I don't know how much land you are looking for. Adjacent to me (11 acres) there are 13 acres with a creek. It's currently wooded, but there is a decent sized house and a gravel drive, well, septic, etc. Someone else nearby has horses and someone else has another less common grazing animal on 25 acres. This 13 acres + house is extraordinarily reasonable and it would be wonderful for someone to come along with permaculture sensibility. We are all within 10 minutes of a progressive small town with environmentalists, and others involved in permaculture. My dream was for someone in my family to grab this, but the next best thing would be permaculture neighbors.
go after my dream-to live surrounded by untouched land, preferably prairie lands.
Untouched prairies are rare, and should likely be preserved... but I don't think that's what you are really looking for. But that's me mincing words a bit. It sounds like what you want is some prairie homestead/house that has not been industrialized, or monocropped, and I think that you should be able to find it, but it may take 'shopping around' to find one close to a college... assuming that the particular college needs your husband. Tricky, maybe?--but not completely unrealistic.
The goal is for my husband to work part time as a college teacher so we would have to be an hour or less away from civilization.
I think that you should be able to find a homestead type small acreages that are close to urban or semi-urban areas where colleges are located. The problem is often that land within commuting distance (called bedroom communities) are often pretty pricey in relation to truly rural towns/land. If you have the pocketbook to do that, and your husband is into 40 minutes to an hour drive both ways, then you should be able to find it (prairie-ish land), or something that will suit you needs (perhaps a house on cleared land with feral meadows), 'close' to a college. If you were close enough to a college, perhaps you could rent a tiny house(s) to a student(s).
The midwest can and does have some pretty severe winter weather, and many people don't understand how the continent itself effects climate. In regards to this, I grew up in the Coast Mountains, 100miles from the ocean, only 300 feet above sea level, but at latitude 54. Despite the high latitude, we were much warmer for most of my winter than Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Montana and many other locations further south, but more inland. Even inland and at a much higher elevation where I am now, the winter is less harsh than in some of those listed locations, because I am on the damp western side of tall mountains, and have a very long southern valley that extends into the states which sometimes brings warm weather influences.
I can't take harsh winters-the midwest ones are plenty cold and I would like a warmer climate it possible.
I think that first you have to figure out where your husband can find a job that suits him, and if you have a list, then go and look around to those locations to find your land. It's hard to say where that location would be without your husband's job potential being resolved first. Is it possible that your husband could teach on the land as his part time job? An associate professor can sometimes work from a distant location.