Carried by the College Marshal in the academic procession, the Iowa Band Cane has a silver head and a silver scroll attached a few inches below the head. The cane honors the Iowa Band, 11 Congregational ministers, all 1843 graduates of Andover Theological Seminary, who came to Iowa with a special purpose: “Each to found a church and all a college.”
The ministers saw the latter part of their intention fulfilled with the founding of Iowa College (now Grinnell) in June 1846. The members of the Iowa Band were: Ephraim Adams, Harvey Adams, Ebenezer Alden Jr., James Jeremiah Hill, Horace Hutchinson, Daniel Lane, Eratus Ripley, Alden Burrill Robbins, Williams Salter, Benjamin Adams Spaulding, and Edwin Bela Turner.
Benjamin Spaulding originally owned the cane, which was presented to him as a gift in 1864 by Dr. James Taylor of Ottumwa, Iowa. Spaulding had the idea that the eldest member of the Band should keep the cane until he died, and it would then pass to the next eldest member, and so on. When the cane was given to Spaulding, six of the original members survived. Their names (Spaulding, Lane, H. Adams, E. Adams, Robbins, and Salter) are inscribed on the cane. When Salter died in 1910, the cane was given to the College. The cane used today is a recreation of the original Iowa Band Cane.