Ed Barrows then moved to Redland where he worked for the West Law Book Publishing Co. of St. Paul. 

During his lifetime, Ed Barrows was also a Big Ten football official for seven years.  When asked to recall any amusing incidents from his experiences as an official he retold a story from a Carleton-St. Olaf game.

Working the Carleton-St. Olaf game (yearly grudge battle) several years ago, I called an infraction against St. Olaf and marked off the yardage.  A few minutes later a St. Olaf tackle shuffled up and said, 'You stink'.  I quickly marched off 15 yards and asked the astonished tackle 'Can you smell it from here?'

Ed Barrows was honored at Coe by being the President of the Alumni Association, receiving the Coe Alumni Award of Merit in 1971, and being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1979 the Barrows Endowed Scholarship was created, and in 1980 seven benches were donated by he and his wife to Coe's campus. Ed Barrows passed away in May of 1983.

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