Daniel Irion (1855-1935) was the fourth president of Elmhurst College. Born in Marthasville, Missouri, Irion came to Elmhurst in 1871 as a member of the first class of the proseminary. After graduating from Elmhurst in 1874, Irion attended Eden Theological Seminary, then located in Marthasville. Irion was ordained in 1877 and returned to Elmhurst to teach Latin and Greek. In 1880, he moved to Cottleville, Missouri, where he was the paster of the Evangelical Church. He returned once again to Elmhurst, where he accepted the pastorate of St. Peter's Church. In 1887, he was appointed president of Elmhurst College (as it was popularly known) succeeding Peter Goebel. Irion served for 32 years and held three different titles during his tenure: president, inspektor, and direktor. After retiring in 1919, Irion continued to write and to preach in churches throughout the Midwest. Irion married Friederika Stanger in 1880, and they were together until her death in 1930.
Irion was born and raised in the German area of Missouri and maintained his German language, heritage, and culture until his death. It was said that he never spoke English at Elmhurst, even after English became the language of choice at the college. With few exceptions, his correspondence and other writings are in German.
These papers consist of biographical material, family documents, correspondence, writings (journals, day books, sermons, manuscripts), printed materials, programs, and personal business records.
Preserved with the collection are a few items reflecting the life of Friederika Stanger Irion, Wilhelmina Irion (Daniel's mother),and Christian Stanger.