First rung during the dedication of the south wing of the Main Building on December 2, 1874, the original bell weighed 1,200 pounds and was purchased by Luther College students under the leadership of Bjørn Haatvedt Edwards. When Main burned in 1898, so did the college bell. However, around 1,000 small replicas were struck from the bell's metal that was collected afterwards for souvenirs. In 1899, Edwards donated a second bell for the second Main Building.
Almost half a century later, the bell had to be rescued as Main II burned in 1942. Thankfully, it was not damaged and was relocated to Preus Gymnasium. 19 years later, the bell had to be rescued again, as Preus Gym burned in November 1961. Again, it stayed intact and was relocated to the campus lawn.
The bell was lucky to survive two fires, but it did not go through the last 112 years unscathed. On November 11, 1918, in honor of Armistice Day, the official end of World War I on the Western Front, bells were rung in celebration. The Luther College bell was rung so hard, however, that it cracked. This crack is still there today.