BVU's Council Bluffs Site to Welcome Author Dr. William B. Feis

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STORM LAKE, IA (11/07/2017) (readMedia)-- Buena Vista University's (BVU) Council Bluffs location will host author Dr. William B. Feis for an educational session on his new biography, Essentially American: General Grenville M. Dodge and Family on Monday, Nov. 13 from 5-6 p.m. The event will take place in the Student Center/Reiver Room on the Iowa Western Community College campus.

The biography provides a comprehensive overview of the life of Civil War general and Council Bluffs native, Grenville M. Dodge. Among his many roles, Dodge served with distinction in the Civil War and oversaw the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad from Omaha, Neb. to Promontory Point, Utah.

"After nearly four years of researching and writing, I am excited and pleased that my book has finally appeared in print," said Feis, who is a professor of history at BVU's Storm Lake campus. "One of Iowa's most famous citizens, Grenville M. Dodge had a front row seat to American history as it unfolded in the mid-to-late 19th century."

Dodge's involvement in military, political, and business affairs made him closely affiliated with several of the most prominent Americans of his time, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

"Civil War general, railroad pioneer, business leader, presidential adviser, veterans' advocate, animal lover, philanthropist, and family man, Dodge was, according to a newspaper reporter, 'the American of yesterday - filling to the full the American ideal of courage, vision, action and candor - and should have constant study from the American of today,'" said Feis. "But what impressed me most was the deep love the General had for his family, especially his brother Nathan P. Dodge, and for his hometown of Council Bluffs."

Feis, who had researched and written about Dodge before, was approached to write the book in 2013 by the Historic General Dodge House.

"In the beginning, my main interest was Dodge's Civil War experiences and his role in building the Transcontinental Railroad," said Feis. "However, as I dug more deeply into his family and other facets of his long life, I discovered a more multi-dimensional, fascinating character."

The educational session is free and open to the public, but space is limited to 50 seats. Feis will be giving a short presentation on Dodge's life, reading from the book, and answering questions. Light refreshments will be served.

"I hope the event will also provide an opportunity to celebrate BVU's Council Bluffs site," added Feis, who has authored and co-authored several other books. "The General believed education was essential for good citizenship and success in life, and I think he would be very pleased that BVU is providing educational opportunities for the citizens of his beloved hometown."

If you have any questions about the event, please send an email to or call 712-749-1990.

About Buena Vista University

Since 1891, Buena Vista University has prepared students for lifelong success and blends liberal arts with real-world applications. Our traditional campus on the shores of Storm Lake hosts students in a variety of majors and pre-professional programs, including elementary, secondary, and special education; business and accounting; and biological and chemical sciences. Our 16 degree-completion locations, online, and graduate programs expand student potential with a pace and academic rigor designed for working adults and a variety of class formats that make scheduling even more convenient. With an average scholarship of more than 50 percent off of tuition, BVU is an affordable option for all students. Visit